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DIY: a maker site for kids

  What it is: I LOVE everything about this site.  It truly embodies everything I love about learning and technology.  DIY is an online club for kids to earn maker skills.  Kids (otherwise known as Makers) share their creations and work with a larger online community and collect patches for the skills they learn.  Each skill has a set of challenges that help kids learn different techniques and create something fantastic.  When a child completes a maker challenge, they can add photos and video to their online portfolio to show off their creation.  DIY is a website where kids get a public portfolio, an app that they can use to upload videos and pictures of their projects, makers can choose to do challenges to earn “Skills” badges, and a parent dashboard where teachers or parents can follow along on all activity. Maker identities are always secure, children are asked to choose an animal and a nickname to help protect their privacy. Parents get access to see what their kids are posting online. I love that this site encourages creativity, reflective portfolios and using technology constructively.  It is an outstanding balance of online and offline activity! How to integrate DIY into the classroom: At Anastasis, we strive to encourage a maker community.  We do have a 1:1 iPad environment.  For many, this equates to a technology rich environment (it is) where everything is done or consumed on a device.  I can think of nothing sadder than reducing learning to a device!  We most often use our technology to capture and share our learning.  DIY is a fantastic site that makes way for kids to be curious about the world around them, create something new and use technology to innovate. DIY is a great place to help students discover the love and joy of being a learner and a creator.  It fosters a classroom culture of innovation and sharing of learning and accomplishment.  So many of the challenges incorporate learning that support standards and other learning that is “required” in the classroom.  These challenges would be great to take on as individual makers, in small groups of makers, or to tackle as a whole class.  Don’t think of DIY as an “extra” thing to add into your classroom routine.  Instead, look through the challenges through the lens of how it can enhance the learning objectives in your classroom.  Embrace the maker culture in your classroom and allow room for creativity and innovation.  The inquiry model of learning lends itself beautifully toward this.  DIY could be the catalyst to making the shift away from more traditional learning and into an inquiry based model. Tips: Instead of assigning “traditional” homework (read: piles of worksheets), assign a challenge from the DIY site.  Better yet, let students choose their own challenge to tackle and make time in the classroom for them to share their creations and accomplishments. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  DIY in your classroom.

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ArcGIS Explorer Online

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Blogs, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-08-2010

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What it is: ArcGIS Explorer Online is a neat mapping experience powered by BING that lets you use, create, and share ArcGIS (Global Information System) maps online.  The online software lets you read and write ArcGIS maps that can be used with the website, ArcGIS for the iPhone, and ArcGIS desktop version.  Mark up maps with notes that have photos, text, and links embedded directly in the map. Measure distances on the map and include them as a layer of the map.    Create a presentation in the map that guides viewers from one location on the map to another.

ArcGIS lets you create an interactive map experience.

1. choose a basemap to display your GIS data on top of.

2. Click on one of the map notes shapes to add a GIS note to your map.

3. Click "edit note" along the bottom of the note and add text, a picture, and a link.

Create a slideshow presentation of you map by clicking "Edit Presentation"

Click "Capture New Slide" to take a screen shot of your map to become a slide in the presentation.

Format the slide with the formatting tools above the map. View slides in the slide pane to the left of the map.

Click the home tab to return to the default tool bar. (You can switch back and forth between the two).

Click Measure to measure distances on the map. Click "add to map" if you want to add the measurement to the map.

How to integrate ArcGIS Explorer Online into your curriculum: ArcGIS Explorer is an impressive online mapping tool.  Use it to create guided tours for your students that can be played on classroom computers as an independent learning system or on the interactive whiteboard as a whole class map tour.  Embed links to informational websites, pictures relating to learning, and text to help guide your students through their journey.  Do one better by asking your students to create a map where they layer information, pictures, measurements, etc. on a map.  Students could create and swap tours of their home town with pen pals/blogging buddies around the world.  Create historical maps by adding notes with primary sources, pictures, links to additional learning (or blog posts that your students have written), and text that indicates the importance of the place.  Create literary maps by making note of key locations in literature that students are reading.  Students can add a note to the map with a quote from the book or a description of what happened there.  When they are finished reading, students can create a presentation/tour of the literature by creating a slide out of each place in the book.  An interactive literary tour of learning beats a traditional book report hands down!  ArcGIS would be a really neat way to plot a Flat Stanley project in the elementary classroom!

Tips: ArcGIS requires the Microsoft Silverlight plugin to work.  You can download Silverlight for free directly from the ArcGIS website.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ArcGIS in your classroom!

Comments (7)

That is very cool! When I have the time to play around with it, I will check it out!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely. ktenkely said: ArcGIS Explorer is really neat mapping tool that lets you embed in maps and create map presentations to share http://bit.ly/d4YpdY […]

I follow your blog and sometimes I would like to forward an article via email. I don’t see a way to share your blog entries. Can you help me out?
thanks

[…] more importantly shares ideas on how to integrate them into the curriculum. Print What You Like and ArcGIS Explorer are two great resources recently […]

This would be a great tool for creative text response; show where characters travelled to/from, what happened where, etc. Love it!

Great idea for creative text response!

Tori, I don’t have a built in forward feature. Now you have me on the hunt! I will see what I can come up with. In the mean time, you can subscribe to my RSS feed by email so that all of the feeds are sent to you. Just click the subscribe by email button in my sidebar on the right.

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