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eyePlorer

    What it is:  eyePlorer is a really cool site that allows students “explore and process knowledge.”  Student type in a word or words to research.  eyePlorer pulls information from Wikipedia and puts it into a color wheel of information.  When students hover over the different areas of the color wheel, they get a sentence or two about their subject.  There is a notebook where students can drag and drop facts that they want to remember.  Students can drag facts to the notebook and rearrange them as they need to.  Students can click the “i” button under the search box to get a quick summary of their topic, click on the “+” button to add search parameters, and click on the paper button to go to a Google search.  The idea behind eyePlorer is to improve the way “users interact with knowledge and information online.”  The goal is to provide innovative, interactive, visual methods for working with and discovering facts and information.  I think the result is pretty amazing and perfect for the educational setting! How to integrate eyePlorer into the classroom: This is a truly unique way for students to research and explore new information.  Students quickly get a visual guide to their inquiry and can drag and drop what they are learning into a notebook.  This is a fantastic tool for research projects but would also be amazing for use with an interactive whiteboard.  As students are learning about a new concept, they can type the subject into the search and as a class decide which information they want to save in the notebook for later.  What a great introduction to any new material.   This site will definitely help wet students appetite for learning!  Make sure to bookmark this site on the classroom computers as a classroom research center.   Tips:  eyePlorer was created in Germany so the home page information is all in German, once you start a search you can choose to search in German or English.  When I searched “shiba inu” it automatically searched in English for me.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using eyePlorer 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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