Tag Archives: visual

Wallwisher

I discovered Wallwisher when I came across Wallwishers created by Nik Peachey and Ackygirl through Ackygirl’s link.

Wallwisher

Looking through the FAQs, I discovered the following information about Wallwisher:

Wallwisher is an Internet application that allows people to express their thoughts on a common topic easily.

A wall is basically the ‘web page’ where people actually post messages.

You don’t need to sign up to use the Wallwisher, but you do need to provide an email address. A temporary account will be created for you using your email address so that you can come back and make changes to the wall.

Have a look at FAQs for more information about how to use Wallwisher.

You can also share the Wall, embed it in a website or organise an RSS feed for Wallwisher.

I like the collaborative aspect the best,  the fact that it looks better than a list, it links to things easily, and you can even embed a video.

It would be an excellent way to brainstorm ideas and collaborate for students and teachers alike.

What are your ideas on the potential of Wallwisher?

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Filed under 21st century learning, technology, Web 2.0

Shahi – A visual dictionary

Have you noticed that the world is becoming increasingly visual? Well, that’s OK with me because I actually understand things better when text is accompanied with images. I’m sure I’m not the only one. In the learning realm, images – either still or moving – aid and enhance textual presentation: photos, maps, film, video clip, images on websites, visual search engines – and now a visual dictionary: Shahi.

Shahi is a visual dictionary that combines Wiktionary content with Flickr images, and more!

What I like about Shahi is the different perspectives you get from the same word. Let’s take the example ‘racism’. Here is one of the results; I like the humour and originality:

The word ‘dangerous’ yielded these results amongst others:

and this:

Definitely not what I expected!

Thought I’d try a verb – collaborate:

Never know what you’ll find.

As a teacher librarian I’m thinking of collecting images to go with fiction genres. Here’s fantasy:

What about crime?

A metaphorical meaning: photography is not a crime

Classroom possibilities beg to be discovered! Comparison of different interpretations of the same picture, guessing games, inspiration for students’ own images to accompany words, springboard for creative writing, collaborative slide presentations on a theme or message, and so on.

Thanks to Amanda for sharing this.

By the way, this reminds me of a post from a while ago,  A picture’s worth a thousand words.

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Filed under 21st century learning, creativity, flickr, photos

Capzles: time captured in a story

Capzles is a new way to combine videos, photos and mp3s into rich, multimedia storytelling.

capzleobama

Until I’m successful in embedding the widget, here’s the link to a capzle on Obama. 

Capzles promises to ‘claim your memories; tell your stories; travel through time’, and they do that eloquently. The Obama capzle traces Obama’s life sequentially, and includes photos, and video and transcripts of speeches. I can definitely see the value of capzles for teaching subject matter, but more than that, kids would enjoy creating capzles to present research. This application really does have the potential to capture what’s essential and interesting, and package it neatly for viewing.

It’s free and simple to join. You can browse capzles created in popular categories, eg. history, art and design, film and movies, people and life, vacation and travel, etc. Under history, for example, you’ll find ‘history of Apple computer’ and ’75 years of the popemobile’. It’s a great way to share travel experiences, or present biographies in an engaging format. Or encapzlate your old photographs. Oh, and of course, it’s another great sharing tool. Although there isn’t a huge amount there at the moment, I expect it will expand its archive very quickly.

Thanks to @grosseck for this.

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Filed under creativity, Education, media, Web 2.0

The girl effect

Thanks to @presentationzen for this.

An example of how text can become more powerful in film. Simplicity, careful choice of words, sequencing, effect on viewer. How much more effective than traditional linear text. What do you think?

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Filed under Education, film, internet, technology, Web 2.0

Flip! literacies in animation

Here’s a quirky and creative little flipbook animation called Kraak & Smaak: Squeeze me (source: Drawn).

Another example of the endless possibilities for creativity with technology. Literacies? The kinds of things that include storytelling, sequencing, playful possibilities, imagination, what-ifs and the like.

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Filed under animation, art, play

Gaiman gives away ‘The graveyard book’ one chapter at a time

 

Neil Gaiman has given away his new book, ‘The graveyard book’, one chapter at a time, reading a chapter across 9 cities, starting October 1 and finishing yesterday. Fans are also able to access the readings at Gaiman’s website for young readers, Mouse Circus, where the readings are on video.

