Monday, August 30, 2010

Pop-up Book--Virtually!

Create virtual pop-up books with your students today! ZooBurst is a new entry into the digital storytelling tool store designed for even young students to create their own customized pop-up books. Teachers across the country are starting to use this product with students in both lower and upper elementary grades. The product is free, but it does require that users fill out a simple request form.  No waiting though, your acceptance is immediate.

Use ZooBurst with your students to create a pop-up book of their first week of school.  Work collaboratively to write a book to share a demonstration of science lab procedures.  Would you like everyone to know how well your class demonstrates hallway, classroom, and cafeteria expectations?  Show it with a virtual book.  Work together to summarize a story or nonfiction piece of text.  Upload your own photos or use the program's free clip art and create one of your 10 free books as you write together using your projector so that the class can share a view of your computer's screen.

This video by eduTeacher takes you through the steps of using ZooBurst.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visuwords: Online Graphical Dictionary

Here's an online dictionary and thesaurus with a twist.  Visuwords provides a web-like structure to show students the many connections words have that are sometimes missed in a classic dictionary format.  All they have to do is type a word into the search field.  The result is a web-like structure with the word in the center and nodes generated from the word.  Each node will have a different connection to the word with visual cues in the key on the left hand side to show how the connection is related, whether it's showing similarities, parts of speech, derivations, etc.  Hover the mouse over a node, and a definition will appear.

This site is probably best suited for intermediate grades because it is completely text based.  Most of these students will probably be able to manipulate the graphics with ease and discover connections on their own as they "play".  Try this new, more visual way to look at the words we use.