What is Purple Mash?
Purple Mash is a cloud-based platform for primary-aged children. It contains a wide range of age-appropriate, creative software tools for writing, drawing, coding, animating, blogging and much more. In addition to these programs, the platform provides resources and themed lesson activities, which can be set for pupils to do at home. Feedback on their work can then be provided to the pupil, including recorded audio feedback, and all the work is stored online, within Purple Mash.
Included within Purple Mash is the EYFS platform, Mini Mash. This is also available as a stand-alone product for EY settings.
The platform also includes, as an add-on, an online library called Serial Mash, which contains digital fiction books with guided reading resources and activities.
Purple Mash contains digital tools for writing, drawing, painting and activities across the curriculum.
How does it work?
All Purple Mash users have an individual account, which they log-in to, to access the tools and resources. Once set up, teachers can view their classes, which contain the work folders of all their pupils. They can also set ‘to dos’ for pupils which pop-up on screen when a pupil logs in, so it is clear what their work task is.
In addition to carrying out and receiving feedback to work set by the teacher, a pupil can also use any of the creative tools for writing, digital painting, coding, blogging etc. and play the maths and English games.
Recently, 2Simple have enabled the ability for teachers to upload their own files to Purple Mash, such as Microsoft Office documents, videos and more. This means schools are not limited to using Purple Mash resources, and can also distribute other materials to pupils at home using the same platform.
What subjects and topics are covered?
To a large extent, Purple Mash can be a ‘blank canvas’ for teachers to design and deliver their own activities, using the wide range of creative tools available. However, a huge library of ready-made activities are provided, and currently there are daily lessons published to support home learning. These lessons can either be set by a teacher as a ‘to do’ or accessed independently at home, with parental support.
Purple Mash currently provides a timetable of daily activities covering maths, English and a daily topic
Purple Mash offers Maths and English activities, including some game-based learning. These activities cover areas such as:
Maths: Number, Geometry and Shape, Time, Measure and Statistics.
English: SPAG, Diary Writing, Persuasive Writing, Poetry, Planning and Drafting and more.
It also provides topics from science, art and other subjects, and contains a complete computing scheme of work, which utilises the digital tools that the platform offers.
A wide range of topics from across the curriculum are provided, and teachers can design their own activities that utilise the creative, digital tools within Purple Mash
How can Purple Mash support distance learning?
One of the issues when trying to set any sort of digital work to be done at home is the variation in the devices and the access to technology that the children have. An advantage of Purple Mash is that the tools and activities run within a web browser and do not require additional software to be installed. Therefore, they are not device-specific and as long as the child has access to a device that can browse the web, then they should be able to access Purple Mash. We have successfully accessed the platform using laptops/Macs, Chromebooks, iPads and Android devices. Note that functionality may vary between different types of devices and some tools may not be available on every platform, particularly those that do not support Flash.
Purple Mash has received a number of improvements and new features in the last few weeks, to support distance learning and safe communication.
Below is a summary of how Purple Mash may support schools during the Covid-19 situation and beyond:
Purple Mash provides a wide range of online teacher-training courses
One concern about home learning at this time is that activities set by teachers may be predominantly screen-based, given that work is frequently set through the use of education technology. Purple Mash isn’t limited to on-screen activities, and also provides a range of printable resources that can be used away from the computer, so helping to offer a balance of activity type whilst still providing a central hub for work of different types.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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