In one of the sessions I attended during this weekend’s Tech Field Day SA, Cori Coburn-Shiflett spoke about using technology games in the classroom. As she pointed out, even sites and apps that were not designed for education can be used for learning. AR Basketball is a good example. Even though I posted about this app awhile ago, I did not have it listed on my AR Resources page because I felt that some teachers might question its educational value. However, Cori directed us to a great resource from Charlotte Dolat (one of the fabulous Tech Field Day organizers) that provides free printable worksheets for math integration with this app. By changing the activity to one that teaches mean, median, and mode, AR Basketball becomes a win/win for the teacher and the students.
If you’re like me, you might have set some professional goals for the summer – books you have been meaning to read, technology you wanted to learn, etc… If you’re also like me, you may be in a bit of a panic right now because none of those things got accomplished. You foolishly frittered your break away spending time with your family binging on Netflix and making videos for a global scavenger hunt that your daughter convinced you would be fun and not too embarrassing.
So, now the beginning of the school rushes toward you and you are well aware that the professional goal that will take precedence over all the others will be, “to survive.”
I’m here to tell you that there are still ways to weave those professional goals into the new school year without becoming overwhelmed. Below, I’ve listed a few trends in education that you can learn more about while doing some on-the-job-training:
|Growth Mindset||Read Mindset, by Carol Dweck, and/or try resources from this Pinterest Board.||Print out these alternative ways to praise from Angela Stockman and use them in your classroom regularly.|
|Makerspaces||Read Worlds of Making by Laura Fleming and/or Invent to Learn by Martinez and Stager, check out this Pinterest Board, and create a dedicated space for making.||Use “Challenge Boxes” in a center in your classroom. You could also participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge.|
|Genius Hour||Read Pure Genius by Don Wettrick, check out Joy Kirr’s LiveBinder for Genius Hour, and comb my Genius Hour blog page for resources and ideas.||Give students more choices on how to be assessed on their learning.|
|Programming||Learn how to use Scratch, Scratch Jr., and/or Hopscotch. Explore the resources on this Pinterest Board.||Participate in this year’s Hour of Code in December; all materials and tutorials are supplied for you free!|
|Augmented Reality||Learn how to use Aurasma and/or Daqri 4D Studio to create Augmented Reality Experiences. Check out my Augmented Reality page for tons of apps, lesson plans, and tutorials. Katie Ann Wilson also has a great page of resources.||Try the Quiver Vision free Educator pack that allows students to create and integrate Augmented Reality in the classroom. Also, for an easy trial run, use their page (also at the above link) that celebrates Dot Day.|
The “Hacks” listed above will not make you experts on any topic, but they will allow you to learn more about each trend. Then, you can decide for yourself if you want to try out some of the “Full Immersion” suggestions!
Brainspace is a quarterly magazine for kids aged 8-14 that is published in Canada. U.S. Subscriptions are also available (about $30 for 4 issues).
The magazine topics in the issue sent to me for review ranged from dinosaurs to speaking French to whether or not you can get sucked out of an airplane toilet (not likely, it turns out).
What sets Brainspace apart from other magazines you might find in your elementary school library is that it also includes augmented reality. For example, if you download the free Blippar app, you can see the dinosaur on the magazine cover move and roar. The majority of the pages inside also have “Blipp This” tags, allowing you to scan an image and watch videos related to some of the articles.
The videos are educational and often include students. Some of them definitely give this magazine an advantage over print-only magazines because the articles alone would not be as effective. It’s helpful, for instance, to learn French phrases by seeing other students using them in context.
If you have a child who does not like to read, I wouldn’t count on this magazine changing their attitude. More likely, they will scan for all of the “Blipp This” tags and close the magazine after they’ve watched each video.
But, if your child is eager to learn, and is especially interested in scientific topics, a Brainspace subscription could make a great gift.
If you are a teacher or librarian, Brainspace might be popular with your students. I would caution you to try one edition first to make sure access to the videos is not blocked in your school. I found at least two videos in the Summer 2015 issue that were hosted on YouTube and wouldn’t have been accessible with a student device if I was on school grounds.
Parents’ Choice recently gave Brainspace a “Gold Award.” (National Geographic earned a silver, just to put that in context.) You can read the Parents’ Choice Award review here.
I would like to see the magazine make things even more interactive by including polls or quizzes that could be accessed with a scan. They could also engage their readers by asking them to submit videos (with parent permission) for future issues.
Overall, this magazine has a lot to offer, and I look forward to seeing its evolution.
For more augmented reality resources, including lesson plans and free apps, check out my Augmented Reality page here.
Before you download this app (available in Google Play or iTunes), please note that it is not “Quiver – The Matchmaking Game.” Trust me, you don’t want that on your elementary classroom iPads 😉
Quiver-3D Coloring App is the new face of ColAR, an augmented reality app that brought colored pages to life. In fact, when you go to the Quiver website, you will probably recognize some of the same coloring pages that were offered by ColAR. One of my favorite free pages, the one they offer for Dot Day, is thankfully still there – although it now has “Quiver” across the top.
