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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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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 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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