Improving Liveability

Today on my way to school I was brainstorming ideas for my year 7 class. I hear you say but i have written a whole course for the Australian curriculum available in iBooks full of activities and information plus an iTunesU course. This is true and it is awesome if i do say so myself. Using information technology to enhance and engage students, challenging learners to think creatively, apply Geographical knowledge while cooperating with their peers and communicating their understanding and learning with a range of techniques. All true but today after finishing our fieldwork report and seeing how hard my students were working I felt it was important to get into the field and apply our knowledge from the fieldwork to improve liveability in the area.

So next week my Year 7 classes will be going to Ringwood Lake where we will be exploring ways to improve or change the park to improve or enhance liveability.

What activities will the students complete?
Lesson 1 –
Task 1: In groups Students will have a blank map of the lake and
in their groups they walk around the Lake and identify locations:

Where there is: high use / low use

They will also complete a table about the uses of the park Task 2. identifying if the recreation is passive or active and on the map note Where there is: Passive and Active recreation is located.

Students will use either highlighter of coloured pencils to identify these tasks on a paper maps or on iPads they will complete the same tasks using Skitch for the maps and Noteability or Pages for the table.

Lesson 2 –

Task 3: In their groups students will use Map 2 with 9 locations identified they will complete a table about who uses this park and on their maps identify and observe what areas various groups and ages use?

Task 4: Students will also rate the facilities of the park using a table and exploring the different areas of the park.

Task 5: Students will discuss and then identify on their maps areas they would classify as needing change to improve liveability. They will also identify areas that you would classify as meeting the liveability needs of the users.

Lesson 3 and 4 –

Task 6: Choose 1 location from map 3 to improve or enhance liveability.

Identify what, how and where you would change.

Who does this improve liveability for? (Which users)

If the area was changed it could improve or enhance liveability for all users or would it make it less liveable for some users?

Why are these changes needed in order to improve liveability?

Here the resources i created today if your interested in doing something similar in your local area.

Here are my maps for the students:

map-1

map-2-locations

map-3

Here are the tables for the students to complete:

table-1

table-2

table-3

GTAV 2016 conference links and presentation

To play Kahoot – https://kahoot.it/

Todaysmeet – https://todaysmeet.com/GTAV2016

Padlet – https://padlet.com/Raff/GTAV2016

TO create QR codes –http://www.qrstuff.com/

Bookwidgets – and

Twitter – https://twitter.com/

conference tweets – https://twitter.com/search?vertical=default&q=%23gtav2016&src=tyah

and https://twitter.com/search?q=%23gtavconf&src=tyah

and other tweets for Geography teachers https://twitter.com/hashtag/geographyteacher?src=hash

Classtools.net …… Powerful creation tools

Classtools.net is a gold mine of templates that teachers and students can use to create interactive engaging and fun learning materials. Teachers can use them to create revision and learning tasks and students can use the templates to show their understanding and apply their knowledge in different ways.

Here are some french games I created in about 10 minutes.

I am using the random name picker for choosing which student is to present next. You could use it for who is the next student to ask or answer a questions or even group students.

How easy is classtools to use? It’s very quick and easy to use once you have the questions / answers or content you wish to use to create your activity.

Step 1: Select your template

Step 2: insert your information e.g.

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which will look like this when filled in:

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Step 3: Click create where you will be asked to give a password so you can edit the quiz later if you wish.

Step 4: Your quiz will be created and you are able to share or edit it

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With the arcade option i chose for this revision task there are many options for the students to play.

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Step 5. Share with your learners – you can do this by embedding the quiz, giving a QR code, or give a url / web link.

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To create the Pacman embedded above. I filled in the template

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pleased create and gave a password so i could edit it

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then it is ready to play :)

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Disappointingly learners need flash for some of the older templates on their device to play the quizzes and materials created :( PacMan, Spinning Wheel, Asteroids and many more work on the iPads which is fantastic.

Remember teachers can create but so can your students use this site to create materials that you can then use and reuse! With the students url and password ( perhaps the class could use the same one!) then you can take the best parts of each students and create a comprehensive quiz for your next class or the next year!

Videoscribe and voice over ….

Using videoscribe you can create a very effective engaging video.

Videoscribe is fantastic a huge ever expanding whiteboard that you can add text, images, sound and voice to with a difference! A hand draws, writes or moves the images and text onto the whiteboard canvas. Learn more about how to make a video scribe with videoscribe’s youtube channel

Here are some examples of me combining videoscribe with a text to speech voice over. I used final cut pro to add my voice over in and create these videos. After exporting my videoscribe video and creating the voice over from text-to-speech i was able to splice the audio files to match up with the visuals to create movies that flowed. I found doing the voice over in videoscribe challenging as you couldn’t see the video as you narrated.

