Do you travel? Give something back to other travelers. 

I’m a traveller. I like nothing more than visiting new places and experiencing new cultures. It doesn’t bother me if I can’t speak the language or it is a bit uncomfortable, I just love the experience of being somewhere new.

In the past few years when ever I ask Google a question about what to do or where to eat it has been TripAdvisor that answers all my questions. It is normally on the money with its recommendations and is worth its weight in gold. So, as if I am to be this digital citizen and content contributor that I talk about with my students I need to take my travel experiences and share them with other travellers. I have joined TripAdvisor, earned my first badge for 5 reviews and I hope that I will help others in the way that they have helped me. I urge you to do the same, as it doesn’t matter if you are an intrepid traveller or don’t stray far from home, if you have a smart phone you can reward that amazing coffee shop, restaurant or holiday accommodation with a review. 

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Cargobot App – Angry Birds crossed with Code Academy

Cargo Bot App - Click to be taken to App Store.
Cargo Bot App – Click to be taken to App Store.

I may be late with picking up on this, but I have just discovered Cargobot – the first App to be created on an iPad  using the Codea App and it is just too awesome. Learning coding is on my ‘To-Do’ list for the next academic year and am researching into Code Academy at the moment as a starting point.  With Cargobot you are introducing the concepts of Coding and I know that any student that I have ever taught would love the challenges that Cargobot offers.

Drew Minock and Brad Waid, the two guys who introduced me to this App,  mentioned in a webcast from #ISTE13 how they had their students using this app in class and at home when one of the students was told that they had created a new ‘Best Solution’ for the level and was asked to please record then upload to YouTube – how cool is that! Just imagine how inspired  that child have been to know that at Grade 4 they have achieved what no one else, no even the App developer, had achieved before?

Now add it to your classroom environment and you are onto a winner. The game is all about  Logic and reasoning skills, trial and error, working through a problem and persistence – skills that every teacher is trying to foster in the 21st Century learner.  When you attempt the problem you can see how many moves it takes to reach the best solution and when you reach a solution you are given a star rating out of 3 just like Angry Birds-  a 1 star or 2 star solution means your solution is OK or  your solution is good, but could be done better.  To me that becomes a second challenge and makes me want to do better – I will persist until I get those 3 stars that have eluded me.

Maybe add it as a homework challenge? In those paperless classes with 1:1 iPads it would be perfect, as all you need to do is set a level, get the kids to work on it and then record their best solution and upload it to their blog or digital portfolio through YouTube like my 2 start solution below.  The next day in class you could get into groups and discuss each others solutions, possible problems, ways to improve solutions and then rework the solution.

Further Readings

Cargo-Bot, An Addictive iPad Game That Teaches Programming Concepts

Cult of Mac – Cargo-Bot is the World’s First Game to be made entirely on the iPad

Two Guy’s & Some iPads – EdReach Presents talk from ISTE 2013

Codea App

Video Scribe – an amazing visual presentation tool.

Here is a short play that I have had with a new app called Video Scribe.  It came from watching a blog entry by Mark Anderson (@ICT_Evangelist) about effectively using 1 iPad in a classroom. I am a big fan of the RSA Animate videos and this App allows me to create something similar to them.

  • It took me 20 minutes to create
  • Saved it to Camera Roll
  • Opened in iMovie
  • Audio over the top – Sorry about the cold
  • Upload to YouTube/Vimeo

…now imagine how a student could use it as a tool to add to their presentation? To share their learning journey? To explain a process? As a visual recipe book? As a… well, imagination is the only barrier!