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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (262), newspapers (95), reading comprehension (118), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment - TeachersFirst: Candace Hackett Shively and Louise Maine

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement...more
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement infographics because they do not know how to help students. Whether you are a visual person or a "data" person, these pages will help your class get started. See the story of one teacher's journey into using infographics and learn from her experience. Find downloadable files to help: a PowerPoint you can use with students, and a customizable rubric. Don't miss the extensive Resources and Tools page for examples, background articles, and more. These pages grew out of a presentation at ISTE 2012.

tag(s): infographics (44)

In the Classroom

Read through this professional tutorial if you have even considered trying infographics with your students. You will find just the encouragement you need. Mark this one in your Favorites and share the many examples with your students, including student-created examples from a ninth grade class, as you launch your own infographics projects. Let your students "show what they know" in a new way.

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Makerspace - MAKE

Grades
10 to 12
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Join the movement of educators and students who are focusing on making instead of consuming. Students identify an interest and work on a project of their creation to present at ...more
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Join the movement of educators and students who are focusing on making instead of consuming. Students identify an interest and work on a project of their creation to present at a Maker Faire. Unlike Science Fairs which focus mostly on competition, Maker Faires showcase student work and innovation. With focus now on STEM and doing science, Maker Faires are a great way to increase excitement in the STEM areas and careers. The Maker Playbook is an easy way to become familiar with the movement.

tag(s): inquiry (38), science fairs (25), STEM (147)

In the Classroom

Increase the amount of DIY learning in your classroom by joining the Maker Faire movement. Not close to an actual Maker Faire? Implement ideas in the playbook to increase the amount of STEM in your class and a new way to learn to engage your students and create excitement in careers they have not thought about. Consider holding an in-school Maker Faire of your own with parent help.
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STEM Curriculum - Dayton Regional - Dayton Regional STEM Center

Grades
K to 12
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The Dayton Regional STEM Center offers lessons, units, and curriculum materials in STEM subjects for grades K-12. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math resources are abundant at...more
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The Dayton Regional STEM Center offers lessons, units, and curriculum materials in STEM subjects for grades K-12. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math resources are abundant at this center for hands-on STEM! Primarily it is a curriculum resource for teaching. Search by grade level, subject, or industry. There are captivating hook videos about power and propulsion, sensors, manufacturing, humans and medicine, and air vehicles. Lesson ideas are complete and well thought out. Some have downloadable activities, some are video clips, some are tangible hands on activities, but all are thought provoking. If your district blocks YouTube, then the video clips 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): aircraft (24), atmosphere (28), aviation (39), data (148), energy (203), engineering (126), equations (154), functions (68), geometric shapes (165), magnetism (38), measurement (160), number sense (95), oil (45), operations (120), ratios (54), robotics (23), scientific method (65), solar energy (40), space (215), statistics (124), STEM (147), teaching strategies (24), water (130)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for STEM lessons in your classroom. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects or differentiating lessons in your classroom. Search this site for some new ideas to implement in your classroom. Share the Student tab on your class website for students to explore several "kid friendly" topic such as Fish-y Gardening, Pirate Race, Slime Time, Engineer Girl, Build a Bot, and more. Students who complete one of the "kid friendly" projects at home could develop a presentation using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here), or a multimedia presentation to share with the class. For tools and ideas about creating multimedia presentations see one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Venngage - Venngage

Grades
7 to 12
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Like the looks of Infographics but wish it were as easy as creating a Powerpoint? This website aims to empower you to easily create infographics in a short time. It ...more
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Like the looks of Infographics but wish it were as easy as creating a Powerpoint? This website aims to empower you to easily create infographics in a short time. It is worth the free registration to gain access. Create beautiful Infographics by creating a title and then choosing a template or color scheme. Create your own templates using a range of color, label, and font choices. Click on the elements on the template to change the words, add widgets, create charts, and more. Use the slider along the top right to move between edit mode and preview mode. Go beyond traditional charts by including word clouds, treemaps, bubble charts, and more. Click Save as Template (helpful in creating labels and examples for students to follow) to save your style for later. Click Publish to make the Infographic public or private. You can save the Infographic as an image, share via URL, or use an embed code to place on a wiki, site, or blog. Click on your dashboard to view additional templates shared by creators and to find your Infographics.

