Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Applying Chemistry Concepts to Real-World Scenarios

Creating lesson plans that make students apply academic knowledge to real-world situations can be difficult. Fortunately, for today's teachers there are websites like The Chem Collective that provide great ideas and resources for applying academic knowledge to real-life scenarios. The Chem Collective is a project designed by the Chemistry department at Carnegie Mellon University.

Applications for Education
The Chem Collective is designed for teachers and students at the high school and college level. The instructor page provides teachers with seven interactive activities requiring students to apply academic knowledge to a real-world scenario like detecting arsenic in drinking water. Teachers will also find on the instructor page tests, course modules, simulations, and virtual lab problems. The pages designed for students contain interactive tutorials, online simulations, and practice tests.

Image Based Lesson Plans

Pics4Learning is a place for students to find copyright friendly images to use in their presentations. There other websites that offer images to students for educational use, what makes Pics4Learning different is that it also hosts a large list of lesson plans for teachers. Pics4Learning offers teachers a great list of lesson plans and projects centered around images. There are lesson plans and activities available for Language Arts, Science, Math, and Social Studies.

History Resources - Recent Through Ancient

Were You There is a new website designed to record and share personal experiences related to significant events of roughly the last 75 years. The best way to describe Were You There is to call it a wiki of personal experiences built around recent history. Users of the service can share their personal experience regarding a significant event of the 20th or 21st century. The event could be an athletic event like the 1980 Winter Olympics or something serious like the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.

If you haven't looked at it before, Wikibooks is a good place to find etexts on wide variety of historical topics. Visitors to the history section of Wikibooks will find etexts appropriate for students age eight and above.

Applications for Education
Were You There and Wikibooks both use the crowd sourcing concept to provide useful content for teachers and students. As is to be expected with any crowd souring project some topic pages on Were You There and Wikibooks are more developed than others. Wikibooks and Were You There would be good to use as part of lesson on fact checking and or detecting bias in writing.