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Game for Science

What it is: Game for Science has to be one of the coolest virtual worlds for kids.  This virtual world is dedicated to getting kids excited about science and technology.  Students can explore various virtual islands where they will learn about health, aeronautics, genomics, environment, engineering and more.  Students can learn more about science careers, what scientists do, play games, learn interesting facts, and explore science photos and videos.  Students can play the Game for Science as a tourist without registering, or they can register for an account (this requires an email address with confirmation).  This is an outstanding way for kids to get excited about science and technology.  As students travel through the virtual world, they can collect neurons (smart stars) by answering questions and playing games.  The neurons can be used to purchase items for their avatar. How to integrate Game for Science into the classroom: Game for Science is a great way to introduce new science topics or areas of science.  The virtual world will capture interest and keep students wanting to learn more about each topic.  If you teach younger students (without email addresses), visit the virtual world as a class on the interactive whiteboard or the projector.  Give each student a turn to direct the journey through Game for Science.  The rest of the class can jot down observations in a science notebook that can be used in later learning and experiments.  Students who can read independently can visit the site individually on classroom computers as a science center or in a computer lab setting.  Older students can register for an account and earn neuron points for their characters.  This is a fun site for students just to explore and interact with; however, for use in the classroom, you can direct students to specific islands to study.  For example, as you begin a unit on the environment, students can visit the corresponding island.  Game for Science makes for a great jumping off point that will grab students attention and interest in the subject they will be learning about. Tips: There is a chat feature on the registered version of Game for Science, this allows students to interact as they discover new islands and talk science. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Game for Science in your classroom.

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Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Create, Evaluate, History, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Video Tutorials, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 03-02-2011

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Capzles is a site that I have written about and recommended many times (you can read one of my original posts about it below).  I am currently working with a school that has zero technology.  When I say zero, I mean they don’t even have over head projectors.  This is a NO tech school.  They recently enlisted my help in taking their eighth graders from no tech into a one-to-one environment.  Each of the students will be receiving a laptop to use during instruction.  The challenge: the computers aren’t all the same age, make, or model.  No problem, we will use web 2.0 tools!  The benefit of going from zero to fully immersed: no bad technology habits to break, we are staring from a clean slate!

Last week I met with the eighth grade teacher to talk about what learning is currently happening in the classroom and took a look at the scope and sequence of learning for the next semester.  I asked a LOT of questions and together we mapped out a plan for integrating technology that would support and enhance the learning that was already happening.  We decided to begin by adding technology into art, composer study, history, astronomy, poetry, and literature.  I thought about having the students create blogs or wikis to chart and reflect on learning, but in the end decided that Capzles was the best tool for this job.  Capzles lets students organize learning in the form of an interactive timeline.  Students can upload a variety of documents to the timeline including images, videos, documents, and slide shows.  They can also blog directly to the timeline (complete with comments!). The blog feature also provides a way for students to embed other web 2.0 creations.  For the learning that these students will be doing, the visual timeline makes the most sense.  Students can create multiple timelines or compile all of their learning into one timeline.  If students create these timelines based on actual historical dates, they will begin to see the overlap in history, astronomical discoveries, composers, and artists of the time.  This leads to a more complete understanding of how the world that they know has been shaped.

Students can also create a timeline based on their learning, each day adding learning to a virtual “journal” of events.

I have created weblists of the links these students will be using as a part of their learning over the next semester:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Poetry

Astronomy

Art

Composers

History

The tutorial above is a brief introduction to using Capzles, you will have to forgive the drowned rat look…that is what happens when you shovel snow in a blizzard :)

Original post from July 22, 2008:

What it is: Capzles is another interactive timeline maker. I really love all the little extras that Capzleshas! With Capzles teachers and students can add photos, videos, audio, and text to their timeline. Themes, colors, backgrounds, and background music can be added to the timeline making it unique and personalized. Capzles also provides options when sharing your Capzle, it can be private with a specific list of who can view the Capzle or made public for the world to see.

How to integrate Capzles into the classroom: Obviously Capzles is a great way for students to create timelines about any subject. The web 2.0 collaborative aspect of Capzles makes it very appealing to students. I think Capzles could also be very valuable in the primary classroom. Students probably won’t be creating their own timelines in Capzles at this age, parent helpers paired with students to create simple timelines would be appropriate. Because Capzles has the capability of adding audio, photos, and text, it would be the perfect place to record students reading throughout the year. As you assess student reading through reading records, record the students using a program such as GabcastGcast,Audacity, or Garageband. Take a digital picture of the student reading. Throughout the year, you can make a Capzle for each student. This is an excellent motivator for students, especially your struggling readers. Students can see their growth throughout the year in pictures, and hear their reading progress made throughout the year. You can share the Capzle with parents (they will go crazy for this keepsake!) and with the students future teacher. How much would you love getting a timeline of your students from the previous year? You would have a jump-start on their struggles and strengths in reading as you quickly flip through their timelines. Cool huh?!

Leave a comment and share how you are using Capzles in your classroom.

Comments (15)

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, Melissa Techman, ktenkely, ktenkely, ktenkely and others. ktenkely said: @PeterMulleners Here is my capzles tutorial: http://t.co/PRY6Nns [...]

How clever of the school to ask you to help! Thanks for sharing the tutorial on Capzles – it sounds brilliant.

Kelly, I really like the plans for using this visual timeline for pulling together the pieces and artifacts of learning. What a great way to use a timeline. :)

This looks like a great tool for our classrooms! This was the first time I had heard about Capzles. Good luck to you on introducing the 8th grade to the wonderful world of technology. I’m sure it will be an adventure.
Quick question: What were the names of the tools you recommended for students to create their own mp3 music files?

Kelly this seems like a great tool!
Also thanks for the mailinator.com idea. I have some users for my site that want kids to sign up but don’t want them to have to create email addresses (which are required) so this seems like a perfect solution.

You are welcome, mailinaitor.com and tempinbox.com are SO great for required email addresses.

Thank you Manuel, Capzles is fantastic…used it for the first time today with students, it was a BIG hit :)

Tools to use for mp3 music files: Garageband (Mac), Audacity, Myna (aviary.com)

Thanks Melissa!

Thank you Susan, Capzles really is brilliant, the way that it allows students to combine and organize other web tools is fantastic!

[...] these videos in their own history Web 2.0 creations and presentations.  I’m currently using Capzles with a group of 8th graders and imagine them embedding these videos in their timelines along with [...]

[...] mission, they add images, reflections, and information to their timeline.  I have to say, the Capzles interface is turning out to be the perfect place for them to collect all of their learning and [...]

[...] format. (see the examples below) If you are interested in learning more you MUST check out this blog post and video by Kelly Tenkely at iLearn Technology…she also has made a fantastic video [...]

[...] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial [...]

[...] iLearn Technology » Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial [...]

How do you set up a classroom account?

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