Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Interactive floor projection... on the cheap

This week I'm at the Australian Special Education Conference here in Perth. Keepad Interactive is a gold sponsor at the event and we have been using TurningPoint ARS every day.

As a way of getting people to come and have a chat to me at my stand, I set up a "garage" interactive floor projection.

Interactive floor projection is not new, and is based on movement within a video stream. But for most system there is considerable expense and most of the companies in this area charge a fortune for software and systems as if it were "magic".

Last week I found a  cool piece of software call Po-Motion - it just uses a standard web camera and a projector to create stunning floor based interactives.

It is not by any means a replacement for an interactive whiteboard - it works on motion rather than objects in this mode - so you actually have to move to make it work - stay still and nothing happens even if you are standing in it.

This kind of sensory experience is fantastic for special needs kids for cause and effect simulations, motivating kids to move and if you include music it turns into a multi sensory experience.

Just watching adults muck around and play with it just shows how much kids would love it - I had several games of virtual soccor going on over the lunch break period.

You can use the same system on a wall.

Just one more thing you can do with your data projector.

If you are wondering why I'm not using the Epson Ultra Short Throw on the floor projection - that's an Epson  485Wi - it is already interactive so I'm showing how the two technologies are similar by projecting onto the table and using the interactive pens.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Middle School Science Resources

It is amazing what a dedicated teacher can do.

My Science Box - is a fantastic resource for middle school science teachers. Developed by a Californian teacher, these lessons and resources are gold standard, and getting bigger.

With lesson plans, learning programs and guides this is a great help to any teacher who wants to make science that much more interesting.

Aligned to Californian state standards (referenced) it shouldn't be too hard to match them to either Australian or other science curricular. Resources are mainly in word format so that you can adapt them to your classroom requirements.

I also have to applaud the website design - simple, clear and easy to use - many commercial sites should have a look at this.

All resources are creative commons - non commercial so you are authorised to copy and reuse.