05 Jan 2011 Vimeo Video School

Vimeo Video SchoolAre you producing short videos with your students and hoping you could help them improve the quality of their work? Vimeo, the social video sharing website has a solution for you. They created the Vimeo Video School featuring approximately 40 lessons on how to produce quality video. These videos are not aimed at professional filmmaker with unlimited budget to purchase equipment. They are especially designed to help amateur video producers on a budget, which is exactly what we need in schools. They even have a video entitled “Do-It-Yourself Dolly and Shoulder Rig”. So whether you want to do Stop Motion, build a follow focus, learn how to do proper framing and composition, edit in Windows Movie Marker or add cool effects with After Effects, you and your students will definitely learn something from the Vimeo Video School.

02 Jan 2011 Bloom’s Taxonomy: Bloomin’ Peacock

If you are an educator, you have certainly heard about the Bloom’s Taxonomy. It is part of any teacher training as it describes the skills from the very basic level to the higher thinking skills. They are sorted in seven categories: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. Obviously, the cognitive skills required to create are a lot more advanced than the one required remembering.

Kelly Tenkerley from ilearntechnology.com has designed a peacock with all the skills on its feathers. Now the best thing is that she has taken many of the social media tools and web 2.0 apps and has divided them on the Bloomin’ Peacock. That way you know that by using Spellingcity.com with your students, your are mostly having them “Remember”, but when you are using Garage Band or Kidblog.org, you are mostly having them “Create”.  Check it out on the ilearntechnology blog.

10 Apr 2010 Story Jumper

Story Jumper is a website where teachers, parents or even children can publish their own children’s book. The process is simple, fast and fun. If your students have a hard time creating a story, they can use the Story Starter, a tool that will help them write a story in just seven steps. The site comes with many drawings and photos that students can use to illustrate their story. Once the story is all complete, you can keep it for yourself or you can share it online for free with your friends, family or even the whole world. If you prefer you can order a hardback book (starting at around $25). Students will really enjoy the creative process of writing their own book and Story Jumper makes the creative process so easy. In addition to the clipart library included, you can also upload your own photos and drawings as background scenes. There is even a Classroom edition where the teacher can create a class ID make it easier to manage with a large group of students.

07 Apr 2010 Math Live
 |  Category: Mathematics  | One Comment

Math Live is an amazing website for mathematics teacher. It is produced by the Ministry of Education of Alberta. It is all produced in Flash so it will not run on many mobile devices such as the iPod touch, iPhone or iPad.  When you start Math Live, there is an intro video presenting the four characters. It is possible to skip this intro and go directly to the lessons and the glossary. Lessons are available in the four main strands of mathematics in Alberta : Number, Patterns and Relations, Shape and Space and Statistics and Probability. Lessons include concepts such as place value, proper fractions, equivalent fractions, multiplication and divisions of decimals, patterns, area, perimeter, volume, polygons, tessellation, displaying data and probability. The lessons are visually attractive and presented in a fun way by the characters. All the lessons also include parent notes, teacher notes and assessments.

04 Apr 2010 Science Bob
 |  Category: Science  | Leave a Comment

Science Bob is a great site to have fun with science. It includes science fair ideas, with an emphasis on the scientific method and resources. There is also a Science Q&A with the question (and answer) of the week as well as an archive of previous questions. Students are invited to ask Science Bob a question. ”Science Bob” Pflugfelder has been a fan of science since he was just six years old. He is a celebrity science teacher and owns the science mobile. The main feature of his website is a collection of videos presenting cool science experiments.

01 Apr 2010 26 Learning Games to Change the World

If you are looking for fun games that will help your students get more aware of social issues, this list of games should be a great way to achieve this goal. “26 Learning Games to Change the World“ is compiled by “Mission to Learn”. Some of the issues covered by the games on this list include the spread of malaria, social entrepreneurship, the cost of life, 3rd world farming, refugees in Darfur, nuclear weapons, global warming and climate change, wasteland, whaling, and food production. Some of these games are parodies or one-sided. Make sure you try them before to make sure they are age-appropriate for your students and you include some sort of context and discussion when your students are trying them out.

