Last week when Kippson was exhibiting at the Education Show, I took a walk around to check out what's new and cool.
1 Scottie Go!
Teaching the basics of coding to primary aged children aged 6-10 (with adult help - even if you can't code!). Scottie Go! is set out as a problem solving game, and children build the code using cardboard tiles that can be arranged and rearranged. It caught my attention because it is tactile, supports parental involvement and does not initially require a screen. Plenty of scope for discussion and rearranging. Once you are happy with your coded instructions, you take a photo with your tablet (there are QR-like codes on the tiles) and watch the results of your coding take place on the screen.
ScottieGo! Available at Amazon for £49.99
2 Fiction Express
A novel way (ha, no pun intended) to get children hooked on reading for pleasure. These guys have a team of authors who write a new chapter for each of their books each week (available with reading levels at 6+, 8+ and 10+), and it is published every Friday. Each week the students vote for what will happen next, and then the authors get busy! It is not currently available to parents, only via schools, but watch this space
3 Dekko Comics
These guys present educational material in the form of a comic strip magazine, using a range of characters and engaging artwork. It is fun and clever, and at no point does it dumb down. Stories cover a wide range of topics, from historical sources, french, spelling rules, biology, and parts of speech, to forces in physics. All this information is packaged with colour, image and story to make it enjoyable and accessible.
http://www.dekkocomics.com/home.html Available at Amazon for £4.99
4 The all-in-one PolyMath
Maybe it's because my daughter has just bought a pencil case the size of a small suitcase, but this is a cool little gadget that combines a compass, ruler, protractor, set square and parallel line stencil. Being stabbed by the point of your compass could be a thing of the past.
The video demo says it all - see https://www.polymath.ie. Available at Amazon for £4.95
5 Talking Tiles
Just speak and record into these small hand held, robust recording devices. They look really easy to operate, and you can mark points in the recording so you can skip from one part to the other. Think of the possibilities! You can record messages for your children, record mental maths tests (just like the real thing), encourage children to read aloud (they could make their own audio book), record and learn vocab, and (if you have a child who dislikes writing but needs to capture structured thoughts) you can even record your ideas for each part of a story and listen back later. I just love treasure hunts, and would love to leave some audio clues around a trail... Price varies according to device, and the available recording time and features, but a multi memo 6 minute voice recorder is £17.94
Available from www.TalkingProducts.com
It is not new, but it is so cool! These magnetic construction kits are colourful, and quickly and easily fit together to make 3D shapes and models. If you buy it, buy lots, (think marble runs and lego - a small set is just never enough). Class sets are available (96 pieces for £99), or 48 pieces for about £50. There is also a non magnetic Giant Polyhedron XL which clips together. Fantastic fun - but you might also need a big toy cupboard
by Kate Cooper, founder of Kippson which designs visual themed times tables learning resources