Monday, May 10, 2010

Spelling Match Game

Spelling Match is a spelling game developed by Houghton Mifflin. As the name Spelling Match implies, students have to complete matching activities based on the sounds and or meanings of words. Spelling Match offers different levels of difficulty for students in grades 1 through 8. The games can be played as timed or untimed activities.

Applications for Education
Spelling Match Game doesn't offer anything fancy, it's just a simple game that almost any student can use on his or her own. Spelling Match Game might also be a good game to play on an interactive whiteboard.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons
Ten Grammar Games and Lesson Resources
35+ Educational Games and Games Resources
25 More Educational Games and Games Builders

Compare Oil Spill's Size to Your Town's Size

Thanks to Jason Flom I've just learned about a Google Earth-based resource that allows you to compare the current size of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill with the size of major cities and or your hometown. The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Map was developed by Google engineer Paul Rademacher. The map uses the Google Earth Browser Plugin to enable users to compare the size of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico with the size of their cities or towns.

Applications for Education
The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Map is a great visual tool that puts the size of the oil slick into a perspective that students can understand. When I used it, saw that the oil slick is about the same size as the county I live in.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
First-hand Accounts of the Oil Spill's Impact
More Google Maps About Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Tracking the Oil Spill - Interactive Maps

National Archives Our Documents Source Book

I've mentioned the daily document feed from the National Archives in the past. The daily feed is a way for US History teachers to collect primary documents they can use in their lesson plans. Our is built from primary documents in the National Archives collection. One of the good, free offerings from Our Documents is the Our Documents Teacher Source Book. This free 76 page document is available for download. The book contains many primary documents as well as ideas for teaching with those documents. The book includes lesson plans and handouts that you can reproduce. The documents in the Our Documents Teacher Source Book cover events from 1776 through the end of the 20th Century. Download the book here. You may also be interested in the Our Documents list of 100 Milestone Documents.

Social Media Revolution & FYI Kids Don't Email

Last week Angela Maiers shared a video called Social Media Revolution 2. Social Media Revolution 2 is an update to the video Social Media Revolution which I blogged about last summer. Some of the statistics from the video that educators should be paying attention to are:
  • "50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?"My comment: imagine what this means for education?
  • "Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé – some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts."
  • "2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction."
  • Read all of the statistics here.
I was in a workshop last fall where we indirectly discussed the first two points above. One of the workshop participants complained that his students don't check email. He wanted to text his students, but his school, like mine and many others, bans the use of cellphones by students. As you might guess, I'm opposed to banning cell phone use by students. As I wrote last fall, cell phones enable teachers and students to get parents involved in a classroom activity. Most cell phones also provide a camera that students can use to take pictures for multimedia projects. Teachers can also use cell phones to collect feedback from students. And those students carrying smart phones, which I see more and more often, can access more information on their phones than can be found in a classroom full of books. So if students aren't checking the emails you send them, but they are using mobile devices, why are schools banning the use of mobile devices? Or as Lee Kolbert asked last week, when will we stop banning everything?

Here's the video.

Dozens of Science and Social Studies Games

Big Picture Small World is a consulting company that works with K-12 schools, colleges, and other organizations interested in using real-life problems in science and politics for academic lessons. On their games page, Big Picture Small World links to dozens of educational games built around science and social studies concepts. The games are arranged into the following categories; peace games, war games, nation state/ politics games, environment games, climate change, energy games, and food games.

Applications for Education
Big Picture Small World's list of games could be a good reference to consult if you're in need of an educational game to complement your instruction on many of the political and scientific problems facing the world.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
35+ Educational Games and Games Resources
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