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.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

More Than 400 Science Animations

Learners TV, like many similar sites on the Internet, offers an index of math and science video lessons. What makes Learners TV a little different is that it also has an index of more than 400 science concept animations. The science animations on Learners TV are organized into three categories; biology, physics, and chemistry. Please not that the animations require Flash and that you may have to be patient while they load.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for some animations to illustrate concepts mentioned in your science lessons, take a look at the Learners TV gallery of animations. I think it would be great if Learners TV had paired the animations to specific videos in their libraries, but that could be a project for students.

The Week In Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Connecticut where I'm visiting family for Easter weekend. It was a big day for me and my daughter as it was our first long trip alone to drive down here. And other than one side-of-the-road emergency diaper change, it was a smooth trip. Check my Instagram tomorrow for a cute picture of a baby in an Easter dress. Whether you're traveling (it's school vacation week around here) or staying close to home, I hope that you have a great weekend.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Quick Key's New Google Forms Add-on Makes It Easy to Send Grades to PowerSchool
2. A Student With Autism Explains Autism
3. Peaks and Valleys - An Interactive Story Map
4. How to Annotate Images on a Chromebook
5. Explore National Parks for Free In Person or Online
6. Plum's Creaturizer - A Neat AR App to Get Kids Exploring Outdoors
7. 7 Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About Earth Day

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.