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AR Sights

What it is:  Augmented Reality, how cool is that technology?  Dialing up the awesome factor a couple of notches is AR Sights.  AR Sights is a company who makes it possible to view Google Earth right in a web browser and then zoom into places of interest (Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, etc) and take a look at them augmented reality style.  The site brings landmarks to life in four easy steps.  Download the browser add-on, download some points of interest, print out the AR Sights marker, and zoom into Google Earth and take a look.  I am amazed at what this technology provides for students!  Students can zoom right in and manipulate the landmark by moving the paper around.  Now for the downfalls, AR Sights only works on PC’s right now, us Mac folks will have to hunt down a PC or wait until it is available for the Mac.  The other downfall is the downloads, they require administrative rights (some of you may have to convince your IT to let you download this goody).  After you print off the AR Sights marker, you hold it up to your camera and up pops the landmark you have chosen in Google Earth, as you twist, tilt, and move the paper the landmark moves accordingly.  This is SO outstanding! How to integrate AR Sights into the classroom:  AR Sights makes virtual field trips so impressive!  As your students are studying geography, allow them to travel around Google Earth and take a look at the landmarks.  Use AR Sights with a projector or Interactive whiteboard to show your whole class landmarks at the same time.  Create a travel center on your computers where students can travel around and learn about the world.  AR Sights is a great way to bring geography alive!  AR Sights also has a download to use with Google Sketch-up 3-D drawing program (free from Google).  Older students can create their own 3-D augmented reality landmarks.  Students could draw places of interest, your school, etc. and view them with AR Sights as augmented reality.  Talented high-school and college age students (or ambitious teachers) could create Sketch-up models that can be used in education such as the skeletal system, a beating heart, the solar system, historical landmarks, etc. for students to interact with in 3-D augmented reality.  The possibilities with this could be endless!!   Tips:  I learned about AR Sights from a wonderful blog that my friend Raul writes from Spain called technoTIC, check it out!  Thanks Raul!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using AR Sights in your classroom.  If you or one of your students creates a Sketch Up model for AR Sights let us know about it!

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Adobe Forms Center: Create & Share Interactive Forms

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Classroom Management, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Inquiry, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 11-07-2013

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What it is: Sometimes I come across a useful site and think, “how in the world is it possible that I haven’t discovered this before?”  That happened today with Adobe Form Central.  This free web application lets you create pdf’s that are actually web forms that can be filled out directly on the pdf.  Fancy.  Forms Central has a huge bank of templates that you can start with including a section just for education.  These are mostly application, appointment, quiz type forms.  But the best…the ability to create your own custom pdf form! Design items include text fields, date fields, email fields, single choice, multiple choice, drop down menu, single check box, rating scale, file attachments, formatted text, images, and page or section breaks.  When you have finished with the form you can set the form up to automatically email recipients, redirect them to a new url, or include a confirmation message.  You can even collect payments through PayPal (I’ll tell you why I find that feature useful!).  When you are ready to distribute your form you can email the link, embed the form or share on Twitter.  From within form central, you can view responses and save to Excel or as a PDF.  You can even sort responses from within Forms Central.

How to integrate Form Central into the classroom:  The obvious (and boring) use of Forms Central for education is for creating quizzes and tests.  Pass.  I’m not interested in using it that way so the custom feature is where I head.  Form Central is a great place for you to create a guided inquiry form where students can view the current inquiry question and fill in their own lines of inquiry and thoughts as they begin into a new unit.  Answers are collected in one place so that you can go through with your class and discuss options.  This could be a great twist on the ideation step in design thinking!

Forms Central could be used to create customized rubrics that you and your students can fill in.  Again, the great feature here is that everything is collected in one spot!  Students can create and use forms to collect scientific or mathematical data that can be analyzed and evaluated later.

Students can create their own custom surveys for collaborative projects and easily distribute their forms and collect answers.  Our students created their own not-for-profit (LSGW Foundation), because they occasionally host fundraisers, Forms Central would be really useful for collecting information and donations online.  The ability to connect the form to a PayPal account where they can collect donations is fantastic!

The PayPal function could also be used by you at the beginning of the school year.  If you’re like us, you have parents fill out loads of Q&A’s at back to school night so that you can get to know the family and child better.  You could include a short wish-list of items that you would like for your classroom.  Parents could choose to donate monetarily to your classroom fund through your forms.  Forms Central also gives them an easy one-stop place to quickly fill out all of the information online.

Do you host an after school club or tutoring?  Use Forms Central to create your application/enrollment form and collect payment at once.

Have your students evaluate your class using a course evaluation (template), collect feedback from colleagues at a conference where you hosted a session, collect interest for a new offering in your classroom, create a risk assessment sheet…the sky is the limit for what you can create.

One of my favorite things about the start of the school year at Anastasis Academy is the Learning Profile that we create for each of our students.  We survey students to learn about their multiple intelligence strengths, brain dominance, learning style preferences, and interests and passions.  Forms Central would be a really great way to collect all of this information (at least until the Learning Genome is finished!).

Tips:  You may be wondering…why not just use Google forms?  I love Google forms, I really do.  But Forms Central gives options that Google does not.  Those options are appealing to me on a number of levels!  The bank of templates they have to start from is also super helpful when time is an issue.

Are you using Forms Central in your classroom?  Share your experience in the comments below!

Comments (3)

[...] “Adobe Forms Center: Create & Share Interactive Forms” @ktenkely (Cool!) ilearntechnology.com/?p=5045 [...]

Do you know if there is a way for all of the students to see everyone else’s responses? I like the idea of having guided inquiry questions for students to respond to while at home, but I think it would be more effective if it is treated more as a discussion between the students rather than just communicating solely with the teacher.

Ely- I’m not sure outside of giving everyone the login so that they are able to view it. The other option would be to go through responses on a class with an IWB or projector.

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