Teaching Channel is a "video showcase...of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools". The site, which launched Fall 2011, delivers quality professional development covering topics from new teacher issues to engagement to suicide awareness. Teachers can watch high-quality videons on effective teaching practices and inspiring lesson ideas. If you want to share a video with another teacher, you can time-stamp videos with your comments. Videos can also be embedded in a website or blog. If you set up an account, you can utilize the lesson planner "personal assistant" to store links or schedule a lesson for a later date, e.g., you find a great lesson in June for Pearl Harbor Day, but don't want to forget what it was in December!
Sophia is a social environment for teaching and learning. Lessons are designed in "packets" which are voted on by the viewers, and stamped as academically-sound by Sophia's panel of experts. Packets are focused on a specific learning objective and can contain a variety of multimedia, including text, videos, images, audio and slideshows.
As a learner, you are encouraged to find packets that interest you. You can also create a study group to discuss, share content, ask questions and get answers.
As an educator, you are asked to provide instruction and become an academic reviewer. You retain the copyright and license to your packets, which can be published open to the world or set as private, accessibly only to a specific group.
FREE is a compilation of more than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources from dozens of federal agencies, FREE makes it easier to find resources from the federal government. FREE was conceived in 1997 by a federal working group in response to a memo from President Clinton calling for expanded access to Internet-Based educational resources for children, teachers and parents. Resources are available for most subjects including Arts & Music, Health & Phys Ed, History & Social Studies, Language Arts, Math and Science.
MISSION US is a free online role-playing game about American History aimed at grades 5-8. In addition to the online play, it offers printed materials, primary resources, writing activities, discussion prompts, artwork and more. The site suggests three different methods for integrating their site into your lesson, from a “high” integration covering 8-10 days of classtime, to 1 day of classtime with the game play assigned as homework. The game can be played as a classroom, individually, or in groups, depending on your preference and the availability of technology. Mission 1: “For Crown or Colony?” is available to play right now; Mission 2 (about the resistance to slavery) is set to release sometime this Spring. Other missions will follow next year. View a three-minute introductory video or read the "models of instruction".
Get The Math is “designed to help MS and HS students develop algebraic thinking stills for solving real world problems.” Based on a format similar to several reality TV shows, it shows how young professionals (a fashion designer, a videogame developer and hip-hop artists) use math in their careers. The website then offers interactive challenges relating to those careers. For example, following the fashion designer, teams of students are challenged to bring the price of a designer top down to a set price point. The hip-hop challenge asks the teams to match the electronic beat to the instrumental sample by calculating the correct tempo in beats per minute. The videogame challenge asks the students to plot a linear path for the spaceship to avoid crashing into the asteroid. Your students first watch a video, then try to answer the challenge using tools provided on the website. Once complete, your students can watch a video on how the online teams solved the challenges and try other challenges in those three categories. View the promo video for Get The Math. There is also a full 28-minute episode that gives more background on the young professions, shows the teams meeting the challenge, then how they present their answer to the designer. View the full episode.
History for Music Lovers is a collection of 53 videos, centered around historical events and people (like the Spanish Inquisition and Anne Boleyn), set to popular hits (from the Beatles to Lady Gaga). The videos have been created by two history teachers in Hawaii. The lyrics are displayed on screen, so students can follow along as they listen and watch the videos. A great way to introduce to a new topic in the classroom! The songs will likely be familiar to most students, and the creators have done an outstanding job with the costumes, editing and special effects!
Google Art Project consists of digital tours of 17 museums from around the world. You can actually “walk” through some of the rooms in the museums (using Google’s street view technology). You can also view and zoom-in on the art with incredible detail. Another option allows you to view relevant information about the art. Also, for potential use in the classroom, you are able to save artwork to your own collection, which could be useful so you do not have to change museums mid-lesson to view other artwork. I think this would be an extremely interactive and engaging lesson using the SmartBoards. It is an on-going project, and more museums and art will be added to the site in the future, but it is truly off to a great start.
At Heritage Hall, we believe that, when used appropriately, technology can enhance learning. Technology does not replace the teacher.