Tag Archives: standards

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 Math Video Game & Curriculum From MIT: Engages Students And Facilitates 21st Century Learning!

A great MIT math game for middle school students incorporating problem solving, higher order thinking skills, national standards, and 21st century skills is available for free!  Includes lesson plans, graphic organizers, a library of material, evaluation strategies, and a  teacher administrative tool set. You have just entered the world of Lure of the Labyrinth, one of my web catches of the week!  While it has been around for a few years, it deserves mention every so often. For more great resources visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki – Mike  email (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us) Twitter @mjgormans

MIT has created another great learning experience, this time for middle school pre-algebra and algebra students. This is not the typical game that involves solving math problems with the reward of playing a game as a reward in the end.  Lure of the Labyrinth isn’t that kind of game. In fact, teachers and students report that math is one of the most fun parts of this game that incorporates a style found in popular graphic novels. It is embedded in a strong story line that engages students in a far off world where they must stop the  monsters from dominating the world.  This is accomplished by solving puzzles through the use of logic and the understanding of  number relationships. The mathematics embedded in Lure of the Labyrinth is the central part of any pre-algebra curriculum, and is based on key standards that guide national and state mathematics curriculum. Lure of the Labyrinth’s exploration of number relationships is complex, intriguing, and it is accessible to all mathematical thinkers. Take a moment to read more about all of the math, scientific method, problem solving,  and hypothesizing found in this unique game.
There are two basic ways that teachers can use Lure of the Labyrinth. Students can play it as a full-fledged game or they can  play its puzzles as separate, standalone activities that compliment specific math lessons. There is a large resource area available for teachers that cover standardssixteen different lesson plans, and graphic organizers that can be used with each lesson.  The game also allows for student cooperation and collaboration while giving teachers an administrative tool to monitor online activity and student progress. The graphics are fun and the story line is interesting! Take a moment to view various video segments produced for professional development of Maryland teachers  involving  game play, testimonials, and planning! Be sure to read this complete page written for educators and be sure to listen to the audio by Scott Osterweil  who is Creative Director at the Education Arcade at MIT . In fact, the MIT link will bring you several other games for education that I will include in future write ups. More research is supporting the use of games to faciltate  this generation of digital natives in their aquisition of  those all important 21st century skills!

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to send on any comments or replies and catch all updates on both sites at twitter – Mike

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It’s Free, Engaging, Creative, and Project Based : Make or Take A Virtual Fieldtrip or Book Review and “Meet Me At The Corner”

Wow, what a response I recieved on both the Blog and Wiki on the Intel free resources for assessing 21st Century skills. If you liked that, I promise you will enjoy some upcoming postings on simular materials. This new posting has been designed to get the right side of your brain flowing by introducing you to a creative site designed to engage students. It also addresses standards, promotes Project Based Learning, and enhances 21st Century Skills. I reccomend you take a look at the my review, and the site. I am certain it will bring you to an amazing corner that has been produced especially for students. As always feel free to respond, email ,and visit my 21centyredtech Wiki. In fact, take a moment and join! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

Every once and a while I am introduced to a truely unique and innovative site that has great implications for 21st century learning. The most recent site that fits this bill is one called Meet Me At The Corner. The site is dynamic and interactive, encouraging  individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide. Donna Guthrie, the website producer, is committed to creating a community of children, who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video. Guthrie is not new to education. She is the author of more than twenty award-winning books for children. Donna has also taught kindergarten through fifth grade in both public and private schools in Pennsylvania and Colorado and is a visiting professor at Colorado College where she teaches children’s writing.

The website focus is geared toward  students and standards  in elementary and middle school. At present time, Meet Me At The Corner has a collection of close to one hundred  short virtual fieldtrip episodes  hosted by students and filmed on location.  The episodes are written and video is filmed by students. The footage is then sent to Meet Me At The Corner, and Donns’s crew edits and posts a final production that is truely professional and engaging for students. In keeping with educational standards, each episode has a related material that has questions to answer from the video, creative activities,  weblinks that focus on the topic, and possible books for reading. Topics are fund and of high interest. One interesting example includes  juggling from an expert in Brooklyn, be sure to scroll down below the video to see resources to integrate. How about this interview with an astronomer in San Diego? The episode and related resources could most certainly take care of some science standards. Write and submit a fieldtrip, and some of the language arts standards are covered. If students collaborate as a group on a project, then those all important 21st Century Skills can also be addressed. Take a moment and have students explore and uncover their community resources. Perhaps your students will find an author such as Robert Sabuda, a famous pop-up book engineer and artist, and create an episode like this  for an authentic audience to watch. Even more resources and information is found at the Learning Corner.

