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Magnoto: Online blog, photo, video, creation space

What it is: Magnoto reminds me of a mashup of a Tumblr blog, Wallwisher, Glogster, and Stixy.  Essentially Magnoto gives you a “magnetic” display where you can post and share text, audio, video, and pictures.  My favorite feature of Magnoto: content can be added to the page via email.  You can set up your Magnoto so that anything you send to your special Magnoto email address, automatically gets uploaded and placed on your online page.  With a few minutes of setup when you create your account, you can create an online space that is updated from your email. This is great for teachers who aren’t as comfortable with technology or don’t have the time to manage an online space.  I find the Magnoto online interface to be a little bit cumbersome (I expected everything to be drag and drop onto the page but it is much more “analogue” and you have to click “place on page” from the preview. Certainly not difficult but also not as clean as I would like…guess I’m spoiled!)  On the upside, Magnoto provides a lot of room for customization in frames around the pictures (click on the “M” on the picture), “magnets”, and the ability to free drag items anywhere on the screen.  The online page can be easily shared with a unique url that you choose, and updated on the fly.  Magnoto also has the benefit of allowing up to 4 users to contribute to and create one online space. How to integrate Magnoto into the classroom: For students with an email address, Magnoto can be used to create a flexible online space where students can create virtual posters, brainstorming boards, virtual project portfolios, and share learning with others.  Students can work together on the same Magnoto space for group projects. Teachers can use Magnoto to create a quick class homepage for students and parents to access.  Because Magnoto is so easy to update via email, it makes for a really fast build with impressive results.  Update daily with links, assignments, and resources for your students; pictures you snapped of learning; or to reference class information.  Create a new Magnoto page for every subject, semester, or special project.  Invite a few parents to join as users of your account and encourage those room moms (or dads) to email pictures they snap of class parties, field trips, or special events on the class Magnoto board- the pictures can be emailed to the special Magnoto address and will be instantly uploaded.  Pretty cool!  Magnoto would make for a great online weekly newsletter space. Parent’s will always be in the loop for classroom happenings and everything will be easy to access in one place. Because you can add up to 4 collaborators, Magnoto would be a good space for grade level teams to collect and share resources for students.  This keeps all of you from having to create and update a separate page; instead, you can all upload and share from the same space.  Again, the email feature is really nice for this type of use! To change your account settings to allow emailed content to be directly uploaded: 1. Click on the “Page Admin” tab on the right side of the screen. 2. Click on “Options” 3. Choose either “Classic” or “Floating” options 4. Click “Publish New Entries” via email at once Tips: Magnoto is in Beta, I found that it works better in Firefox and Chrome than in Safari.  Don’t forget that students can use a @tempinbox.com account or @mailinator.com account for sign up if they don’t want to use a personal email address.  No email confirmation is necessary to begin using Magnoto. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Magnoto in your classroom!

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery for Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Evaluate, History, Knowledge (remember), Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 02-11-2010

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What it is: This is the last of the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery sites, it is just as great as the others!  BM&AG for Kids is a fun site where students can learn more about Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Victorians, World War 2, and the Art Gallery and Museum.  The site aims to give students a chronological understanding of these historical events, knowledge of the events, people, and changes in the past, organization and communication, and historical inquiry.  Each section has a collection of online related activities and printable activities.

Ancient Egypt- students can learn about ancient Egypt, explore a virtual Egyptian tomb, and explore real mummies.

Ancient Greece- students can learn about ancient Greece and design their own Greek pottery.

Roman Empire- students can learn about the Romans in Britain and dress a Roman soldier for battle.

Victorians- students can learn about the Victorians and explore a Victorian painting.

World War 2- students can learn about the war, assess a bomb damage report, and view pictures of Birmingham from World War 2.

Art Gallery- students can view paintings and learn about landscapes.

Museums- students can explore 6 museum activity zones where students can explore each museum.

How to integrate BM&AG for Kids into your curriculum: The BM&AG for Kids is a good site to incorporate into history lessons.  The site does an excellent job of helping students relate the different time periods above chronologically through an interactive timeline.  The online activities help students understand each time period, giving them activities that will help them make connections in their learning.  The BM&AG for Kids site is a good place to begin a study on a time period.  The site provides students with just enough information to whet their appetite for more.  Many of the activities offer basic information that could then be connected to primary sources.  For example, in the tomb exploration, students are asked to find items in a tomb.  In the activity, there is a basic explanation of each item.  A great extension would be to find primary sources and photographs of the actual items to share with students (or better yet, let them find the primary source!).  Students could then create their own “tomb” either online using online pictures and a creation platform like VoiceThread or Glogster, or an offline tomb with printed primary sources.

Tips: BM&AG for Kids was created for the Birmingham Museum and Art Collection.  They have several excellent websites that I will have reviewed.  To view all the Birmingham Museum sites, search “Museum” or “Birmingham Museum” in my search box above.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using BM&AG for Kids in your classroom!

Comments (4)

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Great series, Kelly!

What a great site! I can’t wait to go read more about the Birmingham Museum sites. I think I will share this with the new teacher group I am presenting for tomorrow! Thanks for finding and sharing so many great things!!

@Melissa- thank you!

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