GESS educates visitors on apps in the classroom

Education show holds talks from experts on using technology in the classroom

Tags: EducationGESS Dubai (www.gessdubai.com/)United Arab Emirates
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GESS educates visitors on apps in the classroom Swann stressed that the technology was not the focus of the exercise, rather the vehicle to push the content through.
By  Helen Gaskell Published  February 25, 2015

The GESS education show in Dubai focussed heavily on technology this week with a dedicated area called the "Digital Education Space", where experts held sessions on the use of technology in the classroom.

In a session called "Creating apps in the Classroom," Stuart Swann, LEGO Education Academy certified trainer and Apple distinguished educator, talked about the tools which are available to teachers and students for creating apps which can be shared with class mates and parents. However, he stressed that the technology was not the focus of the exercise, rather the vehicle to push the content through.

"For primary schools it's all about the content, the focus is not on the technology but what they are doing with it. The emphasis will be on The Tudors or the Vikings but we use Appshed [a tool to create apps] as a tool to help the children learn."

AppShed, a free online app-creation tool where users design, create and publish mobile apps, is what Swann used to demonstrate creating an app in his session as he said that children find it easy to use: "The teacher shows the class a few tools but Appshed has a built in self learning tool. I find that if you send them home to make an app on something they come back having made two or three because they really love it!"

The apps can be created and then reviewed and tested in real-time either on a mobile device or in a browser by the teacher, before being published. Users have the choice of making the app public and available in an app store or they can be downloaded by a QR code.

While Swann concentrated on how apps can be created by children of primary school age, advanced and older students can take it much further using web technologies (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) or programming (PHP) to create fully interactive high-level apps.

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