Monday, March 17, 2014

Holding Plutonium in your bare hands!

I was invited in to a Chemistry classroom today, where we allowed students to handle some of the most dangerous chemical elements in their bare hands! That's right, no protective gear what so ever, except iPads and cell phones.

Elements 4D by Daqri is an Augmented reality app that allows students to explore 36 of the elements using their devices, and even see what happens when elements are joined together.

When I asked the chemistry teacher which two elements would have the most violent explosion, he got a little nervous! I said, "Oh, I can't wait to combine those two in your classroom!" Which lead to a lecture on using the "explosion" chamber, and safety equipment, and how to use the fire extinguisher.

Unfortunately, the app does not show you the explosion, but it does show you what is formed when the explosion is said and done! The students were a little disappointed by the lack of explosion as well.

It was a very simple lesson, and students noted in a Google Doc what they learned about each element from the app, and what happened as they combined different elements. As simplistic as this lesson was, the engagement from students was remarkable! Who knew chemistry could be so much fun! (Ok, you probably did, but I sure didn't!) One student even quipped "I think I like Chemistry now!"

The app is not perfect, and our student would like to see more reactions (hello Iron and Oxygen!), and more explosions, definitely more explosions, but overall it was a very engaging mobile lesson for the students.

Download and print the triggers
iOS device
Android (not compatible with all devices)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ingredients for a Hero

The past two weeks I have been working with 5 classes of 9th grade English Students. What started out as a simple research project has turned into a fully functional Mobile Learning Unit!

Here is a brief synopsis of what has occurred:
Students were asked if Atticus Fitch (To Kill a Mockingbird) is a Hero

Students then use Google Moderator (via their own devices) to suggest qualities of a hero, and vote on their peers' suggestions:

Students were then asked to watch 6 different speeches and repeated the process of using Google Moderator to suggest what should go in to a good speech.

Emotional Control/Connecting the Audience/Body Language 

(start at 10:00 minutes)

Audience/Staying True to Objective

Inspiration/Connecting with Audience

Students were then asked to submit their choices for who they would like to research using a Google Form.

Students are now in the process of conducting research on who they think is a hero. They are to be sure to provide evidence that their person meets the criteria of a hero as selected by the class.

Finally, students will peer evaluate both the speeches and the heroes their peers chose, using the rubrics generated by the Google Moderator Activities, copied over into a Google Form.

All done....using mobile devices!