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Trulia Hindsight - Microsoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this visualization tool to zoom into areas around the world and view the topography and other statistics. Use the zoom tool in the bottom left to zoom in on ...more
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Use this visualization tool to zoom into areas around the world and view the topography and other statistics. Use the zoom tool in the bottom left to zoom in on a specific area. Double click the map to bring up a historical player that shows population growth in that area over time (1800's to present depending upon your area.) If your area does not zoom in completely or have statistics, try areas such as Los Angeles or New York City to see amazing changes. Type a city and state into the search box in order to choose a specific area. Change the contrast with the slider in the lower right hand corner to adjust the amount of the background that you want to see. You can also use your arrows tools (or scroll) to view the lines (not labeled) for the equator, lines of latitude, and lines of longitude. Note: The data takes some time to load. Make sure you are zoomed in enough to get the "Please wait" message, then be patient. While you are waiting, form your own hypothesis of what you will see!

tag(s): latitude (13), longitude (13), maps (287), population (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this incredible tool to look at landforms such as forests and fields. Discuss suburban sprawl, use of resources, and other issues by looking at various areas. View urban areas and the placement of roads, etc. Watch your state and transportation network "grow" as part of your state history units. Bring math, drafting, and other topics to life with use of this incredible tool. View the growth in population of various areas. As the slider moves through the years, corresponding colored dots appear on the map. Pause the player at any point to really look at where population increases have occurred. Students can take a snapshot of the map (apple-shift-4 on Mac or Alt Print screen on PC) to record specific data. Theorize the scientific, historical, or geographic reasons for changes in locations of populations over time. Students can research and present development of various areas across the world. Compare societal values and changes between different countries. Have students compare data using Venn Diagrams. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
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ScribbleMaps - Scribble Maps

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map ...more
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map with added scribbles and labels. Add your choice of placemarker labels for geology locations, people, etc. There are even little icons available to use. Your drawing or "Scribble Map" is then available to share by URL, email, or print. Slightly more savvy users can download, save as a kml file (readable in Google Maps or Google Earth), or embed the map in another site. The tools include sharing the map on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Add images by pasting in their urls. Drawing tools include lines, circles, place pointers, text labels, and color/size/transparency controls for all tools. Place pointers can be edited by selecting them (arrow tool), then clicking the small pencil. This site does include Google Ads and all the normal controls of Google maps, including satellite, map, terrain, hybrid views and Night Sky. See a sample Scribble Map created by the TeachersFirst editors (drag the map with your mouse!). Explore the tools and MENU options at the top left when you start out. Try the different Maps views (lower right) and zoom controls. Search for a starter location using the search at the top left, just below the tools. There is no help available, but it is easy to do basic maps. Share, save, etc. by clicking Menu (top left). When you first save a map, it will ask you to create a password for that map to use to edit it later. Note that if you SAVE a map and share it by URL, those accessing it will be able to use the tools and change the map. If you want them to see it without changing it, you will need to embed it in a blog, wiki, or other web site. The map ID can be changed and customized by simply typing in your own choice of ID when you are saving the map.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): directions (20), geology (81), landforms (45), landmarks (26), map skills (79), maps (287), space (205)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will want to keep a written record or map URLS and passwords for future reference. Model this for students so they do not lose hours of work! Teachers can prepare partially-made maps or maps for students to make corrections and changes by giving the students the URL, then having them SAVE the map with a NEW ID. To SAVE the map with a new name and URL, click "Save map" in the menu, then enter your OWN map ID. Students could use a code including their initials, such as SJ12-3-09 for a map made by Sally Jones on Dec 3, 2009. Teachers should PASSWORD protect their originals so changes can only be saved under a new name. Similarly, if a student saves the map with a map password, they don't have to worry about other students vandalizing their work. But they DO need to remember the password! Wise teachers will keep a class list of maps and passwords for forgetful students! In primary grades, make maps of your local community together on your interactive whiteboard as you teach basic map skills. Create your own "key" with symbols you choose for playgrounds, etc. Have students help map locations of favorite playgrounds, grandparents' houses, stores, etc. as they gain basic understanding of map skills. Make sure you allow students to operate the tools! Save the map and share it as a link from your class web site (or embed it there). Keep names generic so it is "safe." Other ideas to challenge gifted student beyond the curriculum or elevate challenge for small groups include: natural resource maps, immigration maps, maps of civil war battles day by day, maps of key sites in the life of a famous person, artist, or author, maps of the settings in a novel, landform maps of a continent or state, "My life" maps of places important to an elementary student's family, annotated watershed maps of pollution sources, maps of the water cycle, maps of constellations in the night sky created by students to demonstrate understanding, maps of a dream community to be built in a vacant area (desert), including the water sources, etc. that will be needed, maps of a redesigned city/town on top of its current map. Teachers can provide map challenges or templates to be completed or corrected, including maps where students must label distances and cardinal directions between points (using map scale and skills). Or provide a teacher-created map with labels in the wrong places for students to correct the landforms, resources, etc. What will YOU do with Scribble Maps?
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One minute wonders - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a ...more
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a Northern Oriole that can eat 17 caterpillars in a minute, music in the 16th century, or vehicles in the world. Videos are entertaining and sure to capture student attention. After viewing videos, click on quizzes to check understanding.

