12 Mega Web Site – Exploring National and International Wonders Of Free Resources For 21st Century Learning


Here are twelve of the biggest educational sites you will ever find filled with free resources and content to promote 21st century learning. As this Mega Site Series comes to a close, be on the lookout for my upcoming Advanced Google Post, an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series, and a series of posts dedicated to some Awesome Competitions That Promote Real Learning. Please be sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share this site and its information with others !  I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans), so be sure to follow. Now, here are the Big Twelve Mega Sites and please leave comments on Mega Sites you want me to cover in the future!– Mike

Mega Sites are sites that are not only great web catches, they are sites that include vast resources filled with standards and many times crossing curricular areas. Each site in-it-self could be a full day workshop. Most of all they are what I call super stores of learning. Below you will find the sites and their links with a quick description. Descriptions include a link called Check Out Blog Post at 21centuryedtech leading to a complete article elsewhere in my 21centuryedtech Blog.  Enjoy, but don’t get lost in the vastness of resources or in their world of unlimited creativity! – Mike

Why these Mega sites?

Many include national and state standards
Engaging lessons, simulations,videos, and resources
NETS, PBL and 21st Century skills are included
Great professional development
Extend classroom walls into the real world
Connect with community and experts

Links – No particular order since many cross the curricular areas. I post them as I find them!

Jason Science – Wow, not just science but runs the spectrum of STEM education! Curriculum, professional development, games, digital labs, and live events just to name a few. You better set some time aside. I especially like some of the games since I have served on a committee for feedback. Best described The JASON Project connects students with great explorers and great events to inspire and motivate them to learn science. If you are a science or STEM related teacher, this is a must click! Check out this blog post at 21centuryedtech.

Kids.gov – A country of resources stating each state! Explore resources on GovernmentAmerican HistoryEarth Science – EnvironmentGames and Activities ,State WebsitesCareersSocial Studies , and Money . Data? yes, information? yes, lessons and activities? yes, podcasts? yes! Jump in and find great information and ideas to build activities that will connect to your standards! Check out this blog post at 21centuryedtech.

ArtsEdge – Don’t forget to put the A in STEM in order to STEAM it in to full power! An all encompassing resource from the Kennedy Art Center! Check out a powerful data base of lessonsstandardsweblinks , and how-to’s. All searchable by art content, other core curricular content, and grad bands. Connect with articles/reports, contacts, and advocacy essentials. Explore by visiting Explore by visiting Look-Listen-Learn FeatureMeeting Artists , and checking out the Artists of the Week . Speaking of Art, this site is much more then painting, it covers all of the Arts! A true site in appreciation and integration for those things that make all curriculum and life so rich! Check out this blog post at 21centuryedtech.

ReadWriteThink – This langauge arts based web site states its mission “to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in Reading and Language Arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.” Its sponsors include the International Reading Association, The National Council of Teachers of English, and Thinkfinity. It is evident that the site is built on professionalism. The site clearly states that every lesson plan has been aligned not only to the IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts but also to each individual state’s standards. Two main areas of the site include Classroom Resources and Professional Development. With close to 700 searchable lessons it goes beyond traditional language arts providing digital resources such as podcats, web literacy, and multimedia. Check out the blog post at 21centuryedtech

NOAA Educational Ocean Service - NOAA joins hundreds of organizations and agencies in a celebration of science to make science more accessible, personally meaningful, and locally relevant. Be sure to check their lesson plan library. Students will be thrilled to engage in activities and games in the Planet ArcadeCheck out the blog at 21centuryedtech

Smithsonian Education – How about finding yourself in resources as large as the Smithsonian? That is exactly what you will do as you explore data bases of lessons and activities in Art and DesignScience and TechnologyHistory and CultureLanguage Arts, and an amazing collection of Idea Labs. There are unique professional development opportunities even a unit on podcasting. Another great feature is the ability to search resources, lessons, and activities by keyword. Check out blog post at 21centuryedtech

EDSITEment – Is provided by the people at The National Endowment For The Humanities. This site is loaded with cross-curricular information. Areas include lessons in Art and CultureLiterature and Language ArtsForeign Language, and History and Social Studies. In fact, you may wish to see what the ASA said about EDSITEment’s Advanced Placement US History Lessons. They also sponsor in cooperation with NCTE, The National Gallery of Writing. This collection of student interactives is pretty exciting along with these lessons on America through its Art. Last, check out these NEH funded PBS resources for education. Check out blog post at 21centuryedtech.

SAS Curriculum Pathways – Fully funded by SAS and offered at no cost to US educators and students, SAS Curriculum Pathways is designed to enhance student achievement and teacher effectiveness by providing Web-based curriculum resources in all the core disciplines: English, math, science, social studies/history and Spanish, to educators and students in grades 8-14 in virtual schools, home schools, high schools and community colleges. This free resource includes over 200 InterActivities, 200 Web Inquiries, 600 Lessons and 4,000 Web Resources. My favorite is the Writing Reviser , a great tool for students when editing their work. Check out blog post at 21centuryedtech .

USGS Education – The U.S. Geological Survey provides scientific information intended to help educate the public about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and issues that affect our quality of life. Discover selected online resources, including lessons for K-6 and 7-12 , data, maps , and more, to support teaching, learning, education (K-12), and university-level inquiry and research. Check out this new USGS Updated Brochure for education. Check out blog post at 21stcenturyedtech.

TeacherDomain – from PBS station WGBH in Boston. As described on the website it really is “an online library of more than 1,000 free media resources from the best in public television. These classroom resources, featuring media from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other public broadcasting and content partners are easy to use and correlate to state and national standards.” Resources include video and audio segments, Flash interactives, images, documents, lesson plans for teachers, and student-oriented activities. Teachers can personalize the site using “My Folders” and “My Groups” to save resources into a folder and share them with your other teachers or their students. Some of the resources even allow downloading and remixing for teacher mash up presentations. There is a strong effort at integrating lessons with technology to engage student learning. Check out this video to learn more, then sign up for your free account! Check out blog post at 21centuryedtech.

eGFI – eGFI is proudly brought to you by the the American Society For Engineering Education (ASEE). They are committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education. As you can see the sight is student centered and engaging. Not only that, there are a lot of videos, resources, and activities. Be sure to take a look at the magazine . Also, click on the teacher link (not always easy to find). Here you will discover hundreds of lesson plans, class activities that promote PBL, great STEM outreach programsawesome web resources, interesting news features, and some great K12 education news. Check out blog post at 21centuryedtech.

ARKive - ARKive is truly a wonderful place where students can both learn and create. While it may be especially useful to Science Teachers, others have used the ARKive wildlife videos and photos to develop literacy and ICT skills, for creative writing exercises, and to inspire poetry or art assignments. It is time you jumped on the boat, or ark if you prefer, while facilitating real learning through encouraging student creation, remix and reinvention in the 21st century at ARKive! Check out blog post at 21centuryedtech.

Take some time to investigate and possibly implement resources found in these twelve Mega Sites in your classroom this school year,  or tomorrow! Coming soon… my upcoming Advanced Google Post, an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series, and a series of posts dedicated to some Awesome Competitions That Promote Real Learning.  Please share these Mega Sites  with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki,  follow me on twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you know of a Mega Site I should cover please leave a reply. I want to learn from all of you. Until that next post; enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Thanks…  Mike

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