Tagged: apps

“Worth a thousand words”

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“Different people get different things out of the images. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, all that matters is how it makes you feel.” ~ Adam Jones
 

Kick Start Activity 5” in the Teachers Blogging Challenge One is all about images – “The Eyes of the Blog”.  This post is in three parts – (1) Creating Images (2) Finding Images and (3) Using Images. One of the biggest advantages of digital technology is the ease with which we can capture, store and transfer images.  “Facebook”, “Twitter” and many other social networking sites are introducing new ways to share images, and the ease with which this can be done can have unpleasant consequences. However, it also provides great opportunities for learning and makes the internet an ideal medium for me and other very visual learners.  Many of our students will have their learning enhanced by the effective use of images. One of my most favorite things to do is search and find a pertinent image to match a blog post or illustrate a presentation. 

(1) Creating Images

I like to use my own photographs when I can, and I am building a resource of these images by participating in the photo-a-day 365project and posting iPhone photos directly to my Posterous site. If you haven’t used Posterous before, it is a really simple blogging platform that allows you to post text and images by email. There is also a posterous app that allows you to quickly and easily post directly from your iPhone. There are several picture editing apps for the iPhone/iPod/iPad as well, that allow you to crop, rotate, resize and add effects. Chris Betcher has written an excellent review of twelve apps available from the iTunes store at “Snap Happy”. 

Here are a few more apps for photos and images that I have used:

sscropsueyCropsuey allows you to crop, rotate, flip and save images to your album.

 

sscomic_touchComic Touch (from the same company as Comic Life) allows you to create cartoons from your images by adding speech and thought bubbles with your text inserted.

 

ssinstagram Instagram allows you to create vintage effects (like an old polaroid) from your own photos, link to all your different social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous etc) and share your images. With one touch, you can post your image to all these sites simultaneously.

ssFlickr Flickr allows you to search, view, post and organise your Flickr photos.

 

ssphotocard

Photocard has a range of spectacular photos from Bill Atkinson that you can send as a digital postcard. You can also use your own images.

 

ssdoodle_buddyDoodle Buddy  and

 

ssdraw_freeDraw Free allow you to create, send and save digital images you have drawn with virtual pencils, paint and crayons.

 

 

(2) Finding Images

creative commons brieflyWhen I can’t use my own images, I usually use “Creative Commons Search” or Flickr . But it is still important to check that the owner of the image you are using has licensed it for your use.

The image at left shows four different categories of Creative Commons licensing that an owner of an image may choose.  If you are using images from Flickr, it is good etiquette to leave a comment under the image, linking to the post where you have used their photograph or digital image.

Finding images on the internet for classroom use is problematic for many educators, for reasons such as copyright privileges, inappropriateness and wasted time searching. David Kapuler has written a guest post at the TechLearning TL Advisor blog listing the “Top Ten Sites for Images and Clipart” , which links to free options for image searches, suitable for student use. Note that the comments also have a number of free sites available, including Stock.xchng and Wikimedia Commons.

Photos8 is another excellent site for free photos and wallpapers, with over 12,000 images in 24 different categories. Sam Mugraby, a photographer and creator, has made these photos available for both commercial and non-comercial use, as long as you agree to his terms and conditions.

(3) Using Images in Science: Student Actvities

Images are very useful for teaching and learning about classification. Ask students to find images of:

  •  Each of the five Kingdoms of living organisms (Protists, Bacteria, Fungi, Animals and Plants);
  •  Five classes of vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians);
  •  Monocotyledons versus Dicotyledons;
  •  Five food groups (Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals) 
  •  Different types of Simple Machines 

 and construct a Table or a Venn Diagram.

Students can also use Bubbl.us mind-maps or a Glogster poster to display the images they have collected. Images can also be used to create Digital Stories – but that’s a whole new Blog post!

Technoscience at Slide2Learn conference

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This week I was fortunate to participate in the inaugural “Slide2Learn” conference, held over two days in Shepparton, Victoria. It was a fantastic event, organised by a committed and enthusiastic group of innovative teachers, to share their specialised knowledge with other teachers from Australia and beyond. The conference was held at the school of Louise Duncan, winner of the 2009 Lindsay Thompson Fellowship, for her Personalised Learning program. I was thrilled to meet Jenny Ashby, a leading teacher,  seasoned presenter and iPod Touch  expert educator. I also attended inspiring sessions by Jonathon Nalder (Key note speaker) Megan Iemma, Stacey Kelly, Kate Maccoll (fellow science freak) and Deon Scanlon. One of the highlights was the Ustream presentation by Tony Vincent, who gave practical, hands-on advice about how to implement mobile devices in schools.

Some of the applications we found out about that are relevant specifically to science teaching are:

  • 8Planets – animations, information and quiz about our solar system
  • CO2 footprint – a greenhouse gas calculator
  • Human calculator – add your birth date and time and find out how many breaths, heart beats, how much food eaten, urine produced and much more…….
  • Periodic table – beautiful images and information about of all the chemical elements
  • Biology core – glossary with biological definitions

In addition, there were many, many more applications with more generalised use that would be useful in my science classes:

  • Simple Mind Express and Idea Sketch for concept mapping
  • SWOT for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Studystack for flash cards
  • iTalk and Voice memos for voice recording (with a microphone)
  • Posterous to send podcasts to a blog
  • Animoto and Sonic pics for slideshows
  • Etchasketch with colours, shapes, text and free-form writing and drawing
  • Cropsuey to crop, rotate and flip images
  • Colour magic and Glow for special effects on images

I’ll be writing more posts about using iPods in education soon – what an exciting time to be a teacher!

There is a more extensive list at  the ICTeD Services blog and on the ning.

Our Solar System

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This week we celebrated the Winter Solistice, the “shortest day of the year”, when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. In the southern hemisphere, this is June 20th or 21st, when the sun rises later and sets earlier than any other day of the year.Check out “Astronomy Connections” for an interactive explanation of the seasons.

Next term, Year 6 and 7 students will be starting a unit of work on our solar system.  This 6 minute YouTube video from the Hayden Planetarium and American Museum includes every satellite, moon, planet, star and galaxy in the Known Universe. Anyone with an iPod Touch can install the following applications to help them to learn about our Solar System (Thanks Jenny Ashby for your comment!)

  • 8Planets – animations, information and quiz about our solar system
  • Planets by Q continium – A 3D guide to the solar system for aspiring astronomers.
  • Grand Tour 3D – Space travel on a budget
  • planetFacts – size and distance scale and dictionary
  • NASA app including images, videos, information about launches, when you can sight, orbit trackers and countdown clocks.
  • Stars by Nelix displaying 88 constellations – does not use network.
  • Star Walk ($2.99) 5 stars astronomy guide
  • Space Images by NASA – You can rate, email and save images.
  • Star map ($11.99) Planetarium in your hand with 350,000 stars!
  • ABC TV has a free vodcast “Voyage to the Planets” that you can download or subscribe to.
  • Don’t forget Stellarium on your netbooks
  • Celestia (space simulation) is another free (Open Source) download for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Students will have a choice of activities including:

  • Write a postcard “Back to Earth” about the conditions on one of the planets around our sun.
  • Write a brochure for tourists about space travel.
  • Use “Voicethread” , “Powerpoint” or “Photostory” to describe our solar system to aliens from ‘outer space’.
  • A 60-second science video advertising one of the planets as a tourist destination
  • Create a digital story about the planet you would most like to visit and how you would survive there.
  • Use “Blabberise” to record an alien invader’s report back to his home planet about the Earth’s solar system.