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Magnoto: Online blog, photo, video, creation space

What it is: Magnoto reminds me of a mashup of a Tumblr blog, Wallwisher, Glogster, and Stixy.  Essentially Magnoto gives you a “magnetic” display where you can post and share text, audio, video, and pictures.  My favorite feature of Magnoto: content can be added to the page via email.  You can set up your Magnoto so that anything you send to your special Magnoto email address, automatically gets uploaded and placed on your online page.  With a few minutes of setup when you create your account, you can create an online space that is updated from your email. This is great for teachers who aren’t as comfortable with technology or don’t have the time to manage an online space.  I find the Magnoto online interface to be a little bit cumbersome (I expected everything to be drag and drop onto the page but it is much more “analogue” and you have to click “place on page” from the preview. Certainly not difficult but also not as clean as I would like…guess I’m spoiled!)  On the upside, Magnoto provides a lot of room for customization in frames around the pictures (click on the “M” on the picture), “magnets”, and the ability to free drag items anywhere on the screen.  The online page can be easily shared with a unique url that you choose, and updated on the fly.  Magnoto also has the benefit of allowing up to 4 users to contribute to and create one online space. How to integrate Magnoto into the classroom: For students with an email address, Magnoto can be used to create a flexible online space where students can create virtual posters, brainstorming boards, virtual project portfolios, and share learning with others.  Students can work together on the same Magnoto space for group projects. Teachers can use Magnoto to create a quick class homepage for students and parents to access.  Because Magnoto is so easy to update via email, it makes for a really fast build with impressive results.  Update daily with links, assignments, and resources for your students; pictures you snapped of learning; or to reference class information.  Create a new Magnoto page for every subject, semester, or special project.  Invite a few parents to join as users of your account and encourage those room moms (or dads) to email pictures they snap of class parties, field trips, or special events on the class Magnoto board- the pictures can be emailed to the special Magnoto address and will be instantly uploaded.  Pretty cool!  Magnoto would make for a great online weekly newsletter space. Parent’s will always be in the loop for classroom happenings and everything will be easy to access in one place. Because you can add up to 4 collaborators, Magnoto would be a good space for grade level teams to collect and share resources for students.  This keeps all of you from having to create and update a separate page; instead, you can all upload and share from the same space.  Again, the email feature is really nice for this type of use! To change your account settings to allow emailed content to be directly uploaded: 1. Click on the “Page Admin” tab on the right side of the screen. 2. Click on “Options” 3. Choose either “Classic” or “Floating” options 4. Click “Publish New Entries” via email at once Tips: Magnoto is in Beta, I found that it works better in Firefox and Chrome than in Safari.  Don’t forget that students can use a @tempinbox.com account or @mailinator.com account for sign up if they don’t want to use a personal email address.  No email confirmation is necessary to begin using Magnoto. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Magnoto in your classroom!

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Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Geography, History, inspiration, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Internet Safety, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 13-01-2010

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free virtual worlds

What it is: I absolutely love when I learn about a new site, especially those that I immediately know will be a winner with students.  You know the sites that have incredible graphics, are easy to use, and involve kids in the story (instead of just drill and practice).  Wiglington & Wenks is one such site.  One of the creators of the site @aldricchang alerted me to the new site today via Twitter.

Students are dropped into the middle of a story where they become world travelers to places around the real-world, meeting historical characters, playing brain games, building culture inspired houses, exploring secret locations, and solving ancient mysteries.  There are 100 educational real-world and imaginary places for students to visit from the past, present, and the future.  Wiglington and Wenks was originally a children story book series written by Johan Bittleston.  It has exploded into an online world where students can learn and explore.

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Wiglington and Wenks is so much more than your standard virtual world, it has a rich story line with well developed characters, plot, mystery, and quests.  Students are dropped into the story and invited to participate, learning through exploration, problem solving, and critical thinking.  The world highlights famous real-world landmarks, historical figures, inventions, culture, nature, and wildlife.  Students are motivated to learn more about each as they complete a series of quests.

