I was just on Periscope talking about how you can create a digital classroom balloon release. When I was in grade school and so were my siblings and my wife and her siblings, schools would release balloons to fly where the winds took them. Each balloon would have a small note card attached with contact information where whoever found the balloon could write back to. However, over the years balloon releases have become used less and less due to environmental laws, student and school privacy and air traffic laws. However, we live in an age where classrooms and students are on Twitter, Google+, Periscope, Meerkat, Educlipper, Remind and more. I was at the pool looking up in the sky where I saw a balloon get away from a person and the idea hit me. Creating a digital classroom balloon release is extremely simple.
1. Set up a Padlet or Google Forms. What’s great about the two of them is that they can be accessed without a password or login. Set it up where a person can simply add in their state or country and leave it at that.
2. Set up the URL for the Padlet or Form using a URL shortener along with a QR Code and copy them both.
3. Next add them to a digital poster using anything from Pic Collage, Google Docs or even Smore. Keep the message simple about seeing where digital balloon ends up being seen and read.
4. Send out the digital poster through Twitter, Google+, whatever safe social network you want to share it with.
5. Wait and see who responds, once they do, use Google Earth to see what sites are close by where they are writing from. use Geotags to check out history and locations.
6. Finish up with students doing research on those historical spots and let students create.
Extra Note: If you want to try a classic paper format, create a poster with just the QR or tiny URL attach to the poster and post it at a local coffee shop but ask the questions: What coffee do you get? How often do you come get coffee and if you are local or not? Don’t leave it to where a person has to post their name or anything. Then create an graph on the coffees they get and how often they go and if they are local or not. Simple as that and it protects everyone’s identity without question. Give it a try.