The students had been researching Ellis Island in Social Studies and were finding out how it became a famous gateway for millions of immigrants entering the United States. They wanted to represent that information visually, so they took all that they learned in class and turned it into a news report. The script took some time to write but with Google Docs they could all collaborate on the same document at home or at school in order to get the job done.
When the script was finished, they were ready to record their video. I set up the green screen, put the iPad on a tripod, and gave the students some basics on what they would need to know in order to make a successful green screen movie on the iPad. They were up and running in no time and filmed their own video whenever they weren't all on screen at the same time! We used the Teleprompter Pro Lite app to scroll their script in front of them, just like the professionals do.
"What are the real benefits of a maker-centered approach to learning? It’s often described as a way to incubate STEM skills or drive technical innovation — and it is probably both of these. But as a new report from Project Zero’s Agency by Design concludes, the real value of maker education has more to do with building character than with building the next industrial revolution.
In a white paper [PDF] marking the end of its second year, Agency by Design (AbD) finds that among the benefits that may accrue along the maker ed path, the most striking is the sense of inspiration that students take away — a budding understanding of themselves as actors in their community, empowered “to engage with and shape the designed dimensions of their worlds.”
Creativity is at the heart of a makerspace. The possibilities are endless and the supplies in a makerspace can spark ideas. One of my favorite creativity-fueling components of our makerspace is a Makey Makey, or as they're known as - an invention kit for everyone. The Makey Makey comes in a simple box with very little instructions. For non-techies, the wires and alligator clips could scare people from exploring. So, let’s break this down, because there is no reason to fear the unknown.
The Makey Makey comes with a circuit board (your home base), a USB connector to connect to your computer, and alligator clips and wires (these help you connect and create). All of these components allow you to connect back to your computer to control what’s happening on screen through the USB cord. You can connect the wires in any combination you'd like to work with different programs on your computer."
Typically, concepts like nouns and parts of speech are thought of as terrible, tedious, and troublesome concepts that can lead to learners to becoming tired, terrified and perhaps – in the extreme cases – tearful! With that in mind, learners at Parklands College in Cape Town brought Morfo into the mix.
There is no denying that coding is snowballing in importance across schools all around the world. Whether it’s Scratch, Programming Games or the Hour of Code, an understanding of software and the ability to code is fast becoming an essential skill for all 21st century learners.
At a recent TEDx event in Jackson Mississippi, Professor Marina Bers discussed her research into the design and study of innovative learning technologies to promote children’s positive development. How does this research manifest and present itself in the real world? Well programming robots of course!
What exactly makes an app “essential” is open to interpretation. For pure productivity, you could consider the direction of Google Drive, Skype, Zoom Notes, iAnnotate–maybe a gradebook app, Class Dojo, etc.
But what if your classroom if is full of open-ended projects and you need to constantly communicate with students, parents, and the community? Google+, Google Hangouts, Remind, DIY, and maybe Trello?
A very cool solution for getting videos in the hands of students, JuniorTube (formerly YoouKids) helps parents and teachers curate and share a YouTube playlist. Users can pick out educational videos for kids to watch remotely and safely so they can easily be viewed on children’s iPads and iPhones. JuniorTube makes it simple to put quality content on their devices without worrying about navigating YouTube by themselves. Parents and teachers can suggest to each other their own YouTube playlists that they curate, so they can forward to their kids other recommended safe playlists and videos to watch.
I’m very excited about the new learning journal app Seesaw which can help teachers and parents connect with students and keep track of their school work. Seesaw is a simple way for students as young as 5 to independently document what they are learning at school. It empowers students to take more ownership of their learning.
In yesterday's post about creating digital records of physical items I mentioned using Skitch to take pictures and annotate them. One of the things about Skitch that I failed to mention in that post is that along with drawing and typing on a picture you can crop and blur items in a picture.
Children, unlike most adults, have imaginations that are unconstrained by either themselves or society. For an 8- or 10-year-old, anything and everything seems possible. Burning with curiosity about the world around them, they can transform mundane objects into toys, invent entire worlds in a heartbeat, and become lost in daydreams one minute, only to fire off a barrage of (often unanswerable) questions the next. Then, they start to grow up. Curiosity seeps away. Self-consciousness kicks in. Until, slowly, the formalized structures within education, and the expectations of society, begin to take over.
Football Physics: The "Impossible" Free Kick is a new TED-Ed lesson that illustrates and explains how soccer players make the ball curve when they kick it on a free kick or a corner kick. The video also explains how the forces that make a soccer ball curve can also make a thrown baseball curve. The video also answers the question of whether or not it would be possible to make a ball boomerang back to you. The video is embedded below. The full lesson can be seen here.
"Looking for some interesting free documentaries to use in your class or probably use for your own professional and intellectual growth? This list from Open Culture has you covered. It features around 200 free documentaries spanning a wide range of topics from history to arts and science. All of these documentaries are provided with a short description about their content together with a link to the page where you can watch them and read more about the contextual information surrounding the topic they cover. It will take you awhile to sift through the entire list but we are pretty sure you will come out with some good documentaries to share with your class."
Looking for some good iPad apps for scanning and reading QR codes? Here are the three titles we recommend the most. Of course, there are several other good QR reader apps out but the ones we are featuring today are especially helpful in that they allow you to scan and take you directly to the linked website.The first app in this list has an added feature which is that of creating PDF files from scanned material
Thanks in part to STEM education initiatives and the tech boom, coding in the classroom has become more ubiquitous. Computer programming tasks students to persistently work to solve problems by thinking logically. What’s more, learning how to code is a desired 21st century career skill.
There are several digital games designed for kids as young as 5 that turn coding into a fun activity, such as Kodable and Scratch Jr. But some game designers are going further back to programming’s fundamentals by creating physical games that can’t be found in any app store.
Here is a wonderful new app released by Evernote a few days ago. Scannable is an app that allows you to easily scan papers and save them to your Evernote or share them with others via email or text. The way Scannable works is pretty basic: simply point your iPad or iPhone camera at the document you want to scan (this could be a post-it note, information on a business card or notes on a whiteboard), Scannable immediately captures it and make it available to you in the form of a shareable document.
- As more districts across the United States move to 1:1 initiatives, a common barrier is financial resources, and a common temptation is to regard these initiatives as technology enterprises rather than instructional transformations. In a three-year pilot project, the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) addressed these challenges by implementing a creative approach designed to entice public funders by providing all students with equitable access to digital devices.
I’ve previously posted several times about how much I love the Shadow Puppet app — there isn’t anything out there that’s an easier tool for creating a quick audio-narrated slideshow. It’s perfect for English Language Learners.
Today, the company behind Shadow Puppet has just released another new and free educational app that looks like it could be very useful. It’s called Seesaw, and basically lets students easily create digital portfolios that can be shared with teachers and parents. It’s free for teachers and students, and has a free and paid version for parents."
I began using Dragon Dictation a few years ago when my work with a group of struggling writers left me searching for a tool that could help them get the great ideas they were sharing aloud onto a page. I wanted something elegant: a tool that wouldn’t interrupt students as they were speaking but rather, quietly capture what they were saying and flip it into text.
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