The story behind the virtual world is about two water rats from England, Wiglington and Wenks, who are in search of a legacy left by Wiglington’s great explorer ancestor.  A series of magic maps guide them as they travel through time and space.  Through a series of events, a time portal was accidentally created that transported famous figures from the past to the future.  All of the historical figures seem to have forgotten who they are.  Students embark on a quest to help Wilington and Wenks find the famous missing characters and recover their lost memories.

Wilglington and Wenks are the main characters of the story.  They are the heroes. There are a host of other characters that further enchant students as they solve the mysteries of this virtual world.

Carto is the map creator who created the magic maps that keep track of geography, cultural evolution, and climate change over time.  Fragments of the map piece together to form a complete real-world map.

Sir Ordy Nace is the curator of the maps at the British Museum.

Filo rat is the head of the Traveling Academy in the town.  He is an inventor, code breaker, and skilled strategist- a genius in every way.  He loves a challenging game of sudoku or master mind.

Scuttle Butt is a search engine.  Ask him a question and he provides a useful list with the most relevant information at the top.  He is Filo Rat’s assistant. (This is an awesome way for students to familiarize themselves for using search engines to solve problems!)

Chacophonous is a crab who also happens to be a conductor.  He is reportedly connected by an ancestor to Beethoven.  He introduces students to classical music.

Walpole the whale makes cross-ocean transportation possible.  He has a terrible sense of direction so students have to give him directions and help guide him.

Every story needs a villain and the Count is the villain of this story.  He is known for using his knowledge of the magic maps for the destruction of the environment along with his side kick Warrior Wolf.

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Historical figures include Thomas Edison, Alexandar Graham Bell, Cleopatra, Confusious, Copernicus, Damo, Emperor Quin, Galileo Galilei, Issac Newton John, Marco Polo, John Rolfe, Nostra Damus, Pocahontas, Wilber Wright, Orville Wright, Vlad Dracula, and many more.

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How to integrate Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World into the classroom: The rich storyline alone makes this site one to bring into your classroom.  Students can do character studies, learn about plot, mystery, and suspense.  Use this site to teach your students about environmental issues such as global warming, forest preservation, protection of marine life, and endangered animals.  This is an immersive learning environment where your students will learn by doing.  As students travel the virtual world, they will learn geography, cultural differences, history, and inventions.  Students are encouraged to think creatively to solve the issues facing the world today.  Wiglington & Wenks would be a great site to introduce to students at the beginning of the year that is used throughout the year for learning.  Make it your goal to solve the mysteries of the magic maps before the end of the year.  Throughout the year students can visit the virtual world, learn about historical figures, famous inventions, and geography.  Hang up a world map in your classroom and keep track of the places that have been visited.  Encourage students to create character cards as they learn about new historical figures, and story characters.  Each student can have their own account but keep track of progress as a class.  Create PSA posters for the classroom as students learn about environmental issues.  Explore more about the inventors and inventions that students come across in the virtual world.  Have students keep a journal of discoveries (on or offline) as they discover new clues.  Have students write newspaper articles about the happenings of the virtual world and it’s characters.   This site can be tied into your curriculum for the year in a variety of ways.

I love the way this site encourages discovery of knowledge, teamwork, and critical thinking. This site will have your students excited about learning the whole year through.  Fridays would make a great day of discovery each week and give students something to look forward to.  Create a single class account and explore Wilington and Wenks as a class each week (or a little each day) using an interactive whiteboard or projector.  Give each student the opportunity to be the navigator of the world.  The other students can take observation notes in a journal about what they see and learn.  If you have classroom computers, cycle your students through the virtual world as a center activity.  In this model each student can have an account.  If you have access to a 1 to 1 environment (one computer for each child) or a computer lab setting on a regular basis, students can each have their own account and solve the mystery individually.  Form small groups where students can discuss their findings and give each other tips and tricks. (Hint: these groups will form whether or not you create them…it is that engaging!)

