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Monday, March 11, 2019

Three Good Mobile Blogging Activities for Students

One of my favorite uses of iPads, Android tablets, and cell phones is mobile blogging. Blogging apps make it possible for students to record their observations and those of others from almost anywhere. Here are three mobile blogging activities that you might have students try on your next field trip.

1. One-take and or quick-cut videos. Have your students interview each other in front of a landmark to talk about what they're learning on a field trip. The YouTube apps for iOS and Android are made for that type of activity. But if you're worried about privacy, have students post to a class Flipgrid by using the Flipgrid mobile apps. A complete overview of how to use Flipgrid is available here.

If your students have been taking a lot pictures on a field trip, have them organize a short audio slideshow video through the Animoto Android or iOS apps. Click here for an example that I made with the Animoto Android app.

2. Podcasts and audio notes. Have your students use Synth or Anchor to create simple audio recordings in which they describe what they're seeing on a field trip. They can also use the apps to record informal interviews with folks like museum tour guides or park rangers. Both apps are demonstrated here.

3. Enhance pictures. Your students can use ThingLink (iOS or web browser) or PicCollage (available for iOS and Android) to add some information to pictures that they take on field trips. In the case of ThingLink they can add interactive elements to their pictures. Those elements can include links, notes, video clips, MP3 recordings, and other images. In the case of PicCollage students can put together a simple collage of field trip highlights.

The Science of Surfing

The Physics of Surfing is a new TED-Ed lesson that was released this morning. The short lesson explains how waves are formed, why they get bigger as they approach shore, and the geological influences that make waves bigger in some areas than others. The lesson also covers how surfboard shapes affect the way surfers ride on waves. The complete lesson is available here.


A few related lessons are found in Football Physics, the Physics of Skiing, and the Science of Baseball.

A Great Series of Cyber Safety Videos for Students

This morning someone asked me for a recommendation for some good resources to help students learn cyber safety lessons. The first thing that came to mind was Planet Nutshell's Net Safe series.

Planet Nutshell's Net Safe series has eighteen episodes covering topics like protecting personal information, responsible posting of pictures, and mobile location privacy. The videos are labeled with grade levels. Below each grade level label you will find a summary of the key points of each video. A video for K-3 students and a video for high school students are embedded below.