tag(s): animals (276), engineering (125), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use these minute-length videos to introduce a topic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These would also make a great introduction to writing prompts or blog posts. Consider using these as examples for one minute projects for students to demonstrate understanding for any topic or content area (and make accompanying quizzes for their peers to try). Have cooperative learning groups view videos of their choice and add their findings to your class "One Minute Wonder Wiki." Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. In lower grades, have students plan and act out their own one minute wonder plays to explain something they have learned or simply share the videos as humorous but accurate portrayals of science topics. American students will need to grow accustomed to the British accents.
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The Inventor's Workshop - Learning Science Network

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers concise, grade level reading about Leonardo Da Vinci, the inventor and scientist as well as basics on simple machines. Although not overly interactive, the site offers...more
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This site offers concise, grade level reading about Leonardo Da Vinci, the inventor and scientist as well as basics on simple machines. Although not overly interactive, the site offers links to larger vocabulary words, a quiz on Gadget Anatomy and Leonardo's Mysterious Machines; a game using Da Vinci's sketches. Also included in the site are lesson plans for having students sketch and build their own inventions.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), machines (30), simple machines (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching about Da Vinci, during an invention unit, a science unit on simple machines, and more. Share the identification quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector as practice and review prior to testing on the concept of simple machines.

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WordSearchFun.com - WordSearchFun.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you ...more
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you can't find one, make your OWN ONLINE word search. What a fantastic tool to use and/or create in any subject!

tag(s): photography (160), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Share the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?

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Sporcle - Sporcle, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge...more
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge against a timer. Accessing the comments below can lead to spoilers that reveal answers. Become stumped during a game? Click on "Give up" to end the game and reveal the rest of the answers. Teachers should preview and provide the DIRECT link to the games or section (such as geography) they wish students to use. The "popular" listings and some advertising on this site may include questionable content for classrooms. . These games would be great study tools for students, both in and out of the classroom!

tag(s): elements (36), literature (275), maps (287), phonics (75), presidents (131), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Share specific activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should provide the address URL of the actual game to prevent students from accessing other games (or advertisements that you may wish to avoid). Use these interactives as individual activities or in groups to learn a variety of data. For example, play "Element by Symbol" to review the names of the elements of the periodic table by knowing the names of the symbols. This game entertained this science teacher editor and her chemistry student son for fifteen minutes. Enjoy other science games or in subjects such as Geography, History, or Literature. Use the unknown answers that are shown at the end to create study cards in order to improve scores the next time.

