I briefly mentioned Blippar in a post last summer about the Augmented Reality magazine, Brainspace. A tweet from last night reminded me that there are other educational uses for the free Blippar app. In this post by Rob Stringer on Blippar’s blog, you can find some great uses of Blippar for science activities in the classroom. I’m ready to try the solar system one tomorrow!
My students went on a great field trip two weeks ago, and lots of photos were taken. We have a class blog but I thought it would be nice to use the pictures for more than that. I decided to try out Canva for a reflection tool. I have exactly 18 students in my 5th grade GT class. With 10 iPads and 8 laptops, Canva was the perfect choice because you can use either the app or the website to create. There are lots of free templates and text options to choose from, and the students also enjoy trying to different filters on the photos.
I have one class account for Canva that all of the students use. This makes using the app easy because they can stay logged in. Another bonus is that I could upload all of the field trip pictures taken by the group to that account from Dropbox, and the students could choose any pictures from the uploads to create their photo collages.
The students were assigned to find pictures that completed any two of the following:
One way the field trip connected to something I learned in GT was…
The field trip inspired me to…
My favorite exhibit was…
They could use any combination of pictures, and they needed to use some sort of captions to relate the photos to the above statements.
Here are some of their final products:
Every photo collage was different, and I really learned what was important to the students from doing this activity.
If you are interested in using Canva, you can sign up for free!
UPDATE 1/18/15 – I just added a post that gives more details about using augmented reality with this lesson. Go to “Outside My Snow Globe” to learn more!
Earlier this year, I posted about a short video called, “BumbleVille.” This cute animation would be fun to show your students at this time of year. You might want to show them part of the film, then stop and ask them what they think is going on. Chances are they will respond like mine did: “earthquake”, “aliens”, “volcanic eruption”. You will enjoy their reactions when they find out the true cause – that the characters are inhabitants of a snow globe which just got shaken.
In my first BumbleVille post, I gave some suggestions for incorporating Kaplan’s “Multiple Perspectives” into a lesson using the film. Since then, I’ve also thought that it might be interesting to think about the “Rules” that might be important for living in such an unpredictable environment:
What special rules would they have for buildings in this community?
What do they tell the students to do at school when such an event occurs (similar to earthquake or tornado preparedness)?
Are there certain objects that should not be allowed in this community?
Are there certain actions that should be against the law?
There are tons of “Snow Globe” resources on the internet – including Pinterest ideas – for crafting your own. You can create real ones or facsimiles.
If you are interested in a digital version of a snow globe, there is a free app, called “iSnowdome” (available on iTunes only) that allows you to place a photo of your own inside a snow globe, then e-mail the video of it. (From what I can tell, this is the only app that will e-mail a video instead of just a screen shot.) This could be a cute combo writing/augmented reality project – have students write about what it is like to live in a snow globe, use iSnowdome* to make videos of themselves in the snow globe, and upload the videos to Aurasma Studio with the screen shots as trigger images. Voila – an interactive, winter-themed bulletin board for your classroom!
*(The iSnowdome video includes an instrumental of a Christmas song in the audio, which some families may not prefer. You could easily mute that in a video editing program, though.)
Morfo is an app that was probably designed purely for entertainment, but some creative teachers have found a way to make it educational. Because it can be both, I decided to use it for this week’s Fun Friday post.
Morfo is a free app on iTunes that allows you to basically animate a still picture of a face. After you give the app some direction, the eyes on the face will move around, and you can add a recording that will play as the mouth moves. You can even change facial expressions.
I was trying to make an example for you, but gave up after I goofed up five recordings. Fortunately for me, the internet was right at my fingertips. I found this delightful video that not only explains how to use the Morfo app but, by applying it to a picture of Henry the VIII, gives it the educational tweak that I was trying to achieve. In addition, the narrator has a lovely accent that sounds much better than any recording I could ever make! Here is the link in case the video does not play: http://youtu.be/N4geZwqZ-Lg
Dinner, Not Art is both a website and a free iPad app. It’s delightfully silly, but also encourages creativity and charity. Every noodle that is used in the virtual art will result in 10 noodles being donated to the charity Feeding America by Kraft until the end of this year. This is similar to the concept found at FreeRice.
In the app, the user can choose the shape of the macaroni noodles as well as the color to paint them. You can place them however you like and even change their size. You can also draw things on the rest of the page. Once you are finished, you can “glue” your pieces to the paper, and hang your art on a virtual refrigerator.
Kids young and old would enjoy this app. To deepen the conversation, students could do some research on Feeding America or some math to figure out the amount of macaroni art that needs to be done to create a real meal. Maybe they could research other companies that have offered deals like this and find out “what’s in it for them”.
If you are like my daughter (9) (and , to be honest, me), then you went through a stage of fascination with “roly poly” creatures, also known as “pill bugs”. Isopod, a new, educational iPad game banks on that curiosity and takes advantage of one of the unique aspects of iPads – the accelerometer. Players of Isopod are given instructions to try to roll the isopods into other creatures and avoid ones that will decrease their “health.” While playing, the user can learn about different creatures in that environment. I played it for 5 minutes, and I was hooked. I could see students 8 and up really getting value from this game.
There is a free “lite” version of the game, as well as a full version and a teacher version. The game description on iTunes gives the details about each version. I highly recommend, though, that you also visit the website at http://www.xylemandphloem.net. There, you will learn about the extensive features of this game, which include a downloadable curriculum with loads of activities for students and a Pinterest link to related pictures and videos that support this game.
Although I dislike the idea of having to pay for the teacher version, I am very impressed with the supporting resources that Xylem and Phloem offers for free along with Isopod. Unlike many of the apps labeled “Education” on iTunes, Isopod is one app that truly delivers for that category.
Shape Collage is a free app for iDevices that allows the user to use photos on the device to create collages in different shapes, such as stars, paw prints, puzzle pieces, etc… You can even type in your own text, and the photos will conform to the words. Once you have created the collage, you can save it to your Photo Album, or share it via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. If you do not have an iDevice, there is a similar program online called Loupe. The biggest difference between the app and the website is that, on Loupe, you are loading your pictures from an online sharing site, and do not have the option to load them directly from your computer.
Shape Collage is a great app for Creating, the highest level of Bloom’s New Taxonomy. Students can create collages that conform to shapes related to what they are studying, or the shape of a text that gives a meaningful message. The collages can be another way for students to express themselves poetically with pictures.