Mary Howard at “Your Smarticles” posted an awesome list of ways that you can use the Aurasma app in your classroom. For those of you new to Aurasma, I like to describe it as QR codes on steroids. However, any image can be the trigger – not just unattractive codes. I was impressed with Mary’s creative ideas, and I was even more impressed by the huge Aurasma Scavenger Hunt Mystery Person Silhouettes package that I downloaded from her Teachers Pay Teachers store. It is $5.00, but so well worth it! She has put a LOT of work into this download, and all you have to do is choose where to post the mysteries and make sure you subscribe to her Aurasma channel. Your students will love you for giving them this fun activity at the end of the year!
National Geographic’s Brain Games series airs on Monday nights and covers topics from “How Closely Do You Pay Attention?” to “Do You Believe Your Eyes?” Tonight’s episode is “The Power of Persuasion”, and it’s the 5th one of the 12 for this season. The show is “chock full of interactive games and experiments designed to mess with your mind and reveal the inner-workings of your brain.”
Watching the show is fascinating, of course, but the website has some great features, too. For example, as each episode airs, a new challenge is issued on the “Brain Profile” page. I took the challenge for this week’s episode, and found out, surprisingly, the following:
I’m still trying to decide if I should make a t-shirt proclaiming this or just print it out and stick it on one of my car windows…
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams (1957 – ____) US cartoonist, author
The Dilbert Principle
There are many misconceptions about creativity, I’ve found, and one of them is that creativity can only result in perfection. The article, “9 Illuminating Lessons on Creativity”, by Margarita Tartakovsky at PsychCentral.com, dispels this myth and a few other common ones. I often talk about creativity with my students, but I don’t recall having an in-depth conversation with them about the process – other than the importance of brainstorming and trying to be “different”. It would be interesting to initiate a Socratic Dialogue with my older students about some of these statements, such as, “Everyone is creative.” Is creativity an inherent talent in a select few, or a potential in all of us? This article may make you question your own perception of creativity.
I have a Fun Friday video for you of a young man named Audri and his very complex Rube Goldberg contraption. Audri was 7 when he made this video, and aspires to one day study robotics at MIT. I have no doubt that he will achieve all of his dreams! If you feel like playing a virtual Rube Goldberg game, you can head on over to Goldburger to Go at PBS Kids.
I think that I should show my students that they may grab more listeners by approaching exhibitions of their work as described in #9, “It’s not a presentation. It’s a performance.”
The other 9 suggestions are also well worth a view. In addition to the SlideShare, you can get more explanation for each piece of advice at Hubspot in this post by Marta Kagan.
In retrospect, I think I could stand to brush up on my own presentation skills as well!
“rvl.io (pronounced reveal) is an online editor and platform for the popular open-source presentation framework reveal.js. The original framework requires content to be written as HTML but rvl.io aims to simplify that by providing a visual editor.”
To be honest, I don’t really understand all of the above, which is a quote from the rvl.io website. What I do know is that this is my new, favorite presentation tool, it’s extremely easy to use, and the presentations can be viewed on any web browser – even on mobile devices.
I love the simplicity of this tool, and its unique look. Another pro is that, though it requires registration, you can use your Google I.D., which means that you can register without an e-mail address, as long as the site is not blocked.
A creative teacher could find a way to make this into a differentiation tool, adding slides for each level horizontally with vertical slides of activities underneath.
Reveal is currently in beta, so there are a few kinks. One is that, if you choose to upload an image, the image is currently hosted on imgur.com. This was a problem for me since our district blocks imgur. However, I found a workaround by uploading images to my Teacher “Web Locker”, and then loading the images from that URL. Also, I got an instant reply from Hakim, one of the creators of Reveal, who assured me that they are working on a solution to this issue.
Hakim also mentioned that they are planning to add an option for sharing a private link, which is not available right now. This, and the image hosting issue, should be fixed within the next few weeks.
Another problem, which is probably more of a problem on my end than Reveal’s, is that the embed code won’t work on this blog. So, I am going to have to give you a link to my sample presentation on Genius Hour (be sure to watch the arrows in the bottom right; they will show you the directions in which you can navigate the presentation): http://www.rvl.io/teichh/genius-hour
For almost two years, I have been implementing a “Genius Hour” with my gifted 5th graders. I periodically post about this, but I thought it might be nice to collect all of the posts and resources on one page for reference. You can now access this page by clicking on “Genius Hour Resources” at the top of this blog, or you can click here.
Even though I teach gifted students, many of the resources on my new page are evidence that Genius Hour can work in any classroom. It won’t look exactly the same, but that’s the point! As teachers, we can be innovative about how we encourage innovation in our students. During Genius Hour, students learn how to pursue and communicate their passions – and isn’t that why we really teach?