Wiglington and Wenks is the way that learning should be!



Tips: Read the Wiglington & Wenks books (Amazon link) as a class…the tie into the virtual world will have your students eager to read these books to learn more!

Your students will catch on to the virtual world environment quickly and know more about the characters, games, etc. than you could ever hope to learn.  There is a great guide that will clue you into everything the world offers so that you can keep up with your students. Check it out here.

Leave a comment and share how you are using Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World in your classroom.

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Comments (20)

The children will love that!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ktenkely, ktenkely, Andrew Wetzel, Chris Atkinson, Ann McDonald and others. Ann McDonald said: RT @ktenkely: Holy cow, all learning should look like this! http://bit.ly/6HPso3 virtual world tied to literature, history, geography, s … […]

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World Wiglington and Wenks is so much more than your standard virtual world, it has a rich story line with well developed characters, plot, mystery, and quests. Students are dropped into the story and invited to particiapte, learning through exploration, problem solving, and critical thinking. The world highlights famous real-world landmarks, historical figures, inventions, culture, nature, and wildlife. Students are motivated to learn more about each as they complete a series of quests. (tags: blogs) […]

Someone tweeted this site to me and I played around with it for a little while. I got a little hooked and I’m a High School English teacher! I forwarded this to the grade school teachers in the district and they love it. The more interactive, the better.

When you use sites that require email registration how do you register to allow the entire class on the site simultaneously?
There are many fabulous sites, such as this one, that I would love to use in the Mac Lab, however, since all of the students do not have their own email address, I have found registering each of them impossible.
Any suggestions?
Thanks!
Tina

This particular site would require separate emails for each student. When I sign students up, I have them put my address as the parent and just approve their accounts. I have also contacted the makers of the site to find out if they might create an educator section where you could sign up whole classes at once with one email address. If students must have an email address to register for a site, I generally have them make up a @mailinator.com address. This lets them sign up without any prep work. If you ever have to check the account, you just go to http://www.mailinator.com and type in the email address to check. Easy and safe…it is just an inbox, they can’t send mail from it.

I am so impressed by this site, it is so cool! I got hooked, too. If the game is engaging for an adult, it is bound to hold the kids attention!

Wiglingtonandwenks is my favorite online game because you get to explore try on new clothing and help historical people by learning about them. 😀

What a terrific site. Thanks for the tip about the email. Our kids do have their own email accounts set up by the dept, but I like the idea of giving your email address and then you can approve.
Great job yet again Kelly!
PS just checked and it is blocked in NSW DET 🙁

Darn! It is too bad that it is blocked. Do you all have a system in place for getting sites reviewed and unblocked?

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World a useful exampel of an ARG if we were thinking of something along these lines for schoolchildren & LTCs. "How to integrate Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World into the classroom: The rich storyline alone makes this site one to bring into your classroom. Students can do character studies, learn about plot, mystery, and suspense. Use this site to teach your students about environmental issues such as global warming, forest preservation, protection of marine life, and endangered animals. This is an immersive learning environment where your students will learn by doing. As students travel the virtual world, they will learn geography, cultural differences, history, and inventions. Students are encouraged to think creatively to solve the issues facing the world today." (tags: teaching arg example second_life) […]

[…] it is: Wiglington and Wenks is a rich virtual world for kids that I wrote about a few weeks ago here.   This virtual world brings together literature, history, and geography into one amazing learning […]

[…] Read their glowing review from the award-winning education blog iLearnTechnology.com […]

[…] – Glowing Review of Wiglington and Wenks by […]

[…] – Glowing Review of Wiglington and Wenks by […]

[…] “Wiglington and Wenks is so much more than your standard virtual world, it has a rich story line with well developed characters, plot, mystery, and quests.  Students are dropped into the story and invited to participate, learning through exploration, problem solving, and critical thinking.” –  Winner of the Edublog Award 2009 (http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=1802) […]

[…] Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World […]

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