Tuesday, June 5, 2012

S'More Tech Summer Camp, Day 1

Hi campers!

I'm so excited to start our S'More Tech Summer Camp today! It's only day one, and already my little brain is about to burst with ideas for us to try together.

Before we start on those new tech ideas, we need to do something that I did at tech training in my district today. Do you ever come up with lots of great plans, but then have a hard time remembering what website that thingie that was so cool was on? Well, I do. Here's what we need to do first...set up our summer camp scrapbook!

Go ahead and take a minute to create a Powerpoint or Keynote on your computer, name it and save it. If you want, you can go ahead and create a title slide with our summer camp logo.


On each day of our summer camp, I'll remind you to add a new slide to your presentation. By the end of the camp, you'll have a slide show with all of your summer camp memories saved and ready to jog your brain during the school year. (Or you could show it to your teachers to give them ideas for projects you could collaborate on!)

I'm doing this myself, too! I recommend that you keep it open and minimized while you're "at camp" so that you can paste stuff into it.

And now, light the campfire and skewer the marshmallows for our first day's activity...a Web 2.0 tool that does NOT require you OR your students to create an account...Build Your Wild Self!

*****STOP! HOLD EVERYTHING! Although I love this Web 2.0 tool, it is now extinct. I hope the New York Zoo and Aquarium will bring it back. But as of July 2012, it is gone, and the New York Zoo and Aquarium has no plans to bring it back. I asked. *****

First of all, this web tool is just plain FUN! It appears to be sponsored by the New York Zoos and Aquarium. A reputable author, and no annoying ads! Follow the link above or go to the URL: www.buildyourwildself.com.

Of course, you click the "Start" button on the home page. Type your name into the name box. Then click through the options on the right side of the blank frame, choosing your hair, eyes, and other human body parts first (the blue rectangles). Make sure that you take advantage of the tabs, slider bars, colors, and other options for each body part. Click on the choices to try them out and see what they look like.

At this point, your picture might be a fairly normal looking human, like this.



Now the fun intensifies as you add animal body parts to your human self. Continue through the options, adding realistic and correctly named animal parts to yourself. (They aren't just "ears;" they are "African wild dog ears.") If you have the volume up on your computer, you'll hear the sound of the animal as you click on it and add it. Cool, right?

After you've added all the body parts you want and have chosen a great background, click on "I'm Done." You can use the slider bar to read through the functions of all those animal parts you added. Click on "print your wild self." You'll see a new screen with the picture of your wild self and the information about your animal parts. You can then either print this or take a screen shot and paste the screen shot into a document.


After you've created your wild self, take a screen shot (print screen button on Windows, command-shift-4 on a Mac), and paste it into your summer camp scrapbook.  Insert a text box on that scrapbook page, and type in "Build Your Wildself," so that you remember where to go when you're ready to do this with your students.


My first scrapbook page (after the title page) looks like this.


Alternatively, you could have clicked the "Go Random" button at the beginning, and the website would have built a creature for you.

Now, aside from the awesome fun-ness of creating this beautifully drawn hybrid being, what are the educational applications for this? Here are a few that came to my mind.

-Create an avatar for an application like Edmodo or a class blog where you don't want students to actually post photos of themselves.
-Story starters...paste the picture at the top of the Word document, and write a story about that creature.  What would it be able to do, given the special body parts that it has?
-Adaptations...What habitat is each of the body parts designed for? How does each adaptation help that animal survive?
-Compare and contrast...Write about how your wildself is like your real self and how your wildself differs from you.
-Get-to-know you...Have students use the wildself to introduce themselves, explaining their choices.
-Poetry...write a poem in whatever form you've been studying, about the wildself.

After you've had a chance to build your own wild self and paste it into your scrapbook, come back and tell us...how would you use this tech tool in YOUR school library?



21 comments:

  1. Madison FunbrarianJune 6, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Fun! I especially love the facts that are posted based on the parts that you choose. This will definately be used this year as a story starting center.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madison Funbrarian, I'm so glad you could join us at camp! I love the way it lets us use our imagination, and I also love the quality of the pictures this makes. They look like picture book illustrations to me!