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Official Website of the Olympic Movement - Olympic.org

Grades
2 to 12
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This website offers a one-stop destination to all of your Olympic information. There are links across the top to learn about the athletes, sports, countries, and even a media player...more
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This website offers a one-stop destination to all of your Olympic information. There are links across the top to learn about the athletes, sports, countries, and even a media player offering video clips and more. At the time of this review the media player had over 1,000 videos and nearly 10,000 photographs! This is an excellent site for research about the Olympics (both summer and winter). There is also a link to go back and learn about the past 46 Olympic games. Although there are no "student" or "classroom" links, this site truly has something for everyone: maps and geography, science behind the sports, research about events and countries, athete information, and more.

tag(s): olympics (47)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this website are endless. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the MANY videos, information about the athletes, and many other activities. Use the site for research purposes about specific athletes or sports. Have students create multimedia presentations about events, athletes, or countries using this site. Create a class Olympics Wiki! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Go For The Gold - Scholastic

Grades
K to 10
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard,"...more
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard," "History of the Games," "More to Explore," and "Get in the Game." There are also links to a Teachers Guide (with lesson plans for grades K-10 and standards), related booklists, interactive activities, and more. Although this site is slightly dated, it does contain some excellent information on the origin and history of the Olympics. Also, the "In The News" section is no longer updated.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

If you are bringing the Olympics into your classroom, incorporate the many ideas at this website into your lessons. There are lesson plans ready to go (and divided by grade level). Try the interactive "It's All Greek To Me" together on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about the history of the Olympics, politics and the Olympics, and other pertinent topics.
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Classroom Olympics - AIMS Education Foundation

Grades
1 to 5
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This simple PDF site, provides some wonderful ideas for classroom Olympic events. The site is ready to go and provides everything you need: information about ancient and modern Olympic...more
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This simple PDF site, provides some wonderful ideas for classroom Olympic events. The site is ready to go and provides everything you need: information about ancient and modern Olympic games, illustrated instructions for each Olympic event, printable awards for students, and very detailed instruction about how to do the Olympics in your classroom. There are nine Olympic games included in this lesson. Some examples include Find the Mass Race, Straw Javelin, and Cotton Ball Shot Put.

tag(s): creativity (109), mass (23), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use this FREE and READY TO GO resource to have the Olympic Games in your classroom. Print off the certificates for your students. Invite students' families to the games (if space permits).
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Going for the Gold - 2009 United States Olympic Committee

Grades
2 to 12
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video...more
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video clips, explore the articles, and more. Click on "Resources" and then "U.S. Olympic Education" to find some lesson ideas to use in your classroom. There are some minor advertisements at this website.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research American athletes. Share the video clips, read the blogs, and view the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't miss the lesson ideas (in the "Resources" section). Share this site on your class website, so families can follow the U.S. Olympians.
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Olympic Sports - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): olympics (47), sports (97), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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The Museum of Underwater Archaeology - The Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Grades
4 to 12
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be ...more
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be used as an online museum. You can start by searching the museum by geographic location or keyword. You can also search by time period from the "Teaching Kit" area. Or click on one of the featured exhibits which range from excavations of the CSS Alabama, the remains of an 18th century fleet sunk in New York's Lake George, to the HMS Serapis. A link to a "teachers' kit" gives information about ordering (free with the exception of shipping costs) a hands-on set of materials to keep and get free updates for as long as they would like to use it. For younger students, there is a slide show that introduces the concepts of underwater archaeology in an interactive whiteboard-friendly format (see featured exhibit: A Children's Introduction).

tag(s): oceans (148)

In the Classroom

Who isn't fascinated by treasure buried under the seas? This site will help you sneak in history lessons by engaging students in the process of underwater archaeology. The site also makes a strong effort to integrate various curriculum areas from art to biology along with the historical importance of various excavations. Students might also want to follow one of the underwater blogs with information about ongoing projects. Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia project related to one of the blog stories. For visual students, use an online poster creator such as Padlet (reviewed here). Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Math Apprentice - mathapprentice.com

