Dr. Brad Gustafson is one of the Engaging Educators that I have had the good fortune to connect with through Twitter and blogging. This man is a social networking powerhouse who regularly dreams up unique ways to empower students and prepare them as global citizens comfortable with using 21st century tools to create and problem-solve.
His latest project was posted on his blog yesterday – just in time for February, which is “I Love to Read Month.” Always the master networker, Brad asked a few of the members of his PLN to contribute activities to this “ConnectED Bingo” card, and the suggestions range anywhere from reaching out to authors on Twitter (suggested by @pernilleripp) to writing a poem based on the Daily Wonder at Wonderopolis (suggested by @JoEllenMcCarthy). If you look carefully, you might see a couple of other familiar names on the card;)
Head on over to Brad’s blog to download your own copy of ConnectED Bingo. While you’re there, you might also want to check out his World Book Talk project, which ambitiously invites contributors to make 60 minute videos that Brad uploads to Aurasma so anyone can view the videos when they point the app at the book cover.
For today’s Phun Phriday post, I want to share with you something that my students are certainly having a lot of “phun” with! Brad Gustafson (@GustafsonBrad), the principal of Greenwood Elementary in Minnesota, just posted a social media challenge this week, and he is inviting everyone to participate. Brad (who has been nominated for a Bammy Award) is all about the power of using social media in positive ways. My 3rd graders got to Skype with him a couple of weeks ago to interview him about their Genius Hour projects, and he has connected my 5th grade class with one of his 5th grade classes (shout out to Mrs. Ray’s 5th grade!). His students collaborate with 2 other schools on tri-state video projects using the TouchCast app, and, well, the man is just a dynamo in my book.
So, head over to Brad’s blog for details on the latest project, “The Art of the Squiggle,” where you can download a simple squiggle and transform it any way you like. I have been giving it to all of my GT students this week, and I am so blown away by their ideas! Who knew you could see so much in a squiggle? Below are some that my 5th graders did yesterday.
Brad has many ideas for using augmented reality in education, which you can view here. He can also come up with some pretty cool practical jokes using AR, as evidenced by his appearance on the Two Guys Show.
If you visit Brad’s blog, you might notice a tab at the top that says, “World Book Talk.” Click on that tab, and you will be invited to join one of Brad’s most ambitious AR projects – and it has nothing to do with discussing encyclopedias.
Brad, along with a colleague, Heather Cooper (@hcooper815), created World Book Talk with the vision of students creating “Book Talk” videos that could be shared with the world through the Aurasma app. In a nutshell, students submit videos, Brad and Heather upload them to Aurasma Studio along with the trigger images, and then anyone who follows the World Book Talk channel in Aurasma can scan their copy of the book to see the video.
For an example of one of the videos, you can visit the World Book Talk page to see the video that will play when the cover of Zoom, by Istvan Banyai, is scanned using the Aurasma app.
Brad and Heather would love to see submissions from students, authors, and educators all over the globe. They already have an impressive list of books available, which you can view here. In addition to the numerous student-created videos, Todd Nesloney (also known as @TechNinjaTodd), a Texas teacher who was recently named by the White House as a Champion of Change, added a video for his book, Spruce and Lucy. And Jimmy Casas contributed one for the Carol Dweck book, Mindset, that I have mentioned on this blog.
I was excited to see Tuck Everlasting on the list, a book I am currently reading with my 4th graders. But, alas, there is one hitch in this project. If a book has had numerous printings, as Tuck Everlasting certainly has, you may not have the same cover that was loaded for the trigger image in Aurasma. Brad has already encountered this obstacle, and does his best to find as many versions of the book cover as possible to link with the video. But if you have difficulty scanning a cover with Aurasma (and you are certain you are following the correct channel), then that may be the issue. In this case, the students of Ms. Zeman’s class also provided a video for the Prologue of Tuck, which worked fine in the several editions that I scanned.
This is such a great idea, with enormous potential to effect young readers all over the world. I hope you will take the time to look scan some of the books listed, and consider having your students contribute a book talk of their own!