Travel through the solar system

solar system nasa“The “Eyes on the Solar System” interface combines video game technology and NASA data to create an environment for users to ride along with agency spacecraft and explore the cosmos. Screen graphics and information such as planet locations and spacecraft maneuvers use actual space mission data.” Nasa is now giving you the chance to travel through he solar system in real time and see what the Nasa missions see. That has to be exciting! Follow the link and the article explains all about it. The site is still being worked on so over time it will get bigger and better.

French iPad/iPod/iPhone apps

ipad2 keyboardAs I said, I have been taking an iPad2 into my year 11 French class just to see what happens so I can make better ,educated guesses about how I might use iPads in class. The way the students use it is interesting and intuitive. They automatically work in pairs, not singly on the iPad. Some put it down on the desk and lean over it together. Others are very mobile in their use of it and love the kinetic screen and will change it around, hold it up with the screen facing them and touch the icons that way and then move it around again and then put it down on the desk. They love its mobility. Not once have they done the wrong thing. Not once have they been off task and not once have I had to ask them to get on with their work. They are totally absorbed. They leave the lesson asking me to be sure to bring it back next lesson and could I please find more apps. I have loaded apps for French at different levels and have just asked them to try them out and tell me which ones they like. They have automatically settled on the ones for their level and then have worked hard and enjoyed learning French that way. If there are sound files they have plugged in their ear phones. I have not had to “manage” them at all. It has all been self regulating. The sorts of apps I use and have downloaded for students are things like the word reference.com app, Busuu , which has been a huge hit, The Odyssey Translator, Larousse dictionaries,27/7 French Lite, Best of French Cuisine, TV5 Monde, le Figaro.fr, France24 which streams live, mon guide ecolo,cote maison ,24/7 French vocab and verbe2verbe. There are others like Coffee Cup French. You just need to look and a lot of them are free or have a useful free trial version.

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