Monday, March 23, 2009

SnagFilms Adds More Documentary Films

Snag Films, the provider of free full-length documentary films, has recently added 50 new films. The addition of these films brings the total number of free documentaries to 600. For those readers not familiar with Snag Films, Snag Films hosts full-length documentary films that can be embedded in any blog or website. These are all high quality films from providers like National Geographic and NOVA. As an example of the type of films you can watch on Snag Films I've embedded a National Geographic movie about Madagascar.

Applications for Education
Snag Films is great for teachers because it makes many documentaries available for free and on demand. You don't have to go searching through your school library, rummaging through your department's storage closet, or spend any of your limited budget on a film that you may only use a few times per year.

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Google Summer of Code - Apply Now

Google Summer of Code looks like an awesome summer learning experience for college students. The program brings students together with mentors to develop open source code for a variety of projects. The Summer of Code is open to any current student over the age of 18. You can read the full details of program here. Applications are due by April 3.

The video below provides an overview of the program.

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Help Kidz Learn - Free Games and Stories

Help Kidz Learn is a fantastic website that I learned about from Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs. Help Kidz Learn has games, animated stories, and creative activities designed for young learners. The distinguishing feature of the Help Kidz Learn website is that most of the games and activities can be accessed using switch technology produced by the Inclusive Technology company. You do not need the the switch technology to use the games and activities on the website. Most of the games can be played using just a couple of keys on the keyboard.

Applications for Education
Help Kidz Learn is a great website for students as young as pre-K through about the third grade. The games that I tried were well designed and could be played by students without needing a lot of instruction from a teacher.

Here are some related resources that might be of interest to you:
Fun and Educational Games for Pre-K through Grade 8
Grammar Ninja
Five Fun Spelling Games

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Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion

Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion features fantastic interactive activities and animations for students to use to learn human biology concepts. The activities and animations seem to be targeted toward a middle school audience there is a lot of value in Biology in Motion for high school students too. Biology in Motion offers some good tips for teachers planning to use these activities in the classroom. Most of the tips are things that might seem obvious, but are good reminders none-the-less.

Applications for Education
Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion provides fun and educational activities and animations appropriate for middle school and high school science classes. One way you might use Biology in Motion is to have students diagram a concept then compare it to the animations in Biology in Motion.

Here are some related resources that might be of interest to you:
Virtual Frog Dissection
The Interactive Body
Interactive Anatomy and Physiology Tutorials

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Arkive - Images of Life on Earth

Arkive is a great website for biology teachers and students. Arkive has thousands of images and videos of threatened plants and animals. Arkive also has a Google Earth layer that students can use to view marine species habitat. The education section of Arkive has complete lesson plans including video clips and slideshows that teachers can download. There are lesson plans appropriate for use in elementary school, middle school, and high school. If you're looking for a short educational activity, Arkive has educational games that students can play independently.

Applications for Education
Arkive is a great source of educational videos and pictures for use in a biology class. The news archive on Arkive provides timely reading materials that could be used in middle school or high school classrooms. The games are appropriate for use in elementary school or middle school.

I first learned about Arkive on Kelly Tenkely's website iLearn Technology. If you haven't subscribed to her website, I highly recommend doing so.

Global Headlines from CNN Student News

Today's episode of CNN Student News starts with a recap of the weekend's headlines from around the world. The headlines conclude with the death of Natasha Richardson and segues into a segment about brain injury prevention. The video is embedded below.

As always CNN Student News provides a ten question quiz about the episode's content.

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