I'm going to kick off 2016 with something simple but effective that I've come across and plan on using with students in Year 1 this week. The app is called Scorekeeper XL and is ostensibly an app for keeping scores whilst playing a board game.
Naturally this itself could find application within the classroom but the purpose for which I am employing it is slightly different - data collection. I'm in the middle of a data handling project with Year 1 and I wanted them to use a digital tool to collect data from their survey (what is your favourite fairy tale?) So I began digging around online and in the App Store looking for something simple that children that young could use independently. Most of the polling/survey platforms that I came across were aimed too high and would need too much support for the task to be worthwhile. Then I came across Scorekeeper XL.
What hit me straight away was how vibrant and clear the presentation was with the different colours helping the entries stand out nicely. Another great touch is that when a data point is added, the sum appears briefly first i.e. if the tally was 6 and one more vote was cast, it would show 6+1 for a few seconds then turn in to 7 - great for reinforcing some simple addition, especially with the less able!
Adding the actual entries is easy too with the same colourful interface in effect:
I'm not sure about the skull and crossbones delete button but it's a minor quibble!
The app is free and a definite winner for the KS1 and EYFS classroom. I could also see teachers who find broader classroom management platforms like Class Dojo or Classcraft adopting this as a tool to track team points from day to day!