29 Mar 2010 Ecovoyageurs
 |  Category: Environment  | Leave a Comment

Ecovoyageurs” is a great resource for teachers and students who want to reduce their impact on Earth. The ecological footprint is introduced and students are encouraged to fill out a survey to determine their own ecological footprint. The questions of the survey are clear and simple and encourage the students to reflect on their daily actions. All aspects of the ecological footprint are addressed including energy, food, waste and transportation. The student can then assess the impact of his own actions and decide on lifestyle changes to implement in order to protect the Earth. The teacher section includes very nice downloadable guides in PDF. These guides include questionnaires, texts and worksheets. Really this site is a little treasure for elementary school teachers who try to promote the protection of the environment in their classroom. There is a junior and an intermediate version of this site.

26 Mar 2010 Google Maps Icons

Google Maps Icons is a great resource for geography teachers using Google Maps in their classroom. It is a collection of 900 free and description map markers that can be added to represent various locations in Google Maps. There is a transportation icon pack, a tourism and nature icon pack, a store icon pack, a weather icon pack, a sports icon pack and many more. They are nice replacements to the standard map markers included in Google Maps. These collections are available on Google Code.

23 Mar 2010 Parapal Online

Parapal Online” is a collection of English Exercises including Picture dictionary exercises, Letter and e-mail writing exercises, listening exercises, general English exercises, Vocabulary building exercises, Business English exercises, Cambridge style exercises as well as Children’s exercises. All the exercises run in Flash so they will no run on many mobile devices including the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. The exercises are not very visually attractive, but since they are more geared toward high school students or adults, the simplistic style of the activities is appropriate. It includes fill in the gap and multiple-choice exercises. There is also a discussion board and chat room where you can meet other students.

20 Mar 2010 What’s Your Story

What’s Your Story” is a website dedicated to Internet Safety. It takes the form of a video context in which student are encourage to upload their own video about being safe and smart online. Although the contest ends on April 30th, 2010, there are many information useful on this website once the contest is over including sample stories and videos from students, a video gallery and tips for kids and families on how to stay safe while surfing on the Internet. It addresses the issues of cyberbullying, sexting, scams and spam. It encourages students to keep a good rep online, to stay clear of unwanted contact, to access content that’s age-appropriate and to keep the cybercriminals out.

17 Mar 2010 This Day in History
 |  Category: History  | Leave a Comment

This Day in History” is the perfect website to have loaded everyday on your interactive whiteboard when students are entering the classroom. It presents a list of event that happened on that day in previous years. When you load the page, it automatically goes to the date of the day. You can click “yesterday” or “tomorrow” to see what happened in history the day before or day after today. At the bottom of the screen you can also enter a specific month and day. You can also search for birthdays or do a year-by-year search.

14 Mar 2010 Place Value and Scientific Notation Worksheet Generator
 |  Category: Mathematics  | One Comment

There is a great Worksheet Generator about “Place Value and Scientific Notation” on the Home School Math website. The great thing about this generator is that you can get an unlimited number of different worksheets. You can also customize it easily including the level of difficulty. You can either choose Easy (up to 5 nonzero digits) or Medium (no limitation). There are many types of problems you can include on your worksheet such as writing a number in expanded form, writing a number in normal form, writing a number in scientific notation,  and converting a number from scientific notation to a normal form.  You can also control the maximum number of digits and the maximum number of decimal digits. You can also control the look of the numbers by selecting the symbol used for multiplications, the decimal separator and the thousands separator. It is also possible to choose the font, font size and cell padding. It is a great resource for homeschoolers as well as science and mathematic teachers. Finally you can also print an answer key.

11 Mar 2010 15 Resources to Improve Your Math and Science Knowledge
 |  Category: Mathematics, Science  | 3 Comments

The following list of math and science tools include resources for homework help, keeping up with research and news in the field, and reviewing basic concepts and applications. You can share them with your students as lesson plans or extra test prep, and bookmark them yourself when you want to improve your own math and science knowledge.

