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Digital Citizenship - NSW Department of Education and Communities

Grades
K to 12
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Digital Citizenship offers a large number of resources for teaching digital citizenship for students of all ages, teachers, and parents. Choose from primary, secondary, or parents to...more
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Digital Citizenship offers a large number of resources for teaching digital citizenship for students of all ages, teachers, and parents. Choose from primary, secondary, or parents to begin. Each section includes videos, games, and activities for learning responsible digital citizenship. The site was created in Australia. American English speakers may notice some slight differences in spellings and pronunciations. The videos reside on sites other than Digital Citizenship. Some are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): cyberbullying (42), digital citizenship (63), internet safety (105)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Digital Citizenship for use in any Internet safety lesson or unit. Create a link to individual games or activities on classroom computers. Be sure to share a link to this site with parents for use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Crisis of Credit Visualized - Jonathan Jarvis

Grades
8 to 12
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This video provides a short and simple explanation of the very complicated story of the credit crisis. The narrator provides the background of institutional banking and financing and...more
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This video provides a short and simple explanation of the very complicated story of the credit crisis. The narrator provides the background of institutional banking and financing and takes viewers up to the events leading to the mortgage crisis. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on finances on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have small groups or pairs of students explore different groups mentioned in the video such as homeowners, banks, or Wall Street financiers. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Post a link to this video on your class web page for students and parents to view at home.

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NationStates - Max Barry

Grades
6 to 12
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer...more
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer online interactive features you as the head of your nation to create and shape how you see fit. To get started, create your nation by giving it a name. Customize various aspects, such as the flag, history, and national animal. Then get into the heart of your nation: political, social, and economic issues. These choices determine the initial status of your nation. As you play, these problems will change with your choices. Every day an issue is presented and the choices you make affect the outcome of your nation. Your choices become the national law in your nation. Warning: There is one problem a day, but you can change that to two in your account settings. As you play, various aspects of your nation change and the type of government shifts (maybe even including anarchy). Choose to stay an independent nation or join others to create a region. Participate in the World Assembly (the pretend U.N.). View debates in the forum that actually touch on current events in the game and in real life. One thing to note: If you are not attentive to the issues that come up each day, the game ends quickly. The good news is that it takes very little time to view the issue, act, and see the result. Note: This interactive is loosely based on the novel Jennifer Government by Max Barry.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): foreign policy (16), money (190), politics (100), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Students can use this interactive individually, making connections to their choice, results, and connections to actual world events, present and past. Additionally, students can join a region and see how their decisions affect other nations. A great lesson is to allow students to run their nation according to their political views and see the results as they unfold through play. Be sure to treat this seriously as the issues presented here are actual issues that governments must deal with daily. Even making a decision within your political viewpoint can lead to results that are not anticipated. Require students to discuss their viewpoint, why they believe they are right, the resulting consequence, and how it has changed what they believe. Following the play, give time for students to research an initiative or action a country made and the resulting consequences that have resulted. Present, discuss, or debate these with the class. Allow every student in class to have a voice by using a student response system such as Infuse Learning, reviewed here, or GoSoapBox, reviewed here.

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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion...more
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion polls, allergies, and drug-resistant bacteria. Each video includes a transcript that opens or closes for use while watching videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (30), computers (92), foreign policy (16), news (262), planets (127), plants (153), politics (100), STEM (147), tornadoes (17), video (273)

In the Classroom

Introduce the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to form small groups depending on which video topic they are interested in further exploring. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Have older students use these videos as a springboard for further research into the topics found.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Love these videos! Very engaging and extremely informative especially since they are all around five minutes! Cyndy, MN, Grades: 9 - 12

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Socratic Smackdown - Institute of Play

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview...more
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview and download the PDF Print & Play Pack to begin. The Game Play Pack provides complete information on setting up the discussion, a checklist for when students are participating, scoresheets, a rubric, and other resources for students and teachers. It also includes a correlation to 8th Grade Common Core Speaking Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): debate (44)

In the Classroom

Use Socratic Smackdown for students to debate and discuss current events, themes in literature, or historic events. Use Socratic Smackdown with your school's debate team. After your "Smackdown," have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Share Socratic Smackdown with teachers at your site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (93), climate change (66)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Optimum Community - CSC Holdings LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Optimum Community, part of Cablevision, tries to connect, engage, and empower people in their communities. Charity Champions organize schools and communities to engage in volunteerism...more
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Optimum Community, part of Cablevision, tries to connect, engage, and empower people in their communities. Charity Champions organize schools and communities to engage in volunteerism in charities promoting leadership and stewardship. The Past Winners section shows an activity plan and portfolios of previous winners. The section Digital Smarts includes a blog, online tools, and resources that encourage safe use of technology. The participating areas of New Jersey, Greater Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, and Connecticut show events organized to help and educate the community.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (36), digital citizenship (63), problem solving (272), service projects (27)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, look at this site for ways to inspire ideas for stewardship, volunteering, leadership, and for problem-based learning community projects. View the topics from past winners, and examine your community to see what areas of need there are. Gifted classes can find ideas for problem-based learning projects.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sutori - AKA Hstry - Thomas Ketchell, Jonathan Ketchell, Yoran Brondsema, Steven Chi

Grades
2 to 12
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Hstry has changed its name to Sutori! Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Sutori/Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Sutori/Hstry...more
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Hstry has changed its name to Sutori! Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Sutori/Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Sutori/Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Sutori/Hstry's team of historians and teachers and are Common Core Standards aligned. When creating a timeline, it can include video, audio, a quiz, and comments and questions from viewers. Sign up with your email and get a link to start with a walk-through tutorial to help set up classes, students, and timelines. Students will need the class code. There is a part of the site that has timelines and lessons bundled for a fee. This review is for the free part of this tool. Sutori/Hstry will work on any device with a modern web browser and an Internet connection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (88), civil war (145), immigration (57), photosynthesis (32), timelines (64), womens suffrage (25), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.

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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (66), diseases (68), earth (231), landmarks (27), news (262), population (62)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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Eyes on the Earth - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After ...more
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After installing, launch from the web page (the install button turns into a start button). Be sure to view in full-screen mode for the best effect. Change your perspective of the Earth by changing the tilt (hold down the mouse and rotate). Zoom in and out with the tool along the right (much like the tool in Google Earth or Maps). Choose from among the tools along the top. As you click on a tool, read information in the window to the left. Be sure to click Turn Audio On to hear the narrative. Use the additional links there for more information. Visible Earth shows the movement of two satellites and the images from both. Choose the speed of the motion of the satellites with the slider along the bottom. Other tools include Temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sea Level, Antarctic Zone, and Water and Ice. Click on the last two tools to view the actual datasets and missions. Some of the tools have relief maps, showing a 3D representation of the data. Click Show relief to really capture student attention. The tools in the lower right corner control the brightness of the image and full or partial screen.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (45), carbon dioxide (16), climate (93), climate change (66), earth (231), glaciers (15), temperature (31), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector in the classroom. Provide a link to this tool on your website or bookmark on a class computer. Use this tool to introduce students to questioning and the scientific method. Why collect data on the Earth? Show a tool to the whole class or provide time for groups of students to view the visuals and develop questions and make observations. Challenge students to find answers to some of their questions. Help students figure out what they need to know to answer the questions. For a unit on the environment, begin the unit showing a few of the tools, namely the carbon dioxide and temperature tool. Compare two different tools side by side to note differences in patterns. For example, are the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide patterns similar? Why or why not? Research the various gases, how they originate, and problems they cause in the atmosphere. Why is the carbon dioxide higher in some areas and not others? Research the carbon footprint of various regions and compare. Are those same areas showing the greatest or least effects of climate change? When discussing technology, view the different missions featured in this tool and the various engineering feats needed to accomplish these missions. Provide time for students to propose a "fantasy" mission for NASA. What should be measured, what would you call the mission? What kind of data would need to be collected? How do you think the Earth image data would look? Draft the proposal and create the possible image for review. Note: Students can focus on biological, chemical, or physical data for their proposal.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (12), architecture (84), china (67), circuits (21), civil rights (120), computers (92), electricity (90), engineering (126), environment (319), evolution (102), folktales (65), greeks (30), magnetism (38), medicine (70), nutrition (155), poetry (225), psychology (64), religions (66), shakespeare (132), solar energy (40), speech (92), statistics (124), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Smart Voter - League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Grades
8 to 12
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Smart Voter provides nonpartisan information about elections and voting. Information includes lists of upcoming elections and ballot issues as well as candidate information. Enter your...more
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Smart Voter provides nonpartisan information about elections and voting. Information includes lists of upcoming elections and ballot issues as well as candidate information. Enter your address to view your polling place and voter registration information. Individual candidates provide bio information, and it is not checked for accuracy, it is, however, reviewed to make sure content does not refer to opposing candidates.

tag(s): elections (76)

In the Classroom

Include Smart Voter as part of any election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to present information about candidates or ballot topics.

