Welcome to the sixth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike
I had my plan of sites to review this summer. As all plans go, it has already changed with the addition of this site I found just recently. The site is called ARKive and it originates in the UK. It bills itself as “Images Of Life On Earth”. ARKive’s mission is gathering the very best films and photographs of the world’s species into one centralised digital library, to create a unique audio-visual record of life on Earth. In this process they are prioritising those species at most risk of extinction. One purpose is to preserve and maintain this collection for future generations. ARKive is making this key resource accessible to all, from scientists and conservationists to the general public and school children, via its award-winning website.
As we work together to create a “Society Of Learners” the promotion of creation of content using technology must become just as important as consumption. This is where ARKive really becomes a useful tool for educators. ARKive embraces the idea of student remix and creation in the following statement. “ARKive’s many thousands of wildlife videos, images and fact files can be used in a wide range of science, ICT and literacy projects. Use the ARKive multimedia materials to engage your class in key biology topics, such as variation and adaptation, habitats or life cycles, or use them as creative inspiration for art & design projects. All our photos, video clips and authenticated fact files are free and easy to use in your classroom activities and presentations”. Wow, talk about opportunities for a 21st Century Classroom! There are even opportunities to integrate curriculum such as a combination of Science and Language Arts.
ARKive is instantly engaging and stimulating from the very first glance! Teachers must visit the education page. Here one can explore Learning Resources which include lessons from natural selection. Perhaps your students may want to participate in a collection of engaging games such as Tripwire of Terror, Animal Survival, Design A Habitat, Copes and Robbers, Magnetic Fish Poetry, World Safari, Animal Jumbo Puzzle, One..Two..Three..Grow, Egg and Spawn Race, and ARKives Wild Celebrities. There is also an external link page connected to outside resources. There is even an interface that allows students to connect using Google Earth. Be sure to explore the area that allows users to create their own scrapbook.
The search engine which is built into every page allows users to search by Plant, Animal, or Fungi species. One can also search by continents and either pictures, videos, or both can be specified. This search engine can even be embedded on your own web page. Some special areas to explore are themes relating to Sharks and Rays, Amazon Rain Forest, Climate Change, Migration, Conservation, Flightless Birds, Coral Reef, Desert, Antarctic, and Pollination. Some of these provide some great resources for classes studying the world’s biomes.
When visiting a particular species one can read about Facts and Status, Description, Range/Habitat, Biology, Threats/Conservation, More Info, and Glossary/Reference. Species are related by family group, habitat, and conservation status. While students can build a scrapbook, they can also email information, view slideshows, and even use code to embed images and information in their own web page. Students will also find a link to the IUCN Red List Species of The Day along with an archive of all animals listed.
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!
Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as ARKive this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year, or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply! Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike