Lego is a very popular material in any classroom. Online it’s just as popular. Build with Chrome is a partnership between Lego and Chrome (Google) where you can build your own design using virtual Lego bricks. Coupled with Google Maps, you can decide to build your creation anywhere in the world or discover other people’s creations by browsing the map. There is a ‘Build Academy’ for newbies, which takes you through step by step the features of Build with Chrome and what’s possible. The only glitch for students is the need to have a Google+ account to publish. Using screen grabs or clicking the publish key and then saving the URL seems to remember your creation. These are possible workarounds at the moment, but I would be interested to hear if anyone has a better solution. Build with Chrome has excellent Design and Tech applications, with designing a new home, structure, looking at floor plans or streetscapes just to name a few.Pin It
Design & Tech
ABCYA! Animate is an easy to use tool for students to create animated GIFs. Students have up to 100 frames to come up with their creation. They have the ability to select a background or insert objects from a set of backgrounds and objects offered by ABCYA. There are the usual tools for students to create their own backgrounds and objects via a pencil, paintbrush, text and shapes tools. The ability to save the animations as an animated Gif allows students to embed their creations into a website, blog, google+, Smart Notebook, or PowerPoint.
Below is an example of a quick animated GIF that I created using ABCYA animate.
Back in June of this year I was watching a BBC program called ‘Click‘, where I came across a program called Kodu. The ‘Click‘ program talked about introducing programming to students. I remember when I was a student actively doing programming on the old Commodore 64 (showing my age now). Today we show students how to use programs, but never open up the world of creating programs for people to use. This is where Kodu comes in. Kodu really does open the world of programming to kids. Kodu is basically a game creation tool, that is very user friendly. It has built in tutorials to get you going and improve your confidence with the program. The bonus is, that it’s free to download and use on your PC. Games that the students develop can even be played on the Xbox.
Here is a link to the ‘Click‘ story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/9504208.stm