Tag Archives: digital

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

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

School Days , Just An Old Song, Or Is It? Tuning Education For The 21st Century!

Creative Commons – Public Domain (Front page of original music 1907)

A new year is upon us and I have been away from work for two weeks. I have taken the opportunity to have fun one more time with a posting. I promise I will be good and bring you some great resources as soon as I get the left side of my brain cranked up again. The right side of my brain dedicates this posting to the golden memories of school days. Many people suggest that school really hasn’t changed through the years. I  invite you to take a trip back in time and listen to the  song “School Days”  written by Will Cobb and Gus Edwards. Be sure to  read about the song’s history. Also listen to the original 1907  version  sung by Byron G. Harlon on both cylinders and 78 rpm recordings.  The Cylinder Restoration Project is an interesting visit and could stimulate some interesting lessons. My point; times really have changed, but has instructional transformation kept up with the pace of this change?  I’ll let you decide. Below,  I have added on to those original verses in order to help us reflect on changes made, not made, or still to be considered. Feel free to sing along with the newly created lyrics and enjoy a moment of reflection.  Maybe someone in 2110 will discover this posting and reminisce! As always, please visit me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki  and I wish you all the best as you make new strides in the new year! After all, these are the good old days!

– Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us) Twitter At – mjgormans

School Days– Edison Records – Writers Gus Edwards/Will Cobb – Artist Byron G. Harlon – 1907

First part of the 20th Century – days that our parents and grand parents were so familiar with
School Days, School Days
Dear old golden rule days
Reading, and writing and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of a hickory stick
You were my queen in Calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
You wrote on my slate I loved you so
When we were a couple of kids

Second part of the 20th Century  – days I grew up in along with many of you. Remember the excitement of watching a movie backwards?
School Days, Schools Days
Let’s go challenge the rules days
Lectures and filmstrips in monotone
Taught with the threat of a note sent home
You were the girl in a mini skirt
I wore bells with a bright red shirt
I sent you a note and tried to flirt
When we were a couple of kids

First part of the 21st Century – I think anyone in education can relate with the changes we are seeing
School Days, School days
Oh, what are the rules these days
Powerpoints and Smartboards and Ebook Time
Daily updates of grades on line
You were the girl whose jeans would drag
I was the boy whose trousers sagged
I’d text on my cell, replies would lag
When we were a couple of kids

Second Part of the 21st Century – these lryics really will depend on educators’ responses to necessary transformation

Possiblity One
School days, School days
Didn’t need no rule days
Distant, and online, and all alone
No need to leave the four walls of home
I was the pink haired avatar
You were the girl from oh, so far
In Second Life we drove a car
When we were a couple of kids

Possibility Two
School days , School days
Mutual respect of rules days
Learning and solving with goals in mind
Amazed at all the solutions we’d find
You were the high tech collaborator
I was the designer and fabricator
We dreamed of what we’d all be later
When we were a couple of kids

Wishing you the very best as you keep trying to integrate the technology and transform instruction. I really do believe that the very best of School Days are still ahead of us! I appreciate  the emails and comments each and every one of you sends. It really is a true inspiration! I also appreciate  any twittering or passing along of this blog. I will get back to finding some great resources to share for the next post! – Mike  (Twitter at mjgormans) (email at mailto:mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us  (Wiki at 21centuryedtech Wiki)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized