Tag Archives: app

If I Lived in a Snow Globe, I Would Wear my Bike Helmet to Bed

Screen shot from BumbleVille
Screen shot from BumbleVille

Earlier this year, I posted about a short video called, “BumbleVille.”  This cute animation would be fun to show your students at this time of year.  You might want to show them part of the film, then stop and ask them what they think is going on.  Chances are they will respond like mine did: “earthquake”, “aliens”, “volcanic eruption”.  You will enjoy their reactions when they find out the true cause – that the characters are inhabitants of a snow globe which just got shaken.

In my first BumbleVille post, I gave some suggestions for incorporating Kaplan’s “Multiple Perspectives” into a lesson using the film.  Since then, I’ve also thought that it might be interesting to think about the “Rules” that might be important for living in such an unpredictable environment:

  • What special rules would they have for buildings in this community?
  • What do they tell the students to do at school when such an event occurs (similar to earthquake or tornado preparedness)?
  • Are there certain objects that should not be allowed in this community?
  • Are there certain actions that should be against the law?

When I first posted BumbleVille, I happened to be reading Not Just Child’s Play, and came across a recommendation in the comments to read The Snow Globe Family, by Jane O’Connor.  This book ties in very well with the BumbleVille video – giving perspectives from both inside and out of the snow globe.  I found this free Snow Globe Family packet on Teachers Pay Teachers by Anita Bremer that asks the students to make a text-to-self connection, which is great.

There are tons of “Snow Globe” resources on the internet – including Pinterest ideas – for crafting your own.  You can create real ones or facsimiles.

If you are interested in a digital version of a snow globe, there is a free app, called “iSnowdome” (available on iTunes only) that allows you to place a photo of your own inside a snow globe, then e-mail the video of it.  (From what I can tell, this is the only app that will e-mail a video instead of just a screen shot.) This could be a cute combo writing/augmented reality project – have students write about what it is like to live in a snow globe, use iSnowdome* to make videos of themselves in the snow globe, and upload the videos to Aurasma Studio with the screen shots as trigger images.  Voila – an interactive, winter-themed bulletin board for your classroom!

*(The iSnowdome video includes an instrumental of a Christmas song in the audio, which some families may not prefer.  You could easily mute that in a video editing program, though.)

BumbleVille from The STUDIO on Vimeo.

Morfo

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 6.26.34 PM
Morfo is an app that was probably designed purely for entertainment, but some creative teachers have found a way to make it educational.  Because it can be both, I decided to use it for this week’s Fun Friday post.

Morfo is a free app on iTunes that allows you to basically animate a still picture of a face.  After you give the app some direction, the eyes on the face will move around, and you can add a recording that will play as the mouth moves.  You can even change facial expressions.

I was trying to make an example for you, but gave up after I goofed up five recordings.  Fortunately for me, the internet was right at my fingertips.  I found this delightful video that not only explains how to use the Morfo app but, by applying it to a picture of Henry the VIII, gives it the educational tweak that I was trying to achieve.  In addition, the narrator has a lovely accent that sounds much better than any recording I could ever make! Here is the link in case the video does not play: http://youtu.be/N4geZwqZ-Lg

Dinner, Not Art

image from: http://www.dinnernotart.com/#home

Dinner, Not Art is both a website and a free iPad app.  It’s delightfully silly, but also encourages creativity and charity.  Every noodle that is used in the virtual art will result in 10 noodles being donated to the charity Feeding America by Kraft until the end of this year.  This is similar to the concept found at FreeRice.

Be sure to watch the short video on the website to learn about the reasoning behind the creation of this app.

In the app, the user can choose the shape of the macaroni noodles as well as the color to paint them.  You can place them however you like and even change their size.  You can also draw things on the rest of the page.  Once you are finished, you can “glue” your pieces to the paper, and hang your art on a virtual refrigerator.

Kids young and old would enjoy this app.  To deepen the conversation, students could do some research on Feeding America or some math to figure out the amount of macaroni art that needs to be done to create a real meal.  Maybe they could research other companies that have offered deals like this and find out “what’s in it for them”.

H/T to Cool Site of the Day for bringing this app to my attention!

Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game

If you are like my daughter (9) (and , to be honest, me), then you went through a stage of fascination with “roly poly” creatures, also known as “pill bugs”.  Isopod, a new, educational iPad game banks on that curiosity and takes advantage of one of the unique aspects of iPads – the accelerometer.  Players of Isopod are given instructions to try to roll the isopods into other creatures and avoid ones that will decrease their “health.”  While playing, the user can learn about different creatures in that environment.  I played it for 5 minutes, and I was hooked.  I could see students 8 and up really getting value from this game.

There is a free “lite” version of the game, as well as a full version and a teacher version.  The game description on iTunes gives the details about each version.  I highly recommend, though, that you also visit the website at http://www.xylemandphloem.net.  There, you will learn about the extensive features of this game, which include a downloadable curriculum with loads of activities for students and a Pinterest link to related pictures and videos that support this game.

Although I dislike the idea of having to pay for the teacher version, I am very impressed with the supporting resources that Xylem and Phloem offers for free along with Isopod.  Unlike many of the apps labeled “Education” on iTunes, Isopod is one app that truly delivers for that category.

Shape Collage

Shape Collage is a free app for iDevices that allows the user to use photos on the device to create collages in different shapes, such as stars, paw prints, puzzle pieces, etc…  You can even type in your own text, and the photos will conform to the words. Once you have created the collage, you can save it to your Photo Album, or share it via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.  If you do not have an iDevice, there is a similar program online called Loupe.  The biggest difference between the app and the website is that, on Loupe, you are loading your pictures from an online sharing site, and do not have the option to load them directly from your computer.

Shape Collage is a great app for Creating, the highest level of Bloom’s New Taxonomy.  Students can create collages that conform to shapes related to what they are studying, or the shape of a text that gives a meaningful message.  The collages can be another way for students to express themselves poetically with pictures.

Our Wish for the World

“Our Wish for the World” is a creative art idea using the iPad app WordFoto.  Tricia Fuglestad posted about this lesson for third graders on the Pop Art of Robert Indiana.  Her post includes more pictures and links to an Artsonia gallery of images and a handout.   WordFoto is one of my favorite apps for creating, along with TypeDrawing.  Ms. Fuglestad’s lesson could easily be differentiated for different levels; for example using the same idea along with Six-Word Memoirs for older or more advanced students, or having younger students use Word Wall words.