Living Timelines

Use your class set of iPads to make a living timeline!

One Possibility – Students use the iPad as a presentation tool

  • Assign each small group of students to a specific event within a broad timespan, such as the Battle of Bull Run within the timeline of Civil War battles.
  • Direct the students to present on that topic by using their iPad as a display of their presentation.
  • Students may gather photos from the internet and keep them stored in the camera roll on the iPad, and bring them into any app that may serve the purpose. See this post as one option for presenting.
  • Once students have compiled all their research, a gallery walk around the room commences, allowing the whole class to experience the Battles of the Civil War, or the highlights of the American Revolution.

Another Possibility – Students (or teachers) create QR codes to direct learning

  • Create QR codes (instructions here) that drive the presentation.
  • Either students or teachers may create QR codes and place them around the room with labels that describe the event they represent.
  • Students may then travel around the room scanning QR codes and viewing the web site or text or YouTube video.

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

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Take a look at this tutorial video for a wonderful whiteboard/screencasting app called Educreations Interactive Whiteboard. You can acquire a free account at Educreations.com, and any videos you create on the iPad will upload directly to the cloud for later reference. This is a great app. I hope you explore the possible uses.

 

 

 

STEM Awesomeness

Cool STEM Stuff

I recently had the pleasure of peeking into the goings-on of a STEM class at Nimitz Middle School (the class happens to be on the Lee campus), and I walked away amazed at what I saw. The teacher, Sandra Geisbush, is doing some amazing things with her students! Where do I begin?

First

Sandra spoke to me about some of her students who will be aiming for top prize this summer in the national competition known as eCybermission. The competition is sponsored by the US Army, and is held in Washington DC. Here’s a description from the eCybermission web site:

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition free for students in grades six through nine where teams can compete for State, Regional and National Awards while working to solve problems in their community.

Our hopes are high for them as they prepare for this wonderful opportunity to represent our district!

Second

So the question arises…”What type of community problem is this group exploring?” The answer is very relevant to our times, and will likely grow in relevance as time passes. The group is interested in exploring the impact of battery disposal on plant growth, and thus the indirect impact on humans.

I was impressed with the lengths to which Sandra and her students have gone to to achieve their goal. They crushed up some batteries, and put them into the dirt surrounding seeds of the plants that they would study. Of course, they also prepared soil untainted by batteries as well. They then used a document camera to take time-lapse photos of the plants while they grew, so they could chart the growth and display the results with media. I am interested in hearing of their findings.

Third

Another thing I enjoyed hearing about was a new tool that Geisbush and her students are using with their microscopes and their iPads. It’s an adapter that replaces the ocular lens on the microscope, and plugs into the iPad to allow for viewing of magnified slides on the iPad. In addition to this, there is an app that accompanies the adapter that allows for taking photos of the magnifications, as well as for measuring each image to scale. Pretty cool! The company who produces the adapter is called Exo Labs.

Fourth

The last thing (I’m sure I’m missing something else, but this is all I saw) is that the class discovered a way to monitor the soil’s moisture level with a sensor that is usually used in conjunction with the NXT brick for a Lego Mindstorms Robot. They are using a humidity sensor to monitor the condition of the soil, so that they will know when to water.

I am amazed with the amount of real-world thinking going on in Geisbush’s class, and how they are using the technology tools that are available to them to get the job done. We wish them well in their competition.

 

Below I have included some points that Sandra wanted me to add to the post:

 

Please acknowledge Lorraine Bratcher and Clarissa Ruiz (NEISD Science Specialists).  They facilitated an engineering session as the kids worked through designing and automating the watering system.  It is programmed not only to sense the moisture levels but also to automatically turn the water off and on, as needed, robotically!
Team I.O.N. stands for Improving Our Nation.  This name is also appropriate because the team is comparing the regular runoff to the contaminated runoff for ionization and also for evidence of various substances that are known carcinogens (causing cancer) and teratogens (causing birth defects).
For winning State, each member of Team I.O.N. won $1,000.  For winning Pacific / Southwest Regionals each team member received an additional $2,000.00 and an all expenses paid trip for a week in Washington DC to compete in the e-Cybermission National Judging and Educational Event. If the team wins Nationals they will each receive an additional $5,000.00!
The National Showcase will be streamed live from the e-Cybermission http://www.ecybermission.com site during the week of June 16th to 21st.

You may download and read the press release here. e-Cybermission Press Release or visit this page for a summary, and to provide the team with valuable data for their research.

Edmodo!

Edmodo is a fantastic tool for the classroom teacher! It brings social learning, collaboration, creativity, and efficiency closer togetheredmodo  for you and for your students. It’s not a new tool for me, but I’ve recently become more interested in it.

Here are a few things you can do with Edmodo:

  • Create classes for your students to join
  • Send notes and alerts, give assignments, quizzes, and polls
  • Create a “library” of resources that may be freely shared with any of your connections
  • Gather ideas from other teachers around the world
  • Link to your Google account so you can have access to your documents

Watch this Getting Started video to find out how you can use Edmodo in the classroom:

 

Edmodo is a wonderful learning management system that I believe you and your students will enjoy using. If you are interested in learning more, let me know. I’ll be glad to help!

Biome Project

The following videos highlight a biome project some students at Nimitz Middle School are doing. We will use Google Drive, Sketchpad 3, and Videolicious to accomplish the task of creating presentations that display student learning of various biomes and food chains.

All work will be completed with iPads.

This series of videos will introduce the project, and show where the links to biome pictures may be accessed through Moodle. Details on how to get those pictures onto an iPad are also addressed.

In short, students will access a Google Drive folder or a Weebly site, where the biome pics are stored. They will take a screen shot of the pics they want (or tap and hold to save the image), so that they are stored on the iPad in the camera roll. Then, they will open the app called Sketchpad 3 and bring in their photos and arrange them in a food chain order. They can add arrows between the pictures to indicate energy flow, and then export their finished chain to the camera roll. Finally…students will bring all their pics/videos together in the Videolicious app to make a video presentation of their learning. Did I say “in short”?

How to use Sketch Pad 3 and Videolicious are topics picked up in the videos that follow.

 

This video will show you how to use the Sketch Pad app to build your food chain.

This video will show you how to take all your creations and put them into Videolicious for the final product.

 

Video of the final product