Have Fun with Phun

Have some fun over the holiday playing with  Phun which is a great free download for Mac and PC operating systems that facilitates creating simple 2-D animation.  The program playfully combines science and art using physics terms, which is a great way to introduce  students to concepts and language such as torque, velocity, density and so on – where they can see the effects of their applications.    I certainly learnt a bit about physics in my play around. There are some excellent tutorials which enable the creation of motor cars crashing, building and destroying, rockets, catapults and the likes.  I think this could be used with middle to upper primary students as well as high school students as well as teachers!  Experienced users are creating  elaborate mechanism using Phun, as well as games, comics and contemporary art.

To get started, download it go to file and apply one of the built-in  themes already designed and click on the green ‘play’ button to set your theme in motion. Then take a look at the tutorials and see what you can create!  Note: it is somewhat addictive.

From the creators of Phun:

We want to keep Phun freely available for non-commercial use, since we think and hope that Phun can make a difference in promoting science and art to the masses, in particular children and young people, through a constructionists learning paradigm. Contact us for sponsorship agreements, or for commercial licenses of Phun. We are also open to R&D collaboration, including pedagogic use of Phun.

End of Year Activities

Here in Australia it’s not only the end of the year but for us, the school year.  Here are some fun activities for lower and middle junior students as end of year activities.

ICT Seasonal Activities

ICT Teach has a wonderful selection of Christmas activities (suitable for upper primary or seconary students) including making cards in photoshop, Christmas quizzes, a Webquest, Christmas shopping activity, Advent Calendars, word hunt, decorate a tree and many more.

Create and send e-cards

These are the best ones that I came across (of course there may be others – if so, plese share).  They don’t require any account setting up, just create and send. A great way to save trees and be creative!

The above was created by 365Greetings.com.  No registration was required to create this.

Create E-cards: Go to the drop down menu in the middle of the page and select ‘Christmas’.  Fill in the details on the page and send e-card.

Animated cards: Select a theme and create your card.  UpToTen.com has a selection of themes including Christmas to send e-cards.

Buzzle.com: you can upload your own image or use one of the images available.  They don’t seem to have any traditional type Christmas cards, so you may need to go to flickr creative commons to find and image an upload. Directions at Buzzle.com for creating are easy to follow.

Animoto has added an option to send your video as an e-card.   Create your video as usual then add a greeting.  I was hoping to show an example here, but the greeting design can only be sent by email and not embedded.  Anyway, here is my attempt which I will send overseas as an e-card.

Watch Rockfords Christmas Video

Rockfords Christmas video: I wrote about Rockfords Rock Opera in a previous post.  Rockford’s Rock Opera is a wonderful musical ecological story about extinction with wonderful images/video, music and songs (as well as the story) for children of all ages.   The story is broken up into chapters totally about two hours in all (the audio files can be downloaded) all the chapters can also be viewed via streaming (worth watching for the full effect).   The site now contains Christmas activities including wonderful animated  e-cards that can be sent.  A must to visit!