      Delete
  2. I am on board and have pinned this! I just made my Wild Me and began my scrapbook (didn't realize until now that my new computer didn't have ppt, so I'm now using Google Presentations). Thanks for doing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mikki, I'm glad you found a way to make your scrapbook. If you're like me, it will be a helpful reminder when August rolls around!

      Delete
  3. I have used WildSelf several ways with Grade 3. First when Where the wild things are movie came out, I used this as a companion activity with grade 3. It could go along with a Sendak author study, too. This year I had 3rd graders make their wild self and explain in a PowerPoint why they made the choices they did and then present the results to the class. So there was an additional technology activity included as well as a little research and they loved it.
    Thank you Cari for this great forum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs. B, great idea to tie it in with Where The Wild Things Are! And I like the way you doubled down on technology by having the students create a PowerPoint!

      Delete
  4. Yeah! I love summer camp! And technology so bonus!

    I, too, have used WildSelf before. It's a great website to use with an animal unit and would be fun if you had a safari theme for your classroom. Each student could make their own WildSelf for a bulletin board. You could also use them for a Work Wall instead of putting up student names, put their WildSelf pictures above/beside their work.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cari, YOU are the greatest! Thanks for hosting this online TL summer camp. I look forward to lots of fun with you and others over the summer, and especially to sharing what I learn with my colleagues!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you joined us! Our district wants all librarians to kick it up a few notches on technology, so I'm hoping we can put our brains together in summer camp and come up with some great ideas!

      Delete
    2. I can't believe you're doing it every day, but I'm SO THANKFUL you are. The time-commitment is one I'm very familiar with (read Shelf Challenge), but one that will be rewarding to both you and all of us reading and participating. Thanks for all you do, Cari!

      Delete
  6. I totally stumbled on this blog and I'm so glad I did! I love the summer camp idea! It has inspired me to start a blog to record these ideas for my teacher friends. I am an elementary school librarian. I'm full of cool ideas to share with my teachers, but we rarely have time to share with each other. Hopefully my blog will help.

    I can envision my fourth grade teachers ( who get hit with a terribly hard writing test for their kids) using this for descriptive writing. The kids can build themselves and then write a descriptive paragraph about how they look. The rest of the kids can try to guess which picture they are describing based on their paragraphs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs. Roland, I'm sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment! I'm glad you started your own blog! It's a good motivation, and it's a record of your ideas that you can go back and review. I hope you and your teachers have fun with the wild selves!

      Delete
  7. Wow- What a great idea!! I hope I can keep up with you. But it great that we can go day by day and read about all these new ideas!! I have started my PP- day one with a Title Pages . Now to try the Wild self- The students will absolutely love love this!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I'm glad you like the Wild Self! It's one of my favorite tech things that I've tried this summer!

      Delete
  8. Cari,
    Thanks so much for this tech camp! I will be a new librarian next year and I am super excited!! I am having an issue with Wild Self. All I get is a blank yellow screen. I have tried at school too and it won't work. Any ideas? Othewise...I joined this party late, but so far I love all the tech stuff! Have a great summer.
    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ACK! Panic! Something happened to the site. The same thing is happening on my computer...blank yellow screen. I'm going to research this some more to see if I can figure out what happened. I'll post an update when I figure it out. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Mrs. Maslonka!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I am so glad I found your blog. My friend and I will both be new in our district to the library field so we are stalking library blogs and so far yours has provided a TON of information for us to work with. Keep it up!
      Amanda

      Delete
  9. FYI the site seems to be working...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woohoo! Thanks for the update, Sarah! I'd given up on the site.

      Delete
  10. Build Your Wildself appears to be back. Just thought you might want to change the update on this blog. Also thank you so much. I am planning to implement something like this with my teachers this summer! What a great idea!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie! Some of our librarians have had trouble with inappropriate pictures popping up while using this website, so I'm hesitant to recommend it. Please let me know if it works for you!
      Cari

      Delete