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VoiceThread

What it is: VoiceThread brings Web 2.0 communication to presentations. Slide show presentations are no longer static, VoiceThread makes them interactive collaborative learning experiences. Features include: the ability to create voice comments, voice recording within a browser allows for recording of multiple voices, doodling which captures drawing as an animation synced to voice or text commentary…listeners can watch the process, voice threads can be embedded in other sites, one account can have many identities so a classroom can switch identities on the fly without having to sign out, media importing so slide show presentations and pictures become collaborative conversations, comment moderation abilities, and the ability to zoom in and pan images. How to integrate VoiceThread into the classroom: VoiceThread has hundreds of uses, the following are a few that I came up with. Use VoiceThread to create a time line of the students day. Students can record themselves describing different events of the day. Parents and out of town family can see what happens on a typical day in your classroom. Debates can be hosted and conducted using Voice Thread. VoiceThread can make history interactive, for example, host an art history artist critique and discussion. Create a book group using VoiceThread where students interact and discuss their reading together. Students can read their stories and record as a VoiceThread (this also makes a special keepsake!). Teachers can use VoiceThread for math problem demonstrations, step by step science “experiments”, staff training, or to teach a second language. Computer teachers, what about creating Voice Threads to teach your students when you can’t be there? This would make life easy for a substitute and ensure that your students are on track when you return. Tips: Go to the “help” section of VoiceThread for some great interactive tutorials. Please leave a comment and share how you are using VoiceThread in your classroom.

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Moon Zoo: Contributing to science with lunar mapping

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 03-05-2011

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What it is: The Endeavour Shuttle launch has been delayed but don’t let that keep your students from exploring space, there are some incredible interactive sites that will make your students feel like they get to suit up as astronauts.  Moon Zoo gives students the chance to study the lunar surface while contributing to real science.  Students can get an up close and personal view of the moon viewing images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Moon Zoo’s mission is to provide detailed crater counts for as much of the moon’s surface as possible.  Your students can take part in actually helping to count and map out craters and features of the lunar surface.  Students can identify craters with boulders around the rim to help map the regolith across the surface of the moon.  To take part in Moon Zoo, students are shown an image of the lunar surface, the first task is identifying craters in the surface.  Students can click on the “Crater” button and click the center of each crater they see.  Next, students adjust the ellipse to stretch and move their marks so that they are the same size as the crater.  Students search for boulders around the craters, if there are any boulders students can note that by selecting “blocky crater” and marking the most appropriate description.  When finished, students can submit their work to the Moon Zoo database.

How to integrate Moon Zoo into the classroom: I love that Moon Zoo actually lets your students take part in science.  They are contributing to actual lunar research in real and meaningful ways while learning about the moon.  Moon Zoo would be a great activity to complete as a whole class in the elementary classroom.  Tell your students that they are going to be astronauts and complete a “launch” to the moon.  If you have time, students can create official astronaut badges to wear for the big launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by hunting for craters in Moon Zoo.  Help students mark craters, look for boulders and map the lunar surface.  Each student should have a chance to make a discovery.  While students wait for their turn, they can track the crater/boulder count on a table to create a graph.  Categories can be small, medium, and large craters found and number of boulders.

Older students can sign up for their own Moon Zoo account, each studying and identifying craters on their own images.  Older students can dig into the science behind mapping craters and learn about how craters can be used to date the moon.

Want to involve your students in more contributing science?  Check out Galaxy Zoo (the hunt for supernovas), Galaxy Zoo Hubble, Planet Hunters, or the Milky Way Project.  This is such a neat way for students to contribute to the scientific community while learning more about space and the universe.

Tips: Registration for Moon Zoo does require an email address.  If your students don’t have an email address of their own, they can use a mailinator or tempinbox address.

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

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