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Rock Our World: Using music to collaborate and change the world

What it is: Rock Our World has one goal, to give students authentic global collaboration opportunities by connecting them with music.  Rock Our World has been doing just that since 2004.  Students and teachers collaborate in composing original music, making movies, and meeting each other in live video chats. Using GarageBand (Apple), each country creates a 30 second drum beat.  Every Friday, the drum created rotates to another country, where the bass guitar is added. It gets passed from country to country with another instrument added at each stop.  When it gets back to the original country, it is an original piece of music that has been created with the help of kids around the world. While the music is being passed from country to country, students have opportunities to meet and discuss various topics of curriculum in live video chats.  Incredible companies have been involved in this project including Apple, Fablevision, Discovery, American Film Institute, Smart Technologies, NASA, Visual Learning Company, Lintor Publishing, Mariner Software, actor Will Smith and more.  Pretty impressive! Applications for Rock Our World will be accepted for pre-kindergarten through university  in January. You can sign up for membership by providing your email address to be alerted to the exact date you can begin applying. How to integrate Rock Our World into the classroom: This is an incredible opportunity for your students to work and collaborate with other students around the world.  Not only will your students be learning and interacting with new cultures, they will also be learning more about music.  Your students will be a part of creating a unique song by adding their piece to it. At the end, each country will have a song touched by students around the world.  How cool is that?! It would be really neat at the end of the project to create an iMovie of the final song that includes the globe animation zooming into each country as their bit of the song is played and including a slideshow of students from each country. Tips: Take a look at previous projects by clicking on the “Media” tab. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Rock Our World in your classroom.

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Here is Today: a web app to put time in perspective

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Evaluate, History, Inquiry, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 10-07-2013

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Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

What it is:  Here is today is an interesting little web app that helps students visualize time in a new way.  Students start out by seeing a square and a title that says “here is today” with the current date.  When students click “okay” at the bottom, they are taken to a visual of the next step in.  Students can see where the day is falling within the month, the year, the century, the millennium, the epoch, the period, the era, the eon, the earth, life, oxidation, fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, humans, and the universe.  Each stage of the graphic has an arrow pointing out how today (whatever day that happens to be) compares in the grander scheme of things.  Pretty cool!

How to integrate Here is Today into the classroom:  Here is Today is an outstanding way to help students understand where they are in place in time.  They can see where they are and then compare it to the larger history of the world and universe.  Obviously, this is a natural fit into a history or biology class.  Here is Today would also make a great object lesson in math and be great for studying comparison and scale.  It would also make for a great philosophical discussion as we realize just how minute the moment we are living in really is.

Here is Today is a great site for students to explore and inquire about independently.  What questions arise as they explore the site?  After students have investigated and come up with their own lines of inquiry, gather back as a classroom community and discuss those lines of inquiry and the thinking that led to them.  If you happen to follow the IB Primary Years Program, this fits in great to “Where are we in place and time” inquiry.

Here is Today would also be a useful visual on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where a class can observe and explore together during discussion.  The way that the site compares time is seriously smart.

Here is Today could launch an interesting creative writing assignment.  Invite each student to explore the site and to choose a view.  The story should be written based on the point of view and time that they chose.  This could be a new way to explore setting, time and theme.

Tips:  Here is Today reminds me a little bit of the Scale of Life site that I wrote about here.  Using these sites together could be pretty epic.  Talk about a great sense of our place in the universe!

Are you using Here is Today in your classroom?  Share your experience in the comments below!

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