Starwalk: See the Sky in a whole new way

Orion on Starwalk
Wesley Fryer's Starwalk Picture

The stars were beautiful in Medicine Hat, Canada this past week. Stunning. But they were also educational. As Steve Dembo (@teach42) and James Hollis (@jameshollis) pointed their ipads and iphones at the sky, Starwalk was adding an overlay on the world that was remarkable.

This is the kind of homework we should be giving. This incredible iphone app or ipad app, when pointed at the sky, determines the stars, planets, etc. that you're looking at and labels them for you.

As I searched on Google, I saw that my friend Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) had snapped a picture just 17 hours a go of the sky and Al Gonzalez (@educatoralreviewed this app back in 2010 at the trustworthy review site, Iear.org)

Everyone who looked at this app during the three days we were in Medicine Hat would suddenly forget the cold, gaze at the sky and their jaw would drop open.

This is a great example of augmented reality (see a Simple Lesson in Augmented Reality.) Reality is being enhanced with apps and online tools and it is quite incredible that such an app can recognize stars and overlay meaning on top.

Using the website “alternative to” I see only one good suggestion for Android, Google Sky Map, although I haven't tested that one.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere