Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Possibilities with Pixie

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a day learning about Pixie2 from a representative from Tech4Learning. WOW! All I can say is WOW!

Last year I had used some of the pre-made activities educators can find on their Trading Post. This allows you to search for a Pixie2 activity by grade level and content area. My first graders did a lot of sorting activities this way using the "click and drag" method. They sorted living and non-living things, shapes and animals according to their habitats to name a few.

After today I realized that last year.....I HAD NO CLUE!!! Pixie can do so, so much more for educators!

One cool thing I learned was that I can take digital pictures and utilize them in activities students would do or I would create and use to instruct with. One example shared was to go on a shape hunt in the school and students would take pictures of various things, upload the pictures, and then with the paint tool outline the shapes for them to stand out. Another example shared was to take digital pictures of students' faces, upload the pictures, and have them import their pictures into different locations like Mount Rushmore. They then could write about how they would make a difference in the world like those presidents.

Something else interesting I learned was that all the things created using Pixie2 are very easily exported into other applications like Keynote or Pages. They can also be turned into Podcasts, slideshows, or posted on websites. Very cool option to share student work with other students, parents and other educators!

Another enlightening thing that came to me during this experience was the first thing we had to do this morning was a very open ended "project". All she said to us was "make a pig". It then lead all of us educators to explore all the paint brush, shapes, paint bucket, etc. tools available and we learned about them through the experience. We were not directly instructed on how to use the tools but were encouraged to just "explore". This was a powerful lesson as sometimes I feel like I need to instruct students on how to use a piece of software before allowing them to use it. Perhaps, I need to put a little bravery on and just let the students click around and discover on their own at first. They will ask questions about what certain buttons or tools do and I can capture those "teachable moments".

If you have used Pixie2 what is something you have used it for?

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