  1. Math Sciences and Resources: This toolset from NASA includes proficiency tests, physics questions and more educational materials for K-12 students and teachers.
  2. MIT OpenCourseWare: If you’re not already using the free course materials, lecture notes, videos and audio features supplied by MIT through its opencourseware program, you’re missing out. The web resource includes materials for all subjects, but is especially rich in math and the sciences, from engineering to health sciences to technology to chemistry and more.
  3. Texas Instruments Free Downloads: Texas Instruments’ collection of free downloads provides you and your students with review tools and games at all levels. Find apps and computer software, games, and more, for all different operating systems.
  4. ACT Test Prep: You don’t have to be training students for the ACT to use all the practice questions on this site. It includes math and science review for anyone at the high school level.
  5. Math.com: This mathematics website features a homework help page, practice page, games, and collection of calculators and tools. You can use the math worksheet generator to customize review sheets for your students or for yourself, in pre-algebra, algebra, everyday math, advanced math, calculus, and more.
  6. ScienceDaily: Visit this authoritative website for research news in the sciences and in mathematics. You can watch and share videos, read articles, view images, and learn about math and science books, experiments, researchers and technology.
  7. MathDL: The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Mathematical Sciences Digital Library offers the public all kinds of resources for learning about math in the news, subscribing to RSS feeds, collecting library resources, discussing math topics with other community members, and more.
  8. Scientific American: The web version of this prestigious science journal includes blogs, features, letters to the editor, news stories, special in-depth reports, image gallery, videos, a “fact or fiction” feature, and other resources for you and your students. Science topics covered range from basic science to space to evolution to the mind and brain to energy and sustainability, and others.
  9. Free Online Textbooks, Lecture Notes, Tutorials, and Videos on Mathematics: This page from NYU lists free online resources for studying math, including textbooks, software, lecture notes and more, dealing with numerical analysis, calculus, number theory, statistics and general mathematics.
  10. Discovery: The Discovery Channel’s website is a huge resource for anyone interested in learning more about math and science, from technology to the natural world. There are also lots of games and interactive features that will help students learn about animals, NASA, evolution and the environment.
  11. Jefferson Lab Games and Puzzles: Jefferson Lab’s group of resources includes games and puzzles for understanding math, numbers, science vocabulary, science concepts and more.
  12. National Geographic: Similar to Discovery.com, the National Geographic website provides teachers and students with a fun, interactive and free opportunity to study the natural world and history. You can watch TV shows online, too.
  13. Cramster.com: This homework help site has collected thousands of resources for students working on biology, physics, computer science, chemistry, math and engineering, from equation sheets to practice exams to outlines to video lectures.
  14. Science.gov: This government-sponsored resource is a searchable site of over 40 databases and 2,000 websites. You can perform an advanced search or browse categories like science education, natural resources, agriculture and food, biology and nature, and beyond.
  15. Project Euclid: Project Euclid is a collection of math and statistics resources, particularly math journals online from places like the University of Michigan.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez@gmail.com.

08 Mar 2010 Lang-8
 |  Category: Foreign Language  | 2 Comments

Lang-8Are you an addict of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo or Twitter? Are you also interested in learning one or more foreign languages? There is now a way to use your social network addiction with the desire to learn a new language. Lang-8 is a language exchange social networking website. It was founded by a Japanese student, Yangyang Xi, after he studied Chinese. At first, it was only available to students at Kyoto University, but now the network has open to anyone interested in interacting with other people while learning a new language. It contains most of the regular feature of a mainstream social media (creating a profile, making friends, sending messages, joining groups, interacting with other people) plus, you can also write journal entries and have them checked by native speakers. When you create your profile, you include your native language and you target one or two languages that you would like to learn. You also indicate why you want to learn these languages: professional, school, travel, student exchange, etc. For the most part, this social network is free. There are a few premium options requiring payment (such as the ability to post photos, the ability to download journal entries as PDF, no advertisement, personal URL, no limit on number of messages sent daily). You can check the differences between the free account and the premium account.

05 Mar 2010 Using English

UsingEnglish.com is an on-line resource for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers. It was founded in the UK eight years ago and now includes a wide variety of resources for both learners and teachers. Even though most of the content on the website is based on British English, some of the content was also developed by English contributors from the US, Canada and other English speaking countries. It includes References, Worksheets, Handouts, Lessons Plans, Articles, Tests, Quizzes, Essay Samples and many more. It is entirely free, but is ad supported. There is also a discussion forum with many contributors. In the reference section, there are many databases loaded with information such as 354 English Grammar Definitions, 3,473 English Idioms, 620 English Irregular Verbs, 2,686 English Phrasal Verbs and English Dictionaries. They even have a Software Downloads section if you want to access the information while offline.