Audio Tools for the Language Class

Recently, our Language teachers have been given the task of creating an activity where students will be asked to add audio to specific prompts.  With the current state of technology, this should be a rather simple task.  We also know that any technological task is bound to face many hurdles.  For our larger classes students must have a quiet space where they can record from one of the many possible devices.

In this post I separated the tools into Google Docs and Drive, presentation tools, and additional tools and resources.  Using GoogleDocs seems like the most practical way to create an audio response to a prompt as the documents can be shared in Drive as long as students have or create a gmail account and share that folder with the teacher.  Many of the presentation tools may actually be easier to use for students but it would require them to sign up for accounts.  Here, teachers could create a prompt from a picture or text and students could respond to each “slide” with audio feedback.  Finally, I can’t help myself and added some additonal tools that may help with other activities that would require students to record their voice to different source material.

GoogleDocs

A Great Tool of Add Audio Feeback to GoogleDocs – Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

OR…

How to Add Voice Comments to Google Documents – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

OR…

6 Steps to Add Voice Comments to GoogleDocs – Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Presentation Tools (for AudioSlideShows):

Other Alternatives:

5 Ways Students Can Create Audio Slideshows – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Really nice list of tool that look like they would work similar to VoiceThread.

Sokratic – Create Visual Narrative – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Voicethread – I have used this and I really like it, but they have limited the “free” options for students.  Basically, student can drop an image or slide into a frame and record narration over the slide.  What would make this a great tool for the language class is that it will replay the audio and students can listen and choose whether they would like to keep the audio or re-record the audio for that slide.  The free version would allow each student up to 5 VoiceThreads with up to 50 slides each and unlimited voice and text commenting.  Students can also use their phones to add narration, but only three minutes of phone commenting available, which should be enough.  I think this is a great tool and would be willing to help.

ADDITIONAL RECCOMENDED

TwistedWave – Create Audio Recordings and Save Them to Google Drive – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

If you have your class set up using Google Drive, this Drive app would make it easy to integrate and organize audio recordings for teachers and students.

Print a QR Code for an AudioBoo Recording – Wesley Fryer – Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Nice article that combines two tools to create a nice lesson for classes.  Student can download AudioBoo on their iPhone or Android and record up to 30 minutes of Audio and create a QR code, which is basically a barcode-like image that would link to audio.  Would be great for language scavenger hunt.

The Peanut Gallery – Fun tool where students can add narrations to old silent film clips.

Here are some articles for further study:

How to Use the 5 Best Free Audio Tools for Teachers” – Christopher Pappas – eLearning Industry

SlideShark is the Presentation App to Beat – Mark Sample – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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ESL Resources

Looking through my resources for ESL students, I was surprised to find the limited amount of material that was listed.  There are many apps for iPad or Android that offer practice for language acquisition.  Many of these tools would provide great practice for students if they have access to the technology.  Additionally, it seem that there is a great deal of news resources that would be great to add to the classroom.  Outside of specific ESL targeted materials there are also other tools that would help ESL students practice English including digital storytelling tools

Reading Sites

The Best Sites for Introducing Maps to English Language – Larry Ferlazzo – Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

Links to TONS of sites with links to TONS of sites, so it is a bit exhaustive, but if you are looking to incorporate geography into ESL this is a good place to start.

22 Frames – News Videos for ESL Students – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Seems like a nice collection of videos that provide additional assistance for students who are struggling with language acquisition

Common Core ELA Resources for Middle School Educators – Edutopia

Don’t let the title fool you, this is a nice collection of resources for all students on all levels.  The New York Times, ReadWorks.org and Newslea are all great resources that provide tons of reading material for different learning levels.

World Digital Library

Website provides tons of primary source materials from around the world that can be accessed by language.

Apps

Best Andriod Apps for ESL Students and Learning English – Ken East

Free Apps to Support Vocabulary Acquisition by ELLs  – Edutopia

The 15 Best iPad Apps for the World Language Classroom – Sarah Loyola – Edudemic

5 Useful iPad Apps for ESL Students,

We are not currently equipped with iPad or a continual set of devices that would allow students to interact on a daily basis, but by looking for apps for both Android and iOS a teacher can have the students download the apps to their phone and work on language acquisition on their own or during set class periods.

