Sunday, January 31, 2010

So you want to be a Rock Star!

Recently I have been experimenting with Music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. While I was strumming the guitar I started to think of possible ways to integrate these games into the classroom. My immediate thoughts went to how I would use them in Art and Multimedia classes and then I continued to explore further.  (One thing to be aware of is some games may have inappropriate images so choose a game which best suits the age of your students).

Here are a few ideas, (Happy to hear any ideas you might have to add)

• Write a blog of experiences, levels and songs mastered

• Document the songs and artists

• Research the artists

• Create an online timeline of the different styles of music

• Explore the period of time or culture associated with each song

• Interpret the lyrics of a song

• Write lyrics for a song

• Look at music search sites

• Look at different instruments

• Create a Glossary of Music terms

This site could be useful in this task

• Analyse the game

• Write a comparison between two similar games

• Write a review for the game to be published in a game magazine or blog

• Design a rubric to assess a game

• Hold a tournament between students with teams and prizes to win

• Design own rock star

• Design a Guitar

• Design a poster for a band or rock star

• Write a story about rock star

• Create a virtual tour for a rock band

• Create a comic based on a rock star

• Create your own music       You can use the Audio Editor on the Aviary site

• Beat Maker ipod app

Benefits of playing Music Games:
  • develop rhythm
  • develop hand-eye co-ordination
  • motor skills
  • develop memory and indentifying skills
  • music recognition

Here are a list of games:

Game Consoles:

Online Games:

Guitar Hero II

Guitar Master

There is also a range of ipod apps such as:

Guitar Rock Tour

Guitar Rock Tour 2

Rock Band

             Tap Tap Pro


Planning based on students' interest

To help me plan the curriculum for the year, I tried an activity to find out some information about my new Year 10 Art Class so I can best cater to their interests. That way tasks are relevant and students are engaged in learning and motivated.

I got this idea from a Professional development workshop I went to. I gave students a green, orange and red card.

On the green card, students were asked this question, “What aspects of art do you like or feel most confident in?

On the orange card they answered, “What would you like to know more about?”

and finally on the red card they answered, “What do you dislike or feel less confident in?”

I had a list of art electives on the board to help them or they could add their own.

As you can see I added the resposes to wordle.  The larger the word the more times it was mentioned.  I also showed the class the results.  I see I am going to have to make sure Theory lessons are exciting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Comic Version of Tap into the World of Comics

One of my passions is to create and share resources for teachers. A few months ago I created a presentation titled ‘Tap into the World of Comics’.  In this presentation I included links to online Comic Creators and gave ideas on how they can be used in the classroom.

I wanted to take this a step further and create the presentation using the tools I was discussing. So I created a comic version of the presentation about comics. I used a combination of games, online comic creators and character design sites. I also included a list of links I used at the end of the presentation.

Soup Toys

Soup Toys is a free download game. You play it straight on to your desktop. It allows you to set up different sequences and contraptions using different items. You can keep your desktop as the background or choose a blue background.

It is a great tool for problem solving, predicting results, physics and decision making. You can also record each sequence and save them.

A great activity would be to set a few limits for students and see the different results they create.
Eg. You can only use three levers and five balls or build a castle to house four dolls.

It is also a lot of fun just to play with.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ever thought about how YOU learn?

Admittedly, I have never really put much thought into how I learn, until I participated in an assignment for a course of study I was doing. The task was to reflect on how we learn to use a new piece of technology. I chose to focus on the video editor within the game Trackmania. While I always knew I am a visual learner, I was not aware of the strategies I use to learn and master a new skill.

Below is a Diagram of the strategies I used to learn the new technology.

I found these were the strategies I used at different times and in diferent sequences.

As educators, I think it is important to be aware and understand how learning takes place so we can provide the best opportunities for it to happen.

Have you ever reflected on your own learning?  I pose to you the challenge to learn something new and document and reflect on the strategies you use.

Another interesting activity is to assess your learning styles.

Here are my results.  Also a great activity for students.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Wheel of Learning

This is a visual representation of my reflection on the use of technology in education.  It indicates factors which influence and shape digital pedagogy and elearning.

Using Online Surveys in Education

Gone are the days where you photocopy questions, distribute the forms, collect the forms and then spend hours tallying the results.

Now, we have access to online surveys. Online Survey sites allow you to set your own questions; they collate the results for you and even display the data in graph form.

All you have to do is send out the link to the survey.

So How can Online Surveys be used in Education?
Professional Use
This can be a great tool to use with staff to:
• Collect feedback about an event, activity or resource

• Find out professional development needs of staff

• Gauge interest in an upcoming event

• Find out teacher expertise in different fields

Survey Students

This is a very useful way to collect information from your students to help you with your planning. It could be used for:

• Finding out about students’ interests

• Gauging students’ prior knowledge for the next unit of work

• Collecting feedback about a unit of work to evaluate its success or how it could be improved.

Students create their own surveys

Students can use online surveys to

• collect data for an assignment

• collect feedback on something they have created

• Students can then analyse and reflect on their results by interpreting the graph. These results could be used to make further decisions or to reflect on their learning.

Educational Outcomes

•When students create their own survey they must have a good understanding of the content and the task in order to form the correct questions.

• They must also decide on the information they want to collect and pose appropriate questions which will retrieve this information.

• Students can gain an understanding of how to interpret graphs. This activity could be extended further by asking students to create their own graphs.

• This is a great way for students to reflect on their learning and evaluate their achievements.

Online Survey Sites