Monday, October 16, 2017

Gamifying financial literacy education with Star Banks Adventure

In the past, I have had the occasion to write blog posts about various aspects of financial literacy. There are many well-done Web sites created by experts in the field of personal finance that can be helpful to ensure students master the financial literacy skillset.


STAR BANKS ADVENTURE GAME

There is now a no-cost, engaging and informational online game from T. Rowe Price titled Star Banks Adventure available for teachers and students to instruct and learn about financial concepts within a gamified environment. Star Banks Adventure is also available as an iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire app. Just go to the Star Banks Adventure game site for links to them all.



The Star Banks Adventure game targets students in grades 5-8 and it includes puzzles and quick quizzes dealing with financial and personal finance concepts and is set in a sci-fi environment. I am not an experienced gamer, but the Star Banks Adventure game provides live demos right within the game, so I was able to catch on quickly how to maneuver and move through the levels. Each level builds upon the concepts in the previous level, so students get a deep-dive into each concept.

TEACHER SUPPORT

The Star Banks Adventure game was intended to help teachers introduce real world money concepts to students in middle school. There is a great curriculum matrix included within the teacher section of the Classroom Edition. The concepts taught in the game are mapped to national standards in personal finance, national standards in economics, and the Common Core State Standards. Below is a section of the curriculum matrix for levels one and two of the Star Banks Adventure game.


T. Rowe Price offers many additional financial resources for educators on their Money Confident Kids site. This site provides background information on financial concepts and includes downloadable magazines for students, print resources, videos, activators, and more. I suggest starting at the Teaching Tools and Activities page of the site, which includes PDF guides for both middle school and high school teachers. The Money Confident Kids site also includes a parent section to help parents reinforce some of these personal finance concepts at home.


CLASSROOM EDITION

The Classroom Edition of the Star Banks Adventure game includes an administrative dashboard for the teacher. Teachers create their own account on this page. In addition to including how-to tutorials for the Dashboard itself, the Dashboard allows the teacher to create online classroom groups, manage these  groups, monitor their students' progress, and compare their students' data with other classrooms in the United States. In the Teacher Dashboard area there are also tutorials introducing each of the six financial concepts included in the game -- setting a financial goal, prioritizing spending, rate of return, asset allocation, inflation and time horizon, and diversification.

Teachers can create as many classrooms as they need in the Dashboard and also view each student's progress and well as the aggregated classroom progress. Students have both a Classroom ID and User ID, neither of which include the real name of the student. Fun pseudonyms for the student names are generated as the teacher creates the User IDs.

Starting at the beginning of the game and moving through the levels helps reinforce the skills as they are learned. However teachers can have students work on a specific subject if they wish and jump to a specific topic.

HARDWARE

I tried out the online version of the game on both Mac and Windows laptops and and on iOS, Android, and Google Fire devices. It worked flawlessly on all of these. It does not seem to run on the Chromebook nor with the Google Play Store install on my Asus Flip Chromebook. 

The Star Banks Adventure game provides a fun, engaging, educational, and informative way for students to learn about personal finance and becoming financially literate. Give it a try with your students!

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of We Are Teachers and T. Rowe Price.
I received compensation this post, how for ever all opinions stated are my own.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The importance of financial literacy


Financial and economic literacy is about understanding the importance of making appropriate economic choices on a personal level, as well as understanding the connection that personal, business, and governmental decisions have on individuals, society, and the economy.  

I have blogged about programs that help students develop their financial literacy skills. However, it is important teachers are also knowledgeable about the various aspects of financial literacy, as well as the best way to help students attain the knowledge they need to succeed.


OVERVIEW

There is a comprehensive program that can help educators learn about the aspects of personal finance and allows them to earn micro-credentials upon completion of modules and, in some states, credits or points to use for recertification.

Digital Promise, in partnership with the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University, has developed twenty financial literacy micro-credentials, appropriate for teachers grades 7-12, that provide open access to professional development resources for use across the content areas. These micro-credentials support educators development of their students’ personal finance skills. (If you want to learn more about the process of micro-credentialing, Digital Promise has published a great overview!)


