Digital Education Show Launch Evening

The-Digital-Education-Show-UK-2015-Logo-300x126Here are just a few of the things we mentioned at The Digital Education Show launch evening.

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Something we have used for quite a while now, and involve as just one step in the process of bringing worlds alive, with the schools we work alongside, is the wonderful Google Street View Stereographic. This joyous gem makes your very own, free, explorable, mini planets!

Visit your location, in StreetView Stereographic, & then learn to fly, as it is possible to move around within your world.

Just one way remember, but a fantastic stimulus for talk, discussion, talk for writing, and a whole lot more. Fun!

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TagGalaxy was used to create a mini solar system of interrelated vocab, and then images.

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Like many people, we are big fans of Wordle and similar word cloud generators.

Our post on Wordles of Character created a bit of trend, with people from all over the place sending their own, pieces of art.

We have been having fun with students, exploring the magic of Tagxedo, since then.

Tagxedo brings a word-cloud alive. The layout of each cloud can be manipulated to a great level of detail: colour, shape, rotation and more.

When you hover your cursor over a word within that cloud, it spins, and forms a hyperlink to your chosen URL. (The default being a Google search based on that word.

Here is one on the theme of feet. Have fun experimenting.

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String ARTo celebrate the launch of their Augmented Reality technology, String™ have released a showcase ~: String™ Augmented Reality Showcase. Investigate Scrawl, the first world’s first 3D augmented reality drawing app.

ARdragon1Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a dragon flew out of your screen, or out of your wall? Try the AR Dragon.

Download and print the target image for the dragon from here and the target image for the alien here!

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PartakeWe used the Partake augmented reality app to bring the logo alive. Try it with historical artifacts.

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Snappy Words is a bit like InstaGrock, GraphWords, WordSift and Visuwords and has the advantage that you can sometimes double click on a node to dig deeper.

It’s an online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that helps you find the meanings of words and draw connections to associated words. You can easily see the meaning of each piece of vocabulary by simply placing the mouse cursor over it.

Learn how words associate in a visually interactive display. Get ideas to help write content for your blog, article, thesis or simply play with words!

For younger children, Snappy Words shows that words are malleable, playful delights, to be picked up & juggled with. For older students, it beats “right clicking words in Word”!

Type words in the search box and click Go or simply hit Enter. Once the words branch off the main query, you can double click a node to find other related words. To explore the features:

Place the mouse cursor over a word to view the meaning.
Double click a node from the branch to view other related words.
Scroll the mouse wheel over words to zoom in or out. This helps you see more
associations or view words and meanings more clearly.
Click and drag a word or branch to move it around and explore other branches.

Try out GraphWords, WordSift and Visuwords to see which one you find the most useful. Remember that InstaGrock uses the interlinked word and concepts graph, and then allows you to dig in a different way too. But the others focus on the word play and vocabulary aspects more fully.

Snappy Words requires no registration or software installation. All you need is an internet connection and a browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and others). It’s free and fun!

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Back from An Almost Analogue April and, I can tell you, that it isn’t always easy, but it is well worth trying.

How much extra time we took, doing things in an analogue style, was made up for by the amount of time we saved, and used differently, NOT doing things in a digital style.

I have been reading. Yes! Books. (Well half a big grown ups book!) Cycling. Sanding wooden boxes. Talking to people. Cooking. And, Oh so much more… that I won’t bore you with right now.

One of the cheats we did make (and I will confess there have been a few) was a great smart phone app, called RunKeeper.

This is a remarkable gem, and the educational possibilities are many.

RunKeeper, is a smart phone application that enables you to use the built-in GPS in your phone to track all of your outdoor fitness activities, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and path you stumbled along, on a map.

You can store all of your historical activities on the RunKeeper website, and share them with your friends, schoolmates, colleagues, and those back at home who didn’t make it on the school trip!

The screenshot, on the right, is of a run that Sarah did from our house, up to Crook Peak, along the ridge of the Mendip hills, then following The Strawberry Line to Sandford. (No. Not the Sandford in Hot Fuzz! That was filmed in Wells, not far from here though. This Sandford is where Thatchers Cider comes from.)

You can view some incredible detail, such as heights above sea level, and average speed for each mile/km. (Click on the image for an enlarged version).

It is now also available on your iPhone or Android phone, and directly on RunKeeper.com!

RunKeeper is rolling out a new service called RunKeeper Live. Whether you are “heading out to attempt your longest run ever, gearing up for a big race, or just wanting your loved ones to know where you are and that you are safe, now you can enable people to track your outdoor fitness activities live on the web while you are doing them”.

Initially, RunKeeper Live is available exclusively to FitnessReports subscribers.

But, most of the good stuff is available on the free service.

Activity Tracking

RunKeeper uses the GPS technology found in the iPhone 3G/3GS, and other phones, to track your fitness activity,or school expedition.

Personal Dashboard

Store all historical activities on runkeeper.com, where you can keep track of totals and monitor your progress.

Feedback to parents after the school camp midnight hike.

Maps Integration

See the exact path you covered on a map, both on the device and on the RunKeeper website.

Post Geo-Tagged Photos (Pro only)

If you upgrade, you could post geo-tagged photos that will be in inserted on your route where they were posted from. Again, this could be really handy when out on a school trip, either in the country, or when doing the big city sight seeing trip.

Activity Sharing

Share your activities with friends, parents, via email, or by posting them to your favorite social sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

You could then embed a link or map on the school blog and parents could see the progress and activities for the day, with pictures too maybe.

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Useful Pickie 028Spicy Nodes is something I have linked to before, but feel that is well worth further exploration. Present, store, link and group …almost anything.

Text, links, photos, and other media — are placed into “nodes,” which are then linked together in an attractive, interactive interface that invites exploration.

Spicy Nodes allows you to add pieces of information and embed images and youtube videos. These elements can then be linked together as a mind map which, as you click on different ‘nodes’, changes to show all the linked bits and bobs.

One use: a research tool in that children can investigate a particular topic, link, and then expand upon, the information already posted. How about using Spicy Nodes for lesson or topic planning?

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Useful Pickie 027A delightful aspect of Spicy Nodes is that there are many design styles you can manipulate, to make your mind map unique.

You can embed links to external sites as well as create links to existing nodes.

Another use of Spicy Nodes, or any mind map, can be to present a non-linear argument or debate – opening up aspects, as they are needed, to add an argument to a group’s standpoint. Powerful.

These dancing, malleable, interactive collections of thoughts, notes, headings, and more, can be viewed and manipulated full screen, and embedded into other sites.