tag(s): data (148), infographics (44), posters (38), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Consider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the "real world." Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to. Have students create their own infographics with this site to display what they have learned from a unit of study, how vocabulary words are related to the unit content, or as a review before a test. It could even be a replacement for the test! Connect data found on the Internet to information needed to understand that data. (Consider looking at different ways to show the data which can generate bias.) Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to allow student groups to present an Infographic about a book they've read, related news article, etc. Create Infographics about events such as Earth Day, D-Day, Take Your Child to Work Day, and other observances.

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What on Earth Made This - Website ''''''© 1996-2012 WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore a super sized volcano, the Scablands, the Magafloods, and beautiful and bizarre natural formations made from forces on our planet. Discover an interactive or printable version...more
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Explore a super sized volcano, the Scablands, the Magafloods, and beautiful and bizarre natural formations made from forces on our planet. Discover an interactive or printable version of each topic brimming with information. Use text, video, audio, or multimedia resources to accompany each topic.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth (231), geology (83), landforms (45), landmarks (27)

In the Classroom

Make earth geology come alive in each of these captivating subjects. The resources deepen understanding. Open on an interactive whiteboard or projector to begin your earth study or include in a center for individual exploration. Add to your classroom website for enrichment purposes. Use as an example for a classroom wiki on any science subject. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
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Planet in Action - Dinther Product Design

Grades
6 to 12
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Planet in Action offers the opportunity to take virtual field trips such as a helicopter ride above the Grand Canyon, an expedition to Mount St. Helens, or a helicopter tour ...more
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Planet in Action offers the opportunity to take virtual field trips such as a helicopter ride above the Grand Canyon, an expedition to Mount St. Helens, or a helicopter tour of Manhattan all with the help of Google Earth and some tools that Planet in Action has created. On the main page you can scroll down to view the recent additions. At the time of this review, many involve current events. Just click the play button to view the Google Earth presentation/tour. These tours do not require that you install Google Earth. Why not view the Choose the games link on the site to explore the world as a helicopter pilot in San Francisco, land on the moon with Neil Armstrong, navigate through Manhattan, and more. The most adventurous technology users may want to learn more about the tools used to create these tours-- and even try them, but they are not simple. The tools offer additional features beyond what Google Earth can do (which is a LOT!).
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tag(s): cities (25), landforms (45), landmarks (27), map skills (81), maps (291), virtual field trips (50)

In the Classroom

Take your class on a virtual helicopter ride above famous landmarks that they are learning about in class. Share the videos (tours) or games on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch the recorded tour and discuss the different landmarks as you see them. 'Hire' a student helicopter 'pilot' who can navigate a trip for the class. On individual computers, students can create postcards of their virtual field trip or create their own virtual tour that can be saved and shared with others or with Planet in Action. As students fly above the landmarks, a Google Map will show them exactly where they are in the virtual tour. To learn more about Google Earth, see the TeachersFirst review (here). Inspire your code-writing "tech geeks" by challenging them to learn more about the specialized tools demonstrated here and to create tours of their own.
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Grand Challenges for Engineering - National Academy of Engineering

Grades
9 to 12
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented...more
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented and followed by a moderated response forum. Anyone may submit ideas, and no registration is required. Share your name and location on the planet, and your comments may be featured in the forum. There are video clips, interactives, ready to go activities, and more. Information about world needs and next steps towards solutions are available. These topics can be controversial, so preview before you share with the class.

tag(s): carbon (21), critical thinking (110), engineering (126), mars (42), medicine (70), nuclear energy (24), problem solving (272), scientific method (65), STEM (147)