These twenty, competency-based, micro-credentials cover the following.
  • Discussing risk and return
  • Credit cards
  • Buying or leasing
  • Saving for retirement
  • Learning investing
  • Understanding credit scores
  • Financial decision making
  • Building credit
  • Saving strategies
  • Student loan borrowing
  • Tax basics for teens
  • Protecting identity online
  • Comparing banking options
  • Exploring career options
  • Financial management 
  • Comparison shopping
  • Compound interest 
  • Automobile insurance
The modules in the Digital Promise Financial Literacy program include many different modes of learning to help middle and high school students attain the knowledge they need. These include digital game-based learning, online discussions, graphic organizers, learning-by-doing, simulation based learning, problem based learning, applied learning, and performance based learning.

The modules also target the higher order thinking skills as students reactivate their prior knowledge, compare and contrast, analyze, make decisions, and reflect.

THE MODULES



The content of the personal finance program is separated into manageable chunks as modules. I explored all the modules, and wanted to share one that targets content I am passionate about - identity protection. I signed up for my free account at Digital Promise which brought me to their micro-credentialing platform, BloomBoard.

The introduction to the module included an overview of the method of instruction and links to supporting research for the instructional method for this module which is game-based learning. The introduction also included a suggested implementation of the lesson as well as links to a choice of digital games to use for the lesson.

This was followed by a list of the submission requirements for evaluation and earning of the micro-credential. These are shown below and also included a downloadable document which included the scoring guide rubric.


Once I had read the background material and investigated the included online financial games, I felt confident to teach the lesson about identify theft to the students. I would allow them to complete one of the games and then to collaborate in pairs, and with the class, about their experiences and gained knowledge.

To attain the micro-credential, I needed to go back to the questions above and complete the sections discussing how I introduced the topic, upload two artifacts, and (the most important part) reflect on game-based learning and its impact on student acquisition of content. There was also an optional survey to provide the resource creators with additional information.

I was very impressed with both the content and the platform of the module. The choices included allowed me, as an educator, to determine what was best for my students. The included research information and additional resources made me feel comfortable I had attained enough knowledge to teach the topic in an way to help students learn. The assessments to earn my micro-credential were meaningful and prompted me to think and reflect on both the method of delivery and student learning.

The Digital Promise/GFLEC financial literacy program can be used across the curriculum, and, in addition to helping students attain the financial literacy skills, it provides educators with the time to reflect on methods of instructional delivery, which can help frame practice in any content area!
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This is a sponsored post on behalf of We Are Teachers and Digital Promise
I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own.




Monday, July 24, 2017

Promoting inventiveness in the classroom




This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in June 2017 and is re-posted here with permission.

 

We are all familiar with invention—the process of creating something new and useful. But what about the creativity factors that play a large role in this process? The form of creativity leading to invention is called inventiveness. How can you lead your teachers or colleagues to promote inventiveness in the classroom?

The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa includes a great overview of inventiveness in their “Invent Iowa Curriculum Guide”. Invent Iowa, started in 1987, was created to help teachers promote the invention process in their classrooms as well as allow students to showcase their inventions at state and local conventions. The Invent Iowa guide states inventiveness includes four components.
  1. Fluency– the ability to brainstorm
  2. Flexibility– the ability to think in new and different ways
  3. Elaboration– the ability to add details or missing parts
  4. Originality– the ability to create things that are new
In this program, the grade 3-8 students are encouraged to use a series of problem-solving steps when during the invention process.
  • They begin by identifying or finding a problem that might be solved or lessened with an invention.
  • They then gather information about related inventions.
  • Before an inventor begins creating, he/she explores the idea in-depth.
  • Finally, the student inventor imagines their invention idea and begins creating it.
As the student inventor explores their idea in depth, he/she needs to answer the common thinking questions to prompt them to think of all the aspects – who, what, where, when, and why. There is an additional question the inventor needs to think about, and that is “how” – “How can I make the invention?” “How can I get investors?” “How can I market the invention?”
The Invent Iowa Curriculum Guide includes a rubric which can help the classroom teacher develop the timelines and task goals with the students. It includes the problem, the solution, the explanation, the uniqueness, the benefits, the inventor’s log, and the invention itself. The higher order thinking skills of evaluating, analyzing, and creating, as well as the importance of reflection, comprise a large part of this process.

