Monday, June 1, 2009

Fun Atlas Jigsaw Puzzles

National Geographic may just be my favorite website on the web. Every time I visit the site I find something that I didn't see on my previous visit. Today was not an exception to that pattern.

National Geographic's Atlas Jigsaw Puzzles challenge players to assemble the continents as quickly as they can. There are puzzles based on every continent. The puzzles are based on political and physical maps. In all there are twenty-three puzzles.

Applications for Education
National Geographic's Atlas Jigsaw Puzzles could be a fun way for students to sharpen their knowledge of world geography one puzzle at a time.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Geography Links You Might Have Missed
101 Ways to Teach Geography
MapTrot - Easily Create and Share Maps

Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration

My school is going to a 1:1 environment with netbooks next year. I'm one of the people that teachers will be coming to for help when the netbooks are distributed next. Therefore, I've been trying to compile a small list of essential resources that can be used across the curriculum. The product of that work is this guide titled Twelve Essentials for Techology Integration. This guide will serve as a getting start for teachers and the basis for some informal trainings that I'll be offering to staff. I gave a hint about this yesterday on Twitter when I asked "if you could choose just three web-based resources to use in your classroom, what would they be?"
The guide is embedded below.

RSS readers may need to click through to view the guide.
It is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good starting place for those teachers who need advice on taking their first steps toward integrating technology into their classrooms. I welcome any and all feedback. If you like it and know a teacher or teachers who would benefit from it, please feel free to print it and distribute it.

Two Great Videos About Technology in the Classroom

This afternoon while exploring SchoolTube I came across a nice little video about what it means to use technology in today's classroom. The video, created by Adam Scott Bellow, is titled A Brief History of Technology in Education. The video is embedded below.

Not long after I discovered A Brief History of Technology in Education, Jackie Gerstein posted a link on Twitter to a video about a Twitter in the classroom experiment at UT Dallas. The video features interviews with a history professor and students discussing the benefits of using Twitter in a classroom. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Both of these videos could be good to share with teachers who are reluctant to try new technologies in their classrooms. The first video shows how much classroom technology has changed in the last twenty years. The second video does a fantastic job of explaining the benefits of Twitter as a classroom tool.

Exploring Africa in Google Earth

For a few years now there has been a great National Geographic gallery available in Google Earth. One of the parts of that gallery is the Africa Megaflyover in which you can view herds of animals, natural landscape features, villages, towns, and mining/ drilling operations. If you've never explored the National Geographic gallery of layers in Google Earth I highly recommend it.

Today, I learned of another Google Earth file that features images of African animals. You can access that file here. I discovered the file on Frank Taylor's Google Earth Blog.

Applications for Education
The Africa Megaflyover and images of African animals layers in Google Earth could be good layers for students to explore in geography and biology courses.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
What is Possible With Google Earth?

Raylit - Personalized Lessons and Games for Pre-K

Raylit is a neat site for students under age seven. Raylit provides students with interactive lessons, stories, and games. To use Raylit parents register and enter their child's age and first name. Raylit then generates personalized lessons and stories in which the characters say the child's name. All of the lessons, stories, games, and videos that children access on Raylit are advertisement free.

Applications for Education
Raylit could be a good, fun place for children aged 3-7 to receive some lessons on basic reading, math, and science. When I tried Raylit I found that the talking characters speak clearly and slowly enough for students to be able to hear everything clearly.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Digital Children's Library in English and Spanish
Get Ready to Read
Help Kidz Learn - Free Games and Stories

May's Most Popular Links

As I mentioned in the Week in Review post on Saturday, Free Technology for Teachers reached a new high for page views and visits in the month of May. Thank you to everyone that has subscribed, shared a link, or told a friend about Free Technology for Teachers. Knowing that there are thousands of people who find this blog to useful keeps me writing.

Here are the most popular items from the past month.
1. Photos 8 - Thousands of Public Domain Images
2. 8 Ways to Build Websites (Not Blogs) for Free
3. Ten Fun Educational Games for K-8 Students
4. Scribble Maps - Easily Type and Draw on Google Maps
5. Google Wonder Wheel in Action
6. Mathmaticious - Fun Math Video
7. 180 Technology Tips
8. A Fantastic List of Education Blogs
9. Medical Animation Library
10. 101 Ways to Teach Geography

If you found any or all of the above links useful, please consider subscribing to Free Technology for Teachers via RSS or email.

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