In the Classroom

Use Grand Challenges for Engineering topics as class conversation starters in science, biology, and engineering classes and an inspiration to make STEM a possible career choice. Stimulate a rich discussion by previewing the topic to students at the beginning of a week and discussing at the end of the week. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Encourage them to research the idea outside of class, and provide this website as a major source. Have students summarize the concept and the new things that they have learned through the discussion on an exit slip before they leave for the week. Challenge your students to think of other Grand Challenges that we face. In a gifted program these challenges could serve as themes for extended investigations or individual projects.
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Nova Science Now Education - WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based...more
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based on programs from Nova and other PBS programs. There are teacher guides, teacher interactives, and teacher videos. Topics include anthropology, archaeology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geography, health science, history, life science, math, paleontology, physical science, science and society, space science, and technology. At the time of this review, the website is still in BETA version and is not all inclusive in each subject. Find a TV programming schedule to help planning and resource gathering.
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tag(s): archeology (32), engineering (126), environment (319), forensics (27), paleontology (42), space (215)

In the Classroom

Enjoy the interactives, videos, and text together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use selected activities as a center (station). Include as resources for your curriculum. Use as a model to make a wiki for your current topic of study for a group project or classroom project. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use this format to spice up your classroom blog.
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Steve Spangler Science Videos - Steve Spangler

Grades
K to 12
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Steve Spangler has brought his fun and educational science experiments to his YouTube page. At the time of this review, the channel had over 400 science experiments in short (approx....more
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Steve Spangler has brought his fun and educational science experiments to his YouTube page. At the time of this review, the channel had over 400 science experiments in short (approx. one minute) videos. Each video demonstrates step by step how to conduct the experiment but leaves it up to the you to decide the science involved. Choose from the featured playlist, browse through uploaded videos, view by fan favorites, or search the channel using a keyword or term to find experiments. Videos can also be sorted by newest or oldest additions. Subscribe to the channel (using your YouTube login) to receive updates when new videos are added. Many include links to further detail and experiment how-tos on Steve's regular web site.
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tag(s): experiments (73), optical illusions (13), solar energy (40), water (130)

In the Classroom

Show a video on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as an introduction before conducting an experiment in class. Stop the video before the ending and have students predict what will happen. Have students journal their thoughts to the science at work in the video. Have students create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this collection. Share this site as a resource for science fair projects or for a school science night. The videos are hosted on YouTube. 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.
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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
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tag(s): blogs (89), DAT device agnostic tool (167)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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Metro: Sustainable Living - Metro

Grades
6 to 12
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality...more
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality life for you, your family, and the planet.
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tag(s): environment (319), natural resources (60), recycling (57), resources (112), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Though originally for residents of Portland, Oregon, anyone, anywhere can use this resource. Use as a start for good ideas and search for additional information for better understanding. Create blog posts, websites, posters, or other media to share ideas with others to create community involvement in sustainable living. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. When researching and discussing environmental issues, be sure to add practical ways for others to DO something. Challenge your students to create their own community of young people at your school to become involved in sustainable living. Use this site for ideas to launch Earth Day initiatives and public service announcements.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. 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): biographies (88), independent reading (130), interviews (17), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Convert center - Baltsoft Software

Grades
4 to 12
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This quick and easy tool converts between units of measurement. Useful in both math and science, find any kind of conversion for many different types of measures. Use the From ...more
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This quick and easy tool converts between units of measurement. Useful in both math and science, find any kind of conversion for many different types of measures. Use the From and To boxes to find your specific conversion. Find many odd and seldom used units for conversion. (This would be a great time to research where and why some units were used in the past!) Conversions to many different units are included, and a link to the results is displayed to share with others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (24), measurement (160)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Family and consumer science and world language teachers will also find the U.S. liquid measure and weight conversions handy when converting recipes from English/U.S. to metric and vice versa. Have students create infographics SHOWING the relationships between units of measure during your math or science unit on measurement.

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (65), comics and cartoons (72), DAT device agnostic tool (167)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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ChronoZoom - Microsoft Research

Grades
8 to 12
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time ...more
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time of this review), that seeks to create zoomable, interactive timelines for the entire history of time. At present, the site is still under construction, but it is visually stunning and a little overwhelming. You will need to set aside some time to watch the video tour and to tinker with the site before presenting it to students. Every move of the mouse, every click, seems to create "explosions" of graphs and timelines; you'll need to be patient and get the hang of navigation.

