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Fantastic Contraption

  What it is:   I love Twitter, not just for the ability to keep up with what everyone is doing at any given time during the day, but also because I learn about cool technology like Fantastic Contraption from my PLN (personal learning network).  Fantastic Contraption is a fun online game/puzzle, that teaches kids some physics basics.  Essentially students are trying to get a ball from one box to another using different tools to do so.  The puzzles get increasingly difficult with obstacles between the boxes.  This is an addicting puzzle and logic game!   How to integrate Fantastic Contraption into the classroom:  Even if you are not teaching your students physics, Fantastic Contraption should definitely make an appearance in your classroom.  Even students who have never had a physics class can play this game (3rd-12th grade) because knowledge of physics is not necessary to work out the puzzles.  Students can figure out the puzzle through trial and error.  What I love about the game is the way that it teaches students how it works through step by step directions on the first two logic puzzles.  This is a great exercise to get your students thinking outside the box and using critical thinking and logic skills.  Use Fantastic Contraption as a year long go to game for free time, snow days, and brain warm up before math or science.  Your students will love this one!   Tips: If you aren’t currently using Twitter, join today and find some other educators to follow…you will get all kinds of great ideas for your classroom!  Follow me at twitter.com/ktenkely.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Fantastic Contraption  in your classroom.

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Nanoogo: Online ePortfolio solution

Posted by admin | Posted in Create, Evaluate, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 31-08-2012

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What it is:  Nanoogo is a place for students to create and share.  Nanoogo has a digital canvas that lets student share their knowledge and ideas with classmates.  Parents can easily login to view and comment on student work.  As a teacher, you can create a custom channel where you can provide secure access to parents and students and moderate or suggest changes to content before it gets posted.  Nanoogo is currently FREE to all schools, they mention on their information page that this may not be the case forever…I vote to sign up while it is free!

When students view each other’s work, they can rate it with a “like, genius, inspiring, cool, helpful, cute, funny or beautiful” badge.

Student can take screen shots of websites for their canvas.  Here they can add a sentence about what they learned/did.

How to integrate Nanoogo into your curriculum: At Anastasis Academy, we have a digital learning environment with 1 to 1 iPads.  We are largely paperless which has been WONDERFUL!  We don’t do worksheets…ever.  Bliss!  Most of what we do is digital, project based, design thinking, or discussions.  One of the problems this creates is a lack of bread crumbs of evidences of learning.  When you aren’t sending home a constant stream of graded worksheets, quizzes and tests, how can parents follow along and see what learning has been done?  What are the evidences?  Nanoogo could be a great place for students to create and keep an eportfolio.  Students can take screen shots and pictures of the projects and websites they have worked on and add a short reflection sentence about what was learned.  Everything can be shared with parents and classmates through the Nanoogo website.  Parents, students and parents can comment on student work and give it badges.  For everything that students upload on Nanoogo, they earn GoPoints.  These are displayed on a leader board.  Instead of ranking students based on grades, they are ranked based on how much of their learning they share.  I like this distinction…I’m not sure I love that we are still ranking students at all.  I think it might be more useful for students to compete against themselves in the points instead of against others.

Tips: At Anastasis, we use Evernote for our ePortfolio.  You can learn more about that here:

Evernote as an ePortfolio in a 1-to-1 iPad setting

 

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

Comments (2)

Kelly – Thanks for the post an wonderful review of our kids company! We’re very excited to be working with schools by providing our platform for free to teachers. At this early stage in our company, we’d love all the feedback we can get from teachers that are using Nanoogo or interested in using it. I can be contacted directly at daniel@nanoogo.com.

Thanks!
Daniel

I also use Nanoogo while teaching Scratch to 5th graders, and it’s been the best experience ever. Everyone is engaged in doing something meaningful, and students are learning with and from each other. I will be making Nanoogo part of everything I possibly can in the future.

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