Cultural Authentic Pictorial Lexicon

Site offers a collection of images that is searchable by image and language, additionaly students can add their own images, which would be a good ESL project.

Word Lens, the Real-Time Translation App, Is Now Free – Patrick Allen – Lifehacker

If students have and can use their cell phones, they can download this app to take pictures and translate English through school or their everyday life – cool.

Games

The U.S. State Department Gets in the Education Game – Katrina Schwartz – MindShift

A game that is designed by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) where students follow a fictitious character in the year of 2050 and visit cities around the U.S. and learn about American culture.  Sounds interesting…

Digital Storytelling

Five Goods Feeds for ELA and ELL Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Some links to good resources on teaching with digital storytelling and links to blogs and resources on integrating technology tools in the ELL/ESL classroom.  One of the better links.

Verbling 

Using Google Hangouts, which is available in Hamilton students can practice language with student throughout the world by meeting up and scheduling meetings with other students looking to learn languages.  Also, has the ability to meet with instructors at scheduled times.

Here is a list of Digital Storytelling Tools that would support various projects in the ESL classroom if you are uncomfortable using them please come see me in the library and we can work something out.

VoiceThread, ComicLife, Storyboard Generator, Meograph, Bitstrips, Sock Puppets, Power Point, Google Slides, Haiku Deck and many more…

Tools

Vocabla – Learn English and Spanish – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Another tool to practice vocabulary.

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Financial Literacy

Yesterday, I was talking with the Financial Advisor at  school and discussing many topics about investing for my future and retirement.  At times, I see myself rejecting new information because I see my retirement in the Xanaduesqe confines of Belize a lifetime away.  I take the mental energy to imagine the Villa along the coastline and research the cost and amenities but shirk on the actual saving and investment responsibility.  This is not uncommon as the advisor stated that most people don’t worry about retirement until they become close to retiring.  This makes it increasingly more important that our high school students are equipped with the Financial tools that will allow them to become responsible financially literate citizens.

For some talking points on mistakes try:

What Money Lesson Would You Give Your Younger Self – Kristin Wong – Lifehacker – Kristin Wong – Lifehacker

Here is a collection of resources I would like to share:

Economics

Financial Literacy, Taxes, and Economics Lessons – Richard Byrne Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne Free Technology for Teachers

I guess I could have just linked you to Richard Byrne’s website as he seem to supply a host of financial literacy (an other great) resources.  This would has links to tons of great stuff.  Check it out.

Knoema – World Data Maps and More – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Wow, really a great site, but it deals with some complex Economics concepts.  This site offers tons of charts and data that would be great to create a research assignment doing comparative analysis between two countries using different concepts.  The whole project could be done on this site.

11 Videos for Economic Lessons – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for TeachersFree Technology for Teachers

Nice list of videos which include some lessons from a historical context as well as some that explain economics concepts.  At the end there is a video “rap” that enumerates on supply side and demand side principals through the lens of Keynes and Hayak.

Two Hands-on Economics Lessons for Students – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Two lessons here one on the “Captains of Industry” that mimics the business tactics of the great industrialists of the late 19th, early 20th century.  The second is a lesson on “Life on the Minimum Wage”

The Marketplace Whiteboard Explains Economic Issues – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Great resource to help combine current events with from an Economics perspective.

Economics Lessons for Students of All Ages – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers  – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

An interesting interactive site that could springboard various lessons on financial responsibility.  It basically is an interactive infographic that gives financial advice based on age group.

The Economics of Seinfeld – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Awesome.  I do feel that it is our obligation morally to make sure that the these children who have grown up in a world without new Seinfeld episodes have witnessed the genius of this show – giddyup.  You do have to supply your own episodes, but there are some real complex concepts that link these shows to lessons.

The Great Economists – A Marginal Revolution University MOOC – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne

Some links to videos that will supplement instruction.

Personal Finance

 Poverty in America – The Living Wage Calculator – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Provides information on what it costs in order to survive in different parts of the country.  Would be a great start for having students create a budget and develop a financial plan.  Also good to examine how students could live on minimum wage.

