Tag Archives: map

Free Down To Earth Resources For Science And Social Studies

Welcome to the eighth 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

A visit to the US Department of Interior’s USGS Education Website , The U.S. Geological Survey, provides scientific information intended to help educators. Exploring this amazing site  is certainly a grand voyage in itself. Teachers of Social Studies, Geology, Geography, Biology, Statistics, and History will find themselves engaged in a a collection that literally covers the Earth! The mission of the USGS is to educate the public about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and issues that affect quality of life.

Your students can discover what a satellite can really see as it passes over our planet.  Unlike many popular satellite imaging programs,  students will see pictures in near-real time with the USGS EarthNow Landsat Image Viewer. This program incorporates mesmerizing, near-real time satellite imagery from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over North America. Discover how to make it happen by watching a high-resolution, 1-hour public lecture, Looking Down On Our Planet: New satellite imagery reveals a changing global surface. A teacher may also want to design a unit around Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change. This is an educational site focusing on before and after satellite images (emphasizing environmental change) with detailed information for the classroom. Perhaps you want to help your students Explore the Arctic.  They will discover the many new facts scientists are learning ever day about its changing landscape.  Don’t miss the countless other Featured Topics that contain exciting and engaging lessons ready for classroom use. It will be worth your time to take a moment to download this recently published PDF File citing over 22 major resources supplied to education from USGS.

Teachers will discover great  lessons for K-6 and 7-12 involving Ecosystems, Biology, Geography, Geology, and Water. Wish you could take more field trips? Perhaps you may want to check out  your own schoolyard filled with great geologic features! School Yard Geology is filled with activities and examples of what to look for to turn your schoolyard into a rich geologic experience. Supplement just about any lesson with over 130 engaging and downloadable Podcasts covering such topics as Twittering Earthquakes, Mt. St Helen, Arctic Ice Shelves,  and Global Warming. Most USGS videos and animations  are posted on the USGS Multimedia Gallery and even have captioning.  Browse through this database containing a collection of USGS videos and animations that are especially appropriate for classroom use. This list provides a broad representation of USGS research available through their own visual media. Remember, USGS is a Federal agency and cannot copyright its products. With one exception, all the products in this database are considered public domain and may be viewed, downloaded, and reproduced free of charge. What an opportunity for student remix and creativity! Be sure to visit Lessons & Activities for Exploring the Earth with Maps It will allow you to make maps and geography concepts come alive inyour classroom! Speaking of maps, why not Find A Map that fits the exact topic you are teaching? Using Find A Map educators will browse a site containing links to popular USGS map resources and map databases, including the: The National Map, and The National Atlas. You don’t have to stop at the USGS education site, find even more information at the main site for the USGS. It really is time for you to bring your curriculum down to earth while providing engaging opportunities for all students.  You will find that the USGS Education Website is filled with resources that will allow you to facilitate 21st Century Learning in your classroom today!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as USGS 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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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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Xpeditions:Free Cross-Curricular Project And Inquiry Based Learning: Based On National Standards

Welcome to another post. On weekdays I try to keep the postings short, but fill them with some rich web resources. In researching Xpeditions is was easy to find the rich resources, it will be a challenge to keep it short. Thanks for the visit and let me know via a reply, email, or twitter any feedback or comments. You always have an open invitation to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and please follow me at @mjgormans on Twitter.  I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

The resources in Xpeditions  provide an opportunity to cross the curriculums of  science, social studies, math, and language arts  using National Geography Standards. At the same time students are engaged in unique and well planned  inquiry, project, and problem based activities.  Upon examination, it is amazing the job that Xpeditions  has done in providing a great mix of lessons, activities, videos, simulations,  for all students in K-12. Of course, you can always expect a superior product when the organization behind the project is National Geographic. Upon entering the sight, choices will abound and any click will bring possibilities of engaged learning.

The first thing I always like to highlight are the Standards. A quote on the site states  states “The National Geography Standards contain what is most important and enduring in geography. They help teachers to decide what to teach, at what grades to teach it, and what to expect of students as a result. They give students rigorous but realistic benchmarks for which to strive.” I also noted that the included standards really do merge all core curricular areas!

My next click included visiting the Xpedition Hall which is an amazing interactive museum allowing students to explore archeology digs, map cartology, games, travel, adventure, and unique experiences. Be sure to read through the teacher guide , as it supplies an overview and a way to incorporate the hall in lessons and activities. The hall is built on a virtual premise and is worth the visit to the Xpedition Site in itself, but there is so much more!

Another important link is the  Lesson Plans. They were written by teachers and have been tested in the classrooms across the nation. These lesson plans together, address all of the U.S. National Geography Standards, the five geography skills, and the main geographic perspectives. Resources from this site include the AtlasBlue Ribbon Links,   Xpedition Hall, and Activities and are incorporated into the lessons. Take a look at the lesson index and note how it follows grade levels and standards. Not only are the lesson titles numerous, they are impressive, linking to outstanding resources.

The next major link is one that connects to Activities,  offering students opportunities to use geography to complete a variety of missions. Included  are  “X-tras”—maps, games, stories, web sites, and interactive features. These  allow students to complete the tasks and to even visit related annexes in Xpedition Hall once their mission is through. Take a look at this amazing list of activities and note the  included standards and grade level targets. It is  evident that thought has been put toward multiple learning styles with an emphasis on Inquiry Based Learning.

Don’t miss the Atlas link. It allows students to make and then print their own maps. Students have the opportunity to customize these maps by making desired selections. It can also be used as a teacher tool in preparing maps for classroom use.  I believe that the Atlas may be one of the areas that both teachers and students will use most. In conclusion the Xpeditions Web Site from National Geographic offers many opportunities. The choices for a teacher can be overwhelming and I recommend choosing one lesson or activty that can incoporate the standards that need to be addressed by a teacher or multi-disciplinary team.  I am sure all students will enjoy this inquiry and problem based approach to learning. National Geographic has even more to offer and I will be sure to highlight those resources in future posts. I am certain you will find that Xpeditions is a valuable resource  as you continue your own journey into 21st Century Education. Have great and rewarding Xpeditions!

Thanks for the visit and let me know via a reply, email, or twitter any feedback or comments. You always have an open invitation to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and please follow me at @mjgormans on Twitter.  I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

 

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