Quiver offers a few new free pages of particular interest to educators. I think the Animal Cell one was part of the ColAR inventory, but I hadn’t seen the Planet Earth or Volcano ones before. I played with the Planet Earth one last night, and wish I had seen it before my last class with my 1st graders. They were learning about the continents, and would have flipped over the augmented reality – especially the different viewing options of the earth, being able to manipulate it, and the ability to take pictures and video.
I decided to check out “Magic Letter” (also free). I have absolutely no idea what the characters are saying or what the writing is, but the video that shows up when you scan it is very cute. As you can see, it looks a bit like an award certificate, so I put my name on it to see what it would do. At the end of the video, the characters hold up the “letter” with your writing and confetti flies.
Like Zookazam, there are free features and paid features in Quiver. Really, though, the free ones are only limited by your students’ creativity.
For more augmented reality fun, check out my resource page here. There are lessons, activities, and app suggestions. For these last few days of school, augmented reality might be just the thing to engage your students.
First of all, a big shout out to the awesome ladies I met at TCEA from Lamar Consolidated School District yesterday – @spletkalcisd, @KBoneGT, @imrielee and @StacieQuarles! Meeting them absolutely made my day!
Based on yesterday’s poll, here are the things I hope to share at TCEA on Thursday morning:
An awesome free web tool (and iOS app) for creating graphic designs in many different formats. Disclaimer: I recently wrote lesson plans for Canva’s Teaching Materials section in their Design School.
Click on the link above to go to my Augmented Reality Resource page, which is full of ideas for lessons, activities, web tools, and apps. It also includes links to tutorials for Aurasma and Daqri, two of the best tools for creating auras. Here are a few of my own lessons:
- You Matter Videos
- Outside my Snow Globe
- Daqri Elements 4D (Disclaimer: I also recently wrote some lesson plans for this product.) Be sure to sign up for DaqriEdu, and check out twoguysandsomeipads.com for great tutorials!
If you have a Maker Space or any room for creativity in your time with students at all, I highly recommend these robots from Modular Robotics. You can click on the header link to learn more. Put this at the top of your list for any grant application. They are pricey, but well worth it. I have seen so many creative combinations from the students as they put different cubes together to make robots that move based on temperature, distance, and light. They’ve made drawing robots and spent twenty minutes figuring out how to combine every Cubelet we have to make the robot in the video below. There are Lego Adapters to add, and really there is no limit to the imagination with these fun cubes that connect magnetically. There is even a Bluetooth one so you can control your robot with a mobile device. Don’t forget to check out the Lesson Plans! (Ironically, this is the one product that I’m hawking that will cost you money – yet I have no stake in it at all!)
By the way, this may be a spoiler if you read it before our 10:30 session – but don’t skip! There are several other people presenting, and they will have more awesome things to share! Plus, I’m bringing some of the toys to play with in case you want to try them out before or after the session 🙂
One of the more popular posts on this blog (particularly during the winter months) is, “If I Lived in a Snow Globe, I Would Wear my Bike Helmet to Bed.” This is a follow-up post for anyone who might want more details about the lesson I teach my gifted 1st graders. For this project, it’s helpful to have at least one iPad and a video editing program.
First, I show my first graders the “Bumbleville” video referenced in the Bike Helmet post, and we discuss the perspective questions I listed. We also read Snow Globe Family and compared the book to “Bumbleville.”
Next, the students brainstorm a list of interesting locations. They can range anywhere from the jungle to Mount Rushmore.
I ask the students to choose one location and pretend they are in a snow globe at that location. They write a rough draft of a short story describing what they see outside the snow globe.
As students finish at different times, they take each other’s picture using the iSnowdome app, which is free. The app places you inside a snow globe, and makes a short video with the snow blowing around you. My students sometimes like to ham it up and pose as though they are freezing cold – even though we live in San Antonio and it’s usually about 85 degrees outside.
I also take screen shots in the app of each student so I can print those out and add them to their final drafts. The screen shots can be used for augmented reality purposes, as well.
When the students complete their final drafts, they meet with me separately and we record their stories over the iSnowdome videos in iMovie on the iPads. (Wow, that was a lot of “i”s in one sentence!)
In iMovie the students get to choose which music will accompany their video, and that’s always interesting!
I display the stories with their pictures. At this point, you can either send the videos home, link them on your blog, or do what I did – use Aurasma.
I link each child’s picture to his narrated video. Now, when they take their projects home, all the parents have to do is scan the picture with the free Aurasma app and the video will play.
Want to see an example? Make sure you have Aurasma downloaded on your mobile device. Subscribe to the Hidden Forest Elementary channel. Then scan one of the pictures below to see the videos!
UPDATE 12/6/17: For an incredible STEAM project that you can use with this lesson, check out the immensely creative Tricia Fuglestad’s post here!
I confess that this is nothing new. I offered these augmented reality reward coupons last year, and have been meaning to make some more. However, that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe a few enterprising students can make some for me!
My students absolutely loved these last year. In my classroom Reward Coupons are kind of a seasonal thing, which makes them extra special when I start giving them out.
If you like these, you might also want to try out the AR holiday cards that I posted last December.
New to augmented reality? I have an Augmented Reality Page devoted to tutorials, lessons, and apps. Also, be sure to check out Elements 4D for a great educational way to use augmented reality for teaching Chemistry!