Featured Post

Pilot Handwriting: Turn Handwriting into a Font

What it is: This is a fun site. Pilot Handwriting let’s students turn their handwriting into a font of their own.  The site is easy to use: print the template for students to fill out, take a picture of the completed template with a webcam (scanner and digital camera options also available), click on individual letters to adjust the look, save the handwriting by creating an account, click “let’s write” to use the font.  Writing completed on the Pilot Handwriting site can be emailed.  Saving the handwriting does require students to create an account. The account has no age limit but asks for an email address.  If you are teaching students who don’t have an email address, they can use a @tempinbox.com or @mailinator.com ending so they don’t have to create an email account. How to integrate Pilot Handwriting into the classroom: I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of handwriting worksheets- this is due to my own experience with them. I remember feeling like the practice page was endless and in the end didn’t give me a good feel for handwriting (especially in cursive) because I was writing letters individually; how often do you do that in real life?  The Pilot Handwriting font creator would be a fun way for students to end those handwriting practice sessions.  When they have a letter down, they can write it on the template.  The template could be filled out over several weeks as they learn and practice new letters.  At the end, they can turn all that practice into their very own computer font…as unique as their fingerprint!  The finished font can be used for learning how to write a friendly letter.  Students can compose a letter to a teacher, another student, or a parent using their font and send the finished letter via email. Pilot Handwriting let’s students create multiple fonts within one account.  Students could create a font at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the school year (or in subsequent years) to compare their growth.  Handwriting can tell us so much about how students are developing and thinking. This is a great way to record that development digitally. My students love creating their own font, it makes all writing and practice more fun.  I caught a fifth grader typing out her spelling and vocabulary words just so that she could use her font.  In that one exercise she was practicing her handwriting, typing, and spelling/vocabulary.  Not too shabby Tips: This is a neat site for students to share with their families. I have great handwritten notes from my grandmothers, recipes from my mom, and birthday cards from aunts and uncles.  There is something about a handwritten note that feels so personal and meaningful, it is capturing a piece of who that person is.  Students may want to ask their family members to create a font with their handwriting.  I had one student who was creating a family tree for class, he had each member of his family fill out the template and create a font.  He then asked them to send an email to him with the information needed for his tree using the font.  He cut and paste these onto poster board. It was honestly the coolest family tree I have seen, he had his family get involved and created a keepsake in the process. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Pilot Handwriting in your classroom!

Read More

Atlantis Remixed: Inquiry based virtual world

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Character Education, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Interactive book, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 15-04-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 6.25.17 PM

What it is: Atlantis Remixed is a great interactive virtual world that supports students and teachers in conducting rich, inquiry-based explorations during which students learn standards related content and develop pro-social attitudes regarding environmental and social issues.  More than just making learning fun, project Atlantis Remixed aims to help kids realize that they can make a real difference in the world.  Atlantis Remixed is really a combination of education, entertainment/gaming and social action.  The game environment has been designed to support students in social commitment and real-world action.  Atlantis Remixed was created for children ages 9-16 to engage in transformational play in both online and offline learning activities.  The storyline in the online activities inspires students toward social action.

Atlantis Remixed is a combination of a 3D multi-user virtual environment, learning quests and unit plans, a storyline (presented through an introductory video, novel and comic book), a global community of participants, and a narrative programming toolkit that kids can use to remix user-created stories.  The storyline helps bridge the virtual, fictional, world of Atlantis with the real-world.  Students can travel to virtual places to perform authentic activities (Quests), talk with other students from around the world, build virtual characters and professions, and demonstrate learning through multi-media portfolios.  The platform is transdisciplinary including math, science and literacy. Students are sent on virtual social missions that reflect global ideals such as social responsibility, compassionate wisdom, creative expression, diversity affirmation, environmental awareness, healthy communities, and personal agency.

How to integrate Atlantis Remixed into the classroom: Atlantis Remixed has full units ready to use. Each unit is aligned to standards, inquiry based and meets multiple domains of learning. A single water-quality unit puts students in role of scientists hired by a national park, to come to the forest to help explain fish decline in the area.  Students interact with virtual park rangers, loggers, fishermen and indigenous people and discover multiple perspectives.  After decisions have been made, students can log back in and see the impact of their decisions.  They can reflect on the consequences (and unintended consequences) of their decisions, and make changes as needed.

In addition to the virtual component, there is guided offline learning that can take place including discussions and in class activities.  Teachers can modify curriculum to fit their own classroom needs.

Units include: Taiga- a water quality unit, Virtual Mesa Verde- a social studies unit, Plague World- a persuasive writing unit, Ander City- a statistics unit, Spacenik- a planetary science unit, Biological Indicators Mission, Rights & Responsibility Mission, Two Cells-One World Mission, and Diversity Mission.  You can look at a snapshot of any of these missions to learn more about it.

Think about the added components you could layer on Atlantis Remixed Quests and missions.  Are your students practicing writing business letters?  Who could they write to in the virtual world or real world?  Are your students learning how to use a new tech tool?  What tie-in is there to the inquiry?  How can you integrate other learning and customize the Atlantis Remixed environment to best fit your needs?

Tips: On the Educators Page, you can choose to login to the 2D gateway without logging into the 3D world.

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

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

Comments (1)

[…] Check out the full write up at http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4988 […]

Write a comment

*