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Inhabitat - Inhabitat, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find technological improvements and enhancements that make a difference in today's rapidly changing world. This site's mission statement is "Good design is green design." Search articles...more
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Find technological improvements and enhancements that make a difference in today's rapidly changing world. This site's mission statement is "Good design is green design." Search articles about improvements in architecture, interiors, energy, technology, transportation, fashion, art, and kids. Read blog posts about advancements in each of the categories. Below the posts are related topics of additional interest. This site appears to be updated often, so be sure to check back.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317), inventors and inventions (99), persuasive writing (55), resources (112)

In the Classroom

When discussing environmental topics, be sure to share this link on your class website or on a class computer for students to access information about great technological breakthroughs. Use when students are researching technological advancements of their choice. Challenge individual students or cooperative learning groups to read one of the articles and report their findings to the class, making connections to some of the topics you study. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. If you teach about advertising techniques inventions, challenge your students to select a "product" from this site to create a new advertisement using a specific technique. The innovative ideas will spark their interest! Use articles from this site for reading comprehension selections that will interest even the most reluctant readers. The articles are also useful prompts for persuasive writing or debates.

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Carbon Footprint Calculator - Carbon Footprint Ltd.

Grades
5 to 12
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Answer the questions on each of the tabs to determine the amount of carbon dioxide you are responsible for emitting by the products you choose and your lifestyle. You are ...more
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Answer the questions on each of the tabs to determine the amount of carbon dioxide you are responsible for emitting by the products you choose and your lifestyle. You are given the options to measure/calculate using money spent or gallons (or other form of measurement). This calculators is quite detailed.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): carbon dioxide (17), carbon footprint (11), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Have each student use the calculator to determine their total. Compare students in the class and the types of activities that cause a greater amount. Ask questions as to why some activities raise the carbon footprint more than others. Research the reasons for a better understanding of what causes a carbon footprint. Discuss ways that families could take action to reduce their carbon footprint. Most students are unfamiliar with carbon offsets. Discuss what these are and whether they are important or needed. Create a campaign or contest to reduce the carbon footprint of your community and make a change for the future. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site (or things that will increase your footprint) using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Create infographics using the class footprint stats and a simple infographic tool such as Easel.ly (reviewed here).

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Electing the President - How Do You Make Up Your Mind? - History News Network

Grades
5 to 8
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History News Network offers this lesson plan challenging students to analyze election issues, compare and contrast opinions, and think about the process of choosing a president. Download...more
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History News Network offers this lesson plan challenging students to analyze election issues, compare and contrast opinions, and think about the process of choosing a president. Download the lesson in PowerPoint format using the link provided, as well as the accompanying worksheet for student use. The worksheet is in Word format. Modify it as necessary to meet your own needs. If you are unable to download the PowerPoint, find procedures and information for teaching on the lesson's main page. That should provide enough information for planning and presenting the lesson. Common Core standards are included.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), electoral college (16), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Select components of the lesson as a supplement to your current election unit. Print the worksheet for students to use to identify topics that are important to them. Use information from this lesson to study and consider the influence of Social Media on elections, Have students use Screenr (reviewed here) to make narrated recordings about the use of social media, political advertisements, or any other election topic after completing the lesson on this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Koshland Science Museum Challenges - Koshland Museum of Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically,...more
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically, and solving a problem. Challenges include background information. Look at the past challenges and discover the critical thinking and unique problem solving that won. Peek into future challenges to lead your students in new directions. Find resources, lesson plans, activities, virtual field trips, and web quests. Share your challenges and solutions on Facebook.

tag(s): brain (72), climate change (64), critical thinking (108), diseases (66), dna (69), energy (198), light (46), pollution (66), problem solving (272), space (205), water (130)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, offer challenges first as a problem based learning situation. Have students discover the background information and thought processes involved. Using these skills, apply to your own community. Start challenges at your school, community, state, or country level. Create a challenges competition at your school. Explore the teacher resources that apply to your classes.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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25 Trends - 25Trends

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related...more
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related buzzwords and information in a visually appealing way. This site updates information every 10 minutes. Please preview/pretest a few minutes before you share with students or children. Our editors noticed that some keywords pull up vulgar language. (We searched "school.")
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use current trending topics (such as elections or other current events from around the world). Revisit the hashtag or trending topic periodically to see the changes in the topic, including the buzzwords that change over time. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics. New to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you here.

