How save are football helmets? Take a look this week! It's a great chance to study the critical equipment, of football helmets, that protect athletes from injury. Take a look at everything that goes into a football helmet and how chemistry helps keep players safe.
Summary: Collaborative tool lets kids annotate songs, literature, news
Pros: Educator's tools make this sprawling site more approachable; the wide range of offerings expose kids to an array of perspectives.
Cons: This self-moderated, mostly user-generated site is bound to have some iffy content outside the teacher-created sections.
Bottom Line:Students can collaboratively engage in the process of annotation and analysis with various texts.
Enter the virtual NOVA operating theatre, where you will be given a scalpel and perform a heart transplant of your own. Yes, the version of the operation has been greatly simplified. Nevertheless, all of the basic steps are outlined in this feature, and by the end of the operation, you will have a pretty good idea of what's involved in taking the heart of one human and making it work in another.
Summary: Advanced Q&A tool compels collaboration, higher-order thinking
Pros: Students are on the hook to not only understand, but explain what they know to others.
Cons: The site's design, some of its features, and the collaborative expectations may limit use to older or advanced students.
Bottom Line: Encourage collaborative, student-centered learning with this useful platform, but make sure it's the right fit for your students.
This interactive site, created by an amateur who has studied astronomy for thirty years, provides a great explanation of the vernal (spring) equinox which is celebrated on March 20th. Links to definitions, planet wheels and other sky viewing tools.
Summary: Free video-remix tool boosts media literacy, presents some challenges
Pros: Lots of support: example videos, tutorials, guides, lesson plans.
Cons: Since students will need to use YouTube and the third-party site deturl.com, classroom implementation can be challenging.
Bottom Line: It's not without its challenges for teachers, but at its core MediaBreaker is an easy-to-use and free tool for teaching critical media-making and literacy.
Celebrate Pi Day (3.14 or March 14th) with this fun overview about Pi. Looking at the life of Pi from the early days where Pi wasn't really a known entity through getting the nickname of 22/7.
Summary: Whimsical, kid-friendly intro to the wide world of art
Pros: Great videos and a fun interactive map help kids get oriented to the real-life Met and its artwork.
Cons: Some kids may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content; it's hard to keep track of what you've already visited.
Bottom Line: A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.
This month is Women's History Month. Check out this story about those who led the rebellion that finally resulted in the ratification of 19th Amendment to the Constitution on January 6, 1920 that earned women the right to vote. Read about early pioneers like Abigail Adams who reminded her husband, as he helped finalize the Declaration of Independence, to "remember the ladies" and many others.
Site of the Week picks are selected from the top edtech tools reviewed by Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly.
Summary: Immediate feedback and breadth a major plus, despite emphasis on drills
Pros: Tool helps students develop confidence and clearly track progress.
Cons: Drilling limits opportunities for kids to apply skills in real-world ways
Bottom Line: Students can improve targeted skills with tons of practice modules and visually appealing tasks.
Earn EXTRA INCOME! Sign up for FREE:Teachers Pay Teachers
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.