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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Word Mover - A Great App for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. If you have students who need a little help crafting poems, have them try Word Mover. Word Mover from Read Write Think is a free app that helps students develop poems and short stories. When students open the Word Mover app they are shown a selection of words that they can drag onto a canvas to construct a poem or story. Word Mover provides students with eight canvas backgrounds on which they can construct their poems. If the word bank provided by Word Mover doesn’t offer enough words they can add their own words to the word bank.

Applications for Education 
Word Mover could be a great app for students to use to as a story or poem starter. The app reminds me a bit of those refrigerator magnets that were popular for a while. You know, the ones that had individual words on them that you dragged around to create funny sentences. The same idea can be applied to Word Mover.

Word Mover is available for iOS, Android, and Web use.

Explore NASA Spacecraft in 3D

Spacecraft 3D is a free iPad app produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spacecraft 3D uses augmented reality technology to bring NASA spacecraft to life on your iPad. To get started using the app you first need to print out the spacecraft target codes. Then your students can scan those target codes with their iPads. The spacecraft then becomes a 3D model that your students can explore.

Applications for Education
Using Spacecraft 3D could be a great way for students to learn about the robotic spacecrafts that NASA is currently using to explore our solar system. I think that the app could be used by students of any age. That said, younger students may have trouble holding their iPad cameras on target while also manipulating the screen on their iPads. I say this only because I had that problem when I tried the app.

A Concise Explanation of Augmented Reality

On Friday I shared a post about an augmented reality app from PBS Kids. That app lets students take pictures of animated characters in outdoor settings. That post prompted a question from a reader who wanted an explanation of augmented reality. My recommendation was to take a look at Common Craft's video on the topic. The video is embedded below.


Disclosure: I have an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.