Sky Guide: View stars night or day
Type of Technology: app purchase for smart phone or tablet
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade Level: All
Subject Areas: Science, Astronomy, Mythology
Last week, I was camping with friends in Big Sur, CA. The stars were incredible and the night sky became the topic of discussion. To some degree, we all had astronomy knowledge, but even collectively, we were no match for even a cub scout. Until my friend pulled out his smart phone with this great app called Sky Guide, we were pointing, debating and disagreeing over constellation names and positions. Now, we were locked in wonder at the ease he found stars, planets, and even satellites. The informative pop ups give you details on meteor showers, comets, planets and constellations.
The app can be used on smart phones and tablets which then acts like a star guide from the past (the cardboard wheel that turns), but automatically adjusts where you are pointing. As you scan the sky, the screen shows you what you are seeing, but highlights and labels all the stars. There’s a search feature that will direct you where to look for a specific planet or star. A dramatic score makes the experience similar to sitting in a planetarium and being lulled into a stargazing stupor. You can even point it at the ground and it will show you what the other side of the world is seeing.
Teaching mythology can be enhanced by projecting this app on the wall of the classroom and explaining the groupings with ease. The constellations have graphic overlays that will make Taurus the Bull and Orion come to life. An upgrade helps you track the International Space Station and other satellites that zoom by. This app is great for everyone from little ones to complete space nerds.