Example 1

Example 2

Here is my water cycle videocreated in videoscribe without the voice over.

See what a difference my voice makes with my explanation of the water cycle using the video scribe video and adding in my audio track using final cut pro.

Why do you live where you do? Here is a video scribe asking students to discover the answer to this question. Which is more effective voice or not?

without voice:

With voice:

I love videoscibe it is an excellent tool to use to engage students and students love it too. Fun and easy to use and effective. You can use it to:
communicate differently to your learners,
explain a concept,
have students show their understanding of a topic,
make a task come to life instead of giving another sheet,
transform something old and give it new life,
breakdown a difficult concept,
users can explain, explore and elaborate on ideas,
brainstorm,
show understanding and explain relationships,
show similarities and differences in unique ways,
tell a story,
create a poem,
really almost anything is possible with video scribe especially when teamed with voice over. I found it easier and less time consuming to use the text to speech site as finding a quite area to record my voice was challenging! Give it a try you won’t regret it :)

Voice overs

How cool is this website http://www.fromtexttospeech.com/ easily turning text into speech for students who don’t wish to use their own voice or want something a little different. Girls who want a male voice or boys that want a female voice this website is super easy to use – type your text in, choose your voice and then download the audio file. Alternatively students could use http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php or my old favorite http://www.voki.com/ where you can hear the voice over but are limited by the amount of text you can input. You will then need to use another program to record the voice while you play it back.

here is an example of how students used from text to speech webiste

Some new Minecraft seeds

Well it has been a while but here are some tested Minecraft seeds have fun:

3292052 – Villages with great landscapes around including river, jungle, mountain and plains

1405119578 – Jungle and Desert environments

1418072576 – Village island

1894558086 – lots of Caves

-509333905 – Loads of iron , village and diamonds

1074879716 – There is a couple of villages and great landscape

1407434958: also has a Village Island

1408106526: Epic Mountain Villages & A Floating Island

1388582293: lots of villages altogether

infinity: Dig deep to find iron, redstone, and precious gems.

AcE: Lots of water a a village in the centre

sylph: huge mine

1405119578: Jungle, melons, cocoa beans and a Mesa Biome

my son and I tested these out and they all worked on the iPad. The beauty of using a seed is to ensure that you have the materials, landscape, resources that you want to build with and on rather than having to hope or regenerate your environment.

Using Minecraft in the classroom is a huge hook into our content to test, explain and create content in different ways. If you need inspiration check out our iTunes U course on using Minecraft in the secondary classroom by myself and amazing teachers from RSC. You can download it with an iPhone or iPad from iTunes U – https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/design-build-create-discover/id1039242773. The course explores different ways or using world creation tools in the classroom across the curriculum.

Twine – fun, interactive, nonlinear story telling

Twinery Twine is a program that lets you generate interactive stories. It is a great fun tool, there is no programming involved and your finished story are webpages. Twine was created by Chris Klimas. You can download it here or you can use it online.

Getting started:

Once you sign up click on the green +Story tile

Give your story a title and click add – your story board has been created :)

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Hover over the box and a tool bar will appear

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Click on the pencil to edit and start writing your story. Link to other passages by putting the title of the pages you wish to link to in brackets like this – [[This clickable link goes to a different page / passage]]. The page and a link to your first passage will be created. This is how you give the options for your choose your own adventure story. Each new page/passage created using the double brackets – [[ ]] is a new option in your story. Likewise you can use the [[ ]] to create a loop in your story so readers choose a different option if you wanted or to go back to the beginning of the story.

You can also write a new page like [[The river| The river]] and then the word appears on the first passage and you have also created a new page/passage to link to.

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Click on the rocket ship on the passage that is the start of your story.

To add images to your story use this code

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NB you don’t have to include a width and height for the images it can be quicker to load if you add them however.

ok that is it for now I need to learn more before i blog further on this great tool – on my agenda is to learn about how to change the colour of text and add background images.

Great tips can be found on the gameintrospection blog

For step by step help the you tube tutorials from the VegetarianZombie are excellent. Starting with his intro video He walks you through a step by step guide to using both the basics and then following on from that using conditions, if statements and more to enhance your choose your own adventure stories and games.

Word Cloud with a difference-how to use Tagxedo

Tagxedo creates word clouds with a difference.

Word clouds can be created by all learners teachers and students for many purposes. I prefer tagxedo as it allows for the clouds to be in the shape and colour i want them to be rather than just random like wordle!

Check out Michael Gorman’s extensive list of 108 ways to use word clouds in the classroom here http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/108-ways-to-use-word-clouds-in-the-classroom-word-clouds-in-education-series-part-2/

Word Cloud with a difference-how to use tagxedo

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or if you prefer the PDF version:

Word Cloud with a difference-how to use tagxedo