On the twelfth day of Techmas: Bloxels, a hands on platform for kids to build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game creation
Bloxels has been the biggest hit in our MakerSpace!
Bloxels is a hands-on platform for kids to build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game creation. Students can use colored blocks to design their characters and settings to tell their own amazing stories! The game board is scanned using the free iPad app to make the creation come to life! This engaging classroom tool is transforming learning off the paper and putting it in the hands of students. Imagine designing a scientific process, a historical location, or even a story about yourself! The possibilities are endless!
If you create an educator account, you have access to the educator hub with lesson plans and activities. Also, for every kit you order, you receive student accounts so that students can login and save their work.
Check out the Bloxels EDU website for more information and how to purchase your own kit!
What is Google Spotlight Stories?
This app puts the reader in the middle of a growing number of virtual reality stories and demonstrates new possibilities for interactive storytelling. Each of the stories is a 360 video experience to be viewed within a VR viewer or on a device or screen. Users are prompted to download a story before reading for easy repeat access. Among the elementary stories are The Windy Day, Buggy Night and Duet. The reader focuses attention on the scene, with the story adjusting and presenting a personalized experience.
Don't have the ability to use this as an app? That's ok! It's on YouTube as well!
What is GooseChase?
GooseChase is an educational scavenger hunt for the 21st century! It blends the traditional approach of a scavenger hunt with mobile technology to create a fun and engaging learning experience.
What can you do in the game?
Start a game and add missions! Missions can be to take a photo/video, text an answer, or add a GPS location. Students complete the missions to earn points!
Once the GooseChase is active, participants are able to see the missions to be completed, view the leaderboard, and see what the other teams have submitted in the Activity Feed. After the game has been completed, submissions can be reviewed as a class or individually. The leaderboard keeps score so that the teacher can recognize the winners at the end if they choose to.
What can you do?
Ideas for the classroom:
What are BookSnaps?
A BookSnap is simply a digital, visual representation used to annotate and share reflections of any excerpt of a book or text.
If you are anything like me, you are always trying to find ways to balance motivating students to read while also challenging them to think deeper about their text. I love, love, love #BookSnaps because it helps students visualize their thoughts about their reading, makes reading more social and interactive, and helps students use technology beyond a consumption tool. Technology can be used with purpose and you can still have fun learning!
Why use BookSnaps?
Creating BookSnaps is a SNAP!
*SnapChat - The original creator of #BookSnaps used SnapChat to take a picture of the text, used Bitmojis, the text generator, etc. to emphasize her thoughts about the text. This can be a pretty powerful tool to use and show high school students SnapChat and social media can be used for more than just poop pictures.
*Buncee - It's no secret that I love Buncee! When I read this blog about how to use #BookSnaps with Buncee, I was blown away again by how amazing this tech tool is. The best part is you can use this within the Google Classroom platform or SeeSaw, making this so much easier for students to share their work.
*Book Creator app on iPads - If you have iPads available, the Book Creator app is completely free and well worth the effort to install on the iPads. While it may take students thinkering a bit to get used to the ins and outs of the tool, this is a great option to create #BookSnaps in the elementary or middle school setting. I've used Book Creator for all sorts of projects in middle, but had never thought about using it for #BookSnaps until this blog post. For the social media aspect, I recommend students sharing their creations with you and then posting through a generic library Instagram or Twitter account students can follow as most social media platforms are for 13 years of age and up.
*Instagram or Facebook allows for you to create "stories" where you can create BookSnaps, post to your live feed, and has the option to save the image/video for later.
*Students can post their #BookSnaps to Padlet (love the collaborative element here where students can interact with other classmates's thoughts), SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Edmodo, and more.
Example Lesson: Google Slides Template Document Analysis
On the sixth day of Techmas: VoiceIn Voice Typing, a speech recognition extension to be able to read on ANY website!
Get the extension here.
On the fifth day of Techmas: Webcam Record,a quick & easy way to make 30-90 second videos that are automatically saved to your Google Drive!
Download the extension here.
Quiver Vision is awesome!
Quiver Vision is a favorite tool of mine for its' ability to include augmented reality in a simple way in your classroom. I use it every year for International Dot Day as well as for reading promotion events. During our International Dot Day event at school this year, several teachers approached me about having never heard of Quiver Vision before. In case you have not heard of it either, this is for you!
What is it?
Quiver allows you to take your coloring to the next level with augmented reality! There are so many options through the Quiver Vision website you print off for your students to color and then use the iPad app to use the augmented reality component. Hold the iPad above the picture to see it come to life!
The app is available for free for the Google Play store, App Store, and Amazon.
What can you do?
I suggest using the Quiver Education app for added components like being able to record audio over the app. When using the app, students can also record themselves speaking along with the process of scanning the coloring page and it has the option to download the video! Appsmashing wtih Flipgrid can help make this experience into an opportunity for deeper learning and collaboration.
Social Studies/ELA: There are TONS of holiday ideas for Quiver. Try printing off the Christmas Tree coloring page. While students are learning about how different countries celebrate Christmas or the holidays, have students record a video using the Quiver app to explain what the most eye-opening or neatest tradition that they learned was. Students can then upload the videos to Flipgrid in order to create a whole class compilation of what they learned. Share it with parents on your weekly newsletter or through Seesaw. You can also use this for students to share what some of their own holiday traditions are! Virtual holiday cards to military.
Science: The volcano and the cell have the 3D experience that users love about Quiver but they also contain an added bonus, a quiz@ You can view the image as you colored it, but you can also be quizzed on parts of the volcano or the cell. The app asks you to identify a feature and gives you a selection of choices to tap. If you tap the wrong one, it shows the correct one. It is a fun way to check on progress.
Math: PI Day in March would be an awesome day to use Quiver!
The ideas are endless with this app and it's educational components.
On the third day of Techmas: Classroom Screen, a one-stop shop for all your interactive board needs!
Classroom Screen: What is it?
Classroom Screen will change your life! With over 10 useful widgets that you can project on the screen at the same time, makes this tech tool a one-stop shop for essential tools teachers always use. With Classroom Screen, teachers no longer have to visit multiple sites in order to launch different tools such as timer, name picker, notepad, etc. at the same time.
How does it work?
What can it do?
One of my favorite features of Classroom Screen is the ability to conduct a digital exit poll. Simply type a question at the top and have students walk by your board or computer and tap/click on the smiley face that represents their feelings about the question.