This site features 11 amazing nature photographs answering questions like Do bees like caffeine? Are spiders omnivores? What does it feel like to be left out when you want to join a group? Habitat Network, a citizen science project from Cornell University, collects data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps and take pictures of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens. It also offers a link to tips for taking beautiful landscape photos and step-by-step instructions to upload photos.
Bring code to life with circuits, robots, Minecraft, and more
Pros: Great connection between code and hardware, easily switch from block- to text-based commands.
[Puzzle App Teaches Coding & Challenges Learners]
Cons: Must buy peripherals/hardware for most uses; core subject teachers may find it hard to integrate.
Bottom Line: Once you purchase the hardware, MakeCode opens doors to an incredible diversity of coding applications.
June is Hot Air Balloon Day. Ever wonder why and how hot air balloons float? This resource from the NOVA Web site offers a series of interactive activities that help you understand the science of hot air balloons. Look into the rising and sinking of air, the impact of air temperature on hot air balloons, and even take a virtual hot air balloon journey across the globe.
Smithsonian Learning Lab
Discover, create, remix, and share Smithsonian resources
Pros: Inviting interface, powerful tools, and the ability to curate, annotate, and share over 1 million Smithsonian resources.
Cons: There simply isn't enough time to search through all the available resources.
Bottom Line: This thoughtfully crafted, open-ended curation and creation tool has a place in most classrooms.
Learn how to save your hearing with this article. According to The World Health Organization 1.1 billion people ages 12-35 listen to personal audio devices at “unsafe volumes,” risking permanent hearing loss. The availability of smartphones with access to music through earbuds has contributed to this increase. This article offers simple ways to protect against hearing loss: get headphones that fit; give your ears a rest; turn the volume down, get earplugs for concerts, sporting events, etc. Be careful not to push earbuds deep into your ears, and get regular hearing screenings. These simple actions may save your hearing as you age!
Simulation game offers window into balancing act of local government
Pros: Students learn how political decisions can affect budgets, popular support, and communities.
Cons: If students are unfamiliar with county departments, they'll first need to read the in-game guide.
Bottom Line: Gives students a nice window into local government, and how community leaders face tough decisions and complex civic problems.
Take a moment and log onto a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian's American History Museum. Enjoy seeing the similarities and differences among bicycles from the late 1800's to present-day bikes. Learn history in an interactive way to see how much the bicycle has changed over the years. Learn about the scientific advances that coincided with various historical contexts of the late 1800s, 1900's, and 2000's.
Wisconsin Fast Plants
Easiest way to use plants in K-12 science classrooms
Pros: Teachers will find this site exceedingly helpful in making sure that students get the most out of a plant-based inquiry experience in the classroom.
Cons: Most resources are only useful to teachers who purchase the plants and other supporting materials.
Bottom Line: Detailed resource and support website for those teaching science through plants.
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological site-specific museum, housing more than 3.000 famous artifacts from the Athenian Acropolis, the most significant sanctuary of the ancient city. For this International Museum Day (5/18) spend some time in this amazing virtual museum - letting you take a virtual tour of the first and third floors of this famous site. Located in the historical area of Makriyianni, southeast of the Rock of the Acropolis, the Museum narrates the story of life on the Rock from prehistoric times until the end of Antiquity.
National Geographic Education
Explore the fascinating, wide world with multimedia resources
Pros: Quality content, superb videos, and detailed lesson ideas for thought-provoking exploration.
Cons: It's not personalizable, and there's no way to track past visits.
Bottom Line: It's a wonderful resource for anyone looking to learn more about science, geography, ecology, current events -- basically, the world we live in.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.