Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Hero Factory

I was introduced to The Hero Factory by a fellow co-worker.  It is a website where visitors can create their own version of a Super Hero.  Now, my first thought was big deal.  Then she told me that students could use the hero that they created to write a story about their hero.  Not a bad idea.  But lets not stop there...so I started brainstorming....
  1. Write a Poem about their Hero
  2. Create a math word problem using the Hero in the problem and the solution
  3. History teachers could have students create a biography of the hero based on historical events
  4. Geography teachers could have students create a map of the where the hero travels
  5. Economics teachers could have students write about the impact a Super Hero might have on the Economy.
  6. Sociology Teachers could use this website when they discuss heros and who our heros our
  7. Science teachers could talk about the scientific probablities of certain super hero powers
  8. Foreign Lanugage teachers could create a Super Hero and then create a story line for their hero in the language they are studying
  9. Business and marketing teachers could have students create a resume for their hero
  10. Create a massive story within your class using the students hereos.  You could use Storybird or think of it like the game of telephone, but each student has to use their hero in their line of the story.
How does the site work?
1. Choose whether your hero is male or female
2. Choose facial characteristics - Hair, Eyes, Facial Hair
3. Choose your Upper Body Look - Shirts, Arms, Accessories, Emblems
4. Choose your Lower Body - Legs and Belt
5 Choose your Colors - Skin, Hair, Primary, Secondary, Detail
6. Choose your Abilities - Skin and Weapons (I wish their was more here, but there is not)

Click Finish and it Generates a Front Page of a Comic Book and a Name for your hero (Mine was rather simple...lacked any flare).  You can then Make Another, Print it, or Download it to a JPG....see mine below!

What ideas do you have for using The Hero Factory in your classroom?

Twitter Tuesday #2 - Twitter Tools!

Ahhh Twitter....where would educators be without you?  Joining Twitter has been like opening a treasure chest of educational technology gold!  One of the neat things about Twitter has been the useful applications, webpages, and software that I have found that actually enhance your Twitter Experience.  If you have a Smartphone...Twitter Apps can even greatly increase your Twitter experience!  I use Twitbird, but there is Twitteriffic and others you might want to check out.

1.) TweetDeck - I downloaded and used TweetDeck for the first time today for the #Edchat on Twitter.  I got to say that I thoroughly enjoyed using this platform.  It made following the Tweets a lot easier.  It is great to use for multiple accounts as well.  You do have to download it and use it on your desktop, but it is worth it.  I highly recommend you using this platform if you don't already.  There is also Hootsuite, but I am not personally using it, so it is not right for me to tell you about it.  If you are using it, tell me about it!

2.) Where You Tweet - Twaitter - Advertises itself as a business addition to Twitter, but I think it is definitely worth checking out...it has several features of good use...
  • Schedule: Schedule your twitter messages
  • Recurring: Set your twitter messages to send on recurring basis: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
  • Twitter Calendar: Manage your scheduled messages (Twaits) with our powerful calendar tool that works just like your Outlook calendar.
  • Translation: Translate your tweets into any language with the click of a button. Do you follow tweeple that post in foreign languages? ...easily translate any tweet into a language you understand
  • Feeds: Register your blog or business RSS feed with twaitter and have your new posts automatically sent to twitter. (coming soon)
  • Schedule in Mass: Have a lot to say and a lot to schedule? Upload a file with your messages in our file format and we’ll be happy to schedule all the twaits for you.  (Coming Soon) *subject to Twitter message sending limits
3.) What is your Twitter History? Twitter + History.  A great way to log your Tweets so that you can track what you are saying in a calendar format.  It would be a great way to track the Tweets that you are doing professionally and want to remember in the future.  It is also a great tool to use if you have a Twitter account for your school or district.  It looks very promising if you want to track your Tweets.

4.) Your Very Own Twitter Statisitics - Track your tweets, followers, and those following you and how often those occur.  It evens provides estimates for your account in the future.  It also allows you to compare your Twitter with other users.  So...what are your stats....how do you "Twack" up with other users?

5.) Share Groups of Twitter Users - TweepML is a great way for you to track your #followfriday and #teachertuesday.  I highly recommend that you check this tool out and see how you can use it.  As they say "TweepML is an extensible, open standard format that allows you to manage and share groups of Twitter users"

6.) What is Your Twitter Karma? - See who is following you, see who you are following, and then see how the two groups follow each other.  Don't like your Karma...then you could use their tools to completely wipe out your Twitter account and start all over...not sure why, but the option is there.  I guess that is for those who feel bad Karma from their Twitter!

7.) Twitter List - I was fairly new to Twitter, and knew about the feature of List, but I had little understanding of how to use them, at least until I found this blog post about Twitter List and how they work.  I am still fairly new to Twitter, and most of the people I follow would fall under one list anyway, so I don't see a need for list yet, but something tells me you do.  Maybe this will help you out.
8.) TwitBlogs - I just found it and was having trouble getting it working.  It seems promising so I thought I would share it and figured that I would just check back when the glitch is repaired.  It is for when those 140 characters are not enough!

Remember, if you are not using Twitter, as an Educator, you should!.  If you missed last weeks Twitter Tuesday edition, you can find it here!

What Twitter Software, Applications, or Websites are you using? Let me know of some that I have left off this list because I don't know about them!