Fun Online Activities for You and Your Students
Technology and learning have evolved in more ways than we can imagine. These tools have become available to make teaching fun and engaging. As our lives become more interconnected with technology, we need to know how to maximize these resources to our advantage. Here are a few ways to integrate smart technology in lesson plans.
The iPad as a Virtual Museum
The iPad can be used to go on virtual museum tours. View works of arts, explore artifacts, and even travel the world while still in the classroom. An example of this was used by Miss Monica Mitchell, 5 th grade teacher at Albert Harris Elementary School. Miss Mitchell takes her students on virtual tours to provide additional references to the current lesson. She worked together with Claire Hargreaves, an employee of Royal Navy Museum who took the class on a virtual tour of the museum. She showed them artifacts using an iPad and just like an actual museum tour experience, the students discovered amazing facts, stories and trivia. They were also able to ask Ms. Hargreaves questions about the things they saw.
You can check out this YouTube clip below for a sample virtual tour app in action:
Boost Creativity with Kerpoof
Enhancing your student's creativity is another essential part of learning. Kerpoof is an online creativity center where teachers and students can let their imaginations and creativity play. It assists students in creating original characters, making props and putting them in scenes just like a director of their very own movie. So how do you go about this activity?
- Be sure to go to the teacher area of Kerpoof . Research and learn marvelous lessons and ideas for using this tool in the classroom.
- This tool can be used as a publishing center for the whole class where they can showcase their individual stories through illustrations or even a movie. The Kerpoof website also gives students information and tutorials to develop their movie making skills which is a good prequel to an iMovie lesson.
- Kerpoof can be utilized to deliver lessons on character education. You can group your students in teams and have them come up with stories or movies which involve emotions and ways on solving problems. It can also be used to teach science by using this tool to illustrate the life cycle of living things.
- Kerpoof can be used for individual activities between the student and teacher; therefore, it should be utilized ideally in a computer lab room of your school. If you'd like to utilize this in the classroom, you can use a projector so the whole class can get engaged in creating a continuous story.
- Each student can have their own personal logins so they can revisit their creations another time. Be sure to give them adequate time to allow interactions with one another by sharing their works and exchanging ideas.
Augmenting the Fun Factor with Augmented Reality Apps
Lately, more and more educators are discovering the potential of augmented reality apps. In fact, some pre-K teachers are using augmented reality apps to help their students with their counting and sight word activities. These apps give a child access to direct instructions, are easy to use, and keep students engaged in their tasks for longer periods of time. Fetch! Lunch Rush and AR Flashcards are just some of the augmented reality tools that they can use in the classroom.
As John Dewey once said, "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow. Kids will enjoy their lessons more if it were placed in the context of play. Let technology help bring back the fun in the classroom.
- Familiarize yourself with the device and the application that you will be using. Know its features and specs so your activity will go smoothly.
- Check the available internet connection in your school and see if it is compatible with your iPad.
For more information on the educational value of the iPad, we suggest you follow this link on how you can fully maximize this technology.
Allie Cooper is a smartphone enthusiast and active volunteer for education campaign for Thinkfinity.org and O2's The Blue. She is currently in Southeast Asia, helping students learn more about technology. Aside from these, she is also a certified beach lover and has visited various destinations including Phuket, Thailand. Follow her on Twitter .