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Bedazzled-Interactive Museum and Art Gallery Magazine

What it is: Bedazzled is another site from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  In this interactive magazine, students can discover more about style, fashion, and accessories from the past to the present.  Students will learn what clothes say about them (and what they say about people in the past), look at accessories throughout history, read an interview from a jewelry designer and learn how to make their own jewelry, learn about what fashion tells us about different cultures, view actual pieces of fashion and accessories from the museum, and learn about what jewelry was used for and represented in the past. How to integrate Bedazzled into your curriculum: Do you have students (read: fashonistas) who are absolutely positive that they don’t like history?  Introduce them to a love of history with the Bedazzled interactive magazine.  Your students will be drawn in by the fun fashion magazine and will be intrigued by the way that fashion can be used to learn about history.  Allow your students to explore the pages at their own pace as a center activity on the classroom computer or in a lab setting where each student has a computer.  The magazine is an entertaining read but also packed full of history.  After your students read through the magazine, challenge them to choose an accessory, fashion item, or jewelry to learn more about.  Ask them to find out what was happening in the time period that the piece is worn and how the item can help them better understand the people of the time period.  Take it a step further by asking students to write a fictional short story about the person who wore the item using historical facts that they learned in their exploration. This interactive magazine is a great way to show your students that history is more than a collection of dates and facts.  History is about stories, it is about people just like them.  Give your students that connection and the love for history will begin to blossom.  This site would have hooked me as a child! Tips: Bedazzled was created for the Birmingham Museum and Art Collection.  They have several excellent websites that I will be reviewing. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Bedazzled in your classroom!

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Piktochart: Create your own infographics

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Technology, web tools, Websites | Posted on 09-10-2012

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What it is:  Piktochart is a great web app that makes it easy to create your own infographics.  Piktochart has free and premium options.  With the free version, there are a handful of themes to choose from.  Premium themes are also available, if you are so inclined.  After you choose a theme, the next job is to change the mood and edit the information on the chart.  Students can add shapes, graphics (uploaded), theme graphics, and text to the infographic.  Students can add a chart where they manually input data or upload a cvc file.  This is especially helpful if they have been data collecting in another program.   There are some features that are only available to pro users.  Not to worry, there are enough available for free that you can make a pretty rockin’ infographic that gets the point (or data) across.

How to integrate Piktochart into the classroom: Piktochart is a superb way for students to work on those statistics/probability standards.  Being a visual learner myself, I love the way that infographics seem to make data easier to digest.  Piktochart can be used to display any type of statistical or mathematical data in new ways.  Students can show what they are learning in history, about the world population (miniature earth), science, in the book they are reading, geography statistics, etc.

The way that infographics allow students to blend learning across the subject areas is fantastic.  It isn’t just math; it is math, and art, and science/social studies/history/geography/technology.  Any time we can help students recognize the overlaps that exist in learning and subject area, it is a win!

A few weeks ago, students at Anastasis discovered that America’s biggest export is trash. They started digging and found statistics about the amount of trash Americans throw away each day (7lbs/person) and how much was recycled vs. what ended up in a landfill.  They also looked at statistics of what receiving countries like China and India did with the waste being imported.  It was fascinating!  Students created infographics showing what they had discovered in their research.  It was eye-opening when they translated that trash per person into a year’s worth of trash and figured out how many football stadiums that it would fill.  When they could see it graphically, it had an impact on their thinking.  The result was: “it is up to us to change this…”

Pretty amazing when the conclusion to learning is transformation…change.

Tips: In the free version:  Basic themes, 5 image uploads, Piktochart’s watermark. Pro version ($29.00/mo): 80 themes (and growing), additional customization, more image uploads, no watermark.

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

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