Making data engaging can be a challenge. Flight Radar 24HD is immersive and engaging. This app is very exciting for children in the classroom. It provides live data in a very visual form that engages the children.Rather install this on all of the iPads – i tend to just wirelessly present and hand my iPad to the children to explore.
The whole class can watch. We screen shot the data and share through the Showbie app. At a basic level you could use Pic collage to sequence the data, fast, faster, fastest etc or use something more sophisticated like Numbers or charts in Keynote. You can’t export the data from the app. It also has a cute AR option where you can point the device into the sky to track planes above you!
Another app that I’ve been using for a while is Quakefeed. This is a free app that tracks seismic activity. Whilst this doesn’t have the visual immediacy of Flight HD it does utilise “notifications” so as soon as an earthquake occurs , the app is notified.
This can be very exciting if you are studying earthquakes in the classroom. You can filter the data in terms of date, Magnitude distance (from your location) and depth.
It has a history of up to 30 days, so the recent small earthquake data in the UK is still accessible.
Both these apps have been popular with children and teachers in workshop sessions this year. Both also help with unpack worries and fears that children have. The recent flight MH370 tragedy has worried many young people. Exploring the Flight HD app has often become an exploration of the worries that children have of flying. Seeing all those planes in the air and realising that they ALL arrive safely is helpful, for promoting a more balanced view of the world. Likewise the Quake feed app can’t hide the destruction of large earthquakes, but it shows how the earth is still constantly moving sometimes very close to home, but for most of the time, deep below the ground or in remote places.