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3D Photo Cube - Hame

Grades
K to 12
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how ...more
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it spins. Copy the html code into your MySpace, blog, or website.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This tool is obviously too complicated for your elementary students to use independently. However, it could be used as a whole group/teacher led activity with any grade level. Visualize photo cubes with pictures of special class events, field trips, or just the usual day! Change the cube daily, to feature different activities, subjects, or kids. Bring into subject area content and add public domain images to add visual information for the content you are studying. For vocabulary words, add images to explain. Use photo cubes to show the main idea of historical events, literature, or even math concepts. Make a photo cube with related or unrelated images and use as a writing prompt. Use photo cubes for sequencing practice. Have fun with extra curricular clubs and highlighting events. Begin your school news show featuring the cube from different places in your school during the day. Have older students create their own photo cubes to accompany poetry in an online literary magazine (using Creative Commons or their own images). Art students can create a cube with images of their own work as an opener to a portfolio web site. Share this tool as an option for a "visual aid" during speech units pr to present images as art of a research report. Embed cubes on your class wiki to support conepts such as environmental concerns or local history. Challenge gifted students to create visual "puzzles" where viewers must guess the word or concept that the images have in common. Teach creative flexibility!

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Bullying Preventation Resources - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources, research, books, and other information at this bullying prevention resource from National Association of School Psychologists. The site is not visually interesting,...more
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Find resources, research, books, and other information at this bullying prevention resource from National Association of School Psychologists. The site is not visually interesting, but the materials are excellent. Categories include statements and guidelines, resources for families and educators, research, and books and products. Many of the resources are in PDF format, making them perfect to easily copy and share. One exceptional resource is Bullies and Victims: A Primer for Parents. It contains very specific descriptions of bullying behavior (including cyber bullying) along with interventions for bullies and victims.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to use as a professional resource within any school or district especially when developing policies to address bullying. Share information with parents during Open House sessions. Share this site with PTA or parent organizations and discuss ways to address bullying in your school. Share with school counselors as an addition to their bullying resources. Include the link on the school web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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AllSides - John Gable

Grades
4 to 12
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Look at political, national and international issues from all sides: left, right, and center. Colored banners identify the perspective. Current content focuses on political discussions,...more
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Look at political, national and international issues from all sides: left, right, and center. Colored banners identify the perspective. Current content focuses on political discussions, but as the site evolves the plan is to include other topics such as health care, finances, and parenting. Find other specific topics by choosing the issues tab, then choosing from keywords such as energy, taxes, or violence in America. Choose from different tabs to view issues, bias, and the site's blog. Especially interesting is the bias section. Users rate their own bias on several issues to determine their bias toward left, center, or right. Email signup is available to become involved with the site but isn't necessary to access all of the articles and content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), media literacy (58), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to easily find topics presented from various points of view. Use articles with students to demonstrate point of view in writing, bias in media, or for students to use as points for debates. Use an online tool such as Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to create a visual comparison of different points of view.

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Promethean Planet - Promethean, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search,...more
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Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search, and download from over 60,000 resources in all subject areas and grade levels. Use the Resources tab to search by state standard, content, grade level, or resource type. Register on the site to enable download ability as well as many other features such as saving favorites, reviewing resources, asking questions on the technical forum, following specific users, and uploading your own resources. Each resource includes a short description, grade level recommendation, file format, and size. Another great feature is the slide show included with each download for previewing different pages used on each chart.

tag(s): iwb (31), numbers (203), preK (281), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Before you try any of these activities, think about how you can make the lesson more student-centered. Find ideas in TeachersFirst's Hands off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning . Browse the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Bookmark and save favorites for later use. Download any resource, then tweak it to your individual needs. Have questions about creating Promethean Flipcharts? Post your question on the technical board to receive helpful replies. If you have a SmartBoard, be sure to check out the SmartBoard lessons and resources page located here. You will need to download the ActivInspire software (free).

