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Fakebook and Twister- Create custom social media pages for learning

What it is: I don’t know if you all noticed, but I have been on a serious social media kick lately. :)  There is just SO much for students to learn from the social media sphere.  Last week (or was it the week before?) I shared that I had created a Facebook Template that could be used with students for creating a fake Facebook profile.  Since then I have come across Fakebook created by teacher, @russeltarr.  I have one word: Brilliant.  Seriously this is the BEST Fakebook tool I have seen.  It is simple to use.  Just click and type.  The profile pictures get pulled automatically based on the name that students type in.  Especially good for literary and historical characters!  The focus here really is on the learning that it enables, there are NO advertisements (unlike Myfakewall which I have deemed unusable because of all of the ads). The other fake social networking tool I want to feature is called Twister.  This is a fake Twitter wall that students can create just by filling in a few key bits of information like a username, the real name (this is what the photo pulls from), a status update, and a date.  When students click submit, they have their very own fictional status update.  Very cool! These tools are fantastic for the classroom because they don’t rely on actual social network sites (which are often blocked by filters), they are not limited by age to use them, and they provide a fun way for students to reflect on learning.  So neat! How to integrate Fakebook and Twister into the classroom: These two teacher created tools are fantastic.  They produce results that look like the real deal and were obviously created by teachers who understand that the focus should be learning and not the tool (or advertisements surrounding the tool).  These fake profile/status creators are a wonderful way for students to learn about historical and literary figures in a manner that they can personally connect to. Students can create profiles or updates from the perspective of historical figures, literary characters, government, artists, composers, etc.  Students can also use these tools to help them develop characters for their own writing. Take a page out of the Grammaropolis book and have students personify things they are learning about like parts of speech.  Students can create a profile for each part of speech.  How about creating a profile page for math functions like Number Gossip does? Students could even practice dialogue in a foreign language using either tool. Teaching your students netiquette? Let students create two versions of a Fakebook page, one with appropriate online interaction and another that “breaks the rules” to compare/contrast. The Twister site only lets you create one status update at a time.  This makes it really nice for memorializing famous or favorite quotes. These would be fun to print out and display on a bulletin board. Tips: Students can save or print out their Fakebook page. To save, they will create a password and need to write down the unique URL for their page to access it at a later date. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Fakebook and Twister in your classroom!

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Addison Tales: Ignite Your Student’s Imagination

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Create, Evaluate, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 17-10-2013

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Addison Tales: Activate your student's imagination in descriptive writing

What it is: Addison Tales is an interesting interactive site that asks your students to contribute content.  This ongoing competition challenges students to invent an imaginative story character for Addison’s Tales.  When students visit the site, they will be introduced to Mr. Cornelius Addison.  If students click on the sparkly stars, they can visit the story’s characters.  When students click on Mr. Cornelius Addison, they will be taken to a story called “The Dream”.  The story is about Mack’s wild and imaginative store where he sells characters.  The story urges students to add characters to the store and then to “trap” their characters inside finished stories so that they don’t just remain figments of the imagination.  When students create their own characters, they make them “real” like the solid characters in the cottage that can be discovered inside the apps that are available from Addison tales in the app store.  The challenge is for students to write and draw interesting characters.

How to integrate Addison Tales into your classroom:  I think the way that Addison Tales combines technology, writing, drawing, story and imagination is brilliant!  Read “The Dream” with your students using classroom computers, an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  For those of you with iPads in the classroom, “The Dream” is also available as a free app.  After reading the story, talk about the types of characters described in “The Dream.”  This is a great way to get your students thinking about description and imagery!  Ask students to write down the adjectives and descriptive words that they remember from the story.  Students can choose a character from the story to draw.  For a fun class activity, invite students to all draw the same character and see what similarities and differences exist between student drawings.  (This can lead to some fun discussion about artistic license!) 

After students try their hand at describing characters from the story, they can work on creating their own character.  Students should think carefully about word choice and imagery.  Through December (2013) Addison Tales is running a competition where students can submit their characters.  Each week, Mr. Addison will frame a select number of characters on his wall with the artist’s nickname, country and character name for everyone to see.  At the end of the month, one of the most curious of the characters submitted will be turned into a plush toy and sent to the lucky artist.  Pretty great reward!

Tips: The contest portion runs every month through the end of December.  Even without the contest, the site offers a great way to introduce your kids to descriptive writing and imagery!

What do you think of Addison Tales?  How do you plan to use it in your classroom?

Comments (6)

Addison Tales would be incredibly motivating in the classroom. I am always looking for new ways to inspire my second graders to explore their creativity and let their imaginations run wild. They are so used to writing non-fiction stories, that when it comes time to write fiction stories, they have trouble coming up with that initial idea. Addison Tales would help jump start their minds and guide them in creating descriptive characters and intriguing story plots.

I really like the contest component to this website. It gives students a chance to showcase their best work and teaches them to take pride in what they produce. The website itself evokes mystery and curiosity. Even though the content of The Dream may be a bit advanced for second graders, I can already envision ways of adapting it to make it something they understand and want to take part in. Thanks for a great post!

Hi,

I like Addison Tales to a certain extent. I feel that it is limited in the sense that it would only be useful to a certain age group(elementary students). However it contributes a lot to that particular age group as listed above. This post was very informative and definitely something fun for today’s student.

Thanks,
Nathalie

One lovely aspect not mentioned above is the musical component of Addison’s Tales. If you click on little Vincent the mouse leaning out of his mousehole, you will find that he hands out the sheet music from Addison’s Tales. Kids can turn their tablets vertically and place them on the music stand to play directly from the screen. If music teachers want to motivate their (probalby more advanced) students further, they can record class recitals and upload to youtube, then send a link to the given email address. Vincent will rig his projector to showcase the recital. The good thing is that the tunes are actually very catchy (in an Irish kind of way), so the kids should defintely have a lot of fun here too.

Love that! I missed it on my first visit. Thanks JB!

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