3-12, Apps, Art, Augmented Reality, Creative Thinking, Education, Language Arts, Student Products, Websites


Joe Tedesco, the man behind SA Makerspaces for Education, posted about CoSpaces a couple of weeks ago.  CoSpaces is available on the web, and as a free iOS or Android app.  My students and are still investigating its features, so I may be incorrect about what we’ve discovered so far.

CoSpaces Example

Using CoSpaces on a computer (desktop or laptop), you can register for a free account and then create projects.  To experiment, I created one account that my students could also use (if you do this, make sure each student knows how to start a new project or collaborate with someone else on one).  There are tools on the web browser version to “build” 3-dimensional scenes, somewhat Minecraft-ish. For those of us who are spatially challenged, it’s good practice for using other 3-d modeling programs like Tinkercad.  You can also add your own images as well as audio files.

The scenes can be viewed on mobile devices as 3d by walking around with or moving the device to explore the scenery.  If you have a VR headset, you can also experience the scenes this way.  The video on this page is the best way to understand how it works.  At this time, you can only create CoSpaces projects using a web browser and experience they are best experienced through mobile devices.

An intriguing detail about CoSpaces is that it already has a link for educators in its menu – and describes the many ways it can be used in school (such as storytelling or exhibiting research projects).  According to the site, there are plans to offer classroom type accounts to teachers.

CoSpaces shows a great deal of potential for use by students to create – which is one of the main purposes for technology in my point of view.  I have a feeling there are going to be some exciting advances made by this company as it evolves, so you should definitely check it out.


Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Motivation, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

How to Tell a Magical Tale

from:  http://www.ted.com/talks/marco_tempest_a_magical_tale_with_augmented_reality.html
from: http://www.ted.com/talks/marco_tempest_a_magical_tale_with_augmented_reality.html

There is no doubt that augmented reality will play a huge part in education during the next decade.  You can already see it beginning to burgeon as you read blogs and educational articles.  Apps like Aurasma, Zooburst, ColAR, Spacecraft 3d, and AR Flashcards, make something that seemed to be merely science fiction into a classroom reality.

In the video embedded below, Marco Tempest uses augmented reality to give a presentation for TED.  His use of “magic” certainly makes his story engaging, but I actually connected to his message more than the illusions.

Tempest compares magic to successful jokes: “In that respect, magic tricks are like jokes. Jokes lead us down a path to an expected destination. But when the scenario we have imagined suddenly flips into something entirely unexpected, we laugh.”

This is what I would like to share with my students.  Too often, they believe that they are expected to provide the predictable, to write stories that follow the same conventions, to regurgitate what has been modeled for them.  They do this when they create presentations, too.  I want to encourage them to attempt to be unpredictable.  Make your reader or audience believe that they know what is going to happen, and then completely surprise them.

I think this is useful in teaching, as well.  Too often, we fall into our own structured routines.  Though some students need predictability, they also delight in a bit of wonderment.  In this way, we can capture their attention, and make lasting impressions.  Augmented reality can help us with this, but it is just one of many tools (and not all of them are technological) that we can use to create a novel experience that will capture the attention of our students.

Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Language Arts, Motivation, Philosophy, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Writing

Rules of Storytelling

photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via photopin cc
photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via photopin cc

I recently saw this article on Boing Boing that shares a tweet from Emma Coates, Pixar’s Story Artist, in which she relates the 22 Rules of Storytelling.  I am regularly trying to encourage my students to do #12:  “Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.”  That rule could apply to many enterprises, not just storytelling.  Perhaps if my students see that it is advice from the studio that produced Up, they will find it more trustworthy!

One of my favorite bloggers, Sonya Terborg, also posted about this list.  The following day, she produced her own, modified, version, called “16 Rules for Sharing Your Story”.  She made an excellent graphic to accompany it.  You can download the PDF here.    I think it would be an excellent poster to put in your classroom, or to print for students to use as a binder or notebook cover.