This weekend my son (Lee) showed us an iPad app that he’d found:

Solar Walk – 3D Solar System model
By Vito Technology Inc.

I realize that it’s science but I figure if you’re an elementary teacher you teach science and if you’re a middle or high school teacher you have colleagues who teach science!

What is SO COOL about this app is to think about how it could be used along with the “Notice/Wonder” activity. Imagine that you have a class set of iPads. You’ve downloaded this (free!) app on each of them. You hand them out to the students and just ask them: “What do you notice? What do you wonder?” and just let them wander. Judging from what happened when Lee showed my husband and me this app, we immediately got lost in it — and what was so fun was that we each got lost in a different section. How could you help but learn?

Next would be sharing — best would be if in your classroom you have a way to share what an iPad displays on a classroom display but even if that’s not something you’ve figured out, I can imagine students taking turns talking about what they found.

The planets just come to life in this app. It’s quite incredible!