Comments

This is the go-to site for Promethean flipchart downloads. Most files were created by teachers. The only downside is that the files are hit-or-miss. There are many gems, but you might have to browse some not-so-great files to find them. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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National Mock Election - National Student/Parent Mock Election

Grades
3 to 12
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The My Voice National Student Mock Election is facilitating comprehensive online voting through a registration process. They are also providing curriculum resources for elementary through...more
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The My Voice National Student Mock Election is facilitating comprehensive online voting through a registration process. They are also providing curriculum resources for elementary through high school grade levels. Registration is optional. It provides access to online voting beginning in October (exact date will change yearly). Choose the curriculum link to find lesson plans with assessments, collaborative learning options, and handouts. Also click the Curriculum Resources link and then Educational Resources to find interactives, links to teacher resources, and current campaign advertisements.

tag(s): civil rights (117), constitution (79), elections (75)

In the Classroom

Use this website to enlighten your students about the election process. The website can be used anytime (not just during the election season). Use the open-ended questions provided as writing prompts for students to write in their journals or class blog. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) to display responses to prompts. Generate ideas for a related research project--or simply have students create a quick "concept collection" of what they learn about elections by making word clouds using Word It Out reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Do Lectures - Talks That Inspire Action - The Chicken Shed

Grades
6 to 12
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Do Lectures are like TED Talk videos, inspiring talks from people who are changing the world. Choose to view talks about Big Ideas, Challenging Talks, Funny Talks, Informative Talks,...more
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Do Lectures are like TED Talk videos, inspiring talks from people who are changing the world. Choose to view talks about Big Ideas, Challenging Talks, Funny Talks, Informative Talks, Inspiring Talks, and Soulful Talks. Some examples of titles are Why Going Down Mountains is Harder than Going Up and Why is Beauty Such an Important Word? Search by topic (business, creativity, environment, food, sport, technology, or well-being) or by speaker. Learn more about lecturers by clicking the link to their bio, or find similar videos with the links included with each talk. Share videos easily on social networking sites with buttons included with each talk, or use the embed code to embed talks into your blog or website. Even more simply, copy/paste the url for the video to share it.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), creativity (109), debate (41), environment (317), nutrition (154), psychology (64), sociology (22), video (254)

In the Classroom

Do Lectures are a great place to find inspiration and new ideas for your classroom. Many of the videos connect today's real world with curriculum topics, even in entrepreneurship, health, or family and consumer science classes. Use Do Lecture videos as the perfect supplement or launching point for units of study in your classroom. Find a video that supports the topics happening in your classroom. Share on your website for student viewing. Use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for a whole class discussion. Stop the video at various points to discuss or debate ideas included. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos in response to videos viewed on Do Lectures or their own topic. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Teachers of gifted could plan an entire unit of study around one video or have students select one to use as the launch point for an independent project.

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Optimist World - Optimistworld.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers many news articles, all positive and upbeat. In addition to current news stories, you will also find articles about charities, organizations that demonstrate social...more
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This site offers many news articles, all positive and upbeat. In addition to current news stories, you will also find articles about charities, organizations that demonstrate social responsibility, sustainable travel, and inspirational events. The reading level is reasonable for high school students. You can comment on any articles you read and read the comments of others. Articles are available in printable form as well as online. The site requires a free and easy registration; why not do a registration for your entire class instead of individual students. A link to "Optimist TV" adds a video component to the news.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): environment (317), media literacy (58), news (261), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Share the TV clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector, for some "happy news" to share with your students. To teach about the subtleties of "spin," have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject (possibly one with a more neutral or negative spin?). What makes the article positive? Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Explore Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emmissions - EPA

Grades
7 to 12
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Confused about climate change and the evaluation of the data? View this free site from the EPA that compiles current greenhouse gas emissions data into an interactive map. This site...more
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Confused about climate change and the evaluation of the data? View this free site from the EPA that compiles current greenhouse gas emissions data into an interactive map. This site visualizes the biggest emitters. Included are polluters of more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Unfortunately, not shown in the data are the smaller polluters. When using the site, keep in mind that polluters like transportation, residential, or agricultural sources are missing. This tool is useful for looking at how industry and power contribute to climate change, and which type of fuel source (coal provides 50%) provides power generation. Click on the US map and then specific blue circles (the numbers inside represent the total number of facilities) to zoom in and find the list of facilities in the left navigation panel. Clicking on each facility brings up the data of emissions. Search by specific gas emission (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, or methane). Change the overall view by list, map, or graph to customize how best students view the data.

