Monday, April 19, 2010
Lefora allows anyone to create a public or private message board in three easy steps. To create a message board hosted by Lefora, click "create a forum," create a user name, then select the layout of your forum. Your forum will be hosted as a subdomain of Lefora.com. Users of your forum can create profiles complete with avatars, biographies, and links to their blogs or other social networking profiles.
Applications for Education
Lefora could be used by PTAs to create discussion forums for parents. Lefora could also be used by teachers to create message boards to extend discussions beyond classroom hours.
Here are four other Ning alternatives you may want to explore.
Volcano Above the Clouds is a NOVA program that chronicles an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro by a group of climbers and scientists. In addition to the video, Volcano Above the Clouds offers a large collection of materials and teaching guides for learning about volcanoes, glaciers, and climate change with Mount Kilimanjaro at the center of each lesson. As Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits of the world, NOVA provides a slideshow of the Seven Summits which puts Kilimanjaro into perspective relative to those other summits.
Forces of Nature is a feature of National Geographic's website. There are four sections to the Forces of Nature. The sections focus on tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes. There are six parts to each section. In the last part of each section students can create their own natural disaster using the knowledge they've gained from the previous five parts about how a natural disaster is formed. The Forces of Nature also offers photo galleries and interactive maps about tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
The BBC has a series of interactive guides that explain how natural disasters are caused. Included in this series is a twelve part animated explanation of volcanic eruptions. The series also includes explanations of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
National Geographic's film Volcano: Nature's Inferno follows scientists as they explain what causes volcanoes to erupt and as the scientists try to predict when volcanoes will erupt. Watch the film for free on Snag Films.
The PBS Series Savage Earth offers animations how volcanic eruptions happen. The series also contains animations that explain earthquakes and tsunamis.
Take a look at some drawings from the Draw.to public gallery.
Applications for Education
Draw.to isn't going to replace full-fledged image editors or drawing programs, but it could be useful for your students if they need to quickly sketch an image for a blog post or a presentation.
Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
SketchPad - A Fun, Free Drawing Tablet
Five Online Drawing Tools
7 Resources for Creating Cartoons & Comics
Larry Ferlazzo has a created a great list of resources for learning more about the volcanic eruption in Iceland.