I have returned (and recovered) from Summer Institute 2017! I had such an amazing time, and I’ll be reflecting further in my next post. For now, I want to talk about our technology exploration Tuesday afternoon!
Before institute, I posted an overview of the 10 technology tools we’d get to experience and they were all new for me. The three I wanted to get to know most were: Google Expeditions, littleBits, and Aurasma.
Before I revisit the questions I had before my technology exploration, I want to mention that as impressed as I was with all of these expensive high tech tools, I was equally impressed with the other hands on and interactive activities that were available and my favorite activity was a pixelated post-it note lion. I’ll touch on this more in my reflection.
As always, keep reading for more!
Is it possible to use Aurasma without a smart phone?
If students don’t have access to a smart phone, you can swap in an iPad and while I haven’t used it first hand – there is a web based Aurasma studio.
How easy (or difficult) is it to teach students to use this app?
I’ll admit, I chose to explore Aurasma because when I tried it – I just didn’t get it. Here’s what I learned. The presenter had sample presentations and I found that by using her account, we could see specific student projects BECAUSE they were private. This is great. Not that I expect people to wander around searching for Auras, but I do think it’s important to protect the privacy of our students.
When you pointed the camera at the picture a video of the student popped up with their presentation – it was really amazing to see in action. Having experienced that, I think with a seasoned pro, it wouldn’t be difficult to show students how to use the app and for classroom purposes, it might be better to use an iPad instead of a smart phone, so access wouldn’t be an issue.
Is there a way to use Aurasma that could benefit English Language Learners by creating auras with content in their native language?
Absolutely! I think this would be a great activity to help English Language Learners and the possibilities are endless. However, an alternative would be using a QR code which may be less time consuming.
How hard is it to create your own google expedition and is it possible to modify an existing expedition?
While I know there are teams of people that work on this, I don’t believe your average person can create an expedition. Nor can you modify an existing expedition. However, there are thousands available in the database with more being added all the time.
Could students act as guides on a google expedition? For example, I think it would be amazing for some of our English language learners to be able to show their city or country.
Yes! They could serve as the guide! Anyone can take on that role. However, it may be better to have the teacher be the guide with a student adding information in this type of situation.
Would it be better to allow students to explore freely or start with a specific project?
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here. It may depend on the student. Students may need instructions on the functions of each color, but there are some students I’d just set free to explore, much like we did last Tuesday.
Could littleBits serve as an introduction to coding?
One thousand times, yes. This is a great way to start students begin to use their computational thinking skills. Each little bit is color coded based on it’s function: power, control, action.
How could littleBits be used in a high school math classroom?
While I was REALLY looking for a way to tie this into my own geometry classroom, I think it would be worth looking at as an introduction to coding before doing a geometry related Hour of Code.