The Doodle 4 Google contest is up and running, and I love the theme for this year. It’s, “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…” It’s open to all K-12 students in U.S. schools, and there are some really amazing prizes, including a Google Chromebook. If you know a student who is an aspiring artist, be sure to have him or her submit an entry by March 23rd. To inspire your students, you might want to head over to this link, where some art students created some Art History Google pieces.
Oh wow. I know that it is hard to find 15 minutes in your day to watch an animated film, but you truly must make the time for this one – especially if you are a lover of books. This Oscar-nominated short is stunning in graphics and in its message. My students will be having a discussion about the impact of Gutenberg next week, and I fully intend to incorporate this video into the lesson. It is beautiful and inspiring. Bravo to the animation shop, Moonbot Studios for this truly amazing video. (If the embedded video does not work, you can view it at http://vimeo.com/35404908. You can also download the video FOR FREE from iTunes. There is an accompanying app for $4.99, which I have not yet previewed.)
UPDATE 9/28/16: Unfortunately, the film is no longer available for free 😦 You can download it from iTunes for $4.99. It is a beautiful video, and I wish it could still be viewed by everyone…
Scribble Press is a free app for the iPad that allows the user to create ebooks. There are over 50 story templates (If I Were a Superhero, for example), or you can create your own. Illustrating the stories is easy and fun with the use of markers, stamps, and stickers. Once a book is created, it can be sent to your iBookshelf, and read by any iPad user. It can also be shared in other ways by publishing them to a public gallery (optional) or even ordering a printed copy of the book. Scribble Press is extremely “kid-friendly”, and a wonderful way to spark the imagination of even the most reluctant writers!
Ewok Escape is one of 12 Design Challenges (7 current ones, and 5 in the archives) offered by Boston’s Museum of Science on their website. The question posed by this particular challenge is, “CAN YOU DESIGN AND BUILD A BALANCING DEVICE TO HELP AN EWOK ESCAPE THE IMPERIAL FORCES BY SLIDING DOWN A TIGHTROPE TO SAFETY?” What student wouldn’t want to accept that challenge? Each of the challenges come with Educator Guides in PDF format, and many of them have additional worksheets, as well. If your students aren’t Star Wars fans, they can use other figures that pique their interest, or they can try to design a house for an animal or tools to help them survive in case of a shipwreck!
Ever heard of Speed Dating? The concept is to meet with a person for a few minutes, chat, and then move on to another person. The short discussion with the potential date allows each participant to determine if he or she thinks it is worth pursuing the relationship any further.
The other day, I saw a variation on this idea that, believe it or not, is perfect for education. It is called Speed Booking, and the students are given the opportunity to learn a little about a group of books so they can decide which ones pique their interest. If this post piques your interest, check out the details at iLearn Technology!
Although I have not participated in these Synergy challenges before, the e-mail from them in my mailbox the other day intrigued me. I think that students would be excited by the Winter Challenge, which is to design and produce a game. The deadline is April 1, 2012. There is no entry fee. See the website for the rules and a great rubric that you might want to download even if you aren’t planning to enter the contest!
I have never been good at building things, or at solving spatial puzzles, for that matter. But Bridge Builder is an intriguing problem-solving game that your students will enjoy. The object is to use the provided triangles to create a bridge for the motorcycle. You can rotate the triangles and change their size, if you wish. This game, though internet based, reminds me of the Bubble Ball app for iDevices I have reviewed in the past. Bridge Builder is part of the website called Toy Theater, which offers many learning activities for younger students in several different subjects.