Saturday, April 26, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Physics 4 Kids

Rader's Physics 4 Kids is part of a series of Rader's 4 Kids lessons about science. Physics 4 Kids takes students on tours of different sub-topics of physics. After each stop on the tour there is a quiz that students can take to test their understanding of each topic. Along with text and image information there are some short videos about different physics concepts along the tour.

Applications for Education
Student directed tours like the ones offered on Physics 4 Kids are great tools for differentiating activities within the classroom. Physics 4 Kids is a good resource for science teachers to link to a class web page or blog so that students and parents can study and test themselves outside of the classroom.

Free Technology For Teachers: My Chemistry Tutor

My Chemistry Tutor has a nice forum where students can find help with chemistry problems. The site also features a Google Custom Search Engine that has been prepared by teachers to help students find information on the web about chemistry topics. I did a quick search with the term "ionic compounds" and found some good, reliable resources. The results appear under some paid advertising links just as you would find on Google. I found My Chemistry Tutor easiest to navigate by using the site map rather than the headings at the top of the page and some headings are links to Google sponsored advertising. Overall, My Chemistry Tutor is a nice resource for students.

Free Technology For Teachers: Wired Safety (and the power of Twitter)

Lately, amongst the people I follow on Twitter (follow me here) there has a been a discussion about how Twitter can become a part of your professional learning community. Today, as proof that Twitter can be used for a professional learning community, I'm sharing with you Wired Safety which I learned about through the network of people I follow on Twitter.

Wired Safety is a great resource for parents, teachers, and students looking for information about all aspects of online safety. Wired Safety has great advice about Internet safety for students, but also has some great information about general Internet safety including information about avoiding spyware and malware. Wired Safety has a section about fraud detection and what to do if you detect a fraud or phishing scheme.

Applications for Education
Wired Safety has a great page with lesson plans and classroom activities for teachers. The teacher page activities include lessons and videos about cyberbullying and social networking safety. The teacher page includes more than just Internet safety lesson plans, it also includes some great lessons, videos, and slide shows about using technology in the classroom. The activity that I will be using next week before my students start their next research assignment is the Evaluating Information activity. My students did an activity like this earlier in the school year, but it's a short lesson worth repeating a couple of times a year.