Don’ pass by the Contest Area of the website. Here you will find contests related to current events such as Arbor Day, the holidays, and an on-going writing and poetry contest. This inspiring episode  entitled Paws For Poetry sponsored by the New York Humane Society and Meet Me At The Corner should spark some great ideas. It may even get your school community thinking about possible partners. When visiting the Episode Page you can serach for videos by topic. My favorite topic is the  Big Apple Book Review. This area contains a small collection of books of elementary and middle school books reviewed by students and then produced by Meet Me At The Corner staff. While the collection is small, it provides a great opportunity for students to submit a favorite book and build the collection. Students get a chance to learn the difference between a report and a review. They can work in groups enhancing Project Based Learning as they aquire a wide range of 21st century skills. You will note that only first names are used in the productions. Take a look at this Video Episode that shows how to submit a video podcast for final editing and posting by Meet Me At The Corner staff.

In conclusion, be sure to read the User Agreement on the website  and also check you school district policy on submitting student work. It is important to be aware and abide by policies and procedures both at the site and in your school district. The site has a designated area to sign up and read more about submitting student work. Meet Me At The Corner really does  provide students with some amazing, engaging, and relevant resources. It also invites teachers and  students to become contributing members.  I know the teachers I have already presented the site to have walked away with enthusiasm and excitement. Perhaps you will, Meet Us At The Corner!

Have a wonderful week and continue to visit my partner 21centuryedtech Wiki! I am constantly adding resources that I feel are the best for 21st Century educators as they transform instruction in their classroom! While you are at the sight, take a moment to join and become part of a new community of educators! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

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Free And Engaging Resources At Smithsonian Website – Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons, Oh My!

Smithsonian Education – If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. From the Education Page there are many options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources and align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smnithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Women’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. There are even lessons about podcasts in the classroom. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator. The Smithsonian is a great resources, its yours, and its free. Bring its national treasures, collections and resources into your classroom today!

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Time For “Your Take” – An Interactive Site That Promotes “The Wisdom Of The Crowd”

yourtake2

Once in a while a truly unique site is created that promotes genuine 21st Century Skills using technology. A site that provides tools that  assist students in  reflecting, questioning, collaborating, thinking globally, gathering facts, analyzing, and seeking solutions is currently available for free!  Your Take demonstrates the true power found in a group working together.  Students must learn thos process if they are to successfully compete  in the global world of the 21st Century.  Your Take,  an effort made possible by the Tregoe Education Forum,  can be found at www.yourtake.org.  The site emphasizes that a real  key to success inside and outside the classroom is the ability to think critically and  go beyond grades.  The authors of this site have developed a unique tool called SCAN .  The SCAN program promotes an interactive and collaborative way for students to use technology to analyze and problem solve an issue. The letters in SCAN stand for:

S – Stop and think things through

C – Clarify the key issues

A – Ask yourself what’s most important

N – Now, what’s your next step

Lessons can be taught as an individual or group activity. Students use the web to follow these guidelines and reflect on various points of view. The end product is a group effort that can be used as a project, writing prompt, or presentation. A  video provided by Your Take gives a clear demonstration  of how this program works. The program has nearly one hundred pre-made lessons with prompts. I advise you to not stop there. Use lessons that you have used in the past and integrate them using this outstanding technology. Include standards found in your curriculum to better understand past issues in history, current topics of today, and future problems that will need solutions only found through the efforts of a group. An archived Webinar provides an even  more thorough examination of Your Take. It provides great information on the ways to set up this online collaborative environment in a safe and effective way. A list of sample of standards,  including 21st century technology standards can also be found on the Your Take Web Site.

As you become familiar with this amazing site please feel free to post ideas, plans, and thoughts you may have on using this tool in education. I also invite you to read a book entitled, The Wisdom of Crowds ,by James Surowiecki. It is a must read for twenty-first century educators as they affirm mission and vision for facilitating student growth in twenty-first century skills. After all, we are a crowd of educators  and together our collective wisdom has unlimited potential! Feel free to join the constantly growing crowd at my wiki entitled 21centuryedtech at www. 21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com . It really is time for you to become even more familiar with  Your Take!

Mike  (21centuryedtech)

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