Blackness Primary, ICT Blog

Blackness PS – Covid Parent Survival Kit

Mr C’s ICT Top Tech Tips – Buying/Sourcing Software


Looking for some Educational Software for your pupil? Glow has some wonderful Apps already ready to go. See below for some of the highlights There are also many pieces of free software out there that are very powerful alternatives to the paid for versions with lots of online videos to help get started. Also see below. I will be puting up tutorials for using some of these packages soon, but if there are any you are particulary interested in please feel free to comment or email Blackness for the attention of Mr Cameron.

Some of the Software/Apps included in Glow (found on the Blackness School Launchpad)

  • Google’s Interland, a game teaching internet safety and etiquette
  • TinkerCad, an online resource that teaches Computer aided design including electronics, 3D modelling and Coding, with lots of lessons on how to use it.
  • Comics Plus, allows pupils to access comics online through registering their Dundee Council Library card (don’t underestimate the power of a visual text, there are some really clever comics out there and many filmmakers cite them as their inspiration to make films), good for competent and reluctant readers alike
  • v-Me, allows pupils to create avatars they can then use to be safe online
  • Microsoft Office 365 – Glow gives every pupil access to the full online Office 365 suite for free including Word, Excel, Publisher etc. When working online it allows for some very cool features like autosaving, online collaboration (multiple pupils working on documents together), and voice recognition.
  • One Drive – Whilst technically part of Office 365 I feel it needs special mention. In Glow One Drive allows pupils virtually unlimated storage space with 1TB included (equivalent of approx 500hrs of film), with the option to expand that if needed.
  • GSuite – These tools are Google’s alternatives to Microsoft Office tools. These are underpinned by the same AI (artificial intelligence) that Android phones use to search and categorise information. In GSuite apps there is voice recognition and excellent translation capabilities, alowing Arabic or other Non-English speakers a chance to complete work alongside their peers.

Some of the free Software/Apps we use in school. Click on the name to take you to the website to download

  • Audacity, sound editor that is really easy to get started with
  •, free alternative to Photoshop
  • Scratch, introduction to coding, can use online or download for free, developed by MIT
  • Education Minecraft, pupils can log in with the same account they use for the MS Office 365 download, loads of educational content to use, including biospheres and a walkthrough of the I.S.S.
  • VexVr, the virtual edition of the programming we used at the National Finals Robotics competition

Some of the free Software I use on my home PC

  • Hydrogen Drum Machine, for making drumbeats, available for Mac, Windows and Linux
  • OpenShot, entry level video editing for budding filmmakers, available on Windows, Mac and Linux
  • OBS Studio, screen recorder for sharing tutorials with peers, can then be edited on OpenShot
  • Krita, paint package that allows the user to select from different types of brushes, paints etc. Really powerful, but easy to use. Fab for practising mouse control at P1 but powerful enough for any budding artist to create beautiful pictures too.

Many programs (e.g. Scratch and Audacity) encourage sequential and logical thinking as well as the creativity that is vital for our future biologist, chemists, physicists and mathematicians, to name but a few. With support all these bits of software can be used from P1-P7 (or even the least tech-savvy parents out there too) and most come with a wealth of online video tutorials on the website or on YouTube.

Who knows, maybe we’ll have the future Steven Spielberg or Kathryn Bigelow or Billie Eilish or Calvin Harris in our midst. Have fun discovering some of these with your children over the coming weeks. Maybe you will teach yourself a new skill in the process. Remember, with each learning curve comes a view from the top!

Enjoy the exploration,

Mr C

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Report a Glow concern
Cookie policy  Privacy policy

Glow Blogs uses cookies to enhance your experience on our service. By using this service or closing this message you consent to our use of those cookies. Please read our Cookie Policy.