Money Metropolis, Financial Football, and More Money Skills Games – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Money Metropolis is a virtual reality game, Financial Football is a trivia game with a football game outcome, which may be something to do on an “off day”.

Minyan Land – A Virtual World for Teaching Kids About Money –  – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Another simulation.

Planwise Can Help Students Plan Their Financial Futures – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Another interactive tool to help students learn how to budget.

Download this Snowball Debt Calculator and Plan to Get Out of Debt – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Alan Henry – Lifehacker

Show Students How Far a Dollar Used to Stretch With this Economics Calculator – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Another cool tool.

Secret Millionaires Club – Business Lessons for Kids – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

Animated videos and games where Warren Buffett imparts his wisdom on society so that they can understand economic principles.  The videos look like they may be a bit childish, but they are quick and easy to understand.  Could be a starting point for students to make their own animated videos.

Elementary Financial Literacy:  Lesson Ideas and Resources or s or Revolution, Responsibility and Football:  Teaching Financial Literacy to Middle Schoolers – EdutopiaRevolution, Responsibility and Football:  Teaching Financial Literacy to Middle Schoolers – Edutopia

Fun Fact:  Tim Mara bought the New York Giants in 1925 for $500, would be interesting starting point to teach inflation.

7 Financial Literacy Apps for Students – Katie Louie – te@chthought – Katie Louie – te@chthought

Three of the recommendations are tailored towards the high school level.  Most are productivity apps that keep track of their financial decisions.  Could be the tool to collect data for a great project analyzing how they spend their money, where they can reflect on practice.

America’s Credit History and a Credit Card Debt Story and Credit Card Responsibility and Debt and Stocks, Dividends, and Inflation Explained in Under Two Minutes – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

More good videos.  These are on credit and debt.

5 Resources to Help Learn About Income Taxes – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers  – Richard Byrne – Free Technology for Teachers

It says it all in the title check it out.

ITunes – “Personal Finance” – Earlham Community School District – Earlham Community School District

A place to look at in the summer or when you have time for information about the topic and resources.

40-plus Resources for National Financial Capability Month – Brain Page – Smart Blog on Education

Some of the resources are redundant and I didn’t really look at all of them, but there is a great deal to work with here.

Money Smarts:  How to Promote Financial Literacy with Students – MindShift – Ian Quillen

More Financial Football reference, but there were a few new ones in this article as well including some games and a nine-unit curriculum from PricewaterhouseCoopers

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Chrome Apps and Extensions

As our district slowly moves towards complete integration of Google Education, there is a host of tools that are available to teachers that can open up a whole new world in the classroom.  Many of these tools are available by customizing your browsing experience in Chrome.   I tried to piece together the puzzled parts of the Google Education Suite.

First, I already see many teachers asking students to create a Gmail account.  Creating a Gmail account will give students instant access to Google Drive and the apps that are associated with Google Drive (like GoogleDocs, GoogleSheets, GoogleForms and others).

Additionaly, if users login to GoogleChrome they can access the play store and download other applications that work like websites, but offer ways to manipulate content and interact with the web and extensions, which customize and add to the browsing experience by enhancing the previously installed apps or the web browsing experience.  I have reviewed lists of both and came up with some of the tools that may help in the classroom.  I have given some general use tools, but have focused an many that would help in English and Language Arts.

This is only a rudimentary list to open up the world of Google Apps and extensions.  The options are many and the choices continue to grow by the day so it is important that students and teachers pick a choose a few tools that work for them and their classroom and understand how Chrome works and how it can work for them.

Extensions:

 Save as PDF:  Allows you to save and convert a web page to a PDF.

Image Dictionary: Allows users to right click on a word and quickly find an image that  is representative of that word.

Hangouts:  Easily integrated with Google, Hangouts is an easy subsitution for Skype, Google Hangouts on Air allows the user to set up an online broadcast with up to 10 total people allowed to join and it broadcast live to YouTube, where anyone can view it live or taped.

Lazarus:  Form Recovery – I have not used or downloaded this extension yet, but anyone would find it useful.  It remembers form data from a website so that if you lose internet connection or reload the page and lose the information that you have typed, it will help you recover that information.