tag(s): carbon dioxide (17), climate change (64), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site during a unit on pollution. First be sure to discuss what combustion is. Choose facilities found within your state to investigate. Compare similar facilities across various states to compare emissions. Have students or groups compare by facility type (especially different types of power generation) then research the type of fuel used to determine the different emissions. Research how emissions compare to the driving of automobiles and the use of agriculture. Research the types of changes and alternatives that could change these numbers. Have students make simple infographics to show comparisons and conclusions. Try using a tool such as Venngage, reviewed here.

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Connect the Dots for Democracy - Witte Design, LLC

Grades
8 to 12
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Address important issues about government policy through the use of infographics with the goal of uncomplicating things for "busy folks like yourself." Government policy discussions...more
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Address important issues about government policy through the use of infographics with the goal of uncomplicating things for "busy folks like yourself." Government policy discussions are increasingly dominated by the media, and each side of the debate spends as much time trying to "spin" the discussion as it does simply communicating the facts. The graphics on this site are extremely well presented. Choose from among several important issues: Jobs, the Deficit, Health Care, Political Language, and the Federal Budget. Each topic includes a slideshow of infographics, a written script to accompany the slides, questions for discussion, and the ability to print a booklet that includes the graphics and text highlights.

What's missing? There is no audio recording of the script that could accompany the slides; you must print the script and read it while viewing the slides. And, despite its goal of "making it simple" for busy folks, you have to dig a little in the site to discover that the author is firmly in the "Progressive" political camp, and that the presentation on Health Care, for example, includes one section on "GOP Myths" and repeatedly slams the Republican party's handling of the health care crisis. To its credit, the sources for the information presented on the graphics are cited. Be aware also that the graphics use language like "We're Getting Screwed!" which may be inappropriate for younger kids.

tag(s): branches of government (48), congress (33), elections (75), media literacy (58), politics (99)

In the Classroom

The infographic presentations would be great for discussions of election-year politics for Civics/Government classes or Current Events debate. They would be better if the accompanying scripts were available in an audio file. Exercise caution, however, because there is clearly a political agenda here. Ironic that a site that purports to cut through the rhetoric is loaded with its own. Use it, therefore, as yet another example of how a savvy media can "spin" the issues. Invite students to look for the bias inherent in some of the information presented. What questions should be asked about the data contained in the slideshow? How could you verify the information? How would you rebut it with your own infographic? Can you find a site that presents an opposing spin on the same topics?

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NPR Podcast Directory - NPR

Grades
7 to 12
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Mix your own podcast to create your own unique collection of podcasts available from NPR's library of thousands of podcasts. Name your podcast, select relevant keywords and content,...more
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Mix your own podcast to create your own unique collection of podcasts available from NPR's library of thousands of podcasts. Name your podcast, select relevant keywords and content, and then subscribe to your new custom podcast using your podcast tool choice.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Students can use NPR's "mix your own podcast" service to create interesting and informative podcast collections. Create a podcast collection of content related to your course; then share the link on your classroom blog, wiki, or website. Encourage students to share findings from the podcasts in blog posts or for extra credit on a class wiki. Play excerpts from podcasts (turn up your speakers) during the last ten minutes of study halls when students are getting "itchy."

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U.S. Political Conventions and Campaigns - Northeastern University

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn all about U.S. political campaigns and party conventions. Five main sections explain it all: History, Campaign Finance, Nominations, Policy, and Media. Within each section are...more
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Learn all about U.S. political campaigns and party conventions. Five main sections explain it all: History, Campaign Finance, Nominations, Policy, and Media. Within each section are videos and articles about the current state of affairs as well as past practices. Each section offers lesson plans suitable for high school use. The sections also offer short review quizzes that provide instant feedback. Scroll through each section in order or choose from portions with links at the top of the section.

tag(s): elections (75), electoral college (16)

In the Classroom

Although lesson plans are geared to high school, this site is also useful for students in lower grades. Go directly to the quiz portion of each section, display on your interactive whiteboard, and take the quiz as a class as an overview of what students know about the election process. View sections on your interactive whiteboard to help students understand the different facets of a campaign. Assign students (or groups) different sections; then have them present information learned to their classmates. Create posters about the American political process using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here.

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PBS Video Online - PBS

Grades
3 to 12
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Watch full episodes of your favorite PBS shows without having to record them. Videos may be searched by show name or by subject. Use the subscribe button to automatically subscribe...more
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Watch full episodes of your favorite PBS shows without having to record them. Videos may be searched by show name or by subject. Use the subscribe button to automatically subscribe to the show so you will never miss a new episode again.

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

Teachers you can now access videos from PBS without having to record them. Use the subject search to find videos relevant to a unit of study. Display videos with your projector or add a link to your class website so students can watch at home.
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QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide - Vicki Davis

Grades
2 to 12
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This short article contains all the information you need to get started using QR codes in the classroom. The blog post begins with reasons to use QR codes and moves ...more
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This short article contains all the information you need to get started using QR codes in the classroom. The blog post begins with reasons to use QR codes and moves on to three parts: getting ready to use QR codes, teaching students to use the codes, and ideas for using codes in the classroom. One notable section explains common problems encountered using QR codes; this is an excellent resource to look through if you have difficulty at any time. Be sure to read the comments at the bottom of the post for some additional ideas for using QR codes in the classroom.
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tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

QR codes are a sure-fire motivator for any class equipped with their own smart phones or school iTouches/iPads. Choose one of the ideas suggested in the article as a starting point for using QR codes in your classroom; then try additional ideas a little at a time. Share the article with other teachers and split up the ideas for each to become an "expert" in one of the strategies, share your experiences as you learn together.

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Ookaboo: free pictures of everything on earth - Ontology2

Grades
K to 12
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Find free, copyright-safe pictures of places, people, animals, and more. Ookaboo is a resource containing over a million images. All images are in public domain or under creative commons,...more
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Find free, copyright-safe pictures of places, people, animals, and more. Ookaboo is a resource containing over a million images. All images are in public domain or under creative commons, making them free and available for anyone to use (with credit). As the site explains, pictures are free to use within the law, and Ookaboo offers an excellent description on the help page about how legally to use the pictures. Search for images using the search box or by using links to countries, people, or technological artifacts. Download easily with the download button. One goal of Ookaboo is to include images suitable in an educational setting; however, as with any other image site, there is a possibility of inappropriate content.
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tag(s): images (266), news (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this site for students when preparing for presentations. Look for photos of any recent news event, even events obscure enough not to be included in American newspapers. Share an image or gallery of images on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) in a world language class. Discuss them in the language the students are learning. Link to certain galleries from your class web page or student presentations to show examples of concepts and life in other places. Share this site on your class web page for students to access easily during research projects. Use the photos as writing prompts in current events or writing classes. Learn about the culture and news in far off places. Create a visual current events "quiz" by displaying a gallery of images and asking students to explain the background of the story. Speech or ESL/ELL teachers can also share images to prompt students to talk about or describe them. Let the students select the image they wish to discuss!

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News Bites - National Geographic Kids - National Geographic Kids

Grades
2 to 8
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News Bites is a blog for kids presented by National Geographic. Updated often, this site presents short articles on current events. Many articles include links for further information...more
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News Bites is a blog for kids presented by National Geographic. Updated often, this site presents short articles on current events. Many articles include links for further information or videos. Choose from keywords included with each article to find more information on similar topics. Search also by popular keywords or posts by category or date. Find archived articles by clicking the link at the bottom of the home page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), endangered species (38), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Subscribe and follow the blog to receive notification of new entries. Allow students to choose an article to read and share with the class. Have students follow keywords to find further information. Use this site as a resource for students to use to make online "tours" to explain current events or topics of interest using Screenr (reviewed here).
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