eTwinning Camp 2011 – Budapest: Switchzoo + Camelephantelopelicanaries!

| March 30, 2011 | 1 Comment 

Wow! What a way to end the first day here in Budapest and the eTwinning Conference and Camp. Over 100 weary travellers voyaged with us into the world of fantasy creatures. In groups who had never met each other before and didn’t speak the same language, they made a Camelephantelopelicanary or other fantasy animal, in an analogue buzz of brilliance.

Tired, but up for it, these students were. I whizzed through a few digital things including some of our Wild Earth African Safari and Wii experiences, and many other sites. (More to follow at the conference tomorrow).

Thank you to Annick Van de Velde, and Christina Crawley, eTwinning Central Support Service “people who you always can ask questions”, and  Klaudia Tvergyak, from the Hungarian eTwinning National Support Service, (and others) for being so dynamic, yet calm, in organising the whole eTwinning camp.

I am grateful to my dad, for introducing me to the idea of mixed up animals.

I have had some great fun with classes designing composite animals, drawing them and coming up with some poems., or fascinating facts.

I told this group about my “pet” Camelephantelopelicanary, a cross between many exotic animals:

A Camelephantelopelicanary’s a strange and wonderful thing

The bits of its body are really quite shoddy so he’s all held together with string

Discovered, they say, on the first day of May by an explorer out wandering the Nile

The first thing he noted was the fact that it floated and its face was all covered in smile.

Then we had a go at making some!!

We had a go at creating our own mythiclamysticalmuddle.

The idea, today, was to do it in a face to face and messy way and, therefore, meet their digital friends, in an analogue styleeeeeeeee.

Well done all!

Some amazing results we’ll have a look at tomorrow, at the conference.

The students were amazed, amused and bemused by the mixed up animals HERE too.

But.. even happier when they saw they could make their own with Swithcheroo Zoo.

Switcheroo Zoo (a.k.a. Switch Zoo) started as a small project. They were playing around with the idea of making new animals by switching their parts.

At first, the zoo had just nine animals, and it was the only attraction on the website. Today, there are 142 species in Switch Zoo, and the site features animal games, music performed using animal voices, a reference section about all of the animals in Switch Zoo, lesson plans, and poetry, stories and artwork created by students and visitors.

When you arrive at the zoo page, a green screen with a time-bar will display while the zoo is being downloaded, the entrance scene will appear and you’ll hear the Switch Zoo Animal Orchestra singing.

Build an Online HabitatBuild an Online Habitat
Students match animals to the environment best suited for their survival. A compatibility meter and a thermometer help evaluate the environment.

entranceWhere Do I Live?
This animal geography game will challenge your students’ knowledge as they move the animals to their natural homes. Students can use the Animal Homing Device to see the answer for animals they can’t locate.

Switch Zoo – Make New Animals
Visitors to this unique zoo make their own new creatures by switching the animals’ heads, legs and tails. While students play, they can read facts about each of the animals that comprise their new beast. Visit the lesson plans section for classroom ideas.

Your students can learn more about the animals in Switch Zoo by reading their Profiles in the Resources section.

gold handBe sure you don’t miss any of the features in Switch Zoo! — Click the gold hand on the fence to open the hidden How to Play panel and find out about everything you can do in the zoo. Or you can click here to read How to Play before entering the zoo.


Click the button for the animal that you want to use as your primary animal. This choice will determine what body your new animal will have, as well as its environment. Click the Animal List button to see a list of all the animals in Switch Zoo. By clicking an icon in the list, you can make the new animal and go to a new habitat at the same time.

Category: 1) Events and Training days, 2) Useful n Interesting

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  1. annie Gwynn says:

    Dear Tim,
    I’m just back from Budapest … and guess what, I am going to have a go at Switcheroo zoo with my pupils …
    Thanks for inspiring us with such great ideas!

    best regards,

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