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Aviary Toucan

  What it is:  Aviary is a website on a mission to make creativity more accessible.  They do this by making powerful image software available online (no download required) and with free versions of the online software.  Aviary has four different offerings: Peacock, Phoenix, Toucan, and Raven.  Because each tool does something different, I am going to break it down into four posts.   Toucan is the third application in the Aviary suite.  Toucan is a color palette chooser. It is a simple tool but combined with the other Aviary applications is pretty powerful for the creativity process.  Choose colors for your palette and then adjust hue, saturation, hue, light, CMYK, and RGB.  The color palette helps students learn about relationships between colors on the color wheel.  As students manipulate and choose colors from the color wheel, they can save to the clip board.  When color palettes are in the clipboard, students can filter out colors in their palette or expand colors.  There is also an image chooser where students can choose an image and then pick colors directly from the image.  The last cool tool in Toucan is a color deficiency tool where you can see what people who are color blind might see when they are viewing your color palette (especially helpful for website creation!).  After you create a color palette, it can be imported into Pheonix or Peacock.  In the color chooser in Pheonix, you can click a special button to import your swatches from Toucan.  Neat!   How to integrate Toucan into the classroom:   Aviary Toucan is a wonderful addition to any art or science class studying color.  The color wheel and adjustment options make it easy to see and understand color relationships as well as concepts like hue, tint, and saturation.  This would be a great tool for students to explore individually, recording observations about hue, tint, saturation, etc. as they discover how each affects color.  Toucan would also be useful for whole class instruction on color with a projector.  The ability to create color palettes is a great tie in for the other Aviary applications as well as for website design.  I love the color deficiency tool that allows you to see what the colors in your color palette look like to someone with color blindness.  This is a nice way to teach students about color blindness and useful when creating websites, advertisements, etc.     Tips:  Aviary Phoenix, Peacock, and Toucan are both in beta right now.  Be sure to check out the Toucan overview video to learn more about how Toucan works.  The video breaks down the application nicely.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Aviary Toucan  in your classroom.

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The Hobby Shop

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2009

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What it is:  The Hobby Shop is an amazing interactive site where students can learn about science.  Students can learn about a compound microscope, dissecting microscope, catapults, chemistry, and rockets.  Each section of the hobby shop is completely interactive and has students discovering learning through virtual experimentation.  Students can look through microscopes, each step of the way they are taught how to do things like prepare petri dishes, and clean up properly afterward.  In the chemistry lab students can create an ingredient found in chalk, make a chemical used in photography, make liquids change colors, or test chemicals for electrical conductivity.  Students are led through each step of an experiment just as they would do it in an actual lab.  There is an interactive periodic table of elements that students can use to learn about different elements.  Students can create their own rocket in the rocket lab choosing the body, nose cone, and fins of a rocket and then test it out.  Students can also test out catapults with water balloons.

How to integrate Hobby Shop into the classroom: Hobby Shop is a wonderful place for students to experiment and interact with science in preparation for doing the experiment in class.  It is interactive enough to take the place of experiments where the science budget doesn’t allow for a class set of materials.  I am SO impressed with the way that this site leads students through each step of the process to complete an experiment.  Use this site with the whole class using an interactive whiteboard, invite students to come up to the board and conduct the experiment.  This site is also perfect for use as a science center in the one or two computer classroom or for individual use in a computer lab environment.  


Tips:  Check out the Teacher Resources for standard alingment, correlating worksheets, and other pdf files.


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Hobby Shop in your classroom.

Comments (2)

Thoroughly enjoyed the rocket excercise! I am an associate director of a nonprofit dedicated to bringing technology into the classroom. Check out our website when you have a moment, and please consider becoming a member. I was pointed to your site from a member of the Education Consultants Community.

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