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What it is:  Shidonni is a really intriguing new web application for kids.  Shidonni is an imaginary world that kids create.  It provides a virtual universe where kids can create their own imaginary world, play, and share games and interact with each other in a safe environment online.  Kids can create their own animals or characters online and make them interactive.  Their characters actually move and interact with the kids (no programming required!).  They can create a world for their character, feed their character, and play games using their character.  Watch the video on the Shidonni website for a good idea of how the program works.     How to integrate Shidonni into the classroom:  Shidonni is an amazing way for kids to express themselves creatively.  They will LOVE the interaction that this site provides.  I am really in awe of this site and its capabilities.  The site is simple enough for kindergarten students to use but will keep even 5th grade students intrigued.  For classroom use the site is a great way to let younger students practice interaction with the computer and mouse manipulation.  It is also a great introduction to drawing programs.  Students can use Shidonni as a place to start digital storytelling.  They can use the site to illustrate stories that they are creating in writing class.  Shidonni can also be used to create “living” dioramas for the classroom.  This is a great place for students to learn by trial and error.  I like to introduce programs like this and then let students teach themselves how to use new technology through exploration.     Tips:  Shidonni requires that you download a plugin for your Internet browser.  Be sure to do this on all computers before you roll it out for the first time in class.     Leave a comment and share how you are using Shidonni in your classroom.

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Chalkstar to Rockstar: Revolutionary Ideas in Learning

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, education reform, Grade Level, inspiration, Podcasts, professional development, Teacher Resources | Posted on 05-09-2013

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Holy. Cow.  School has started in full force!  I absolutely love having kids back in the building. It feels alive again, kids bring an energy that can’t be matched.   If you are a teacher, you know that there is an enormous amount of work that goes into starting a year.  It’s a good thing that the kids bring energy, because mine is depleted!  I blame it on the constant stream of school related dreams that happen at the beginning of the school year.  It’s like I never leave that place!  I hope that those of you who are beginning a new year are off to a great start.

Chalkstar to rockstar Anastasis Academy Podcast

I get a lot of questions about Anastasis Academy.  People usually start off with jaws dropped and some disbelief in their eyes, “wait a minute, YOU started a school?”  After some convincing that this AMAZINGNESS really does exist, the litany of questions begin.  How did you do it?  Where did the money come from?  What is different about your school?  In less than 6 months you started the school, seriously?  Recently @michellek107 and I shared the story of Anastasis Academy with @bennettscience on a brand new show called Chalkstar to Rockstar.  Check out this great new show here!

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