S Glos TeachMeet

S Glos TeachmeetStellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.

It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

Wikisky allows you to imagine yourself viewing the Universe through one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. By changing the scale with your mouse, you can watch the entire sky in one window and receive the detailed images of distant galaxies and nebulas in another. Click on an interesting object and you will get the detailed scientific information about it.

Combine Stellarium and Wikisky and you’re a star! (Sounds like a fascinating cocktail too, eh? Hic!)


Scale of the Universe 2With modern travel making our world a small place (have a look at the side bar of the site to see how “silly” our travels are over the next few weeks) we thought it might be time to reconsider scale. Scale of the Universe 2 is a masterpiece of representation. Take an interactive journey, from the edge of the Universe, down to quantum foam. The universe is pretty big. Probably bigger than you think. Maybe bigger than that, and then a few gnats whiskers bigger. After a pause for a bite to eat, you could probably carry on a bit, and still not reach the edge.

I have worked out an equation for the size of it: E=7.396 œ∑¨+∆˙–π ÷903.45 Or, put simply: 42

The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. They create tools and experiences that help you to become an active explorer and a Web site with over 25,000 pages of content!

“Curiosity and asking questions can lead to amazing moments of discovery, learning, and awareness, and can increase confidence in your ability to understand how the world works. We believe that being playful and having fun is an important part of the process for people of all ages”.

There are many different online elements to explore, from deep sea exploration with The Nautilus, to solar eclipses.

For most of us, science arrives in our lives packaged neatly as fact. But how did it get that way?

Science is an active process of observation and investigation.
Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know? examines that process, revealing the ways in which ideas and information become knowledge and understanding.
In this case study in human origins, we explore how scientific evidence is being used to shape our current understanding of ourselves: What makes us human—and how did we get this way?
The Who are You? section of the Exploratorium is typical of the style of content in that it offers “curated” entry so that content is directed towards particular audiences.
Exploratorium TV is home to the site’s growing collection of videos, webcasts, and podcasts.

Extreme Planet Makeover
QuicktimeVR’s and panoramas are superb tools for stimulating discussion as well. Some of the best can be found at Panoramas.dk, a huge and glorious collection of QTVRs of every landscape and event imaginable.

Don’t forget, stand still, and get the most from a static sight, before you even think about moving.


As big fans of virtual panoramas, such as those to be found at Panoramas.dk, we can also recommend the excellent Arounder, for a collection of panoramas from locations around the world. Great for inspiring talk for writing.

It is important to not forget to take the time to stand still in each Panorama and write or discuss – before you even think about moving. It is the first movement that creates a bit of magic when using these with children.

Don’t forget that you can also make your own panoramas with CleVR, Dermander, Photosynth and others.

360 Cities


Taggalaxy for solar systems of images and words. Epic Citadel, a peaceful medieval landscape, to wonder through, on your iPad, and Epic Citadel Online. Dragon Dictation might be a good way to turn talk in to writing for real.

Padlet creates sticky notes on endless pages. Runkeeper tracks where you’ve been on a school excursion.

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.

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.

A.L.E.X. has proven to be an intriguing step in the programming pathway. It takes the LEFT, STEP, RIGHT, STEP, TURN aspect of control, and adds some superb additional challenges, to negotiate your robot, A.L.E.X., across, sometimes moving, sets of platforms.

This free app, is designed with superb animated style. A.L.E.X. helps you think and plan logically as you program your little character with a sequence of commands to get through each level from start to finish. The lower levels are suitable for children as young as 6 but it’s enjoyable for adults too!

The FREE VERSION includes 25 levels, and a feature to create your own puzzle

The Atlas Robot is a two legged robot that was built primarily for search and rescue tasks. DARPA, the United States Department of Defense, was primarily responsible for its production and design. Oliver Diaz’s digital recreation, in iPad app format, is a fascinating augmented reality experience

Whilst not perfect, you can sequence small movements and it does have a significant wow factor! Print out the AR target, and get Atlas moving!


Powered by Google Earth, and Google Maps, Hypercities is a huge collection of historic, and more modern maps, that can be viewed overlayed upon up to date plans.

HyperCities essentially allows users to go back in time to create and explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive way.

Cities mapped include Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Rome, Lima, Ollantaytambo, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tehran, Saigon, Toyko, Shanghai, Seoul, with more to come.

With @sarahneild returning from an event in Rome, the constantly updating, identifiable, mini planes & data on the FlightRadar24 site were useful in keeping track of the incoming flight. It has other potential uses at school.

It could also be a great way of exploring local, and global, geography. Investigate such elements as links, routes, locations, distances, air space, economies, and travel plans. Might also answer the big question that’s always fascinated me: How many planes are in the air right now?
If It Were My Home .com offers a fantastic chance to compare aspects of life between almost any two countries in the world.

