eduDroid is a great example of how Android’s ‘Open Source’ software can be adapted for specific purposes and indeed why I believe it is suited to education in many respects – It is no coincidence that the only education specific tablets on the market run on an Android operating system!
The app is available from Google Play for School’s and Parents.
In May 2013 Google announced they are creating a dedicated play store for education that will allow schools to easily purchase multiple licences of apps. Using purchase orders Schools will be able to install apps directly onto to devices making deployments of Android tablets in schools easier and cheaper than before. With eduDroid and the play store for education you will be able to access apps and manage a network of tablets with little technical knowledge.
Why eduDroid’s proposition is a very interesting one for schools:
- It runs on low and high specification devices
- It is easily centrally managed/updated
- Schools can share their licences with parents to promote learning at home for use on any android tablet/Phone.
- Modules in line with the National Curriculum
- Ability for teachers to add/create own module content /Q&A
- In class voting (Q&A)
- Literacy and Numeracy based modules
- Suitable for SEND learning
Pupil age: 4 -11
Purpose: Promotion of Learning and development of Literacy/Numeracy skills as per National Curriculum. Content is kept up to date.
App type: Module Based
Modules are currently split in to Literacy and Numeracy.
- Spelling Bee
- Learning and handwriting letters
- Learning phonics
- Reading and spelling quizzes
- Precision teaching
- (word search section coming soon)
- Numeracy Maze
- Numeracy Quizzes
- Numeracy and bonds interactive game
- Hundreds, tens and units
- Money counting
- Timer/Stop watch
eduDroid was developed by a network manager in the UK Jamie Hibbard. As a network manager he knew it had to be easily managed so has used a ‘web interface’ to allow multiple devices to be self-updated from the school’s server .
Once the app is up and running on the server teachers can easily;
- allow only specific modules to be viewed by the pupils
- Send up to 5 web-links to pupils saving time gathering information
- Create bespoke voting/Q&A sessions in class to test the learning which can be easily viewed in the ‘Adult Mode ’
- Teachers can add their own content to modules i.e. spelling lists or numeracy quizzes
- Create varying levels of difficulty in eaxh module assisting inclusion
- Ability to disable ‘Auto Advance’ on modules so teachers can assist pupils 1:1 to the next level.
The ability to extend the schools licence to parents allows children to easily continue the learning at home in a context specified by the teacher.
Printing is easily facilitated over a shared network. Screen shots can be taken easily to demonstrate classroom activity.
Using the app
The app opened quickly and ran smoothly on my Samsung Galaxy note 10.1. I also tried it on a lower spec sub £100 device which it also worked well on.
Of note is NO in-app advertising (confirmed by the developer) which can be a distraction particularly on educational apps where concentration is required.
The home screen is simple, uncluttered and easy to navigate.
The choices on the home screen are:
- Sound Recorder and
- Adult mode
A deeper look into Literacy and Numeracy Modules
The Literacy section is also easy to navigate. The phonics used for the dictation of letters are in a clear and neutral English accent which is a refreshing change to many of the other American based apps I have seen and heard. Handwriting functionality worked well. Tapping the star icon in the corner of the screen illuminates a trail of stars to follow to create a letter. When completed it displays an image of an object based on the letter you were just practising .
The quiz sections are good fun and are in the theme of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ in this case ‘Spelling…Aire’ so are arranged in an engaging way with interactive hints.
The Numeracy menu is arranged in a similar way to the Literacy.
Maze is a number trail where you must choose the correct route to find the correct answer.
Alien shooter is a quick fire interactive multiplication game where you can adjust the number multiple, speed of the display and time frame.
Time Limit/Stop watch is as described providing a stop/start digital time output.
Money gives you a screen that allows you view arrangements of coins based on levels of difficulty along with sums of the coins where you can calculate how much money there is.
Numeracy Flash cards allow the screens to be displayed as flashcards for numbers, money, time and times tables
Mathion… aire has multiple maths based quizzes on varying levels based on the ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ formula
Bond Shooter is based on the Alien shooter format but introduces number bonds to the affray!
HTUS associates object (blocks) with counting, showing the working behind the sums. The module has muliti-level.
The Clock feature is very good, with the ability to set specific times based with easy +/- time adjustment on a traditional clock face and uses a quiz to test the learning.
The Sound Recorder is a useful tool also for the school. Audio
Recordings can be stored as easily retrievable files.
A newer version of the app has an ‘app lock system’ to stop children accessing the Play Store, or at home the parents Facebook if a shared device.
Schools – £150 per year which includes parent usage and unlimited devices.
The ‘Web Interface’ software which can run on any machine, including old models is
Wampserver and is a free to download.
The app is 99p at the Google play store after a 30 day initial free period.