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Ology

  What it is:  Ology is an outstanding free website from the American Museum of Natural History where students can learn about archaeology, astronomy, biodiversity, earth, Einstein, genetics, marine biology, water, and paleontology.  The site is user friendly for kids and has an attractive interface that students will enjoy.  Each subject has polls, inside stories on the subject, experiments, book lists of related books, interactive games and activities, “make it” ideas, interviews, a snapshot of scientists at work, and more.     How to integrate Ology into the classroom:   I like to uses sites like Ology for scavenger hunts.  I give students a list of facts that I want them to find while exploring the website and have them take part in a virtual scavenger hunt following the clues.  Activities like this build research skills.  This is a great site for using in any science class.  The online reading is wonderful and the suggestion for books related to the subject is a nice addition.  Students can explore the site during science and share what they learn with the class.  The experiments and make it ideas would be fun to learn about and create as a class.  Ology is an excellent addition to any science class!   Tips: Does your school hold an annual science fair?  Share this site with parents for suggestion of science experiments and as a launching point.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Ology in your classroom.

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PowToon: AMAZING free animation tool

Posted by admin | Posted in Create, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-08-2012

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What it is:  I have discovered my new favorite creation site.  Holy wow this is a cool tool.  Basically, it makes you (and your students) look like rockstars when they present.  You know all of those super cool animated videos that tell a story through drawings on a whiteboard?  Now you can make those all on your own with a super simple drag-drop tool.  Meet PowToon.  It is awesome.  I’m a little addicted to playing with video creation…no joke.

PowToon has a great mission: “to address all the frustrations that people have with power point and keynote and add animation and killer design.”  You don’t have to be super tech savvy or design skills to create spectacular animated presentations.   The goal here is to help people communicate in a way that conveys ideas.  Best of all…it is FREE!  Woot!  Also, PowToon loves education, they want to help teachers and students create great content that is visually engaging, captivating and fun to make.

Right now PowToon has 5 design styles (with more coming).  Added with your student’s creativity, these animations are going to be fabulous.  Finished videos can be shared all over: YouTube, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, exported or embedded.

PowToon is currently in Beta version. Sign up for an early look at this super cool creation tool.  I got my invitation within a few hours.  #bam

How to integrate PowToon into your curriculum: PowToon is a fantastic way to share ideas and story.  Communication is a vital skill.  The ability to express ideas and story in a succinct, clear manner is crucial.  Today, students have another facet of communication to learn…visual communication.

PowToon would be a great addition to the design thinking routine.  Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to “prototype” an idea.  Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain processes, tell stories, or present research.  The possibilities are really endless and students will come up with hundreds of other creative uses.

Teachers can use PowToon to create animations for students.  This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion.

Tips: The PowToon Interactive Tour and How to Create series are very helpful to watch prior to creating your first animations.

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

Comments (3)

I love PowToon! It was really fun and easy to use. I created this PowToon to lead in for my presentation to teachers about screencasting in the classroom:
http://youtu.be/bPNsFS_dOFU
I did not buy the HD download. I just noticed a YouTube option when I was in my video manager, to enhance the video and selected it. I think it improved the quality a bit.

I have been “playing around” with Powtoon as well! Thanks for more ideas on using it in the classroom!

Can’t wait to get the app.

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