Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mission Map Quest - Create Your Own Geography Games

Russel Tarr is on a roll this month. Earlier this month he released a great tool for creating fake text message exchanges between historical and literary characters. This week he released another tool that I think teachers will like. Russel's latest tool is Mission Map Quest. Mission Map Quest is a map-based tool for creating virtual treasure hunts. The concept is simple, you create a series of clues that your students need to follow to identify places around the world. You can add as few or as many clues to your Map Quest as you like. When you're ready to have students try your Quest just give them the web address of the challenge or have them scan the QR code assigned to your Quest. 

The QR code in this post will take you to Russel's demonstration of Mission Map Quest. You can also click this link to try it from the student perspective. The demonstration has a WWI theme. 

Applications for Education
Mission Map Quest could be a great tool for creating your own geography and history review activities. Your clues could be based on political events or geographic features. For example, you could create a clue that asks students to identify where the American Civil War began. You could also include a clue like "the longest river in Africa empties into this body of water." Of course, you don't have to be the only one making the Map Quests. Have your students create Map Quests that they share with each other.

The Week in Review - It's Mud Season!

Good morning from muddy Greenwood, Maine. The spring thaw has started and that means it is mud season. Along with the mud we have the return of lots of birds and awakening of black bears from their winter slumber.

This week I spent two days at Discovery's Beyond the Textbook forum. It was a good experience that I'll share more of in an forthcoming post. One of the posts I wrote at the beginning of the forum is in this week's list of the most popular posts listed below.

Here are the week's most popular posts:
1. A Short Guide to Terms Commonly Used In Blogging
2. A Simple Yet Powerful Student Blogging Activity
3. What Is Beyond Textbooks?
4. Readium - Read ePub Documents In Your Browser
5. Quizdini - Create Online Quizzes That Give Students Instant Feedback

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Friday, March 29, 2013

The NanoSpace Molecularium - A Virtual Amusement Park About Molecules

The NanoSpace Molecularium is a nice web resource produced by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The purpose of the site is to provide elementary school and middle school students with an introduction to the properties of atoms and molecules. The NanoSpace Molecularium is a virtual amusement park that students can click through to find videos, games, and other short lessons about atoms and molecules.

Students enter the NanoSpace Molecularium through the "Hall of Atoms & Molecules." From there students can choose which of the four parts of the amusement park they want to explore first. The four sections that students can explore are DNA Land, H20 Park, Sizes of Molecules, and Molecular Materials. One of the videos from the Materials section is embedded below.


Applications for Education
The NanoSpace Molecularium can be used by students with or without creating an account on the site. The benefit of creating an account is that students can keep track of where they left off during their previous visit.

Conservation Connection - A Game for Learning About Conservation

Nature Works Everywhere is an excellent site presented by The Nature Conservancy. One of the features Nature Works Everywhere designed for students is Conservation Connection. Conservation Connection is a simple game in which students try to identify connections between common consumer items like ice cream and the conservation issues connected to it.


Applications for Education
On Nature Works Everywhere students can watch short videos about nature and conservation. Each video is connected to a free lesson plan that teachers can download.

A Good Collection of 13 Digital Citizenship Resources

Jen Deyenberg at Northern Gateway Public Schools has created a nice collection of digital citizenship resources for teachers and parents. The collection is organized into sections for elementary school, middle school, and high school. There is a separate tab for parent resources. One of the things that I like about the collection is that understanding copyright has been included as part of digital citizenship.

Applications for Education
Bookmark the Northern Gateway Digital Citizenship Resources collection and refer to it when you're planning digital citizenship lessons for your students.