The curriculum guide also provides some tips for teachers for instilling a climate for inventiveness in the classroom.
  • Create challenge and motivation
    • Stimulate student questioning
    • Asking questions calling for creative thought
    • Discuss the “unknowns”
  • Encourage students to challenge their assumptions
  • Provide freedom for exploration
    • Establish trust and openness
    • Defer judgment whenever possible
  • Use affirmative judgment
  • Permit liveliness and dynamism
    • Encourage student involvement and ownership
  • Encourage playfulness and humor
  • Allow for examining differing ideas and viewpoints
  • Minimize conflicts
  • Encourage risk-taking, rather than “safe” responses and conformity
  • Provide time for thought and action
However, to spur the creativity and have students adopt the inventiveness mindset, there some interesting ways for the classroom teacher to foster creativity in the classroom. Kristin Hicks, in an Edudemic blog post, provides five ways to bring this about. Her thoughts and ideas deal with student choice, and include:
  1. Allow students choice in the format of their assessments. Even have them mix and match formats, for example, a video with a recorded podcast review.
  2. Try to set aside some time each day for students to follow their passions. Create a “genius hour”.
  3. Use technology to broaden your idea of assignments. For instance, use Google Maps along with a novel, have students interview experts on Skype and follow experts on Twitter or in a Reddit group to gather their information for a research paper, etc.
  4. Make sure your tech toolbox includes some unconventional tech tools. Have students create a TED talk about a chapter in the science book, have them draw an XKCD-like comic strip, or create a Fakebook page for an explorer. (I have tons of categorized online tools on this page for you to investigate!)
  5. Encourage discussion among students, using the Socratic seminar method, so students are not afraid to take a risk, learn how to formulate good questions, and how to respect the opinions of others. (Take a look at a recent Kathy’s Katch blog post I penned, Civil Discourse in the Classroom, to investigate more about helping students learn to value someone else’s point of view.)
I also am a fan of Stacey Goodman’s methods of encouraging divergent thinking in his classroom. His expected results would lead to a climate of inventiveness, too.
  • Problem-based learning: Instead of giving the students the problem to solve, have them create the problem questions based on their own knowledge and passions.
  • Setting norms: Develop activities that encourage students to defer judgement. If students know they will not be immediately judged, they are more likely to offer divergent ideas.
  • Inquiry and observation: Have students spend time observing, hold back on expressing their likes and dislikes, and follow-up with statements or questions such as “I noticed…”, “Why…?”, and “How…?”.
  • Encouraging play and managing failure: Develop activities that encourage students to play and experiment, followed by reflection and iteration until they are satisfied with the result. Help them learn not to be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Use art strategies: Goodman is an art teacher, and he presents some art activities in the article that would easily work across the content areas to promote inventiveness.
Another succinct overview of the components that can help lead to creativity and inventiveness has been developed by Tanner Christensen.



Discovery Education has material to support creative thinking in your classroom.
  • The Spotlight on Strategies (SOS) “Take a walk” activity is based on a Stanford University study which found that creative thinking improves as you walk and for a short time after.
  • The video “Above & Beyond“, created by Fablevision, showcases how a collaborative project can lead to some creative results!
  • The “Teaching to inspire creativity” video segment is a short professional development video for educators.
After looking at both the Hicks and Goodman criteria and the Discovery Education resources, I don’t believe inventiveness is tied just to the invention process. I think it is a natural part of the creative and divergent thinking processes, too. For some fascinating reading, the Creative Something blog, written by Tanner Christensen, explores the science of how creative thinking works to help his audience “use it every day to create, empower, and motivate”. Isn’t that what we want for students?

Allowing students to pursue their passions, in a way meaningful to them, is a process that can be mentored and practiced in the classroom. By giving students both time and practice in questioning, collaborating, researching, designing, iterating, re-designing, and reflecting, we will be empowering and motivating them to apply the process of inventiveness both in and out of the classroom!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Civil discourse in the classroom

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in November 2016 and is re-posted here with permission.
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During this season of debates and political commercials, the stereotypes, biases, and negativity seem to have taken over civil discourse. As our students watch the televised political debates, read the responses on Twitter or Reddit, or view the video responses from those with an agenda, they need to understand how to value someone else’s point of view and balance it with their own thoughts and beliefs to form an opinion.

POINT OF VIEW

Learning how to look at things from a different point of view and how a point of view can change someone’s version of an event, can start with our youngest students. The ILA/NCTE site has several lesson plans that target point-of view.
  • Teaching Point of View With Two Bad Ants has students reading the story in small groups, analyzing the illustrations and text, comparing an ant’s view with a human’s view, and then writing a short story from an ant’s perspective. (Grades 3-5)
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Analyzing Point of Views in Texts, in addition to an opening activity where students are assigned a point of view when listening to a story, the teacher reads aloud two different versions of the traditional fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs. Using a Venn diagram, students compare and contrast the story’s events from the various points of view presented in the two books. The teacher follows-up with a reading of the The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Scieszka), which is told from the point-of-view of the wolf. Students then have to re-write a fairy tale from the point of view of an object or character in the tale, such as the pea in The Princess and the Pea or the bean in Jack and the Beanstalk. (Grades 6-8)
Discovery Education offers a video segment and supporting materials for teaching point of view for grades 3-5.
  • Point of View : “This segment presents a facts about circus master P.T. Barnum and compares two author’s points of view about the entertainer. A follow-up activity asks students to analyze point of view in a magazine article.” (4:43)

RESPONDING TO OTHERS

I have always believed, when responding to others in a public forum, my comments should be positive or neutral– never negative. If I have a critical response to the author of an article or post, I simply send it to them directly, whether in a direct message in Twitter or via email. I try to be constructive in my criticism and also want to have the chance to use as many characters and words as I need to to get my point across. I don’t want to get in a debate over something in a public venue and only have 140 characters to respond with!
A popular method of feedback I use when responding to my graduate students comes  John Wooden, famous college basketball coach. His coaching methodology is sometimes referred to as The Sandwich Method.

sandwich_color
Sandwich (Color) . Clip Art. Discovery Education. Web. 10 October 2016. .

The Sandwich Method of Feedback
  1. Start with positive feedback about someone’s idea
  2. Provide the constructive criticism you want to share
  3. End on a positive note
Ashely Hurley, a professional development specialist, penned a useful post in 2014 titled “The A-B-Cs of Giving Feedback to a colleague“. She provides examples and methods of how to keep the feedback accessible and action-oriented, how to focus on the basic information, and connecting the feedback to the content. Ashley also includes links to additional information about feedback. Even though this post is about teachers giving peer feedback, the same tenets can easily be applied to support students during student-student feedback.
Debating is a form of targeted feedback and there are some great resources for those who wish to debate, whether in person or online, and do so with clarity and purpose. I love this strategy from Marco Witzmann in an article about how to become a great debater. The article goes into much more depth than the following, but the main components of the strategy are:
  • State: use clear wording in one short phrase, stating your point
  • Explain: Use the word because to explain why your point is valid.
  • Illustrate: Use examples to illustrate your point and make the audience identify with your arguments
Students can learn about this strategy and then, while re-watching a political debate, keep a tally on how well the debaters did in each of these three areas. Was their main point understood? Did they explain why they took that stance? Did their examples help or hinder their presentation of their main point?
Simon Frasier University, located in Canada, offers this concise overview of how to debate which includes the basic debating skills of style, speed, tone, volume, clarity and eye contact as well as the content components of the argument including the case and the rebuttal. Again, once students understand the parts of a debate, they can dissect a political debate using this information as a starting point.










Discovery Education, in their Spotlight on Strategies collection, has several great activities that target both point of view and debate.
  • Essentially Speaking “is a teaching strategy that provides a structure for students to prepare for a debate after encountering a new piece of media or collection of information. Students identify their key points and evidence that supports them before arguing one side of the debate.”
  • Tug of War “is a teaching strategy that develops students’ abilities in the arts of deliberation and debate. To create a tug-of-war activity, students are placed in two groups to argue opposing sides of an issue, using reasoning and evidence.”
  • 3 truths…1 Lie “is a teaching strategy that helps students focus on the key takeaway of a particular concept. Students will create three truths and one lie, based on the digital selection.”
  • Gone Fishin’ “is a teaching strategy that allows students to practice presenting their opinions in a respectful and productive manner. Students are given deep and debatable questions and small groups have informed discussions in front of the rest of the class.”

