You Are Your Words

Wow, this is not only cool from a technology standpoint, but can impart a valuable lesson. You Are Your Words is a tool created by the American Heritage Dictionary that turns a student’s words (using a piece of writing that they have already created) into a picture of that student. By uploading a picture, the application manipulates the size, shape, and color of each word until it creates a digital image of the photo. It’s a fantastic way to exhibit student work, and helps students to remember that what they say, what they write, reflects on them.

**Special thanks to iLearn Technology for bringing this great site to my attention.**

Addendum: It has come to my attention (thanks Jen!) that the pictures you create with You Are Your Words are automatically added to their gallery, and can’t be deleted. So make sure you (and your students) are OK with having their creations available for all to see before you go playing with this.

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Paper Toys

Here’s a cool site for studying design, history, architecture, and any number other disciplines. PaperToys provides free, downloadable paper models of monuments, buildings, and vehicles. You can create the Sydney Opera House, the Globe Theatre, or a Mississippi Queen Riverboat with just a pair of scissors and some glue. These models would be great for enhancing lessons, and offering students the chance to build something hands’ on.

Google Art Project

Explore famous works of art and world class art museums from the comfort of your desk! Google’s Art Project allows you to walk through a museum room by room, zooming in on the pieces you’re interested in. You can also directly view works like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, zooming in to remarkable levels of detail. And, if you’re done looking and want to do some reading, there is information on each work, including provenance. Check out this cool video to see how it all works:

Big thanks to Kevin Brodeur for the suggestion!

PsykoPaint

Thanks to Kevin Brodeur for pointing out this fantastic art tool. PsykoPaint allows you to upload your own images, and then using brush tools, alter them in the style of a famous artist. The results are stunning!

I’ve found that, sometimes, the PsykoPaint site won’t open. Just like with Google Body, this one works best with the Google Chrome browser, rather than Firefox or Safari.

TED Talks

Prepare to have your mind blown. This article explains what the TED Talks are better than I can. All I can say is that these short presentations have a way of bringing material to life, and inciting discussion, like nothing else. There are plenty to choose from (it can be overwhelming; it can also become a huge time suck as you find yourself watching talks for 6 hours straight…) on any topic you can think of, and many you can’t.

My personal favorites:

Theo Jansen’s Kinetic Sculptures

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