Saturday, June 9, 2018

Researchers of the Month Contest

Last school year, I started a new monthly contest to encourage students to use the information literacy skills I teach throughout the year, as well as to get students to use our ebook site, Big Universe.  I got the idea from another Media Specialist who actually does this contest weekly.  I don't have the time to do it weekly, so I decided to run the contest monthly.  I decided to do this contest in place of Reader of the Month, which was based on the number of words read in books based on AR quizzes.  (I am really trying to move away from using AR in the Media Center. It's a slow process, but I am making progress.)

Here is how the competition works.

I first think of a question that goes along with whatever month it is.  I then go to Big Universe to find a book that could answer that question and look to see if I can find the answer. If I can't, then I choose a different question.  Then I look to see how easy it is to locate the information on the Internet.  Once I am satisfied that the answer can be found with reasonable effort, I design the Google forms for the month.

When I make the Google Forms, I make one for 2nd-3rd and one for 4th-5th because I have two separate Google Classrooms for these groups and it makes it a little easier to look up submitted answers.  I make the Google Forms a different color each month so that students will know when the question has been changed, although I do delete the link to the previous month so there is no confusion.  You can see an example of the Google Form HERE.  Once I designed the first Google Form, I simply made a copy of it for the next month, changed the question, background color, and submission statement to reflect the new date that the winners will be announced.

The Google Forms include the question as well as a drop down menu for the students to choose where they found their answers and a place to put the URL if they found their answer on a website.  On this part I emphasize that Google and Kiddle are NOT websites, they are search engines, and that those will not be accepted as answers.  Answers must also be in a complete sentence in order to be accepted.

On the first day of each month, I announce the new research question of the month and post the Google Form for students to answer on in the Media Center Google Classroom.  I also post the question on the bulletin board in the Media Center along with answer sheets for second graders who may not be as comfortable with answering in Google Forms yet.

Every Monday, I remind students about the question of the month during morning announcements as well as on the last day of the month.  If there are only a few submissions in a certain grade level, I mention that as well.  This usually gets at least a few more students to submit an answer.

At the end of the day on the last day of the month, I look at the submitted answers for each grade level. If there is more than one correct answer, I enter the names of those students in a random name picker and choose a winner that way.

The next day (or next school day if the last day of the month is on a Friday), I announce the winners during the morning announcements.  The students come to the Media Center to get their picture taken and receive their prize.  I offer books I get from Scholastic with Scholastic Dollars or posters from the book fair.  I have also considered offering coupons for extra book check outs or a pick from our prize cart. Student pictures are placed on the bulletin board.

The principal was impressed with the new competition and the teachers seem to like it, too.  I plan to implement it again next school year.  I hope that there will be even more students participate this year.

Do you do any fun competitions in your Media Center?

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Aurasma is Now HP Reveal

One of my favorite augmented reality apps recently went through a name change in December.  Aurasma is now HP Reveal.

The app icon looks different, but once inside the app, everything looks pretty much the same, except for you will notice blue accents rather than purple.  Aurasma Studio is now HP Reveal Studio.

HP Reveal has said that all previously created auras should still work.  I have tested out most of the trigger images I made and they do all seem to still work, but I will be keeping my eye on them just in case.

If you'd like to see how I use HP Reveal, check out these posts:
Aurasma Book Hunt
Parts of a Book Augmented Reality Style
Fantasy and Science Fiction Genres
Realistic Fiction

Meanwhile, I have updated the how to guide I created to reflect the name change and the subsequent color changes in both the app and Studio website.  You can download the update HERE in my TpT store.  I'd love to know what you think about it.

Happy augmenting!