LISTENING SKILLS

Of course, in order to understand someone else’s point of view or dissect a debate, students need to know how to listen. It is too easy to get caught up in wanting to respond and interrupt with your own opinion. Learning how to listen is a practiced skill and Discovery Education offers resources to help students attain this important skill.
  • Listen Up “is a teaching strategy that encourages students to either watch or listen carefully…Students switch roles between viewer and listener and assist each other in putting the pieces together to understand a piece of media.”
  • Developing Your Listening Skills: In this 1:53 video segment “Slim Goodbody gives examples of how to become a better listener. He also explains that when you are a good listener you hear the meaning and feeling behind the words which lead to better communication.” (Grades K-5)
  • Active Listening: “This 4:11 segment presents a short piece about Monument Valley and discusses active listening techniques.” (Grades 3-5)
  • Communication Skills: “Through a series of role-plays, two students resolve a conflict by using active listening skills and I statements.” Grades 6-8 (7:33)
  • Becoming a Better Listener and Communicator: This 3:09 video segment provides tips the important communication skill of listening. Grades 6-12
Other good lessons plans I found dealing with active listening include:
  • Active Listening: “Students practice active listening by paraphrasing what they hear.” Grades 3-6
  • Are you listening?: This lesson plan takes students through two different ways to listen. Grades 7-9
  • Social Skill- Active Listening: This is a 23-page packet which teaches students about active listening and has them actively listening during both the lesson and in real-life situations. Grades 9-12

These practical skills of thinking about point of view, learning how to deliver critical feedback, and the process of actively listening to others are important as our students grow to be the voters and leaders of the future!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Using Pokemon Go in the classroom

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in August 2016 and is re-posted here with permission.
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How can you utilize the game "Pokemon Go" in your classroom in a meaningful way? Student excitement about this game can be easily harnessed to support all kinds of fun and pedagogically-sound lessons and activities!

Before we start, and if you have not yet played the game, there are some vocabulary words you might need.

VOCABULARY


Screenshot from game
Screenshot from game
Pokemon Go: an augmented reality, GPS-based, mobile device game which uses real-world locations to gather virtual items

Pokemon: the characters in the game you seek to capture and use for other purposes

Pokeball: the item you need to capture Pokemon

Pokestop: Place you locate in the game and visit to gather Pokeballs

Pokedex: An incomplete encyclopedia given to you in the game that is populated with details of the Pokémon as you capture them

Gym: a specific place in the game where you can have your Pokemon battle for control

Journal: a time-based list of your activity in the game

Pokemon trivia: Pokemon is short for "Pocket Monsters"

APA style guide for "Pokemon Go" information.

I doubt if there are many Pokestops or Pokemon in or around your school. And I'm not suggesting playing the game in your classroom. However, after playing it myself for the past few days, I've had some thoughts on how to use the game to expand the learning and target some of the literacies we want students to attain.

Some of the following activities require students to take some extra time and gather information as they're actually playing the game. Others they can complete after they're done for the day.

VIRTUAL REALITY IMAGES

Many of the Pokestops in the game showcase a local business, attraction or historical site. Since students  already have their phone in their hands, have them use the Google Street View app to take a 360° spherical panoramic image of the Pokestop. Having these images to share with others will both promote community pride as well as allow immersion in the Pokestop via a Google Cardboard Viewer or via the Ricoh Theta S app. By taking the time to create and share the 360° images, students will become familiar with some of the cool sites in their community.

Here is a sample of a 360° image taken at a site of a Pokestop. Click and drag your mouse around the image to view it. (Direct link)






As you or students create 360° images, please consider Creative Commons-licensing them for use by others, joining my Flickr group called 360° Images for Schools and uploading them!

DIGITAL STORYTELLING


Augmented reality
Augmented reality
One of the neat features of the "Pokemon Go" game is, when students find a Pokemon in the wild, they can turn on an augmented reality version of their mobile device screen which puts the virtual Pokemon into the live scene where their camera is facing.

Students can then take a screenshot of the image. By saving the screenshots to their camera roll, students will have access to them later to use in other classroom projects, such as creating a digital story about their adventures.

Don't forget- students will need access to tools for planning, preparing, and producing their digital story. Ideas and successful practices for creating digital stories can be found on my digital storytelling site.





Easy digital storytelling creation tools

DATA LITERACY


Journal screenshot
The Journal component of the game automatically records the time and date of the events as they occur -- whether it be collecting Pokeballs or capturing a Pokemon. Students can use the data to figure out the average number of events per day or to graph their allocation of items from a Pokestop. 

Using data they have collected and analyzing it will help students start to become familiar with the data literacy skills of data processing, data manipulation, data presentation, and data analysis. A great rubric for data literacy analysis by Andrew Churches can be found here.



Data entered in spreadsheet
Data entered in spreadsheet

Another treasure trove of data can be found in the Pokedex. Each Pokemon that is captured includes an information card, including height and weight (in metric). This data can be analyzed and manipulated for any number of measurement activities. (i.e. How many of which Pokemon would you need to stretch all the way across the US? What would be the total weight of all of them?) In addition, students could use Airtable (iOS app) to create their own relational database of their "Pokemon Go" data and become familiar with some of the features of a database (i.e. tagging, searching, sorting, etc.)

