Wednesday, March 18, 2009

National Geographic Photo Jigsaw Puzzles

National Geographic has a daily user-generated photo gallery called the Your Shot Daily Dozen. The Daily Dozen is similar to the BBC's Day in Pictures series. The Daily Dozen contains user-submitted pictures from around the world. Each picture has a small caption containing a description and the location of where the photo was taken. National Geographic has two activities that students can use based on the Daily Dozen pictures, a jigsaw puzzle and a memory game. These activities could be a fun way for students to develop memory skills, matching skills, and puzzle solving skills.

Applications for Education
When I wrote about the BBC's Day in Picture series last year, I titled that blog post BBC's Day in Pictures Worth One Thousand Lessons. National Geographic's Daily Dozen has an equally large number of classroom uses. The images could be used as conversation starters in current events courses, environmental science classes, or photography classes. The images could also be used as story starters for a creative writing class.

Save 20% on all books & DVDs from National Geographic!

Learn To Be Healthy - Free Lesson Plans

Learn to be Healthy offers free high quality health education lesson plans for elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers to use in their classrooms. The lesson plans cover topics in nutrition, exercise, dental care, mental health, and the dangers of drug use. The lesson plans include the use of online interactive activities and offline in-class activities with reproducible hand-outs.

Applications for Education
What I really like about the lesson plans on Learn to be Healthy is that there is a good mix of online activities and offline in-class activities. This mix gives students the chance to explore and learn on their own as well as providing students with a chance to interact with their teacher and classmates.

Here are some related resources that might be of interest to you:
Get the Glass Promotes Healthy Choices
I Won't Cheat - Sports Essay Contest
Olympics Quiz - What Sporting Type Are You?

Photovisi - Simple, Quick Collage Builder

Photovisi makes creating collages of digital photos quick and easy. Simply select a collage template, upload images from your computer or Flickr account, sequence the images, and the collage is created. No registration is required to use the service, but you also cannot save the collages on Photovisi, you have to download your completed collage. You can see the collage I made in less than a minute in the image below.

Applications for Education
While there are certainly more advanced collage building tools that have more editing features, very few are as easy to use as Photovisi. Photovisi could be a good tool for students that are just beginning to learn to create content online. Registration is not required to use the service and there is not a public gallery of collages, therefore Photovisi could be used in elementary school classrooms without worries about strangers viewing students' work.

Free Online Flashcards with Spaced Repetition

Flashcard DB is one of the most well-designed free flashcard programs that I've seen on the web. Flashcard DB, like most flashcard programs, allows you to browse existing sets of flashcards or create your own custom set of flashcards. What makes Flashcard DB different from its competitors is the study methods that can be used with the flashcards. Flashcard DB allows students to study using the Leitner System or the Graded Space Repetition Method.

The Leitner System works by flashing the flashcards that a student doesn't remember more frequently than the flashcards that a student does remember. The image below diagrams the system.

The Graded Space Repetition Method works in a similar manner to the Leitner System. The difference between the Graded Space Method and the Leitner Sytem is that instead of a simple right or wrong system, in the Graded Space Method the student grades how well they think they know each flashcard. This gives a human input element to the frequency with which each flashcard appears.

Flashcard DB is a free service and registration require only a username, password, and an optional email address. There are currently more than 16,500 sets of flashcards on Flashcard DB.

Applications for Education
Flashcard DB provides students with two excellent study methods. Students can create their own flashcards or you could create a set a flashcard for students to study.

Here are some other flashcard services that may be of interest to you:
Study Stack