Tag Archives: 21centuryedtech

Free Resources… Integrate The Arts In Every K12 Subject Area

Welcome to the seventh 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

What could all teachers find on a site devoted to integrating the fine arts? The answer, new lessons to engage students while facilitating Project Based Learning, STEM activities, and 21st Century skill acquisition. ArtsEdge is an amazing site that contains science activities such as, How Many Cells are Born in a Day? and Acoustical Science, plus Language Arts activities with titles like Comparing and Contrasting Fables and Characterization in Literature. Physical Education teachers may want to try Street Games while math teachers have their students discover Melodies & Math: Telephone Improvisations.   With ArtsEdge you won’t forget to put the A in STEM in order to STEAM it in to full power! Language Arts teachers will bring out student creativity through amazing projects, while social studies teachers can make history come alive.  This is an all encompassing resource from the Kennedy Art Center! ArtsEdge, the National Arts and Education Network, has a mission to place the Arts  at the center of the curriculum and further, advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. Artsedge claims that it “empowers educators to teach in, through, and about the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula that fully integrate the arts with other academic subjects.” These are the neccessary ingredients to qualify as an outstanding resource for any 21st Century Classroom intent on student centered learning.

Artsedge offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment.Check out a powerful searchable data base of lessonsstandardsweblinks , and how-to’s. All of  this content is searchable by art curriculum, other core curricular content, and grade bands. The lessons under the Art Curriculum include Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. The Other Subjects include Foreign Language, Language Arts, Math, Physical Education, Science,  Social Studies, and Technology. I invite you to click on your content area in the preceding sentence and guarantee you will be amazed at the creativity found in the lessons. Lessons are also searchable under grade bands that  include elementary, middle, and high school. All lessons are linked to the Arts Standards. Educators must also investigate the over 200 web links of resources divided into the categories of Instructional, Multi-media, and Research. There is also an amazing collection of Teacher How-To’s including such content as Classical Music across the Curriculum, Coaching Youth Storytellers, The Language of Photography, and Filmmaking: Creating and Organizing the Story.

There is an area of Artsedge that allows educators to Connect with Articles/Reports that give valuable information about Arts Education. The Contacts Section can put teachers in contact and provide resources covering over 60 Art related organizations. Advocacy Essentials gives talking points articles on Art promotion for education. A third area allows educators to Explore Artsedge. From here close to fifty activies are available including such titles as, Abraham Lincoln and Music, Corridos, Art/Space, and Art of the Explosion. You may want your students to check out Art Days in history, meet the Artist,  or discover over 250 Art Quotes from various people. There is a small, but growing collection of podcast also available. Be sure to take a look at the Spotlight area and the section entitled Looking Back. Here you will find a collection of their most requested lessons, resources, and activities. Artsedge  is truly a site devoted to Art appreciation and integration and will make all curricular areas  rich in purpose, meaning, and ready to engage your 21st century students.

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as ARTSedge 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 the21centuryedtech 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

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A Boat Load Of Resources… Learn About Earth’s Life While Creating/Remixing At ARKive

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

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Click Your Classroom Into The 21st Century At Kids.gov

Welcome to the fifth 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

Kids.gov is the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government. This giant repository links to over 2,000 web pages from various government agencies, schools, and educational organizations, all geared to the learning level and interest of kids. This amazing site is maintained by the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) in Pueblo, Colorado. Learn more about FCIC by visiting www.pueblo.gsa.gov. At first glance you will enjoy a link to the Kids.gov site of the month. In just one click you will enter a high quality site featured each moth of the year. Now this is just one site that Kids.gov points you to! In reality, Kids.gov really is a country of resources and is organized into three audiences: They are Grades K-5, Grades 6-8, and Educators.  High School teachers will still find a large selection of resources in the Educator’s Section. Each of these audience sections is divided into subject area disciplines that include  Art, Careers, Computers and Technology, Government, Health/Fitness/Safety, Math, Science, and Social Studies. This multiple collection of resources across the disciplines really does make Kids.gov a mega site for education. Within each subject, the websites are grouped as either government sites (Federal, state, military) or other resources (commercial, non-profit, educational). The sites listed under the other resources category are maintained by other public and private organizations.