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Latino Vote Map - Latino Decisions

Grades
8 to 12
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The Latino Vote Map takes an interactive look at the Latino vote in the 2012 election. Move the slider bars to change the Latino Portion of the US electorate to ...more
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The Latino Vote Map takes an interactive look at the Latino vote in the 2012 election. Move the slider bars to change the Latino Portion of the US electorate to view changes in state voting when the Latino population increases or decreases. Another slider allows for adjustment to the voting percentage of Latinos to see changes based on voting percentages. To view more in-depth information such as growth in Latino voters, portion of the state electorate, and the total number of Latino eligible voters click on each state. Click the "Copy Data" link to copy information to your clipboard and paste into any program such as Word. Scroll further down the page to find a state by state summary.

tag(s): elections (76), electoral college (16), hispanic (17)

In the Classroom

Although the Latino Vote Map specifically looks at the 2012 election, it is still useful as a tool for teaching any election unit. Show the map on an interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss changes based on moving the sliders. Have students predict what will happen before moving the sliders. Challenge students to create a timeline using Dipity, reviewed here, to track data about Latino voters in upcoming elections or previous elections. Have students compare how many Latinos are currently registered to vote with how many live in the area and draw conclusions from that information. Include information from this site to create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here. Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."

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International Museum of Women - International Museum of Women

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore women from all parts of the world. Each woman changed the world in her own way. Read the stories of activism, gender equality, and heroism. Explore the Education portion ...more
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Explore women from all parts of the world. Each woman changed the world in her own way. Read the stories of activism, gender equality, and heroism. Explore the Education portion of the site to find toolkits and lessons for teaching about global economies, stereotypes, prejudices, and much more. Listen to podcasts featuring women entrepreneurs discussing their expanding roles in powerful situations. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): women (92)

In the Classroom

Share stories and podcasts from IMOW on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Compare and contrast the roles of women in today's society vs. those in previous times. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a woman featured on the site or as a woman many years ago. Have students create timelines featuring strong women (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sunnylands Civics Games - The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

Grades
4 to 12
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small but excellent selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of...more
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small but excellent selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and more. You can try to be the leader of the Legislative Branch. Choose three main issues and the most productive way to succeed in your cause. Most activities begin with a short video followed by questions. Most activities also include a glossary of terms used.

tag(s): bill of rights (29), branches of government (48), constitution (82), game based learning (112), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use the Sunnylands Civics Games to introduce Constitution-related topics to your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. View videos together and pause as needed to discuss information. Challenge students to try the interactive activities on individual computers or at home. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Americans described in the games. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here, to trace the path of a bill or the writing of the Constitution.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ABC Splash - ABC TV and Radio Australia

Grades
K to 10
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ABC Splash is a large educational website from Australia containing videos, games, and audio clips. Special sections for parents include informational articles, teaching resources,...more
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ABC Splash is a large educational website from Australia containing videos, games, and audio clips. Special sections for parents include informational articles, teaching resources, and education news. Choose from primary or secondary level to view offerings sorted into categories or go to games and sort by topic or grade level to find resources. Register on the site to store and save favorite activities for later use. The site was created in the Australia, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): addition (238), animals (287), antarctica (29), atmosphere (28), australia (35), cells (104), climate change (66), continents (49), counting (119), decimals (131), division (167), earth (231), earthquakes (50), ecosystems (89), egypt (70), energy (203), environment (319), food chains (22), forces (46), forensics (27), fossil fuels (18), game based learning (112), gold rush (19), human body (126), immigration (57), insects (70), light (49), maps (291), molecules (44), money (190), multiplication (220), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (155), oceans (152), parts of speech (67), percent (81), perimeter (30), place value (55), plants (153), probability (130), rhymes (32), rocks (51), songs (53), sound (103), subtraction (198), time (141), vietnam (36), volcanoes (65), weather (195), whole numbers (17), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter for help with homework and school projects. These high-quality media resources will engage your students and enhance their learning.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Geographic Education - National Geographic

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
    
National Geographic offers a rich and extensive site for educators through its Education homepage. Scroll through the toolbar near the top of the page to find resources, reference materials,...more
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National Geographic offers a rich and extensive site for educators through its Education homepage. Scroll through the toolbar near the top of the page to find resources, reference materials, maps, media, collections, and much more. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find what is most popular. For specific content searches use the search bar to find and filter results by grades, subjects, resource type, and audience. A download is also available for iBooks (Apple only). This site is frequently updated. Check back often!

tag(s): animals (287), climate change (66), commoncore (97), earth day (111), ecology (135), energy (203), food chains (22), map skills (81), maps (291), migration (58), multimedia (62), oceans (152), STEM (147), weather (195)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark (or favorite) this site for use throughout the year to find real-world resources for classroom use. Don't forget to look for materials on National Geographic for use with Earth Day and Arbor Day activities! Differentiate easily using the multiple levels of materials found within National Geographic. Some text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. If you use Apple products in your classroom, be sure to download the interactive iBooks for use in classroom centers or independent reading.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Change Gamer - Mike Farley

Grades
6 to 12
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Find interactives to cover many environmental and science topics as well as economics and history. Explore and learn about environmental and political issues through a gaming process....more
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Find interactives to cover many environmental and science topics as well as economics and history. Explore and learn about environmental and political issues through a gaming process. Before dismissing the thought of games in education, check out the About Us section of this site. The activities here are vetted by educators as part of an educational grant. These (mostly) free, browser-based interactives also include answer keys and have been field tested in middle and high school classes. Hover over the Games and Activities tab to choose from the subjects in the drop down menu. Each subject page outlines the activity and includes an informational paragraph and links to the documents. Some interactives require a download to your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (287), earth (231), ecology (135), energy (203), environment (319), financial literacy (80), fish (26), human body (126), map skills (81), migration (58), natural disasters (20), planets (127), plants (153), politics (100), problem solving (272), stars (66)

In the Classroom

Use these interactives to review concepts learned during a unit of study. Consider using the interactives at the start of a unit to teach concepts as the material is being learned. Be sure to download the student activity document. Use the pre-questions to identify misconceptions and activate prior knowledge. Directions in the document alert you to the basics of using the interactive. Provide the post-questions to the students as they play the interactive to be aware of what they will be learning. Students can answer the questions individually, as groups, or as a class to review the concepts learned during the interactive and connect it to class. As a class, discuss how the scenario presented in the interactive is or is not like actual environmental issues of today. This would be an excellent activity for gifted students or for those who are ahead in their work in a differentiated classroom.

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Mental Floss - Felix Dennis

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Discover "random, interesting, amazing facts, quizzes, and trivia" at Mental Floss. This magazine-style offering features new posts daily on topics from science, history, culture, and...more
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Discover "random, interesting, amazing facts, quizzes, and trivia" at Mental Floss. This magazine-style offering features new posts daily on topics from science, history, culture, and more. For example, read about 6 Articles of Clothing That Caused Riots! Access the archives via the ALSO ON MENTAL FLOSS links near the bottom of the page for even more offerings. Any reader is guaranteed to learn something new and come away wanting to learn more. Find answers to imponderables or odd thoughts. Sections include Innovations, Words, Lists, and Quizzes with subareas for history, science, pop culture, etc. Click Videos to visit Mental Floss's YouTube channel or related videos. Articles are quick tidbits that invite you to share and learn. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (287), famous people (20), grammar (214), quizzes (99), trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Share Mental Floss on your class web page in any science, history, health, or reading class in middle school and up. Use it as a place for students to discover research topics related to your subject or as prompts for blog posts to get kids writing about something that interests them. Make a regular extra credit offering for students to write a blog post responding to something they learn here. If you have trouble getting students to read informational text, use these factoids as introductions to draw their interest before offering a longer article. Use these articles as starters for information literacy activities. Have partners research to find a corroborating (or debunking) source for the trivia offered here. English teachers will love some of the quick articles on misused or frequently misspelled words. Invite your students in any subject to find an article related to your subject and to create a poster version of that tip or tale using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here).

Comments

Awesome for so many topics. Blog post ideas! Love the layout and diversity. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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3D City - loth/ Micropolis JS

Grades
8 to 12
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Plan, build, and manage your own 3D city using this shareware game. The tools are similar to SimCity, though simpler. You have a budget, collect taxes, build residential, industrial,...more
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Plan, build, and manage your own 3D city using this shareware game. The tools are similar to SimCity, though simpler. You have a budget, collect taxes, build residential, industrial, and commercial districts, and try to respond to the needs of your community before a crisis occurs. Messages at the lower left tell you of current needs. The items you can add show their costs and explanations when you roll your mouse over the 3D icons. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to locate "how to" information, so you need to be observant about the constant changes in your city as you learn the tools. Even on the "easy" level, things happen fast! For example, the population keeps changing, as does your available budget, tax revenue, etc. Use the pause button at the bottom to stop and think or simply to stop and notice what has happened while everything was changing so quickly! Click "Eval" to find out what your citizens think of your decisions as "mayor." You can Save your map and reopen it using the "load map" button the next time. Maps are saved locally on your computer so test first to be sure your settings allow the saved file to stay there. Since there is no sign-in or membership, you cannot load a map you saved on another computer.

tag(s): communities (36)

In the Classroom

This simulation would fit well in a unit on how communities work or basic governmental principles. Share this simulation on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) with student operators to figure out how the tools work. For a smooth introduction, have a small group of your "techie" students figure out what the tools do and explain them to the rest of the class. Then challenge student partners or groups of three to discover how to build a successful city. Have them take screen shots of their city's successes (and failures) and post them on a class wiki or in a blog post explaining what a successful city needs and why. Then have them find local news articles about a real world example of the same issues, such as a debate over a proposed industrial zone or new taxes, and share the link as part of their wiki or blog post. Note that github, the software sharing site where this game is hosted, may be blocked in some schools, so test before you plan to use this in a classroom!! If you teach computer coding, this is a great game for your students to try as inspiration.

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