Initially, the site has the US as the default country to compare others to. This is not fixed and you could compare Morocco with Guatemala if you wished.

You are able to see the two countries overlayed on top of each other for comparison of size

To have Great Britain as your base country start HERE

This is a superb tool when carrying out a geography unit, or as a Start-The-Day thought provoking investigation.

Reading the basic information about each country, that the site provides, is also informative.

However, you soon find that it is an incredibly detailed site if you dig deeper than the initial percentage statistics you are given.

Open each tab and a more detailed analysis and description of the data can initiate some real discussion. There is also the chance to see some of the effects of a couple of tragic disasters: the Pakistan Flood and the BP Oil Spill.

In terms of investigating disasters, you might also want to have a look at Larry Ferlazzo’s excellent collection of links about Somalia’s drought and famine.

Ever wondered what, and where, is exactly on the other side of the world from where you live? With zfrank.com’s Earth sandwich tool you can do just that.

Drag one map around, until you have placed the locator above where YOU are, & the other map will scroll into position showing where, if you dug through the globe, you’d end up. For many of us, it would be in the middle of an ocean. Pack goggles as well as your spade!

earth album is a simple, slick Flickr mash-up that allows you to explore some of the most stunning photos in the world courtesy of Google maps and Flickr. To begin your journey, just click somewhere on the map…


The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science360 for iPad provides free, and easy, access to engaging science and engineering images and video.

Spectacular graphics are available, in high res, for download to your iPad. Via wifi, you can enjoy engaging, streaming video on a wide range of topics. Discover more with an in-app news feed.

Pan through content in the unique 360 view or find content via keyword with a simple two finger touch. A single touch, saves pictures & video, in app, to watch again. All round science.


Colours in Culture is an interactive exploration inspired by David McCandless’ Information is Beautiful.

It is fascinating to think that a single colour could denote “love” & “marriage” in one culture, & “death” in another.

Colours are important in communication. Ideas, feelings and emotions can be expressed with a variety of tones and shades. Understanding them is vital. Not paying attention to how a colour is perceived, could result in embarrassing problems, or misunderstandings.
“The Gapminder Foundation is a non-profit venture that makes current data about the world freely available in a format that is accessible, meaningful and dynamic, a kind of modern ‘museum’ on the internet”.

The Gapminder website is free and is a great resource for geography teachers and students. Animated ‘bubble graphs’ show how countries of the world have changed. Change the parameters and so create your own graphs and animations. Endless fascinating explorations.

Gapminder World is an easy to follow guide.

Geocube…… re-inventing the way to discover Geography

Fascinating facts of the world, at your fingertips ~ move the Geocube around with your mouse and investigate the six faces & 54 topics. Four corners of the earth.

Geocube is a free, attractive, virtual and easily accessible online resource that is well worth exploring.

The Zooniverse is home to “the internet’s largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects”. You, and your students, could find out about scientific processes, and contribute to REAL research, whilst you are doing so.

Find out about, and add your own input to, how galaxies form, how galaxies merge, & exploding stars, in Galaxy Zoo. Marvel at explosions on the sun Solar Stormwatch, and in Planet Hunters you can become involved in finding planets around other stars, whilst The Milky Way Project, helps students to discover how stars are formed originally.

Slightly closer to home, can you help identify craters and features on the surface of the moon at the Moon Zoo? Learn more about the Moon, it’s geology, atmosphere, formation & evolution, and our history exploring it. Study the lunar surface in unprecedented detail, and classify images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Help scientists recover worldwide weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I, in Old Weather.org. These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and improve a database of weather extremes. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and the stories of the people on board.

At Ancient Lives.org it is possible to study the lives of ancient Greeks. The data gathered by Ancient Lives helps scholars study the Oxyrhynchus collection. Transcriptions collected digitally are combined with human and computer logic to identify known texts and documents. Transcribe some ancient writing.

Go deeply scientific in the realms of seas with Whale.fm. Did you know that Killer Whales (Orcas, which are actually the largest dolphin species) can talk to each other in quite sophisticated ways? Each family of Killer Whales has its own dialect! You can help categorize sounds in order to understand what whales are saying.
Lunapic is well worth a deeper investigation than just the first page. It is a very easy to use image manipulator. Both fun and useful.

There are many, many different effects that you can add to your image.

I have heated up the Lunapic logo, and the two lads, from one of our events, to the right, are really reflecting on their work. Old movie scratches, rotating cubes of a few images, or even let your image be struck by lightning! The end results can be exported as gifs.
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!

And the other one – ColAR for the dancing Pudsey!