I value a students creativity and believe that each student is amazing at something. This is why I provide various opportunities for students to discover what they are good at. I do this by implementing the Maker Movement in my classroom. The Maker Movement is a technological and creative learning revolution that is making its way into schools all over the world. Essentially, the movement has taken the "DIY" (do-it-yourself) culture and added incredible technologies to promote deeper thinking among kids. Allow your child experiment with these programs at home, too! I think you will be surprised!
Bloxels is a "hands-on, brains-on" video game creator. Create your game with color coded cubes, scan and play. I love how this program combines hands on with screen time. Watch it in action, here.
Brick Flicks IE gives students the opportunity to use hand made sets and LEGO mini fixtures to create stop motion movies. They with use iMotion to take pictures, edit and publish their movies. This requires a lot of fine motor skills--so I would be sure to review what patience is before executing this activity! Check out a Brick Flicks example, here.
Daisy the Dinosaur is essentially a coding program to learn the basics of computer programming for kids. This free app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all age can use. Kids will use the skill of sequencing, loops and events to solve this apps challenges.
Hour of Code is an online program that introduces you to coding in just one hour! It provides the perfect opportunity to give coding a chance. Anyone can code at anytime, but the goal is to get tens of millions of students to code between December 7th-13th, 2015 in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Check out these tutorials.
PicMonkey is a free online photo editor, collage creator or design program without any downloads necessary. There are hundreds of tools to use to support your creative side. The program offers even more functions through a paid membership (however, I think the free version does everything you would need!).
Have you ever wanted to design your very own video game? Pixel Press Floors is exactly what you need to experiment with. Draw your game on graph paper, scan and play! There is also an option to create the video game directly in your iPad. For a better idea, watch this video.
Quiver (formerly known as ColAr Mix) is an augmented reality app that allows pictures to be colored by students that come to life…literally! Want to take your writing workshop to the next level? Simply print the pictures provided by the website (plenty of free pictures and pictures you can purchase), let your students color, scan with the apps camera and ta-da! They now have a picture that comes to life before their eyes and an awesome story to write.
Scratch is an incredibly fun and engaging free, dowloaded online program that allows you to create animations, stories, music, games or art. The creations you make can only be viewed in this program (you cannot turn them into a jpeg or png file). Keep your projects as simple or as complex as you want. Click here for a reference guide overview.
Show Me is a free app on an iPad that makes it very easy to create tutorials or teach a lesson for just about anything! Adding images, diagrams or instructional tools are amazing features of this app. You can choose make your projects private or public.
Sock Puppets is a free app that lets you create your own lip-synched videos with puppets, props, scenery and backgrounds! After recording your voice, easily publish your video to Facebook or Youtube. This is a great way to motivate students to create stories or present project information!