Wales National Digital Learning Event 2015

Jen and I went along to the National Digital Learning Event and Awards in Cardiff earlier in June. We handed out Taccle books and went to some workshops. There were a few to choose from but I attended a technocamps session which explored some ways of teaching computer science using lego bricks, (build a simple lego structure, now explain to your partner how to build an identical structure without them seeing what you have built) using people, (direct your person around the room using simple commands) and using Cargo Bot. I like what technocamps do, kit like Lego Mindstorms is pretty expensive, so they take the kit around to secondary schools and colleges across Wales for one day workshops. For lots of ideas about how to teach computing, coding and programming for the rest of the year you could check out the Taccle2 blog and the Babitech page.

In the afternoon I had fun playing with Sonic Pi , which uses code for composing and performing music, you can see me in the video below (just after the 2 minute mark) getting flustered because there was a mistake in my loop. Don’t let that put you off, it was really good fun and a great way to get instant and useful results form your code.

The best thing about the day was seeing the great things being done across Wales with Ponty locals Big Click scooping the Commercial Digital Project Award

You can see all of the other inspirational kids and teachers getting their tech on at the Hwb website with projects like e-safety, coding with minecraft, creating an interactive local map and staging a robot wars competition.

Keep an eye out for next years entries, Welsh kids are good with technology, the competition should be tough!

On the BabiTech iPhone

Pre-school and Welsh language app reviews from my Babitech blog.

Babi Tech

I’m sure you’re all dying to know which apps made it to the current BabiTech list. If there’s something missing that Babis 1 and 2 really need to have, stick it in the comments and we’ll try it out.

IMG_4720Toca Boca

Toca Boca’s Hair Xmas, Toca Builders, Toca Band, Toca Fairy Tales, Toca Hair Salon 2, Toca Kitchen Monster, Toca Doctor

Yes we are huge fans of Toca Boca, no they didn’t pay me to say that. We’ve not found one we don’t all like. The games are well thought out, catchy but not mindless, creative, educational and fun.

Apps Cymraeg

S4C Cyw, Cyw a’r Wyddor, Mwnci Bach, Tref a Tryst, Cyfri gyda Cyw, Ben Dant

The apps produced by S4C are pretty good, my favourites are Cyw a’r Wyddor which helps teach letter formation (Welsh alphabet) and Cyfri gyda Cyw which does the same with numbers. Mwnci Bach…

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Six tried and tested Android Babi apps

Babi Tech

Android Apps

Baby Toy  – Babi loved it 10months+ nice pictures and it makes lots of fun sounds. The fun sounds can all be played at the same time so it eventually drove me mad! The phone locking pattern is a nice idea but was easily unlocked by my little one.

Talking Tom Cat (free version) caused no end of tantrums (“Eee-ow! Ee-ow! MINE!!!”) and as amusing as it was to hear Tom squawking back, the constant prompts to update or buy add-ons completely detracted from the  joy of having a very cute kitty talk to you. I appreciate that it wasn’t designed as a child friendly app, you can disable the “allow violence” feature, but even as an adult time-waster it’s more frustrating than fun.

Shoot Bubble Deluxe again not designed to be a child friendly app but lots of fun for little fingers. You tap the screen…

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