An Android Tablet Computer be a great resource for the classroom and there are numerous innovative ways to use the technology for learning. Just press the Google Play / Play Store button on the top right to open the Apps Shop and to start searching for Apps.
Here are some free Apps for Early Education that we’ve found…
Kids Memory Game Lite – A simple memory game with different creatures to choose from. There is also a game with the matching numbers which could help children with number recognition. Can be played teacher-led as a group or given to children to play independently.
Shapes – Flashcards of a variety of shapes. It can have the voice on the tablet say what the shape is, or this can be switched onto ‘quiz mode’ which turns the voice off.
Story Chimes – An interactive book of Cinderella. It can either be read out to you or you can read it independently. It is American accent/ spelling in the book. The iStory books app has a whole selection that you can read from.
Kids Shape Puzzles Lite – A game in which children have to drag the various pieces of the shape into the correct part of the puzzle. Will help to encourage development of fine motor skills.
Camera Illustration – A camera app which allows you to create different types of images such as x-ray, comic or black & white. This could be used creatively in Art Projects, and children will enjoy seeing images of themselves transformed of the screen.
Google Earth – A great tool to use when exploring the world – you can show children far away destinations, and those things closer to home. It could also be used to share their stories about holidays they have been on, for example.
Tuo Tuo – A simple matching shapes game for children. They select their age, and then they move the shape on the shelf to the matching object. It shows objects in full colour, or just as their silhouette, and children have to match them up. Pretty basic and not super exciting. There is also an arithmetic game on this which could be challenging for children between 5-8years old, and would help improve mental maths skills.
Solo Lite guitar, piano, Drums – These are a couple of apps that allow you to ‘play’ the piano or guitar. They don’t have a full range of notes; however they are a nice starting point for children to have a play with and to explore their musical creativity.
Useful information about Restriction Settings
Although some of these apps are free to download most do have some kind of payment model, either ingame adverts or offers to buy upgrades or game bonuses. These can disrupt the play experience with popups or even switch the user out of the game and into a website or store.
To prevent in-app purchases open the Google Play Store app and select “Settings” from the menu. Scroll to the “User Controls” section, here you will need to “Set or Change PIN”. Click on this, enter your chosen code twice and then check the box next to “Use PIN for Purchases”.
Further control of apps requires installing a third party app such as the Vodafone Guardian. You will need to refer to the instructions of the particular app you choose but they generally allow control of what apps can play, who and when phone calls can be made etc.