Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Google's "Be Internet Awesome" Curriculum is Now Available in Spanish

At about this time last year Google introduced Be Internet Awesome. Be Internet Awesome offers an interactive site called Interland. Interland is a game in which students navigate a virtual world by correctly answering questions about internet safety. Starting today that game is available in Spanish and English.

The rest of the Be Internet Awesome curriculum has been updated along with Interland game. The written curriculum guide has been expanded to 69 pages from its original 48 pages. The curriculum now includes nineteen interactive slide presentations that you can copy and use for free.

The core concepts of Be Internet Awesome remain unchanged. Those five core concepts are:
  • Share with care.
  • Don't fall for fake.
  • Secure your secrets.
  • It's cool to be kind.
  • When in doubt, talk it out. 

4 Fun Summer Science Activities

Now that summer is here in the northern hemisphere it's a great time to go outside for a science lesson. SciShow Kids has four suggestions for outdoor science lessons. In Fun Summer Science adults and children can learn about the science of bubbles, kites, ice cream, and solar energy. Each segment includes an explanation of the science and brief suggestions and directions for a hands-on activity.

The Myth of the Giant's Causeway Explained

The Giant's Causeway is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that I have had the privilege to see in person. It can be seen in Google Maps Street View too. It's a unique geological site created by molten basalt. That's interesting but not as interesting as the myth of its creation. The myth of the Giant's Causeway is the topic of a recently published TED-Ed lesson.

In addition to using the pre-made TED lesson questions, you could follow-up a showing of this video by asking your students to think about why myths like this one are created and how they grow over time.

Add Voice Recordings to Maps

Over the weekend I tested an app called JoJo that lets you create short audio recordings and have them placed on map. For a myriad of reasons including privacy concerns, JoJo is not an app that I would recommend for school use. But the app did give me an idea for combining audio recordings and digital maps. In the following video I demonstrate how you can include sound recordings on a map made with Google's My Maps tool.

Applications for Education
In the demonstration I used SoundCloud as the source of my audio file. Students could use other sources like the LOC's National Jukebox to find recordings to geolocate. You could have students map the locations of where famous songs were recorded or where politicians made notable speeches.

Short Lessons on the Longest Day of the Year

The summer solstice is just a couple of days away. Many refer to this as the "longest day of the year" when they really mean "longest period of daylight in a day." But that's beside the point of this post which is to share a few handy resources that can help kids understand the summer solstice.

National Geographic offer this hands-on activity designed to help students understand the changes in intensity and duration of sunlight on their part of the world throughout the year. Before the activity you could show students National Geographic's video What is a Solstice?

Mechanism Of The Seasons is a YouTube video that I found years ago when looking for a video to use in a flipped lesson on the topic of solstices. The six minute video could be helpful in a flipped classroom environment as it covers the same information that your students will review in the National Geographic materials mentioned above.

And here's a great side-by-side time-lapse of the winter and summer solstices in Manchester, UK.

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