Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free World U - Free K-12 Flashcards

Free World U has the primary goal of creating an online learning experience for all students in grades pre-K through twelve. One of the key features of Free World U is the large collection of flashcards. Free World U categorizes the flashcards by grade level and subject area. A lot of flashcard services claim to be comprehensive, but Free World U really does have a comprehensive collection. For example, when I clicked through the high school collection I then could select eleventh grade followed by US History. From there the US History category offered a large selection of sub-categories of US History.

Applications for Education
Free World U offers a great selection of review materials appropriate for any grade and content area.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
10 Places to Make and Find Flashcards Online

The Pros and Cons of Year-round School Sessions

Today's episode of CNN Student News leads-off with a segment explaining the controversy surrounding President Obama's student address. The episode concludes with a segment examining the pros and cons of schools that stay in session year-round. The episode also includes a brief mention of four day school weeks. The possibility of four day school weeks was briefly considered last year by Maine legislators.

President Reagan Speaks to Students

Today, President Obama will be speaking to all students through the web and C-SPAN. In November of 1988 President Reagan spoke to students in the East Room of the White House. The address was broadcast to some classrooms (but not mine) throughout the country. You can watch President Reagan's speech in the video embedded below.

Applications for Education
A good follow-up activity to President Obama's speech could be to have students watch President Reagan's speech from 1988. You could have students try to make comparisons between the two speeches.

I Am What I Learn - White House Video Contest

As a follow-up activity to President Obama's student address, the US Department of Education has organized a video contest. I Am What I Learn asks students (13 and older) to create two minute videos outlining the steps they will take to improve their education and the role education will play in fulfilling their dreams. The videos can be created in just about any style including documentary, music video, or public service announcements. All videos must be uploaded to YouTube between September 8th and October 8th (this might a good reason for unblocking YouTube at school). You can learn more about I Am What I Learn here.

Applications for Education
Creating videos for I Am What I Learn could be the incentive for your middle school and high school students to be active listeners during President Obama's address today. Creating videos could also be a good way to get students to really reflect on the role of education in their lives.

Transcript and Link to Obama's Student Address

Just in case you haven't been able to find it, the transcript of President Obama's address to students can be found here. You and your students can watch the address online beginning at 12:00 PM Eastern Time.