I am very excited to be visiting our City Cite Campus this week! It will be my first visit and I am keen to meet with the staff and see the unique learning space. Part of the reason for our visit is to look at ways that we could assist in helping City Cite to continue in the development of an ICT-rich environment for the students. Given the location and nature of the programs that run at City Cite, it lends itself beautifully to a variety of exciting computer-based and mobile learning activities.
The following sites and tools are some suggestions:
Create a City Cite Twitter account to share events and activities with others. Twitter is an excellent way to connect with educators (and their students) around the world.
Flickr is an excellent way to store and share your photos online. Image from City Cite activities can be uploaded and shared publicly or privately. Staff and students can even email photos to your Flickr account from a mobile phone! There are also many exiciting online image manipulation tools such as Big Huge Labs that can use images directly from your Flickr account.
Using their own images, students can quickly create and share professional movies with Animoto. Animoto Education allows teachers to register a class allowing free access to full-length movies.
At our school’s recent Lorne Conference, I had the pleasure of running a hands-on SAM Animation session with a small group of staff, including teachers from City Cite. This free download allows you to create stop-motion animation and even time lapse sequences. It’s simple interface makes it easy to use for students of all ages. You can click here to read the post, Play, Create & Animate with SAM Animation, featuring examples created in this 45 minute session.
Blogging is an incredible way for students to build literacy skills, share ideas, reflect, publish work, connect with a global audience…the list goes on! There are many sites available to create a blog but Edublogs is one of my favourites.
Once you have a blog, it opens the doors for other exciting activities with your students like mobile phone blogging. Sites like Utterli allow you to call a designated number, record a response then have it automatically posted to a specified blog. Click here for some examples of mobile phone blogging.
QR Codes provide a simple and exciting way to share informtation with students via their mobile phones. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of QR Codes, click here to read a previous post about this technology. A treausure hunt around the city could be set up making using of QR Codes linking to online resources such as web sites, images and audio. Below is an example of a QR Code generated especially for City City. (Click to enlarge the image and use a QR Code reader on a mobile phone to read the code.)
Trail Guru allows you to plot a journey using a GPS device. An excellent, free iPhone app is also available, making it simple to record a journey along with photos and a number of interesting statistics which can then be posted an analyzed on the Trail Guru web site. Click here for an example of a journey plotted with Trail Guru.
A complete list of resources mentioned in this post is available via my Delicious links.
We had a great day at City Cite! The staff were very enthusiastic and open to new ideas. It was also fascintating to hear about the program that is run there and the unique experience that is offered to students.
Whilst there, we were able to illustrate uses for the above tools and especially the iPhone, Comic Touch and Flickr. Click here to view the City Cite photos on Flickr. An Animoto movie about City Cite, using the iPhone app, was also created. You can click here to view the movie. Special thanks to Nathan Burgess for introducing me to the fabulous Animoto iPhone app!
Nathan also mentioned another great iPhone app called AroundShare. This app allows you to take a photo, post it to the AroundShare site or another site such as Twitter. Your image appears alongside a Google Map showing your location and other geographical information. Click here to see City Cite on AroundShare thanks to Nathan.
We are really looking forward to returning to City Cite in March to take the first steps in introducing more technology. Getting staff started with Twitter, creating a Bluetooth server and exploring bulk SMS tools are the first items we are hoping to explore.