The site's creators freely admit that they don't really know where the project will lead, and what technologies might emerge that will help them create more content for the site. There are some caveats for using the site. First, the site assumes a particular theory of the creation of the universe, and the timeline of its existence. Second, the site can lend itself to aimless "mousing," or the temptation to simply click and move the mouse to see how the site will react, with no attention to the content at all.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (102), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

This is a big idea, still in its early stages. Obviously it has usefulness as a way of visually demonstrating the sheer immensity of time, and the relative insignificance of human existence in comparison. You could use this site as an intro to any history or geology class simply to generate BIG questions that students want to know. Consider asking gifted students, or students interested in technology applications to imagine what the site COULD be. How would they create a visual overview of--forever? How can one prioritize what matters? But on an interactive whiteboard--WOW! If you, as current students seem to be, are comfortable with imagining the world as a series of hyperlinks rather than a linear march, this site has limitless potential.

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Energy ebook - IKT Forlaget

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive book about energy is great for all learners. The actual "book" opens in a new window. In addition to the text and bold images, there is clickable audio ...more
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This interactive book about energy is great for all learners. The actual "book" opens in a new window. In addition to the text and bold images, there is clickable audio to make this an audio book! Easy to follow directions are on the main page before accessing the book. Click on the video icons to watch related videos. You can also download related images from some of the films for use in projects and to help build understanding. Additional resources and links within the book add more for teachers, parents, and students. Note that you can click pages to make them full screen.

tag(s): energy (203), solar energy (40), water (130)

In the Classroom

If you study energy in your science curriculum this ebook is a super resource and addition to your classroom library. Set up the ebook on classroom computers during independent reading time for some non-fiction reading material. The ebook is great for all levels of readers. Confident readers can read the book independently while struggling readers may want to read along with the audio. Use the ebook as a "big book" on an interactive whiteboard or projector to read about energy as a class or center. Brainstorm with Edistorm (reviewed here), having students add sticky notes of things they learn - or questions-- about energy on the online shared whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Explore the Seafloor Physics Teacher's Pack - TSL Education

Grades
8 to 12
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This site contains a complete lesson plan and teaching materials developed as part of the Explore the Seafloor Project. The site aims to support the curriculum by providing a real-life...more
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This site contains a complete lesson plan and teaching materials developed as part of the Explore the Seafloor Project. The site aims to support the curriculum by providing a real-life example of techniques in the workplace. Included with this lesson is a teaching PowerPoint, videos, quiz, and interactive whiteboard activities. Registration with email required.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (152)

In the Classroom

Use materials included on this site as part of a unit teaching about marine biology, the ocean, or marine geography. Share with students as a resource for classroom projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NOVA Body and Brain - NOVA/PBS

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, ...more
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, Planet Earth, and more. Click on the NOVA Education tab to find great lessons and ideas to use these materials for a variety of subjects and ages. View video clips as well as slide shows and other information. Preview these resources before sharing in class. Some parents/communities may consider some material controversial or inappropriate for younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): carbon dioxide (16), carbon footprint (11), earth (231), environment (319), human body (126), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (155), solar energy (40), space (215)

In the Classroom

Discover some terrific lessons about a variety of topics. For example, under Environment find a great lesson for Capturing Carbon: Where Do We Put It? Find background information to understand the material and questions for discussion that can be used with your class. Find additional resources along the side.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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American Indian Response to Environmental Changes - National Museum of the American Indian

Grades
4 to 12
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This site documents how four Native American communities are responding to changes in the environment where they live. Through videos and primary sources, you can explore these four...more
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This site documents how four Native American communities are responding to changes in the environment where they live. Through videos and primary sources, you can explore these four Native American cultures. Each tribe's section is broken down into the following areas: Getting Started, Meet the People, About Our Homeland, Our Environmental Challenge, Our Strategies, and Our Future.

tag(s): environment (319), native americans (78), natural resources (60)

In the Classroom

Project this site on an interactive whiteboard and watch the videos on each of the tribes. If you have laptops available, have students navigate on their own. Have the class take the included interactive quizzes to see what they've learned. Group students and have each group read about a different tribe. Then using the online story project planner, have students create a presentation about their tribe that can be uploaded to the site. Be sure to visit the teacher area for lesson plans, links and other resources.
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