Sunday, May 27, 2012

Go On a Virtual Journey with Charles Darwin

Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage is an outstanding virtual tour of Charles Darwin's nearly five year journey on the Beagle. Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage has fourteen segments chronicling Darwin's voyage from start to finish. Throughout the tour viewers will see sketches from the journey, hear readings from Darwin's journals, and learn about the journey as a whole. The virtual tour is not limited to just Darwin's work as a naturalist. Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage explores social issues of the time such as slavery.








Applications for Education
If you teach any lessons regarding Darwin and his work, this virtual journey could be a great resource for students to use to learn about Darwin's voyage to the Galapagos Islands and back.

The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75

As some readers know, I don't have a television at home (I do have four computer screens though) so this morning when I woke up in a hotel I was happy to be able to watch the CBS Sunday Morning show for the first time in months. I took particular interest in this short story about the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. After you watch the video below, if you're looking for more resources to share with your students check out Larry Ferlazzo's list.

Who Pooped? - Identify Animals by Scat/ Dung

Update: September 2020. Unfortunately, this resource is no longer available. It was a favorite of mine and many students for many years. 

Even if it is slightly gross Who Pooped? is a fun and educational site through which students try to identify animals by their scat or dung. I was reminded of the site over the weekend and thought that I just had to share it again.

Who Pooped? is an interactive game in which students learn about various animals by guessing which animal created which pile of poop. Believe it or not, there is actually some good information about the animals that follows each round of guessing who created which poop.

Applications for Education
If they can get past the "hilarity" of the "poop" images and noises, Who Pooped? could be a very engaging way for elementary school students to learn about various mammals. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Week in Review - Happy Memorial Day!

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of my American friends and readers. I know that for some of you this week was the last week of school. I hope this weekend is the start of a great summer for you. For those of you who still have a bit of school year to go, I hope the long weekend recharges you for the home-stretch. I'm planning to recharge by going to go biking, paddling, and fishing with my dog this weekend. How do you recharge on a long weekend?

Before I head out for a weekend outdoors, I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week. If part of your weekend calls for some reading, please take a look at these posts.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Learnist is Like Pinterest for Learning
2. Fun Weekend DIY Science & Tech Projects
3. My Favorite Online File Conversion Tool
4. Ask the Owls - Learn and Teach Online
5. Interactive Maps of Travel Routes Throughout the Roman Empire
6. 3D Views of Famous Landmarks
7. Create Animated Fake Facebook Profiles

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
LearnBoost provides a free online gradebook service for teachers.
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Fresno Pacific University is offering some exciting new courses for educators.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools. I will be conducting a series of workshops with them this summer. Please visit their site for the schedule.

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Dozens of Physics Games for Your Blog

Physics Games.net, as the name implies, is a website of games based on simple physics concepts. Physic Games offers dozens of games based on a physics concept or two. Each game can be played directly on the Physics Games website or embedded into your blog or website. The one downfall of the site is that before each game starts there is a short commercial. I checked out a few different games and I did not see any advertising that would be unacceptable in a public school classroom.

Applications for Education
The games on Physics Games.net are based on simple physics concepts and are best suited for elementary or middle school use. Being able to embed a game into your class blog is a good way to make sure that students are on task and is also a good way to keep students interested in the classroom blog.