Grades
4 to 12
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"When will we ever use this math stuff?" Answer this question using Math Apprentice. Choose a character and then begin the journey. Walk (or skateboard) to different work sites, buildings,...more
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"When will we ever use this math stuff?" Answer this question using Math Apprentice. Choose a character and then begin the journey. Walk (or skateboard) to different work sites, buildings, or businesses. Learn how math is used every day in these work places: architecture, bike and toy makers, cafes, and more! Listen to a brief introduction of the concept. Solve problems or free play to identify math concepts in real life. No account or login is required.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), equations (155), measurement (159), ratios (53), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

This site is a terrific example of STEM integrated learning. This is a great site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups explore different careers or buildings and share how math is used at their locations. Why not have groups create a video using a tool such as Teachers.TV (reviewed here) or a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here), to share their mathematical discoveries! At the end of an introduction of a concept, use this site for specific math practice using a real life concept. For example, visit the bike shop to use math to determine pedal gear to wheel gear ratios and resultant bike speeds. Use as an individual activity, a team activity, or with the entire class using an interactive whiteboard. Follow up with a personal problem to solve. In this example, students can measure the two gears on their bikes (or their teachers bike brought into the classroom) to use the information for further understanding.
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Equal Exchange's Fair Trade Curriculum & Educational Resources - Equal Exchange

Grades
4 to 10
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops ...more
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops are. The complete curriculum is downloadable and printable, and the daily lessons at this site offer support and extra activities. One lesson, translated for Spanish teachers, offers students an activity so they can understand "What's Fair?" One of the most exciting parts of the website is a collection of videos of Dominican children talking in Spanish about cocoa production! The lesson plans include a variety of activities for students and include projects in math, writing, civics, research, geography, art, music, and international culture.

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons as part of a unit in social studies, Family and Consumer Science, or several other subjects. Take your students on a visit to a local food coop or invite one of their members to speak to your class live or via Skype (explained here.). Have students do a project comparing coop grocery sales with the more commercial establishments. Maybe even have student groups create an online Venn Diagram comparing the two using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). If you have international students from the Dominican Republic or other cocoa producing countries, share this site with them and allow them to compare what the students say on the video to their own experiences. Create your own videotaped interviews with food growers or their families. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
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Compfight - Compfight

Grades
K to 12
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Discover a slick way to find Creative Commons pictures (pictures you are ALLOWED to use without copyright problems, simply by giving credit). Compfight searches Flickr pictures and...more
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Discover a slick way to find Creative Commons pictures (pictures you are ALLOWED to use without copyright problems, simply by giving credit). Compfight searches Flickr pictures and locates those with licenses that permit use in other activities and projects. Enter text or tags, and Compfight does the rest, providing thumbnail images for you to choose from. After you search, be sure you have checked the box in the LEFT sidebar of the search results, specifying that you want Creative Commons images, NOT commercial ones. Click to search again, if necessary. Choose from the results that appear below the dotted line. (Those above the line are images you must pay for!) Click on the image you like and double-check the license information under item 1 to be sure it is available for non-commercial use with attribution and can be used for "derivative works." Click the image itself to copy and paste its URL to use in image credits. Remember that Creative Commons DOES require that you give proper credit!

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (266), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to use good search terms to find the best pictures possible as well as knowing how to save images on their computer. Use in the classroom any time that an image is needed for projects, even if it is not going to be put on a website for others to see. Be sure students are aware that any time another person's image is used, they must give full credit for it, even if that owner cannot see it. Demonstrate Compfight on a projector or interactive whiteboard so students know how to use it. Student groups can use Compfight to collectively find the best image to use for a project. Have students create a multimedia presentation using ThinkLink, reviewed here. For example, students studying renewable energy can use Compfight to find images of various renewable energy sources, then explain them using ThingLink. Teachers can collect Creative Commons images for use on their interactive whiteboard for sorting activities (monocots and dicots, producers and consumers, etc). Never assume that your students, even the gifted ones, understand about giving proper credit and only using copyright-safe images (CC or public domain). Compfight makes it easier. Be sure to hold students accountable by including a "digital citizenship" category in your project rubric, requiring proper credit for all images. You will want to spot check a few of the URLs to be sure they are actually correct credits. Share Compfight as an important tool on your class web page, wiki, or blog so students can access it anywhere, anytime.
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Google Earth in the Classroom - Joe Wood