The main point of any post I write is to give you some of the amazing resources that you might not find at first glance. In this case it could be the Free For Teachers Page that is filled with ever changing ideas such as the lesson plan of the month. While you are there you may want to check out all the other free information from the FCIC. This site could provide you with an activity starter or just a great place to garner information for data collection. Explore the Hot Topic Resources that cover  GovernmentAmerican HistoryEarth Science – EnvironmentGames and ActivitiesCareersSocial Studies , and Money . In fact the State Websites is a great place to begin to facilitate student research and creation of projects based on the fifty states found in the USA. You will even find a link to White House 101, complete with info on Presidents, Fun Facts, and even First Pets. There is even a look at all the ins and outs of this historic residence. Don’t miss an important link to FREE (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence).  At FREE there are links to collections of  animations, primary documents, photos, and videos.  This link is worthy of a post in itself.  Looking for research? There is a link that may lead you to some academic research on education with-in ERIC, the Educational Resource Information Center. An amazing  link to Teacher’s First could find you exploring for resources the rest of the day.  How about data for students  to organize and portray in a graph,, information for a report, exciting lessons and activities, and even podcasts? You will definitely find it, since I have really only covered less then a dozen of the over 1200 links provided. Kids.gov gives you and your students the opportunity to jump in and find great information and ideas to build activities that will connect to almost any content standard!

Kids.gov truly is a gateway that takes your students to a mountain of sites. While the  majority of the links are from government sites, there are some links to commercial and other non-government sites. It may be time for you to take that mouse in hand and click you way through Kids.gov and its many links to classroom adventure. I guarantee that you will find yourself  linking your students to a world of 21st century activities and resources.

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as Kids.gov 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

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Free Quality Multimedia Resources … Learn and Create In The Teachers’ Domain!

Welcome to the fourth 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

Teachers’ Domain definitley qualifies as a mega site from the people at 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.

Educators will excited to find that the site contains even more then countless amazing and engaging videos. On entering Teachers’s Domain there is an area set up for K12 curriculum. In this area teachers can find lessons devoted to Arts, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The Arts reveals multiple resources and lessons exploring dance, music, theater and the visual arts.  Investigate the power of language in the English Language Arts Section!  This collection of video segments, activities and engaging lesson plans focuses on literacy skills for early childhood readers through high school students. Best of all these resources correlate to state and national English Language Arts standards. Students can become a  math whiz with a wonderful collection of Mathematics resources! This new and expanding collection of media resources  explore main concepts in elementary mathematics and correlate to educational standards. Broaden you and your students  knowledge of science content and effective inquiry-based methodologies.  The Science area  offers over 1,500 media resources in science, engineering, and technology as well as standards-based professional development courses. This area is certainly worthy of its own blog posting by itself! The Social Studies area allows classrooms to journey back in time and around the globe! This ever growing collection of video segments, activities and lesson plans  brings alive selected topics in U.S. and world history and also correlates to state and national standards.

Teacher Domain also provides avenues towards professional development. Educators can even earn continuing education credits and college credit. Check out Teachers’ Domain Professional Development area that offers K-12 teachers new ways to inspire students, broaden content knowledge, and integrate technology into classrooms. Especially interesting is an area devoted to teaching strategies. This contains awesome videos covering English Language Arts,  Innovative StrategiesIntegrating TechnologyScienceMedia ResourcesGuides/Tutorials/ Workshops, and  Professional Development Activities.

I believe this next paragraph could be invaluable as a free resource. I want to introduce you to some of the awesome collection of public media series filled with great videos, lessons, and activities found at Teachers’ Doman. Explore the links I have included for some great resources. You will be amazed! NOVA on Teachers’ Domain is the most popular science series on public television while  podcasts about science are available from PRI’s The World . Discoverd epic stories about Americas past and present that will engage students at American Experience,  and check out a collection of adventures and history lessons from Antiques Roadshow that will provide some amazing adventures in history detective work. For early readers Between The Lions has twenty great clips or engage students with Cyberchase the Emmy-winning math mystery show. You may wish to study immigration using Faces Of America or meet America’s most extraordinary young musicians aged 8 to 18 at From The Top. Any course that includes current events and debate should include Frontline, and science classes will enjoy the powerful documentaries found at Nature, along with the fast-paced, innovative, and entertaining science program featuring timely science and technology stories entitled Nova Science Now. Students can also follow the life and contributions of Percy Julian, and explore the power of language while building reading and writing skills using video segments drawn from the Poetry Everywhere series. Your students can gain awareness and understanding of the diversity of religions and religious experiences by viewing Religion and Ethics and will appreciate the workings of the US judicial system from The Supreme Court. Last, enrich the study of Global History by using contemporary examples as jumping-off points to engage students with historical themes that were as relevant in the past as they are today through the integration of Wide Angle.

Just when you may think you have discovered all of the resources there are other amazing links which I know you will find valuable. Students can explore 21st Century careers at ATE or discover a unique Alaska’s Native perspective on earth and climate. There is also an area devoted to Native American perspective on global warming at Where Worlds Touch The Earth. There are resources on  Biotechnology, and students can explore Cool Careers in Science,   or study impacts of Global Climate Change and Warming. Watch participants in the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program, (ITEST), as they learn science by doing it. Check out some early age literacy at Literacy 360 or take a moment to inspire some Middle School Literacy. Explore themes in science, literacy and language arts, fine arts, and social studies through the perspective of culturally diverse communities in these resources from the Education Through Art, Culture, and History (ECHO) initiative. The Civil Rights Collection provides archival news footage, primary sources, and interview segments filmed for Eyes on the Prize, this collection captures the voices, images, and events of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for racial equality in America. Learn about the Arctic, the Antarctic, and why scientists are so interested in studying Earth’s polar regions by visiting Polar Sciences Collection. Students can learn about personal finance with this collection of video resources, interactive games and lesson plans at the The Citi Collection for Financial Capability. My favorite, encourages students to create their own multimedia using Building Blocks,which are short downloadable video segments that students can edit and embed into their own presentations.

While you are at Teachers’ Domain check out some of their local links. You will find great resources such as Keystone eMedia, an outstanding KQED Science Media Collection, resources from the Ohio Collection Of Digital Media, and this Teacher’s Guide designed to help you make optimum use of video in your classroom. Teachers’ Domain is currently converting video to full screen. They also offer tutorials for teachers using  Teachers’ Domain in the classroom. They include topics such as Introduction to TDUsing TD in the Classroom,Technology Guide to Using TDUsing Folders and Groups, andCreating User-Generated Media. You may also wish to check out this promotional video to learn even more, then register for your free account! Be sure to read more about Teachers’ Domain including its mission, contributors, and usage policy. Possibly the best feature of Teachers’ Domain is that it has been constructed to integrate in and across curriculum while allowing teachers to use the important video segments for teachable moments. It incorporates lessons that are engaging and provides opportunities to not just consume the technology but to also create. It really is time for you to explore and incorporate Teachers’ Domain as part of your 21st Century Classroom!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as Teachers’ Domain 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

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Free STEM & PBL Resources… eGFI Is Dreaming Up The Future!

Welcome the third 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

If you have been trying to dream up some great STEM and PBL related material then eGFI, brought to you by the the American Society For Engineering Education (ASEE), is a great place for you to visit! This first class organization who’s mission is to dream up the future, is committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education. At first glance it is apparent that this web site is a dream of student centered and actively engaging resources. It now time to go beyond that first glance. You will be amazed at the number of videos, resources, lessons, and activities that are ready for you to integrate.

Once you are done moving  the different pictures of resources around on the entry site, a great place to start is at What’s New.  In What’s New, you will beintroduced to some of the most amazing cutting edge inventions, or perhaps you will want to visit E-Tube filled with video titles like Engineers Are Cool, Stanford Researchers Make Paper Battery,  The Great Space Elevator, and Robot Football! In fact E-Tube contains over one hundred engaging videos covering the major topics of competitions, cool stuff, TV shows, in the field, and in the classroom. Perhaps you want to connect instruction with careers. Then dream on with Trailblazers, a place to connect studies with people in the field. Here you will find interesting people and the interesting things they do related to STEM careers.  If that doesn’t get you dreaming then be sure to check out the lower right hand corner of the page that will take you to 15 different STEM related industries through a funky, yet fun interface. Dream on with eGFI’s amazing Student Blog! This highly engaging blog assists upper elementary, middle and high school students as they explore the various fields of engineering and STEM related fields, plan their own projects, and get the information they need to decide whether an engineering or STEM related career is right for them.

Engineer Your Path provides a great place for students to dream about a possible STEM related future. Here you can meet a student, discover 10 essential steps toward getting in a STEM field, discover what it is like to be on the job, and just get great advice. Great information for schools interested in exploring career pathways! Be sure to read the magazine, filled with cool topics and linked to great videos. You may wish to join the thousands of teachers receiving fresh lesson plans and activities, news, feature articles and web resources every week by email. Check out this archive of teacher newsletters and then sign up here. Do your students want to learn more about The Making of Avatar, 3D Printing, and the The Kepler telescope. Each week, the eGFI student newsletter presents fun and interesting engineering innovations, STEM related topics, and great discussion topics for class. Sign up for the student newsletter and encourage your students to do so, as well. You can check out past newsletters here.

If I have you are dreaming of future possibilities for your classroom then be sure to check out the for teachers link!  This will turn your dreams into a reality! This hard to spot link in the upper right corner of the What’s New Page is one you do not want to miss. You will find close to 100 amazing lesson plans for K12, another large selection of activities that will put your students at the center of project based learning,  over 300 outreach organizations and events, close to 300 web resources devoted to STEM,  special feature articles that feature STEM related education, and some great K12 education news. eGFI is an amazing teacher resource area that could keep you dreaming all season long! If you or teachers you facilitate have an interest in STEM and PBL, then eGFI is a great place to get both you and your students dreaming up the future!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as eGI 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

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Free EDSITEment : Core Curricula, 21 Century Ed, And The Arts

Welcome to another of 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

If there is such thing as a free goldmine of resources, then EDSITEment qualifies for hitting the mother lode.  Looking for Art and Culture? How about Literature and Language Arts? Perhaps you need some Foreign Language! Let’s not forget Social Studies and History! Click on EDSITEment and you will enter a site that indexes nearly three hundred other websites at the current time!  Every one of these websites covers at least one, if not all four, of the curriculum areas stated above.  This wealth of material is provided by a partnership consisting of the National Endowment for the Humanities,Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust for the Humanities.

EDSITEment offers a treasure trove for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality material on the Internet. This site is loaded with cross-curricular information, 21st century skills, and project, problem, and inquiry based learning activities. Check out these main headings including  Art and CultureLiterature and Language ArtsForeign Language, and History and Social Studies. In each one of these categories you can search by subcategories and grade levels. Perhaps your students want to take a virtual excursion “On The Road To Santa Fe“. Possibly they want to to learn that the Alphabet Is Historic. How about an activity in Mythology involving a  Podcast with Rick Riordan, author of the best-selling series Percy Jackson & the Olympians series ? You could get  involved with a Picturing Americas Conference. These conferences provide opportunities to teach history, and culture through American Art. Explore these lessons from Picturing America and see how they emphasize the value of visual literacy for subjects in the core curricula.

But wait, there is so much more! Take a moment to see what the ASA said about EDSITEment’s Advanced Placement US History Lessons. Explore EDSITEment’s cooperative effort with NCTE involving The National Gallery of Writing. This collection of student interactives and contributions are short essays that are thoughtful, analytical, and well-researched  based on history as seen through art. Be sure to also explore these NEH funded PBS resources for education. One example is the  NEH-funded five-part television series on PBS entitled American Experience: We Shall Remain.This is a provocative multimedia project which spans four centuries and gives Native American voice to the national experience from the Mayflower to the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973. There are some great lessons based on 19th century American Literature you may wish to explore and incorporate.  Not to be forgotten is this outstanding literary glossary.  You will also be rewarded as you browse the engaging monthly features that are provided.  The monthly calendar and calendar archive help integrate important events in history with lessons that can be found in the archive. There is also a great NEH Magazine that will fascinate you and your students, and a wonderful newsletter to keep you up-to-date in all the new resources and programs at EDSITEment.  I really could go on and on… but it is time for you to discover the goldmine of free resources found in EDSITEment!  Explore and be amazed as you search through the entire database by subject, subcategory, and grade level. I am sure you will create EDSITEment in your classroom.

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as EDSITEMENT 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

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Does Free Get Better Than This?… Award Winning Resources From The JASON Project

Welcome to one of the first in a series of summer posts. My plan is to bring to you some of 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 on sharing resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to these sights. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and to 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

JASON Project – Wow.. I am not sure if free gets any better then this!

I remember the JASON Project from close to 20 years ago being a source of some video field trips which were pretty cool for the era!  If you have not visited it lately, you are in store for one of the most amazing sources found on the internet! If you advocate for STEM, Project Based Learning, and Science then get your clicker ready. I am not sure if free gets any better than this!