Evernote Web Clipper – If you are a user of Evernote – I am not.  Everyone else seems to think I should be, but this site will allow you to save pieces of page and store it to your Evernote Account.

Todoist – Extension helps you plan your day and organize yourself.  Pretty simple and one of many tools that would work this way.  I use Google Keep in order to integrate with Google better.

Google Books – I have not checked out their version of an online book store to see how comprehensive the list of titles are, but I would assume that if the collections is not extensive to date, it will be.  Added bonus is that you can annotate on any title.

Ginger – This extension acts as a spelling and grammar checker, no matter where you are working or writing.  You need to sign into Ginger each time you log in to maximize the experience.

MindMeister – create mind maps for projects.

Snagit – A new creation by TechSmith (Also has an application) is a screencasting tool that allows the user to record, annotate and do a whole lot more as they are adding and improving by the day.

GoogleCast Chrome Extension – works with a roughly $30 HDMI input device with your T.V.  If you download this extension you will be able to project your screen directly to the T.V. wirelessly.

Google Dictionary – Click on a word and get a pronunciation, definition or translation.

Diigo – Might be the best social bookmarking site for education (seems to be the most used for research)  not only allows you to bookmark, but also highlight and annotate.

Add to Drive: If you are already committed to Google Drive than this app may help you and your students organize their research or materials.  This extension will allow them to right click over a link, image or page and save it directly to your drive.

Readability or Clearr – Eliminates ads and information from sites to clean the page and make reading the website easier for students (or teachers) who are easily distracted.

Shorten Me – Shortens links to websites if you need to share a link.

WatchDoc – It can be really confusing collaborating on documents and waiting for updates, e-mails and the like.  Watchdoc tracks the changes to the document and gives you notifications to changes.

Honey – Another extension that helps you find deals when you are on a site so that you can find the special offers and deals on the site.

List of secure browsing apps: Adblock, DoNotTrackMe:  Online Privacy Protector, Ghostery (hide details so you cannot be tracked),

Apps:

BookTrack:  Allows students to take books that they are reading and add soundtracks or other audio.  Students can also create their own books and add music or read their own work to proofread.

MoveNote:  Allows students to add audio and video descriptions to Google Drive

PicMonkey:  Nice App that allows students to edit images online.

Geddit: An online student response system to gauge student understanding and gauges their progress over time.

Pixlr: The most used, most liked photo editor for Chrome that offers a  ton of options.  A lightweight alternative to Photoshop.

Pixlr-o-matic

Another photo editing tool that gives students a “retro” look to their photos.

Announcify:  Will read text from the web if you don’t have time to read or just want to learn in another way, it could be used as a proofreading tool for students as well.

Print Friendly & PDF:  Allows users to print out webpages without having to print out the advertisements.  Saves paper.

Read & Write for Google Docs:  Kind of a one-stop shopping app for English teachers which allows students to integrate many of the great features that the website provides including ones that reads documents aloud, allows students to highlight, has dictionaries to define words or give pictures of words.  Translate text in other languages, get suggestions for current or next words.  I would say that this is an essential first add for English Teachers.

EasyBib Tools:  Another essential tool for English Teachers, EasyBib is free and automatically cites websites with the click of a button, also checks the sites credibility and creates  a bibliography.

Webpage & WebCam Screenshot:  It says one of the easiest tools to use to create a screenshot.  I have used it in the past and have found some difficulty.

WeVideo:  An easy-to-use (kind of) video editing software that is easily integrated with other tools in your Google portfolio.

Sticky Notes:  Designed to keep track of all of your daily happenings in much of the same way that you would use sticky notes in real life only these get posted virtually over your computer screen.  I did not like it when I first tried it, but it could help some students organize notes for projects

Class Dojo:  My favorite web tool now for behavior management is available as an application.  Place your class in this tool and develop a set of positive and negative behaviors to gauge their behavior and keep track in a way that you can share with the students and their parents.

Apps for Common Core:  May help with lesson planning as it gives quick access to all Common core Standards by grade level, while saving time by suggesting additional apps resources to intervene for struggling students.

GoAnimate:  Most used animated video creation tool.

Drive Template:  Delivers resume, cover letter or many other templates straight to your drive.

