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The Zimmer Twins

What it is: Who are the Zimmer Twins, you might ask?  Edgar and Eva Zimmer are 12 year old twins who appear normal but have developed psychic powers.  Strange things began to happen when the twins adopted a black cat named 13.  On the Zimmer Twins website, students can create their own cartoon movie endings to a story starter or create their own animated movie from scratch.  Students can create and edit movies solo or “Collab-o-write” and work together creating a collaborative movie.   Zimmer Twins runs well in Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari making it easy to get to and use in any classroom setting.  You will need Flash 8 (or higher) installed for the Zimmer Twins to work properly.   How to integrate Zimmer Twins into the classroom: Your students are going to love this site!  They can direct and produce their very own animated movies.  The easiest way to start using Zimmer Twins in the classroom, is to use it as a story starter.  Students can watch a “starter” video and finish the story however they would like.  The first time you introduce the site, it might be fun to complete a video as a class.  Then students can take over and create their own ending to a Zimmer Twins movie.  These video clips make excellent story starters for journal writing even if you can’t take the time to make it into an actual video.  To use as a story starter, show the beginning of the short animation to your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector, then let students take over on classroom computers, working together, or writing a journal entry.  After your students are familiar with the Zimmer Twins website, they can start a story from scratch.  Students could direct “screen plays” of their writing, as a way to publish their finished work.  Zimmer Twins would make an excellent alternative to the traditional book report.  Students could create a movie where the main character is being interviewed, the story is being summarized, or retold.  Students could also create movies about historical events, describing a science experiment or concept, in math as a story problem, to demonstrate understanding of character education or for vocabulary practice.  My students have really enjoyed creating movies to show what they have learned on any topic, it is always a sure winner!  Are you looking for new ways to engage your students? Why not create a Zimmer Twins original yourself to introduce a new topic.  If you are looking for more great ideas for using Zimmer Twins in your classroom, be sure to check out the lesson plans on the teacher page, there are some good ones. Tips: Students can create a movie on Zimmer Twins without registering; however, they will not be able to save their creation.  Creating an account requires an email address.  If this presents a problem in your classroom you can do a few things: 1. create a classroom account that every student logs into and saves their videos on.  Students will need to include their first name or a class number in the title of their video to differentiate it from others in the class.  2. Set up an account for each student using your email account.  You will have to check this email account to provide your students with their passwords. 3. Ask parents to set up accounts for their kids to use at school. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zimmer Twins 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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