The JASON Project connects students with great explorers and great events to inspire students in their learning. It truly is an award winning curricula. It includes embed cutting-edge research from NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Geographic Society and other leading organizations. JASON allow leading scientists to work side by side with JASON students. Best of all, it promotes 21st century skills by challenging students to apply their knowledge to the real-world scenarios.

The JASON curriculum is just one part of this massive web site.  It is designed to light the spark of inspiration in students, fit within school districts’ core 5th-8th grade curriculm,  adapt to higher and lower levels, align to state and national standards, cover at least five to nine weeks of material and include numerous research articles, hands-on lab activities, videos, games, and multimedia resources. It also includes suggested lesson plans, extensions, interdisciplinary connections, and teacher resources for alignment, assessment, and classroom management. It emphasizes the studies of  Energy: Operation Infinite Potential, Ecology: Operation Resilient Planet, and Weather: Operation Monster Storms. A new unit, one that I had the opportunity assist in some game development on will be available in 2010 and is called Geology: Operation Tectonic Fury. Note that the curriculum is supplied for free by PDF downloads or on-line web access. It can be purchased is a published book style format. (there is a 50% NEA discount).

Once you become a free member be sure to check out extended curriculum including Expeditions: Mysteries of Earth and Mars and Expedition: Disappearing Wetlands. All curriculum can be used, customized, lengthened, shortened, or even used in small sections as needed, to supplement current curriculum. You will be amazed at the multi media and interactive resources available. Be sure to check out these online demos. (must register for free)

Be sure to visit the JASON Mission Center. The (JMC) Web site is filled with curriculum, videos, games, tools and community possibilities. Simular to NASA’s Mission Control Center, the JMC is a hub for exploration. Learn about powerful storms, watch a video about sharks, see if you can design a thrilling roller coaster and tell others about it in the message boards. Students will even be able to ask JASON researchers questions. The JMC is like a web version of the curriculum… but contains so much more. The Online Curriculum becomes alive and engaging with videos, animations, vocabulary terms, and games, all embedded right in the text. Exciting  JASON Videos which are available on  curriculum DVD are also available for free viewing online! Immersive Games and Digital Labs allows  students to work with real, cutting-edge scientific research to explore lessons.  The Teacher Tools allow teachers to create a virtual classroom and give your students their own accounts. Design custom assessments online and ssign and review student journals. The Student Tools allow students to explore JASON at their own pace. Discussion boards, online science fairs, and high-score gaming competition; students have the world of JASON at their fingertips. The Live Events allow teachers and students to Interact and ask questions while getting feedback with JASON scientists and Argonauts. Last, Online Communities allow for teacher to teacher collaboration on  JMC Message Boards. Students can also visit the boards to discuss their explorations in a fully-moderated forum. Bes sure to check out this JMC tour video.

Available for free, from JASON , are the online games and digital labs that will capture your students’ attention and sustain their interest. JASON games and digital labs are written and designed with the practical realties of the classroom. Teachers can even  search for games and labs by state standards and  will also find worksheets and handouts. One game is Operation Resilient Planet, be sure to watch this preview. Another, which is one of my favorites, is Coaster Creator. Watch this informative video to learn more. Storm Tracker gives students a front row seat in learning about a hurricane as can be seen in this video preview. Last, you will find some great gaming and lab resources in the Mini Lab portion of the JMC.

Not to be forgotten is JASON Project’s comprehensive professional development program. It has been designed to increase teachers’ expertise in implementing inquiry-based science curricula in the classroom. Download this PDF brochure for more details. (must register for free)

In closing, The JASON Project has long been a winner of multiple awards. The energy curriculum most recently won three coveted CODiE Awards from the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). Operation Infinite Potential was named the nation’s best K-12 Instructional Solution, Best Online Instructional Solution and best Education Game or Simulation. The CODiE Awards are the industry’s sole peer-recognition awards program, designed to celebrate excellence and vision in educational technology, digital content, and software. “These awards validate our belief that JASON is an important contributor to 21st century learning and can have a significant impact on raising student achievement,” said Caleb M. Schutz, President of The JASON Project. “Our focus was on creating a multimedia curriculum that allows students and teachers to work and learn in an exciting and engaging online global community.”

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as the Jason Project 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

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Free: Showing Evidence Tool… Collaboratively Construct, Evaluate, And Defend!

Welcome to the third in a series of articles based on Intel Thinking Tools, an amazing set of free tools from Intel. The resource I include today is called the Showing Evidence Tool , another of Intel’s amazing Online Thinking Tools. This tool is perfect for those teachers who wish to engage students to collaboratively and critically provide evidence to support an idea. Before exploring please take a moment to sign up for future posts via email or RSS and also,  follow me on twitter at (mjgormans).  Now, discover another new and amazing  free 21st century tool! Have a great week! – Mike

Showing Evidence Tools –  “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.”  A statement by Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936) an English writer.

How many of your students have a great opinion or found some information on the web, but lack the ability to back it up with well articulated thinking and research? Real learning requires students to come up with opinions, hypotheses, and thesis arguments. More importantly, they must learn to support their ideas with factual details. This is true whether students are exploring science, discussing social studies, explaining a math problem, or writing a language arts paper. This skill is the foundation of Intel’s free Showing Evidence Tool. This resource facilitates student learning by providing a tool that helps construct well-reasoned arguments that can  prove a case, theory or hypothesis  with credible evidence. It does this by providing a visual framework to make claims, identify evidence, evaluate the quality of the evidence, explain how the evidence supports or weakens a claim, and allows students to reach conclusions based on the evidence. Research shows that an argumentation tool such as Showing Evidence extends learning regardless of subject or grade level. This is accomplished by preparing students for real world problems, helping students develop higher-order thinking skills, increasing content knowledge, and encouraging thoughtful students discussion.

Intel states, “The Showing Evidence Tool provides a scaffold to support students as they create a claim and then support or refute it with appropriate evidence. When an argument is complicated, the components of the tool help students think through justifying a claim. The Showing Evidence Tool prompts students to consider the quality of the evidence (Do they trust the source?), and the strength of the evidence to support their claim (Is the evidence central to their argument?). Students use the tool to explicitly link evidence to their claim and provide their reasoning as to why the evidence supports their claim (What general principle or idea allows them to make that connection?).

Take a moment and watch this video to get a better understanding. Be sure to explore Intel’s resources of units and plans for this tool. Perusing these lessons will provide you with ideas to integrate this tool into your past, current, and future lessons. There is even a tutorial that will guide you through building an activity. You may also wish to look at both this elementary demo or secondary demo.  Intel also includes an  excellent set of instructional strategies.  Best of all, Intel has included a private project area for teachers to set up lessons, class lists, and collaborative groups. Students then log in to the secure teacher area. Collaboration can occur from any computer at school or at home. Teachers have the ability to monitor and assess student work on line, and even leave important feedback. Take a moment and explore the Showing Evidence Tool. It really is a first class resource that will apply to any curricular area and grade level while enhancing 21st Century Skills. Best of all, it’s free!

Thanks for joining me once again on the important journey of transforming education to fit the 21st century. Remember to sign up via email or RSS and also,  follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). I also have hundreds of resources available for free at my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Enjoy the week as you introduce new tools that encourage your students to think! – Mike

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Free: Seeing Reason Tool…High Order Thinking, Mapping, And Collaboration!

Welcome to the second in a series of articles based on Intel Thinking Tools, an amazing set of free tools from Intel. The tool I include today is called the Seeing Reason Tool  , one of Intel’s amazing Online Thinking Tools. The description is perfect for those educators wanting their students engaged in 21st Century learning  activities in the classroom. Before starting, remember to sign up for future posts via email or RSS and also,  follow me on twitter at (mjgormans) to keep learning!  By the time you finish this post you, will dreaming up activities that will allow your students avenues to see reasons, connections, and relevance in all curricular areas.  Have a great week! – Mike


Seeing Reason Tools – Any collection of related facts is difficult to grasp when expressed by figures in tabular form, but the same may be seen at a glance when presented by one of the many graphic representations of those ideas.” – Gardner C. Anthony; from his book; An Introduction to the Graphic Language

There is no better tool that can promote real thinking than one that allows students to brainstorm and web. Intel describes this tool as one that allows students to “investigate relationships in complex systems, and create maps that communicate understanding”. Simply put, the Seeing Reason mapping tool allows a user to create diagrams or “causal maps.”  These maps allow students to understand the information in the investigation of a problem. This is perfect for Problem, Project, and Inquiry Based Learning.  Students learn to organize the factors that influence or affect a problem, and more importantly show how these factors interact with each other in cause-and-effect relationships. This must see tool supports cycles of investigation allowing students to gather what they know, organize that knowledge base into a map, and then investigate whether their initial concepts are really supported by necessary evidence. The benefits include the five key points allowing students to; think about and talk about their learning, negotiate the meaning of their symbols and make their ideas public, translate from one form of knowledge to another, transfer their knowledge to other cause-and-effect situations, and gain experience in using tools for problem solving.

