Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Have A Stress Free Week

We love bubble wrap. We have it taped to the wall for finger warm ups. We put it on the floor to practice jumping or to get re-energized. Now, we can use it on the computer as well. Someone in my twitter network asked for sites to "de-stress during testing week". One response was FreeRice, which we have written about in a previous post. Another suggestion was The Original Virtual Bubble Wrap. This online bubble wrap site is just plain fun. Thanks to mswecker for passing this on. We are in the middle of MCAS testing here in Massachusetts. Popping a few bubbles may come in handy.

After MCAS is over next week, there still are the potential applications for students. It is a great training tool for point and clicking with the mouse. You get such a satisfying "pop" each time you click on a bubble. If you have students who can only guide the mouse with their arm movement (no clicking yet), use the manic mode. It will continuously click as you move the mouse over the bubbles.

I feel calmer already!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sit Back and Enjoy the Show

One thing I hate when I search for images is scrolling to the bottom and clicking "next" to get to the following page. "Scroll, click, scroll, click...look, I have 17 more pages in this search. I hope I find something soon!"

A couple of months age I discovered PicLens, a free extension to your browser (works with Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer). I am now treated to a continuous flow of the images as I roll my mouse to the right or left of the screen. I feel like I am sitting in a movie theater!

PicLens instantly transforms your browser into a full-screen, 3D experience for enjoying photos and videos across the web. With one click, PicLens makes online media come to life via an immersive presentation that goes beyond the confines of the traditional browser.

Why mundanely click through online photo galleries or squint at thumbnails? Get PicLens now, and discover what online rich media was meant to be.
Classroom and student applications:
  • Present a set of images on a specific topic in an appealing visual manner to the whole class. Assemble images of the Civil War for a middle school history class. Gather images of butterflies for second graders who are observing the chrysalis stage in class.
  • Help students quickly find an image they need without having to change pages.
  • Upload photos from a recent field trip to Flickr and view at your own pace.
What other ideas do you have for school and classroom uses?

Give PicLens a try!