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Over 400 groups of Year 9 pupils from across the UK took part in 7billionIdeas’ UnitedApp competition to design an app for education, with the winning app being created. Those groups were whittled down to ten finalists, each of whom were given a mentor to help them put together their three minute pitch for the judges. A number of us from Clevertouch mentored groups, and I went along to last week’s final, held at IBM Warrick, to see the pitches. The day consisted of fun ice breakers, tips on presenting, practice time, and a talk from IBM’s Jez Brooks on the options available to young people on leaving school.

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All of the finalist’s ideas were so creative and innovative, and the finalists apps would make a real difference to young people if they were created. With computer programming now being a part of the UK’s national curriculum, today’s children will be equipped to design and create their own apps in a way that we couldn’t have imagined even five years ago. Indeed, there are a number of apps that are designed to help children learn to code, and teachers are regularly requesting that we add more coding apps to the Cleverstore. Currently, RunMarco, by AllCanCode is our popular coding app, and we are hoping to add more in the very near future.

Many of the apps designed for the UnitedApp competition would be ideal on a front-of-class, rather than personal, device. Our data shows that 41% of teachers use apps, but the way that they use apps is changing, and there is becoming more demand for apps to be collaborative tools to engage an entire class, rather than as extras to help with homework or solo projects. That’s what makes Clevertouch Plus great, we are ahead of the curve, offering the only free educational app store for large format touchscreens.

The Cleverstore contains apps that are:-

  • curriculum relevant
  • ad-free
  • no in-app-purchases

Not only that, we are constantly listening to teachers. We value comments from teachers and students on how the Cleverstore can be improved. One thing we are always asked for is downloadable resources to go along with lessons, and you will see that our new-look Clevertouch website has resources available for many of our apps. Teachers want to know how to use apps in their lessons, what subjects they cover, how they meet learning objectives, and how they build a lesson around an app. We are working hard with teachers to make sure that all the things they need are right at their fingertips.

Interesting reads:

Coding at school: a parent’s guide to England’s new computing curriculum (The Guardian)

Technology in education: a summary of our research (TechKnowledgeForSchools)

The rise of the digital classroom (Clevertouch)

Infographic: teaching gets technical (Clevertouch)