Interesting Bookmarklet

Not even sure exactly what a bookmarklet is but this tool will allow teachers to encorporate SAT vocabulary into any online lesson by identifying all SAT or ACT words in any given areticle on the web.

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Ancient Medievil History

I began the process of looking through some resources that I have collected that are aligned with the curriculum.  As I go through these resources I am going to create small capsules in blog posts that summarize my findings.  Here you go.

Games:

Mummy Maker:  Created by the BBC this interactive digital lesson takes students through the process of mummifying a body.  It is a pretty cool simulation a bit slow, but informative.

Pyramid Builder:  Another simple simulation created by the BBC that helps gain a better understanding of the process of making the pyramids.

Historia – Game Based Learning for Middle School History:  Here is a link to the article, it is confusing what the actual rules to the simulation are but from the handouts it seems really cool.  To date I e-mailed the company and am looking for a response.

1st Grade History:  The Rise of Ancient Empires: Ignore the 1st grade history intro, the game could be used in classes and as a simple pre-test tool.  The teacher could give a time limit, create a class challenge or do it many different ways.

Resources:

Dead Sea Scroll Digital Library: A host of information and resources.

Lesson Plans

Ancient Cultures New Broadcast:  A fairly simple lesson plan that is designed for middle school students, but may be a fun way to gain interest in ancient cultures.

Maps:

Geodia – A Timeline and Map of Mediterranean Archeology and Culture: Designed to show students various artifacts that are searchable by a timeline and/or a map.  It can be used as a tool to make students “Archaeologists” as part of an activity but they would need computers and the interface is a bit confusing.

40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire:  Awesome site with tons of great maps that can enhance instruction.  Just awesome.

Videos:  

The Past, Present and Future of the Bubonic Plague:  From TEDEd, this is a somewhat dry video but the video comes with questions, resources to look deeper into the issue as well as a discussion topic.

Websites:

The Worst Jobs in History:  A fun site that students can “apply” for a job in the Medieval, Early Modern or Modern Period. From here students are asked to rank the job and answer a question.  Pretty simple activity that opens discussion about day-to-day life in that time period.

Daily Life in the Iron Age:  Cool site even if it is a bit simple but it takes tools and walks students through the process of making a Fire, there is another for making wool.

Courseware:  

iTunes:  “Ancient Rome – Open Courseware:  Nice additional resources for the teachers.

 

 

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My Summer of Learning

It is exciting to be back for a new year as we all have recharged our batteries over the summer and are ready to face the challenges of the new school year.  Summer is a great time to escape and reflect on our teaching.   For me, it was a whole new learning experience – house work.

I just wanted to take some time to reflect on this learning process and apply it to teaching and learning here at school.  Like many learners, I found it overwhelming to attack most projects that were not of the everyday variety.  Walking into Lowes (my preferred) or Home Depot I would look around and feel the onset of panic in my chest.  Now I look at the tools and see nothing but possibilities.  Now I look around my house and instead of worrying about what may go wrong, I feel a sense of control that it can be fixed.

What changed?  How does this apply to our students?  Well, I would say that there are a great deal of our students who are in similar situations.   Students who look at a textbook or course syllabus and see an impossible task.  They sit in the classroom and take no chances because all that they see is a failure on the other end, a failure that is made easier to rationalize as long as they put in little to no effort.    What a teacher would take for granted as easy would be something that they would put off and just accept that they are “not good” at it, so they wouldn’t try.

So what did I learn?  Here is what I took from my experiences:

Tools

Do you know what this is?  This is a tool that’s only purpose is to fix a kitchen sink.  Now a sink can be removed without this tool, but it would take more time and more frustration.  In the midst of building a shed door the battery would die on my circular saw needed to be recharged adding hours to the time it took to complete the project.  In the classroom, we are now being bombarded by the influx of new technology tools.  They in many ways make life easier if we know how to use them.  There are so many tools out there that it is difficult to know what tool to use and when to use them, but if we can equip students with the proper tools and so that students know not only how to use them but what tool they need to use, they will be able to handle more tasks more effectively.  This is not limited to technological tools, but to skills as well.  We need to put more tools in their toolbox.

Positive 

One of the reasons why I never wanted to fix things around the house is because I always thought that “others” knew more than me.  The attempt at home improvement was often met with my own insecurities being reinforced by “constructive feedback” that pointed out the things that I did wrong and the things that I could do things better.  It stymied my desire to try new things – I just wasn’t good enough.  As teachers, we often give students similar feedback.  We see the ultimate goal in mind and often see goals not met, but it is the progress and improvement that need to be acknowledged.  It wasn’t until my projects were met with excitement that I gained the motivation to try and to try again – even after I failed.  In teaching feedback is so important, but balancing positive and negative feedback is a work of art.

Learning Style

If you had to ask me how I learn best, I would probably tell you that I learn best by reading, but that may just be because that is how I am used to learning.  Over the course of the summer I learned many different ways and I really couldn’t tell you which one I like best.  It began when a friend came over and showed me how to fix one of the pipes that was leaking in my basement.  For a task that I never would have attempted on my own I found it help me “get over the hump” by having someone next to me to walk me through the process, but I also watched tons of YouTube videos that I found helpful as well – although each real life scenario presented some obstacle that was not part of any of the videos.  In these scenarios I was dying to have a professional on the line to help my overcome some simple hurdle.  In education we have seen how multiple learning styles has said that there is not a one-size-fit-all theory of education.  The concept of differentiating can seem overwhelming to try to produce video, audio, or many other teaching materials for students to learn.  The idea of moving away from the textbook towards the various other formats that are readily available on the web is not as important as making sure that the teacher is available at the moment that the student needs them the most – when they are struggling.

Frustration and Failure

One of the things that people tell me when I brag about my good deeds is that they knew that I would be good at fixing things because I have patience.  I mean you are talking about the kid who would sit and do puzzles for hours straight when he was younger.  Those people are not privy to the multiple obscenities that trickle from my tongue.  Teachers and Students often take for granted that the process of learning is littered with failure.  Many teachers are afraid to move away from the front of the classroom because they feel that they have to know everything.  Many students struggle at first with creative tasks because “they don’t get it”.  If I gave a student a task and they immediately “got it” than they didn’t learn anything.  This process of frustration and failure needs to be recognized and expected.  The most difficult tasks were the ones in which I took the greatest pride and felt the most accomplished.

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Virtual Reality in Schools

Virtual or Augmented Reality

Today we were lucky enough to have a short siorre in the library for “bring your child to work day”.  For the day the library became a true makerspace as the children were able to walk around and engage in various learning activities.  For the Think Tank, I set up a little virtual reality station using the app ColarMix, which is a fun tool that allows students to download pictures, color them and then make them come to life in 3-D.

The fun part of using ColarMix is that it is new, it really “shocks the system” to see images literally jumping off the page.  The high school students were just as impressed as they will always be with a new technology.  But the question becomes:  How can we use this in education? And can it work at Hamilton West?

Augmented Reality in the Classroom

Most people are familiar with QR codes, if they haven’t used them they most likely have seen them in magazines or advertisements.    A QR Code looks like the barcode in the image below.  If you download a QR reader to your phone you can scan the QR code and link it up with a video.  It is often used in advertising.

Image

 

In the classroom many teachers use it to link to videos that provide help on problems or links to further information.  It is a great way to differentiate in the classroom and one you become familiar with how to make them, they are really easy to use.  Can they work at West?  Well, teachers are already using QR codes here, the math department often uses them to supplement tests and worksheets.  All that it requires is students with a cell phones, an internet connection and an app that is free.

Another tool that is really interesting is call Aurasma it basically takes QR codes out of the stone age and makes it a bit more personal.  Instead of a clunky barcode, the teacher can now attach a video, audio or website to an image.  Students can download the app and images will come to life.  They can be used in much the same way as the QR codes.  Additionally, teachers can use them to create scavenger hunts, create links to projects in the classroom, or in the hallways.  Information and resources can be added to everything…it basically enables learning to come to life.

Resources

ColarMix 

Aurasma

QR Codes Explained and Ideas for Classroom Use – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne

5 Uses of Augmented Reality in Education – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne

Nice list of resources and ideas.

Want to Learn About Makerspaces?  Here are 26 Resources  – A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet

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