To better understand the Seeing Reason Tool watch this video and also take a look at this provided demo.  Also, be sure to take a moment to explore Intel’s resources of units . Not only will these units and additional project ideas be excellent resources,  they will also provide other ideas for lessons that integrate the use of this tool. Best of all, Intel has included a private project area for teachers to set up lessons, class lists, and collaborative groups. Students then log in to the secure teacher area. Collaboration can occur from any computer at school or at home. Teachers have the ability to monitor and assess student work on line, and even leave important feedback. Take a moment and explore Seeing Reason, a tool that will apply to any curricular area while enhancing 21st Century Skills.

Thanks for joining me once again on the important journey of transforming education to fit the 21st century. Remember to sign up via email or RSS and also,  follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). I also have hundreds of resources available for free at my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Enjoy the week as you introduce new tools that encourage your students to think! – Mike


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Free STEM Programs For Probe Ware, PBL, And Computer Simulations

Last summer I had the opportunity to attend an awesome workshop presented by the Concord Consortium located in Concord, Massachusetts. Available through its ITSI Portal, you will find a collection of amazing free software that will allow classroom learning to come alive with a wide range of probe ware activities. It doesn’t stop there, because you will discover free ways  to connect probe ware and harness computer simulations  to facilitate content and skill application in science, math, computers, and engineering. There is even a project that allows students to build their own inexpensive probe ware!  Before you get the details, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS to this Blog and  follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Have a wonderful week! – Mike

Time to learn about an outstanding organization serving up first class resources! The people at the Concord Consortium have developed a program that goes beyond the ordinary use of probe ware. It is an adventure that includes a perfect mix of technology and 21st century skills. You will find a true opportunity to engage students, allowing them to cross the disciplines and experience real world applications. These activities also allow students to work in a collaborative effort as they problem solve, analyze, and hypothesize. While the Concord Consortium does not supply the probe ware, they do provide free interface software support for all brands of probe ware. This includes facilitation for both Mac and Windows platform. If you don’t have any probe ware, no problem!  They even have an inexpensive soution on how to make your own. Yes, it’s true, they recommend a process of creating your own probe ware as an engaging student project.

The Concord Consortium has created over 100 activities that incorporate probes and models for middle school physical science, earth science, and life science. Included in these 100 activites are also lessons in High School biology, chemistry, and physics. These are outstanding, well thought out units, that give the teacher all the needed resources to facilitate real student learning. The lessons incorporate both on-line models and the java interface for probe ware. All lessons are made up of models, probe activities, or a combination along with supporting documents and on-line activities. Students will be engaged in designing inquiry based STEM activities that use computational models and real time data. Probes facilitate activities involving voltage, light, relative humidity, motion, pressure, and force.  The do-it-yourself probe ware kits allow students to build simple, inexpensive circuits that measure more than 14 different parameters. Models include activities such as atomic scale, global warming, circuits, and seismic eruptions. The included portal provides an area for teacher account set up, and for class and student log in. The ingenious interface allows for teachers to monitor student progress online as they work individually and in collaborative groups. Best of all, it is free and has been made possible by the people at the Concord Consortium and the National Science Foundation. Take a look at the links below, providing you access to the immense amount of resources available. You will be impressed with this outstanding program that supports probe ware, models, and true 21st century learning through STEM education.

I recommend the following: Watch this introduction video Next, look over this page devoted to the activities preview. Are you ready to sign up for an account? After you do, you will discover even more activities and resources. Visit this link to register. Be sure to check out this getting started page with videos on many topics. Last, here is a link that provides build it yourself information that really won’t bust the budget!

Thanks for joining me on this adventure in 21st Century Education! As always please check out the resources and share this post with others!  I look forward to you subscribing by RSS or email. I am also on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will follow back!  Take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki that includes hundreds of free resources to expand your 21st century collection! I have some great info coming your way on 21st Century Learning, Google advanced searching, and cool collaborative applications in the near future! Please enjoy and share! -Mike

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