Grades3 to 10
In the ClassroomArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition can be downloaded and installed on machines running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later. Check with your IT department or administrator for download and installation approval and help (if needed). ONly the need to download and install pushes this tool to the "Edge."
The ArtRage 2.6 interface is simple and intuitive, with large icons which clearly identify tools and options. While the program has a user guide and the website offers a quick start tutorial plus several technique-specific tutorials, fifteen minutes of clicking on icons, exploring the menus and playing with tools will give you a good start creating works of art. Teachers and students who are familiar with standard paint programs included in Windows and Mac machines will quickly grasp the basics and enjoy exploring the artistic possibilities of ArtRage 2.6. The program supports English, French or German language labels on tools and menus.
Be sure to ask student "experts" to demonstrate the ArtRAge tools on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use ArtRage 2.6 to create illustrations, drawings and paintings for storybooks, book reviews and author posters in English or language arts activities. Math and science concepts can be explained through illustrative drawings, such as a diagram of a flower's parts or the steps in oxidation. Make visual representations of mathematical operations or concepts such as fractions. Have ELL or foreign language students import images into ArtRage 2.6, trace and color them to create unique vocabulary cards and posters illustrating new words. Recognize and celebrate your students by importing their digital photos and applying textures and effects to create special birthday cards, awards, bulletin board pictures, and desktop signs. Share students' curriculum-related digital art projects on your class web page, blogs, or wiki (with parent permission) as well as your bulletin board. There are no safety concerns with this program because it is locally installed and does not involve interaction with the "general public" or social networking.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomSimple Diagrams is a useful tool for any subject area. Project diagrams onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and write upon them while lecturing. Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of a lesson by creating a diagram of their own. For example, students can demonstrate the chain of events behind the French Revolution, map out battle strategies, or explain the cause and effect of Industrial Age with a diagram. Science teachers may want to ask students to explain the steps of a science experiment or explain a water cycle with a diagram. Solve word problems with diagrammatic illustrations or create family trees full of digital photographs. PE teachers may find this a great tool to use to use when discussing strategic plays or relay races. Suggest using diagrams as a study tool for finals. Simple Diagrams provides a unique opportunity for students to create a visual explanation of key concepts.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Requires download/installation of software
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomIntroduce this fabulous site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students take turns trying the program. Include a link to Tux Paint on your class website and encourage families to download Tux Paint onto their family computer. Elementary teachers will enjoy all the options Tux Paint provides for image making. Classroom teachers can have students draw a response to a class glyph, illustrate stories, label scientific images, write and illustrate word problems or create self-portraits. You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. Dazzle parents at Open House or Back to School Night with a viewing of the slide show presentation or looping animation of student work. Save student work as a JPG and export images into a multimedia presentation with narration using Slidestory, reviewed here. Ask older students to design and submit new stamps to Tux Paint. Explain to them the premise behind Open Source software and how to participate in collaborative software development. Tux Paint is also a great way to teach young students how to control a mouse, type, drag, and cut or paste imagery. Stuck for lesson ideas on how to use Tux Paint, just ask the students!
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomHave students try the online version of the Grammar Ninja game on your interactive whiteboard (IWB) when teaching parts of speech. As you exhaust the options and notice that the number of sentences is limited, challenge a few students to use classroom computers to download and create their own sentences. Students who follow written directions well could do this on their own. Or you could do it together as a class on your IWB. Once students know how to create sentences, give them a chance to add their own. Remember that sentences will only play on the computer where you have created and saved them. If you keep the GNSC folder on the desktop of that machine, you could easily copy it onto a USB "stick" to be added to another computer. Have students challenge each other with sentences written around specific science or social topics you are studying or use sentences extracted from their own writing drafts so they learn grammar along with other content. Have students "swap" sentence files or challenge the entire class. Note: if you create a sentence with the WRONG answers, the game does not know that. Teachers will want to check (and score?) the accuracy of the parts of speech their sentence-creators identify! What a great way to do assessment!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomYou may need tech support to help you install the program on a school computer. There is an extensive wiki (user-contribution help section) to answer your questions about using Stellarium.
Try it on a projector in your classroom or even on an interactive whiteboard where students can draw and highlight items "in space." When you find successful strategies for using the software, be sure to participate in the wiki to share them. Or contact TeachersFirst to let us know more about ways to use Stellarium, so we can share them with other teachers!