I recently came across Aurasma on the front cover of Good Food magazine and was captivated. Turning the average image into a link, video or message brings your pages (or classroom walls) to life, and instantly made me think of the pictures in the Harry Potter stories. The ability to create your own augmented reality images led me to see very little of my wife that weekend, I just spent my time shout ‘WOW, look at this’ to her! Then with my teacher head on I started to think of ways you could use it in the classroom. How could pupils use it, or how could the school use it as a tool? Here is what I came up with:

  1. Create an inspiration board on your table. Fill it with images, videos, sound clips of your learning topic and allow the children to investigate. 
  2. Create Language tags for Key words. Allow pupils to either learn a foreign language, or develop their English skills by image swapping words. 
  3. Create a Video treasure hunt around the school. 
  4. Have pupils create a video evaluating a piece of work, lay the video over the work and display on the wall. When parents come on open days give them the opportunity to learn about the pupils work and how it was created (plus the use of technology will AMAZE them!)
  5. Use them as instruction manuals. Create a video showing how to use a piece of technology and lay it over the top of it. When a user points their device at the object they get a how to guide. 
  6. Create Harry Potter style wanted posters or newspaper articles. Get the children to show off their acting skills by screaming in their wanted shots, or posing for a paparazzi shot! 
  7. Digital Leader instructions. Most schools now have digital leaders to promote the use of ICT across the school. Get them to create simple instructional videos or how2 guides for your school’s programs. 

Hopefully this should give you some ideas or starting points for using the app in your classrooms. I think I’m going to the using it more and more over the next few months, so please share or discuss any other ideas for the app you have.

To get the free Aurasma App click here.

5Recently I started using Google Sketchup with my year 4 class. The found the initial tutorial process hard, and it took them a while to get to grips with the complexity of the tools, but after a few weeks they became more confident in their ability and started to be more creative.

The task I gave them was to create their own ancient Egyptian scene, complete with pyramid, desert landscape, and ancient artifacts. They loved the challenge and set about think of ways to create this in Sketchup. As I have said in a previous post you have to get into the Google Sketchup way of thinking, and they certainly did this!

We had a class discussion about which parts we should make ourselves, and which parts they thought we should use the Model Warehouse. They we incredibly mature, with some pupils arguing that ‘If they worked hard they could make that’. Amazing to see.

The topic was rich in ideas to use with the pupils, and I can see us continuing for a few weeks with it. What has been your favourite Sketchup project? Any ideas or questions?

buttonbass.com

 

While it’s not my taste in music my pupils are loving this in their Golden Time at the moment. They are able create fantastic music at the touch of a button, testing their brain power with which beats go with which rhythms. Visually stunning, with a great choice this should be a winner with your pupils. The website is nice and diverse, with instruments such as mixers, guitars, pianos and drums. Have a go with the instrument above, see how creative you can be!

One of my favourite lessons of the year. Over the past few weeks my year 1 pupils have been tracking Barnaby Bear as he travels around the world. He spent some time in Australia, stopping off in Peshawar and Paris, before finishing his journey in Bradford. Pupils used the animation software on 2CASS to bring Barnaby to life.

The pupils started off by creating different backgrounds of the world Barnaby has visited. Then using the animated characters they created a version of Barnaby. With links to literacy the pupils then had to add a couple of sentences telling me where Barnaby was, and what he was doing. As an extension I asked the pupils to use a connective in their writing.

The outcome was good, with pupils enjoying the lesson and creating some great work. what really makes this a good lesson is the ability to expand upon it using the 2CASS story. The next lesson will be adding a new page to their book, only this time they will have to copy and paste a picture in. An easy task for us, mind blowing to a year 1 pupil!

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ICT Facts Logo

I love it when the ICT facts and figures gets released. It means a day of discussion with my ICT class. I think today I will be discussing the number of people who are able to get online, and how they make the most of it. Getting the children to understand the difference between a developed and non-developed country will hopefully get them to appreciate the lessons we have.

All of the facts got me thinking about the worlds prospects in ICT, and where we will be in say 5, or 10 years time. We have all seen the future technology videos produced by Microsoft, and they are an amazing tool to use with children. Some of the technology is amazing. what makes it amazing is the fact that given 5 years most of it will be in development. But it also got me thinking about where we used to be. I had a look through some of my old video links and found a ‘Did you know’ on YouTube from 2009. Some of the figures were astonishing  but all I could think what that they must have paled into insignificance by now. That as a world we have developed our ICT so much in 4 years, and increased online activity in all areas. Amazing. What I love most about the video though is the reference to ‘Myspace’. Taking it old school!

 

 

curious

Yesterday I stumbled upon an amazing website. Curious.com is a fantastic learning zone filled with videos and guides for anything you can image. The videos you download run like lessons, with breaks and chapters for you to follow. You can also send the ‘teacher’ and work you have done from the lesson, or reviews on how you found it. As I said previously, I only found it a few days ago, but it looks like a brilliant educational community. My favourite tool to use is the ‘curious’ button. Almost like shuffle on your ipod, it randomly searches the lessons to find you something interesting. I can see myself losing several hours to this, filling my mind with yet more useless facts!

2diy - VikingsI wanted to share a quick idea I had when using 2DIY with pupils. We had spent some time building our own viking longhouses on Google Sketchup (see the planning here) and wanted to have a bit of fun with them. So we took our designs as inspiration and created a quick collecting game on 2DIY.

Start off by drawing a quick background, a few paths and trees on landscape. Then start to build your village by turning the ‘Sun’ icons into a mixture of houses and stalls.

Now to add an element of danger to the game! Time to add some villains. Turn the ‘Enemy’ icons into vicious dragons! The kids loved drawing these. Remember to animate them, a stationary dragon is an easy foe!

As the dragon hoards attack our poor village a Hero steps forward! Arm your Viking Warrior with Sword and Shield and send him into battle! Obviously he is protecting the villages most precious items added by you. change the ‘Apple’ icons to various items of value. You could go for coins, brooches, swords, shields, etc.

Now we are finally ready to play our action adventure game. For an extension activity get the pupils to add an instructions page, then swap games with the person next to them. They could even review each others games.

Have fun!

wild

Build your Wild Self is a wonderful app for children lower down in the school. It 1st allows them to create an avatar of themselves with hundreds of different options for them to choose from. You can then go through the different steps to give your avatar animal features. I did this with a year 1 class when they were looking at the animal kingdom. They loved it and wanted to create them over and over. The styling of the site is good, and it runs very smoothly when creating your creature. It is however very difficult to print or export the images.

WinterHouse

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! The Winter house is brilliant interactive story book. It leads the children through a mystery story, where they have to click to investigate multiple items. Brilliant for Talk for Writing, visually stunning and engages all children. Showed it to my class once, then they were desperate to get back on it. So to feed their appetite we booked the ICT suite for an afternoon. they sat going through the puzzle, working collaboratively, and sharing idea. The independent learning was wonderful to see. Try it with your class and see how they get on. One problem with the site is the inability to continue from where you left off, you have to start again each time.

3258548724_dbd3f0e992_oJust a quick little post for a Sunday evening. On Friday my class and I were taking part in some creative writing. The idea is to give the pupils 10 mins to plan out a story plot, including things like characters, setting and main events. To do it we used the Thriller Whiz tool. They loved it, some of the titles we generated were amazing. I would say you could use it from year 5 up, there are some quite complex vocab, and see where the website takes you pupils. Our favourite was ‘The Dwarf Interpreter’, we loved it so much we went on to create the whole story using collaborative writing. Have a goo and see what you think!

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