Thursday, July 10, 2014

MoMA Presents Five Tips for Teaching With Works of Art

Earlier today I spent some time revisiting resources for teaching art history and art appreciation lessons. One of those resources is the Museum of Modern Art's learning page. A featured resource on MoMA Learning is this video containing five tips for teaching with works of art. The video not only lists the tips, it contains examples of using these tips to teach art history and art appreciation lessons to students. The video is embedded below.

One of the other excellent resources on MoMA Learning is this glossary of art terms. In many cases the definitions in the glossary contain links to multiple examples of each term.

App Smashing ThingLink and PicCollage

In my previous post I shared a video and five ideas for using PicCollage in the classroom. A sixth idea for using PicCollage is to turn your collage into an interactive collage by using ThingLink. ThingLink is a free service available as an iPad app and as a browser-based tool. In the video below I demonstrate how you can use the two apps together.

How to Use PicCollage - And Five Ideas for Using It In Your Classroom

PicCollage is one of my favorite Android and iPad apps. It is a free that allows you to quickly arrange pictures, video, text, and stickers into collages. From the app you can share your collage to Google Drive, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, and many other file sharing services. In the video below I demonstrate how to use it without creating a PicCollage account. Below the video I have five ideas for using in your classroom.

Five ways to use PicCollage in your classroom:
1. Students can develop collages to use as visual introductions of themselves to their new classmates at the beginning of the school year. Have your students create a collage of things that they like to do for fun or their favorite things about school.

2. As an exercise in blogging without writing your students can create collages to summarize a fun day, a weekend, or what they learned during the week at school.

3. When the holiday greeting card season approaches, consider having students create and send digital greeting cards that they develop on PicCollage.

4. As part of a book report assignment have students develop book covers for books they've read. Along the same lines, have them create collages about their favorite parts of books that they have read.

5. Students who struggle to get started on a descriptive writing assignment could benefit from first creating a photo collage about the event or concept that they need to write about. In thinking about the images that they select, they're also thinking about what they will say about each image.

Update: Terri Eichholz suggests using PicCollage for creating mini-yearbooks. Read her post here.

Cram Adds Audio Support for Their Online Flashcards

Cram is an online flashcard service that I've featured a couple of times over the years. On Cram you can search through a database of more than 50 million online flashcards. As you browse through the flashcards you can add them to sets that you create and store in your account. This week Cram added audio support to the service.

Cram's audio support is found in the new text-to-speech function. To use this feature students simply click on the audio icon to activate the audio feature. A fairly natural-sounding voice gives precise pronunciations for the words on each flashcard. Students can opt to hear the front, back and hint on each card. Audio support is available in eighteen languages.

Applications for Education
The new audio support option on Cram makes it a good tool for students who need help remembering how to pronounce new-to-them words.

I mentioned above that Cram offers access to more than 50 million flashcards (their count, not mine). It that database doesn't have what you're looking for you can create your own flashcards on Cram and still use the audio support option. Cram gives you tools to create your own flashcards. You can create flashcards on an individual basis or in a group by importing a CSV file.

How to Measure Distances in Google Maps

The only reason that I had for clinging to the old version of Google Maps has gone away. This week Google added a new measurement tool to the newer version of Google Maps. To use the measurement tool just right-click on a map and select "measure" then left-click on another location to measure the distance between the two locations. In the video below I demonstrate how that feature works along with a couple of other neat options.

Applications for Education
One of the best uses of the measurement tool in Google Maps is to have students complete activities like the Maths Maps activities developed by Tom Barrett.

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