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?