Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gauging Your Distraction - A Good Game for Teen Drivers

The New York Times has an excellent interactive game that every teen driver or aspiring driver should play at least once. Gauging Your Distraction requires players to try to read and reply to three text messages while negotiating lanes of traffic. The game ends when all three messages have been sent. I gave the game a try and found it to be quite challenging.

Applications for Education
Gauging Your Distraction is an excellent activity to incorporate into a driver training program. 

Augmented Reality on iPads & Android Devices

Last month Greg Kulowiec introduced me to the augmented reality app Aurasma Lite. On Monday I showed the app to a couple of elementary school teachers and they just loved it.

Aurasma Lite is a free app for iPads, iPhones, and most Android devices (it doesn't work on my Nexus 7, yet). Using Aurasma Lite you can create augmented reality layers, Aurasma calls them "auras," that pop-up when you scan objects with your phone or tablet. In the demonstration that I gave on Monday I attached to a storybook cover an aura of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. But I could have attached an aura of other pictures and videos to the storybook.

Aurasma has more than 100 demonstration and tutorial videos on YouTube. I've included the first one below.

Applications for Education
To me, apps like Aurasma Lite represent what could be the future of how students interact with books and other physical media. In the near future we could have augmented reality layers attached to many types of physical objects. In that case scanning those objects with an augmented reality app could make a new dimension of information available to students.

Math Landing - K-6 Math Resources

Math Landing is a database of mathematics lessons and interactive resources for use in elementary school. You can search for lessons and interactive resources by grade level and or by mathematics topic. You can search Math Landing and access the resources without registering. If you do register you can participate in the Math Landing message board community.

Applications for Education
You could probably find most of the resources that are indexed by Math Landing by searching the web,  but it would probably take you much longer than it would if you use Math Landing's search tools. The next time you're looking for a new math lesson, give Math Landing a try.

H/T to Donna Murray

Sci Starter - Find Group Science Projects

Sci Starter is a site on which you can search for science lessons and other activities that you can use in your classroom or on field trips with your students. To see the full contents of every project on Sci Starter you will need to register on the site. Once you have registered you can search for lessons and activities according to topic and activity type. Many of the activities that I looked through include a collaborative aspect.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for some new science activities that your students can work on together, register on Sci Starter and take a look at their offerings.

H/T to Vicki Davis

Find Free Music in the Free Music Archive

Over the weekend I revisited a free music resource that I initially reviewed more than three years ago. The Free Music Archive has only gotten bigger and better over the last three years.

The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various creative commons licenses. The New York State Music Fund provided initial funding for FMA. FMA seeks to maintain a high-quality resource through the use of selected curators who approve or deny all submissions to the collection.

Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats. Downloading music from FMA does not require any kind of registration.

Applications for Education
FMA could be a good resource for high school students looking for music tracks to use in podcasts and videos.

I would be hesitant to use FMA in middle school or elementary school because of some of the language that students might find in some of the audio clips.