Friday Moments of Zen

So for the past several weeks I’ve been doing this with my students. On Friday’s I offer them a little glimpse of some technology piece I’ve discovered during the week. It’s little more than a 3 to 5 minute overview most of the time. Some times it becomes a discussion, other times it’s just a “Hey, check this out”. The kids seem to enjoy it and the week I missed it, they of course asked where their Zen was 🙂 That’s when I knew it was catching on. Here are some of the past few weeks “Friday Moments of Zen.”

Siftables

Siftables are a new computer input device that involves playing with blocks that interact with each other. I mentioned this one in a previous post, and the really mind-blowing moment is near the end when they’re being discussed for audio mixing capabilities.

Wii Fit-Google Earth Mashup

German organization has found a way to control Google Earth Flyovers using the Wii Fit balance board. This gives the appearance that one is “surfing” over the surface of the Earth. Could have great applications if the software gets sophisticated enough to judge “walking” motions. Virtual field trips anyone?

Phun

This “game” is a 2D Physics simulator. Create objects by drawing and watch as they are affected by the Physics of the environment. Initially set to mimic the real physics of Earth, every element is customizable, including forces. This software is often called “struggle-ware” since students have to struggle with the software to get it to do what they want it to do. Great application for the price…FREE!

Cooliris

Extension for Firefox that turns photo pages into 3D “walkways” of pictures. Great visual search of a number of photo sources. I have also recently seen a number of presentations using Cooliris as a way to organize the photo slides rather than PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.

Digital Dossier

This video comes from information in Born Digital by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. The amount of digital information about you is ever increasing in today’s society. Who owns that information? What is being collected about you that you’ve never considered? What does this all mean for the students we teach? Great, thought-provoking video.

What other ideas for “Friday Moments of Zen” do you guys have?

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