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Aviary Peacock

I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas!  What I learned this year is that even though I take a break from posting, spammers do NOT break for holidays and other bloggers tend to blog MORE when they have a break to do so.  This means that #1 I have a lot of spam to sort through and #2 it has taken me a long time to get through my Google Reader!  I am finally getting around to a post that I intended to do several days ago (actually 3 posts) all on the Aviary creative suite of tools.  So, without further ado- here it is…       What it is:  Aviary is a website on a mission to make creativity more accessible.  They do this by making powerful image software available online (no download required) and with free versions of the online software.  Aviary has four different offerings: Peacock, Phoenix, Toucan, and Raven.  Because each tool does something different, I am going to break it down into four posts.   Peacock is a “visual laboratory”that lets students experiment with pixel based images in fun ways.  Students can create pixel images applying filters (this will feel similar to other image editors such as Adobe).  Students can also blend several pixel based images together to create images.  These pixel images would make great backgrounds for other documents, web pages, or other Aviary tools.  Students can also upload “resources” or pictures from their computers or other sources to manipulate in Peacock.   Peacock easily integrates with the other Aviary tools switching images quickly between the applications.  This makes the possibilities for creativity endless.     How to integrate Peacock into the classroom:   Aviary Peacock is a neat way for students to explore and experiment with visual arts.  The application really does feel like a laboratory.  Students start out with one image of their choosing and can manipulate the image with different filters, blenders, etc. to come up with completely new images.  It is interesting to experiment with the different ‘ingredients’ to see how an image can be transformed.  Peacock can be used to create backgrounds for web pages, documents, or other Aviary creations.  Peacock can also be used to help students understand cause and effect as they manipulate images.     Tips:  Aviary Phoenix and Peacock are both in beta right now.  Be sure to check out the Peacock overview video to get an idea of how Peacock works.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Aviary Peacock  in your classroom.

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History Pin

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Geography, History, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 02-10-2012

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What it is:  History Pin is a really neat website that lets students (and anyone) electronically “pin” historical pictures, videos, audio clips, and stories to a digital globe.  There are three main ways to use History Pin: exploring it, adding to it, or curating things on it.  History Pin has some great collections and tours that have already been created that can be used in the classroom.  Collections bring together content around a theme.  Students can explore collections or create one of their own.  With a Tour, students can go step-by-step through content, a story, explore a place or walk through time.

How to integrate History Pin into the classroom: History Pin is a neat place for students to learn about history.  They can see history through pictures, video and stories submitted by people around the world.  History Pin is also a fantastic place for students to demonstrate learning.  They can add pins, create collections or tours around their learning.  In many states in the US, students have standards that are related to learning about the state history.  In Colorado, this is true of our 4th grade students.  History pin is a great place for them to demonstrate their learning of their own state.  The best part?  This learning can be viewed and used by others all over the world.  Our students get really excited about sharing their learning when they become the “experts”.  History Pin lets them be the experts.  Way cool!

Depending on which Collections and Tours your students engage in, there are great opportunities for incorporating other subjects.  Our students enjoy comparing statistics from history with statistics of today.  They are really enjoying knowing how to use ratios these days!

I love the way that Geography is so ingrained in History Pin.  Students can easily see (and track) where history occurred in the world.  This helps students understand how movements, revolutions, immigration happen as a result of geography.

Tips: Be sure to check out the school channel on History Pin.


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using History Pin in your classroom.

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