Fancy a quick class trip to see the Pyramids without all the paperwork? Giza 3D is a historically accurate, in-depth recreation of the great pyramids which you can access from your classroom on your Interactive Whiteboard.
Built by Dassault Systemes, the people who created the 3D Paris Tour, the site lets you go on guided, interactive tours through ten different areas of the Giza plateau — allowing you to wander the necropolis, explore shafts and burial chambers, and enter four of the site’s ancient temples, including Khufu’s and Menkaure’s pyramids. With full control over the camera, you can fly in and out of different regions at will, and click on objects for more info.
Each area also contains an object gallery and photo gallery, as well as a link to a database of relevant documents.
The site’s creators have worked with real archaeologists to ensure that the models are as accurate as possible.
If you are teaching Ancient Egypt, then this is well worth a look. Visit Giza 3D Here.Read More
Let me introduce you to Whimsy. He’s my new SmartBoard pointer from a company called SmartMoves. A SmartMove pointer is a cute, cartoon character on the end of a coloured stick. I wrote about them a few weeks ago, and have now got my hands on a SmartMove of my own to try out.
Whimsy has been very popular at the training sessions I’ve taken him to. He works well on the Smartboard. I was worried that the end would feel too heavy, but it’s not really an issue. The soft back slides across the whiteboard very well.
I was also a little worried about durability, but he’s spent a few weeks in my laptop bag and nothing has fallen off yet. He seems to be pretty robust.
Teachers in primary or special schools have often come up with ingenious ways of helping their children to reach items on the SmartBoard. I have seen drum beaters being used, paint brushes and wooden hands. In special schools I have also seen tennis balls being used with children who can’t hold a regular pen.
Take a look at the Smart Moves website and see what you think.
The Extreme Collaboration beta add-on for SMART Notebook 11 brings student collaboration from mobile devices to the SMART Board so students can text ideas to a single SMART Notebook page using an iPad, iPod or Laptop. In fact you can use any device with a web enabled browser.
The extreme collaboration plug in has obvious uses for class brainstorming – collecting ideas from the class, random polling of opinions, language work, question/answer etc. It’s perfect for a “Bring your own device” classroom, or one where there are class sets of iPod touches or iPads. The plugin goes onto the teacher machine, the children just need to open a web browser to contribute to the lesson.
Here’s a short video I’ve put together that shows how the collaboration features work in practice:
I should note that I’ve been given access to the additional features, which lets me upload images amongst other things. I think the version you’ll download at present doesn’t have that feature.
For some ideas on how this is being used in a class, take a look at this blogpost from Mr Orr’s class webpage from the Halton District School Board, Ontario. He’s got some great ideas there. I like the idea of the students drawing diagrams, then photographing them and sending the images up onto the board at the front of the class.
If you’ve used it, and have some other ideas on how it can be used, let me know in the comments!Read More
Billed as “A time-travel through more than 2000 years of history: discover Paris’ most famous monuments” Paris 3D provides a virtual tour of many of the landmarks of Paris, and lets you see how the city has developed since its Roman conquest in 52 BC right up to the present day.
Users can take guided tours from the 3D Paris website here or on the accompanying iPad app. A small plugin is needed for your web browser, but installing it should be relatively simple. The site and the app are both completely free.
Through the website you can witness the construction of the Bastille and Notre Dame, navigate through winding stone streets in the middle ages and visit the 1889 World’s Fair to see the appearance of the Eiffel Tower.
The Paris 3D website has been painstakingly built over 2 years by a team at Dassault Systemes, and they will continue to add more buildings and items over the coming years, again all free. Many of the monuments – such as the Bastille – no longer exist in the real world, so this site offers a great way to explore them as they would have looked.
This site would definitely be of interest for History or Modern Language teachers. The site can be explored in both English and French language versions.
It could also be of interest for Literacy lessons as a stimulus for storytelling and descriptive writing in the same way that apps such as Epic Citadel has been used by some teachers.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
Disclosure : I was taken to Paris yesterday to visit Dassault Systemes HQ and to receive a demonstration of the Paris 3D website.
Who is your favourite scientist? That’s the question film-maker Brady Haran has posed to leading researchers at Nottingham Trent University. They came up with an assortment of men and women from the past and present ranging from household names to unsung heroes.
The nominations have then been filmed and animated as short YouTube videos on the My Favourite Scientist website.
This site would be very useful for introducing the story of real scientists, and how science works, into the curriculum.
It’s a fun site, check it out at www.favscientist.comRead More
Teachers in primary or special schools have often come up with ingenious ways of helping their children to reach items on the SmartBoard. I have seen drum beaters being used, paint brushes and wooden hands. In special schools I have also seen tennis balls being used with children who can’t hold a regular pen. Since the SmartBoard responds to touch, all these items work really well.
A new accessory to join this list is something called a SmartMove. These are cute, cartoony characters on the end of a coloured stick. They look fun, and I can see them working really well in primary / elementary classrooms.
I haven’t tried one out yet, but am hoping to get my hands on one. When I do, I’ll put a proper review here.
Do take a look at the Smart Moves Pointer website and see what you think.Read More
For those who attended TeachMeet Essex this evening (and those who didn’t but who are interested, here’s the links and files from the talk I gave.
The Magic Paper idea was one that always goes down well. Here’s a quick video to show how to make it:
If you want a copy of the notebook file I used, you can get it from the links below.
Smart Notebook 11 Version : Download here
Promethean ActivInspireVersion : Download here
If you use the files, I’d love to hear how they went. If you do adapt them for your own subject, please let me know what you did – I’d be interested in having a copy. It’s always good to get ideas from other subjects.
All my resources are covered by a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.
And a subtle plug – if you ever want training sessions on how to make these kind of resources – please get in touch. I’m happy to travel around the UK and can go further afield if dates allow. Contact me for more information.Read More
Games add a new way to captivate students and help them learn in a manner that’s meaningful for them. The already excellent BrainPOP UK have taken this on board, and added gaming to their repertoire through GameUp UK – their new gaming area.
GameUp UK matches high quality BrainPOP content with great learning games – their resources underpin the learning and the associated games actively engage students and extend the learning. From what I can see you don’t need to be a BrainPOP subscriber to access the games (although I do suggest you look into getting an account with them, as their resources are pretty good).
You can find out more about GameUp UK, and get some very good advice on incorporating gaming in education, on the BrainPOP UK Blog.
Take a look at GameUp UK and see what you think! http://www.brainpop.co.uk/games/Read More
Yesterday I spent a rather fun day delivering Interactive Whiteboard training to some of the Education staff from English Heritage in the rather impressive surroundings of Wrest Park Estate. While there I was reminded about their range of IWB resources that they’ve put onto Promethean Planet, and I thought I’d share here in case you haven’t seen them.
English Heritage National Monuments Record (NMR) have produced a range of interactive resources taken from their Heritage Explorer website. If you haven’t seen their Heritage Explorer site, it lets you search their database of over 9,000 images and find curriculum related resources, for all key stages, to use or adapt for their pupils. The resources are in .flp format so should open in ActivStudio/Primary as well as ActivInspire.
The resources will be of interest to KS2 and Ks3 teachers looking for History resources.
As well as the flipcharts, English Heritage NMR have also supplied a sample of free images relating to the same topic areas. The remainder of the images can be downloaded direct from the Heritage Explorer site.
The following resources are available :
Promethean Resource Packs
You can access the English Heritage resources here, and all the other partner resources on Promethean Planet can be found here.Read More