Grades
K to 12
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links...more
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links to lesson plans and files for using Google Earth in your classroom for many subjects. See a tutorial video on Google Earth, find directions for making files, and more. Ideas for using Google Earth by subject even include links to ready-made files so you need not start out by creating from scratch. See what other teachers have done and let it inspire you and your students to do more. Learn how to make kmz (placemarker) files.

tag(s): globe (14), landforms (45), landmarks (26), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Make this site part of your personal professional development or pair up with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Share the link with your students, as well, so your class can become GE experts together. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teacher to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Earth 101 for Educators - Quentin D'Souza, Teaching Hacks.com

Grades
K to 12
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This participatory wiki (part of the larger "Teaching Hacks" wiki) walks educators step...more
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This participatory wiki (part of the larger "Teaching Hacks" wiki) walks educators step by step through the how-to and why-to of Google Earth (GE). Start with the two minute video, then click through the steps at the right. You are also invited to ADD to the wiki so other teachers can learn from you! The wiki includes curriculum ideas grade by grade (listed in text form). Since the wiki originated in the Toronto area, some topics are Canadian-only, but the wiki is open to all global learners and teachers.

tag(s): globe (14), landforms (45), landmarks (26), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Plan your personal professional development on your own or with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teachers to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
 

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Google Earth - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is free for download. Find landforms, geographic locations features, pictures, and...more
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is free for download. Find landforms, geographic locations features, pictures, and more from around the world using this satellite-powered software. As you spin the globe, you can tilt to view locations at an angle to show elevation, click to play a "tour" or "fly" from one location to another, or simply open tours and placemarker files created by others. Once you are comfortable, try making tours and placemarkers of your own. Note: this software uses more than the usual "bandwidth" to stay connected to the Internet while you are using it, so dial-up and slow connections will not work. Some schools block this tool because of the bandwidth needed, but teachers should not let this stop you from requesting this software to use in whole-class or group settings.

tag(s): climate (92), earth (228), landforms (45), landmarks (26), news (261), oceans (148)

In the Classroom

Use tutorials from this site to learn more, or try some Google Earth files from TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission to get a taste of what the program can do. Get started by exploring the different LAYERS available in the left side and searching a location you know. Locate and try the tools to drag, tilt, zoom, and even measure distance. Extensive user forums are available through the help menus.

Placemarker files created by you "live" on the computer where you make or save them and are not shared on the web. Note that your computer will ask whether you wish to save your "temporary places" (any places you have marked during a session) each time you close Google Earth. If many students use that computer, you may find you have a disorganized mess of saved places. Be sure to direct students to either name their saved places logically and file them into folders or NOT to save them to My Places! Students and teachers can create placemarker (.kmz or .kml) files and share them as email attachments, files on a USB "stick," or any other means you would use to share a file, just like a Word document.

Another practical tip: if students are using Google Earth on several machines at the same time, you may put a heavy load on your school network. Plan accordingly, perhaps having groups alternate their Google Earth time if it becomes sluggish.

Use Google Earth to teach geography or simply give location context to class readings or current events, especially on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ex. you can tilt to show the peaks scaled by Lewis and Clark or volcanoes that rise in the Aleutians. Have students show the locations of historic events or literary settings and create placemarkers with links to learn more. Placemarker text is editable by going to the placemarker's "properties" or "info," so students can enter the text description, place title, and any inks they want to include, such as a link to a certain passage of text, an image of a character, or news image/article for a current events map. Students who know html code can get even more sophisticated in what they include in placemarkers. Have students/groups create and play a "tour" of critical locations for global warming, a comparison of volcanoes, or a family history of immigration. Navigate the important locations in a work of literature using Google Lit Trips or search the web for placemarker files connected to civil war battles, natural resources, and more. Turn layers on and off to look at population centers and transportation systems. Teach the concept of scale/proportion using a tactile experience on an interactive whiteboard and the scale and measurement tools. See more ideas at the teacher-created Google Earth 101 wiki reviewed here. Even if you do not venture into creating your own placemarker files, there are many already made and available for use by teachers and students. TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission includes a weekly file to follow the Mission.