Info card from Pokedex

 

MAPPING

Encourage students to either gather the GPS points of their finds as they play the game or have them collect that info when they are done for the day. One site that makes this easy is http://www.gps-coordinates.net/ Students can search for a location on Google Maps from this site and then copy the GPS coordinates that show up.
Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 8.06.12 PM

Once students have this GPS data, have them locate the GPS point in Google Earth, add the screenshots for the Poketops or areas they visited in the game, and have them create a "Google Pokemon Go Trip". Students quickly become aware they are actually using real-life places in the game and can share their journeys with others. To learn how to start this process, instructions for the Google Lit Trips project will help you out!

INFOGRAPHICS

Use the data compiled from the "Pokemon Go" Journal and any additional information students collect (for instance, the number of steps they take in any one day) to have students create an infographic using one of the online tools or mobile apps. I have lists of these apps and tools both on my Guide to Everything Infographics page as well as in a previous Discovery Education Kathy's Katch blog post.

Infographics should have an eye-catching image at the top with the most important data and then include secondary and tertiary data for those want to know more. Shaelynn Farnsworth provides some solid tips about teaching the basics of infographics to students here.


Inverted triangle
Inverted triangle

I used Canva to create a health-related infographic based on the number of steps I have taken while playing the game.

pokemongo2

 


SKETCHNOTES

Have students write a short piece about their personal reflection of the game. How long did it take them to learn how to play "Pokemon Go"? Have they joined any groups of people searching for rewards? What do they like best about playing? Least?

Have students exchange their writings or share a Google doc with another student. Each student should create a sketchnote from the writings of the other. Provide students with the basics of sketchnoting before you begin this project (i.e. text connectors, containers, shading, color, format) and then have them share the completed sketchnote with the author of the original piece. This can help students both practice visual notetaking, as well as learn how to pull out the most important points from a piece of writing. 

My sample is below. I sketchnoted this from a short piece that appeared on the CNET Web site.

skwtchnote


POKÉ PODCASTS

Once students have reflected on their sketchnotes and reworked their essay on the topic, have each student create a short podcast about their experience with "Pokemon Go". Embed these podcasts in your class website and parents can enjoy the excitement that will definitely come through as each student reflects on their time with the game!
Podcasting tools

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Creating a 360° image with a cell phone

I have been experimenting with different phones and apps for creating a 360° spherical panoramic image. Below are my recommendations. In addition, once your students or you create a 360° image, please ask to join my Flickr group, 360 Images for Schools, Creative Commons-license your image so others can use it, and upload the image to the Flickr group.

iOS

360 Panorama app for iOS
I have found the $1.99 360Panorama app works the best for the iOS devices. If you take your time, and make sure to move your feet carefully as you take the images you need to take, the resulting spherical panoramic image will work great with a Google Cardboard viewer or online at ThinglinkVR, Roundme.com, or Facebook. You may have to resize the image to a 2:1 resolution (i.e. 1000 pixels by 500 pixels) via an image-editing app for some hosting sites. In your image-editing app, just pick to not constrain the current resolution before resizing.





You can also use the Google Street View app on iOS and save the resulting spherical panoramic image to the iOS Camera Roll. You don’t have to put it up on a Google Map.


ANDROID

 Of course, Google Street View is a good option on the Android phones, too. Again, you can decide to save it to the Gallery on the phone and not share it on Google Maps.

The Nexus phone came out with a camera app (Google Camera) that included a spherical panoramic image as a built-in option right in the camera app itself.


Choices for the use of the Google Camera

It is possible to install this camera app on an older Android phone with at least the v.4 operating system and it will not replace the existing camera…just add an additional one. And it does not require rooting your phone!

The instructions can be found on this page, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq1Hzend_4gunderneath the video or on this page. (Do this at your own risk! However, it worked perfectly for me on both an HTC One with Android 4.4.2 and a Samsung Galaxy 5 with a newer operating system.)

Remember, if your Android phone does not have an accelerometer and gyroscope, it cannot create a photosphere. The less-expensive Android phones do not usually have these built-in hardware features, and you should check your cell phone manufacturer's full specifications to determine whether it does.

Don’t forget to share your 360° images with other educators and students via the 360 Images for Schools Flickr group! And, take the time to look at the resources on my AR/VR Web page.