Monday, December 15, 2008

Games for the Brain

Games for the Brain is a website that I came across through Daily English Activities. Games for the Brain offers a variety of trivia games, word games, geography games, and puzzles in thirty languages. As I tried out different games this evening, one of the things that stood out was the lack of intrusive, spammy advertising that is found on a lot of game websites. Another attractive aspect of Games for the Brain is that some of the games can be embedded into your blog or website.

Applications for Education
Games for the Brain are available in thirty languages which may make them useful in ESL/ EFL classrooms. Games for the Brain are useful for vocabulary study and spelling practice. The trivia games could also spark a student's imagination and inquiry into topics that might not explore otherwise.

A Worm's Eye View of Composting

This evening as I was preparing a gourmet meal consisting of leftover chili and Annie's macaroni and cheese, I thought to myself, "I bet Annie's has some educational materials on its website." I was right, Annie's does have some educational materials including coloring pages and a children's guide to growing an organic garden. Annie's also has a link to the Organic Trade Association.

The Organic Trade Association has four educational resources. One of the resources is a pdf containing a composting activity for K-3 students called A Worm's Eye View of Composting. Additionally, teachers will find two simple research activities and a selection of coloring pages.

Applications for Education
The learning activities and coloring pages from Annie's and the OTA are appropriate for elementary school students. Before using these activities it is worth noting that both organizations do have an agenda they're trying to promote.

JOVE - Journal of Visualized Experiments

The Journal of Visualized Experiments is a free online journal of scholarly experiments recorded in video and posted online. JOVE is not your average video sharing website. All articles and videos on JOVE are reviewed by a cadre of Ivy League scholars. The purpose of JOVE is to make scholarly articles about biological research more accessible and easier to understand than an article not accompanied by video demonstrations.

Applications for Education
JOVE is a resource best used by advanced placement biology students and undergraduate biology students. The videos will be of assistance in understanding concepts and reproducing experiments.

More Than 4000 Uses for Wolfram Mathematica Player 7

Wolfram, as I wrote in May, produces some of the best interactive demonstrations of mathematics concepts found anywhere on the Internet. In my email today, I found a note from Wolfram letting me know that they have updated their Mathematica player. You can now download Mathematica 7 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Also shared in that email was an update on the number of demonstrations available for use in the Mathematica player, the number is now over 4000.

Applications for Education
The range of mathematics concepts that can be explored in Mathematica 7 starts with elementary school concepts and continues through collegiate level concepts. One of the outstanding features of the Mathematica player is that it not only allows students to try different problems it also reveals the concept that applies to each problem.

The Economy Hits the Lunch Room

In today's episode of CNN Student News there is a segment about how the struggling economy is impacting school lunch programs. The segment starts about 2/3's of the way through the video.

Applications for Education
This video segment is a good resource for making conversations and lessons about the economy relevant to students.