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WaterAid Splash Out - Water Aid

Grades
1 to 10
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Informative, Comical, and straight forward, this site (created by WaterAid), is full of water and sanitation information. The Adventures of Super Toilet have appeal for younger students...more
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Informative, Comical, and straight forward, this site (created by WaterAid), is full of water and sanitation information. The Adventures of Super Toilet have appeal for younger students and older students alike. Learn about proper hygiene, clean toilets, and safe drinking water. Some parts of the video clips such as "Splish, Splash, Flush" have some vivid images of actual people "poop." Viewing is not for the weak stomached viewer. Never the less, younger students should be fascinated by the content of the videos.

NOTE: Because of the nature of the videos and online comics, be sure to preview, before sharing them with your class so you can decide whether your students' maturity level can handle it. This site does have some information about fundraising and the company's missions, but there is some real educational value here!

tag(s): environment (317), hygiene (10), water (130)

In the Classroom

Keep your students healthy and informed using this site! The Adventures of Super Toilet would be ideal for teaching a lesson to primary grade students (or older students) about good personal hygiene. The concepts are entertaining and create questions within the students' minds. It would help raise the students awareness of the sanitation process and the importance of being clean. This site would be especially useful during the flu season.

In the facts section of this website, you can see countries involved which would be the basis for a lesson in cultures of the world. Students could read about other countries and discuss how lives of other children are different from their own lives. Have students create a Venn Diagram, using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here), to compare their own lives (and sanitation) to another country listed at the site.

Older students would benefit from viewing video clips as part of health, family and consumer science, or even world cultures classes. Older students would grasp the humor of the comic strips (but be prepared for the laughs).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Voki - Oddcast

Grades
K to 12
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student...more
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student use in grades 6-12 but for teachers at all levels.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Access to a microphone is required to record a voice. There is an option to use text to voice (however, it does not have great sound.) Import audio from a file or use a cell phone instead to capture audio. Only one minute of audio can be recorded so be brief. Students need to carefully think of their narrative before recording. Users must be able to copy and paste html code for use in an external site.

Use the controls to create your character's style, click customization to further refine your character, change your background, and add your voice. Keep in mind that animated backgrounds may take longer to load on your site. When done, click publish to view and copy the embed code which can then be used on a blog, wiki, or web pages.

Monitor all aspects of student production and use for appropriateness and copyright. If concerned about using student email, consider creating a class account for students to use. Be sure that students understand not to change the Voki of other students if using a class account. Check your school district policy about using emails or identifying student information on the Internet.

Introduce and share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this free site to record a greeting for students that can be seen on the start page of your blog, wiki, or website. Record online assignment information that is spoken by the Voki (always more pleasing to look at than the teacher!). Use this to share homework assignments, a message from you (via a substitute), and more. Use a character that is interesting or matches the assignment you may be leaving. Use Voki to record two different opinions or viewpoints and create a poll of students to view reactions. Use the Voki in Math by posing possible solutions to problems and create a class discussion or poll to determine which one is the actual answer. As students are working on projects, create a Voki that provides hints and tips for students. Allow students to use Voki to provide peer assessment to others. Consider using Voki in place of other assignments such as "What I did this summer vacation..." or "Here is information about me..." Use in any language class to record narratives or translations. Students can create a variety of Voki recordings over time which can show their learning of a language over time. Create classroom newscasts using student(s) on a rotating basis. Use Voki for vocabulary exercises which can be created by students or the teacher. The possibilities for this tool are endless. The quick and engaging nature of this tool offers unlimited uses.

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