Angry Birds at School

I came across these Angry Birds websites last week and forwarded them on to our Head of Physics. She was very excited about them – anything to engage boys more with Physics – and said they had made her day.

The Physics of Angry Birds (Rhett Allain)

Angry Birds in the Physics Classroom (Frank Noschese/Michael Magnuson)

Introducing Projectile Motion Using Angry Birds (John Burke)

Angry Birds and Physics (Peter Kupfer)

So, what is it that makes Angry Birds (a game where you use a slingshot to shoot birds to destroy green pigs) successful in the classroom?  According to this  SmashApp post, there are a lot of things teachers could learn from Angry Birds to make their lessons more interesting, and to make learning more engaging:

  • Mix simplicity and challenge – just the right amounts at just the right time,
  • Allow trial and error learning, then reward with mastery,
  • Think visually – visualize everything.

Angry Birds and Books

(Image & information from:
http://blog.smashapp.com/2011/04/01/3-simple-things-teachers-could-learn-from-angry-birds/
)

Similarly, Josselin Perrus writes that Angry Birds, not generally considered a serious game, successfully meets the challenges of being both engaging and educational. It teaches mechanics – forces, acceleration, parabolas and centre of mass – while at the same time encouraging a player to learn from failure and become successful.

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

LibGuides for Libraries

Library Home PageI first heard about LibGuides on a blog post from Camilla Elliot, where she used the Victorian State Library’s Bushfire LibGuide as an example. In the months that followed I heard about other libraries using LibGuides, and finally requested a trial myself.  Once I started uploading content and creating the guides I was hooked!

LibGuides are an incredibly easy way to create a professional-looking library web page, and at BGS we have used LibGuides to create our Library homepage. We have then linked to other guides from that page, as well as to our Library blog (The Pulse) and our Reading blog (The Gathering). There are multiple options for customizing pages, as you can see if you go to the LibGuides Community site and look at how other schools and universities have set up their pages. Gulf Oil Spill Information Centre, by University of South Florida Libraries, is a good example to start with to see the amount of information that can be included in a guide.

LibGuides are made up of a number of boxes or ‘widgets’ on a page into which you can put specific types of content, depending on which style of box you choose – eg text and images, RSS feeds, books from your catalogue, video clips, lists of websites. The size of the columns on a page can be easily altered, and you can rearrange boxes on a page or move them to a different page. You can also copy an existing box onto another page or copy an existing page into another guide.

Once a guide has been set up, you can add pages which sit along the top as tabs, or you can add subpages to any of those pages. We have set up our Assignment Help guides as a separate guide for each year level and subject, and under those a page for each unit or topic. Within each topic we can then add subpages according to the requirements of each assignment.

It is very easy to set up other people as editors or guide creators, which means that other staff and teachers can also be creating guides and adding content to existing guides. We pay for an extra module which allows us to upload our own images and this has been a good choice, as we can make our guides much more visual.

If you would like to trial LibGuides, email the very helpful staff at Springshare.

iPads in Education

iPad-OldSchool vs NewAge

Photo illustration by Dan Leitao/The Mirror

Last week I went to a great PD session on iPads organised by the School Library Association Brisbane sub-committee.

Judy Peacock, Learning and Study Support Coordinator at QUT Library, spoke about how she and her staff are using iPads in the QUT libraries to teach students how to plan, mind map, and organise their time and research. Dale Lopez, ICT Coordinator at Redlands College and Andrew Starke, Head of Library at TSS, also spoke about the implementation of iPads into their schools.

Now that iPads are becoming more common, many schools are choosing to select them for student use instead of laptops, and Redlands College has given one each to their Year 9 and 11 students (see the Redlands iPad Programme Portal), while Year 12 students at TSS are expected to borrow an iPad from the library at the start of the year.

At QUT, students can book a 25 minute session with one ot the Library staff members, and they find the iPad an ideal user-friendly device for easily showing students how to organise their time, notes, resources, group members and tasks.

Judy’s reccomended apps are:

Priority Matrix – organise your time with this ToDo list ($3.99)

iThoughtsHD – a mindmapping tool for iPads and iPhones ($12.99)

Popplet – for sorting and grouping ideas (free)

Evernote – capture everything in one cross-device platform (free)

Speak It – convert text to speech ($2.49)

Prezi – a different way to present (free)

Pocket Cloud – remote to your desktop from your iPad (free)


Articles

An iPad a day gives students an A!  http://fairfieldmirror.com/2010/02/03/an-ipad-a-day-gives-students-an-a/

Private school hands out 105 iPads to students  http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/09/private-school-hands-out-105-ipads-to-pupils/

Ushering iPads into the classroom  http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/10/13/ushering-ipad-into-the-classroom.aspx


Useful Websites

Victorian Education Dept http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/support This has useful downloadable or PDF booklets for students and teachers.

Cybraryman’s iPad User Guide  http://www.cybraryman.com/ipad.html

Blog – Reihler Blog http://www.riehler.com/tag/ipad-apps/

Blog – Apps in Education http://appsineducation.blogspot.com/

YouTube  – using the ipad in the classroom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFnWoEGWCVY

Ning – iPads in Education – http://ipadeducators.ning.com/

Wiki – Teach with Your iPad http://teachwithyouripad.wikispaces.com/

Free iPad Childrens’ ebooks – http://www.epubbud.com/

The best apps, accessories and tips for iPads – including entertainment, music

Web 2.0 for the Classroom – Wiki

Web 2.0 for the Classroom WikiI’ve just come across this website from my Google Alerts, and what a great find! http://web20fortheclassroom.wikispaces.com/

This is an online learning course, presented in a wiki, and developed by Sherri Miller, an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Gloucester County Public Schools.

There are 9 modules which you can work your way through at your own pace, investigating  some sites in depth, and exploring others as needed. It’s also a site you can recommend to teachers at your school if they are looking for ideas for integrating technology into their lessons.  The list of topics is below, but the Site Map gives the complete overview of all the pages.

What I particularly like about this wiki is that firstly Sherri gives examples of how the different web 2.0 tools can be used to enhance learning in the classroom, and secondly she lists her favourite tools/applications, giving you the option to try first the ones she has used and recommended.

Teacher girl computer

Image from http://web20fortheclassroom.wikispaces.com/