‘The graveyard book’ was conceived when Gaiman used to take his son into the cemetery to ride his bike, not having anywhere else to ride. The story is about an orphaned boy called Nobody, who is raised by cemetery inhabitants – not the human kind. Gaiman was inspired by Kipling’s ‘The jungle book’, only Gaiman’s protagonist is raised by dead people instead of animals.

Wired.com has filmed Gaiman talking about his childhood and ‘The graveyard book’ – a fascinating insight.

On his blog, Gaiman comments on his videos being free to those who missed the readings, as he talks about his idea of sharing the story:

As far as I’m concerned, the videos exist to allow people who weren’t there to experience the readings, to taste the story, to enjoy it. I’d love it if libraries used them. I’m happy if bookstores use them, or if schools use them for that purpose, in the US or out of it.

Another reader comments on the advantage of the streamed reading:

Watching you read, your face taking on the myriad expressions of your characters, is so much better than just an audio. Stray noises and all. Thanks for giving us the experience.

 For the latest news and articles about Neil, the Universe, and Everything, go and bookmark Lucy Anne’s The Dreaming at del.icio.us.

It would be fun to run sessions for students to watch the video of Neil Gaiman reading his own work, either as a marathon, or splitting it up by chapter. I love the way the book takes on a life of its own, with the author turning the book into an event, and giving of himself, and  with the follow-up videos. Another idea that comes to mind is a student-created video where they read a chapter from their favourite book or a story they have written themselves. They could do a straight reading or add costume and effects.

  

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Filed under author, Literature

Back to Wordle

Further to my previous posts about Wordle (here, here, and here), I discovered in Box of Tricks excellent uses of Wordle by different teachers. One teacher used Wordle for a pre-reading strategy, and made two wordles from two different newspaper articles on the theme they were studying. Each student, armed with dictionaries, had to guess the gist of one of the two, then explain to the other student what they thought the article was about. The teacher supplemented this with further vocabulary discussion, displaying the Wordle on the interactive whiteboard. Finally, students looked at the full-text articles. The teacher saw the value of Wordle, ‘not only as a text analysis tool, but also as a tool to elicit speaking and creative writing’.

A class of 5-7 year olds used Wordle as a visual voting tool. They brainstormed a list of words following an excursion, then voted on the ones they felt were most significant. The size of the most popular words was very obvious in the Wordle.

Wordle has been discovered to be useful in different areas of the curriculum, eg. Visual art, Maths (representing data), English (vocabulary and spelling), brainstorming a topic or theme as an introduction or reflection tool, and eLearning/ICT (presenting information).

Some excellent pedagogical reasons for using Wordle were raised:
– Wordle’s visual attractiveness can make a dull text analysis task more attractive, motivating students to complete the task;
– By capturing the gist of a text, it helps pupils focus on the vocabulary, register and grammar in a simple and engaging way;
– its electronic form enables it to be adapted to different media, eg. paper, blogs, interactive whiteboards, etc.

Nick Peachey, on his blog, outlined how Wordle is useful for language teachers:
Revision of texts: students could look at the Wordle and try to remember and reconstruct the text;
Students can make predictions based on the Wordle of the text they are about to study; they could check the meaning of vocabulary before reading the text;
a Wordle could be a prompt for reconstruction of a dialogue;
Students could examine a Wordle made from a short poem, and write a poem of their own from the Wordle, then compare their poem with the original;
A Wordle could be made from different text genres, and students could guess the genre and give reasons for their decision;
Wordles could be made from different poems, and students could guess the poet from the Wordle;
Students could make Wordles from a text they write introducing themselves to the class; these could be displayed, and students could try to guess the person from the Wordle; or they could exchange Wordles and use them to introduce each other;
A research topic could be introduced by a Wordle, and students’ pre-knowledge could be tested by asking how they think the word is related to the topic; after further research is carried out, the Wordle could be used as a prompt for an oral presentation;
Wordles based on topics to be studied could be displayed at home for revision of vocabulary;

Above all, most teachers really appreciated the simplicity and versatility of Wordle. I’m amazed at the number of pedagogical uses people have discovered for this simple, attractive tool.

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Filed under Education, play, Web 2.0