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Aviary Toucan

  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.   Toucan is the third application in the Aviary suite.  Toucan is a color palette chooser. It is a simple tool but combined with the other Aviary applications is pretty powerful for the creativity process.  Choose colors for your palette and then adjust hue, saturation, hue, light, CMYK, and RGB.  The color palette helps students learn about relationships between colors on the color wheel.  As students manipulate and choose colors from the color wheel, they can save to the clip board.  When color palettes are in the clipboard, students can filter out colors in their palette or expand colors.  There is also an image chooser where students can choose an image and then pick colors directly from the image.  The last cool tool in Toucan is a color deficiency tool where you can see what people who are color blind might see when they are viewing your color palette (especially helpful for website creation!).  After you create a color palette, it can be imported into Pheonix or Peacock.  In the color chooser in Pheonix, you can click a special button to import your swatches from Toucan.  Neat!   How to integrate Toucan into the classroom:   Aviary Toucan is a wonderful addition to any art or science class studying color.  The color wheel and adjustment options make it easy to see and understand color relationships as well as concepts like hue, tint, and saturation.  This would be a great tool for students to explore individually, recording observations about hue, tint, saturation, etc. as they discover how each affects color.  Toucan would also be useful for whole class instruction on color with a projector.  The ability to create color palettes is a great tie in for the other Aviary applications as well as for website design.  I love the color deficiency tool that allows you to see what the colors in your color palette look like to someone with color blindness.  This is a nice way to teach students about color blindness and useful when creating websites, advertisements, etc.     Tips:  Aviary Phoenix, Peacock, and Toucan are both in beta right now.  Be sure to check out the Toucan overview video to learn more about how Toucan works.  The video breaks down the application nicely.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Aviary Toucan  in your classroom.

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E is for Explore: discovery, science, math, art, literacy, social studies and more!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Blogs, Create, Evaluate, Fun & Games, Inquiry, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 07-01-2013

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E is for Explore!


Happy New Year!!  I have to say, I wasn’t heart broken to see 2012 go and welcome a year of new beginnings.  2012 felt…hard. And uninspired.  I think that is what happens when you see a dream realized and then comes the part where you are in the middle of it, making it work and doing the HARD work.  2012 wasn’t a year I felt particularly creative. I miss that, it is part of my essence.  I’ve been so incredibly busy, just working to keep everything going, that I had nothing left over.  I’m hoping that 2013 is a different story. Step 1: the first post of 2013.  Here is to creativity and passion!

What it is: I discovered a new blog that I am absolutely loving!  It is hard to beat a place where exploration is not only welcome, but encouraged.  E is for Explore is that place.  Here you will find new learning activities and a fantastic collection of ideas from other sources.  There is a handy-dandy index that helps you find just what you need quickly and easily.  I’ve been working on collecting resources for this inquiry unit and E is for Explore has been an absolute treasure trove.  Topics include discovery/exploration, science/engineering, mathematics, art, literacy, social studies and seasons/holidays.

How to integrate E is for Explore into the classroom:  E is for Explore is a great tool for unit, center, and inquiry planning.  I am really enjoying the huge bank of hands-on activities and projects all designed to encourage exploration in learning. The wide range of activities will keep sparking curiosity in a variety of disciplines.

As I plan out inquiry units and gather resources, I am always on the lookout for activities that will encourage students to explore and spark new curiosities.  E for Explore made this process infinitely easier, bringing me an easy-to-search collection of activities, with great instructions, all in one place.  Many of the activities are manageable enough for a center activity within the classroom…great for differentiation and individualization!

I shared E is for Explore with some of our students, they had a great time looking through the science experiments and learning about how to make mini robots and floam.  This would be SO much better than a small tic-tac-toe board for students to choose an activity from.  Students can explore the entire site and choose an exploration that is of interest to them and complete it accordingly.

Tips: My hope is that iLearn Technology does for you what E if for Explore did for me.  Did you know that you can search by keyword (at the top of my website) or through a multi-category search (in the sidebar on the right)?  Choose as many variables as you want and see what you can find!  I categorize every post by keywords, Bloom’s Taxonomy level, Grade Level, Resource Type, and Subject Area.  After 7 years of free resources, I’ve amassed quite a collection of awesome, free classroom tools.  Go ahead, give it a try and see what new fun finds you come across!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  E is for Explore in your classroom.

Comments (3)

Looks like a great resource! I’ll definitely show it to other teachers!

Thank you so much for the write up about E is for Explore! iLearn Technology is one of my all time favorite sites! I have your site bookmarked for easy access. Plus, I told my Educational Technology professor about iLearn Technology over the summer. I am so happy that you find E is for Explore useful. It’s awesome that you have your students use it for differentiated lessons. I featured your writeup about QR codes on my blog back in August. Here is the link to the post: http://eisforexplore.blogspot.com/2012/08/kid-qr-codes.html. Once again, thank you for the writeup! – Erin Bittman

Thank you Erin! What you all are doing is SO fabulous!

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