Larry Ferazzo, of Edublogs, lists what he considers the best learning games of 2013. They include World Geography Games, Inca Investigation, The China Games, Plan It Green Live, Broken Picture Telephone, Jay Is Games, Earth Picker, Lifesaver, Room Escape Maker, GR8CTZ—Great Cities of the World, and LocateStreet. This is the second of the 2013 lists. The first list features Wonderground, Pursued, GeoGuessr, Depression Quest, The Republica Times, Breakaway, Quandary, and Review Game Zone. The Edublog includes links to the recommended games. You’ll also find links to the best games of previous years.
eSchool News offers the white paper, “Bringing World Language Education to Everyone”. You can download the paper free, but you’ll need to sign in/sign up. The paper tells how Weybridge Elementary School in Vermont brought Spanish into its curriculum. Leaders in the school knew that early language learning was key to language learning but were worried about the expense of bringing such programs into their school in addition to the availability of teachers. Weybridge teamed with Middlebury Interactive to provide a language-learning program that could be accessed both at home and at school.
For schools interested in other languages, Middlebury Interactive offers Chinese, German, Latin, and French as well as Spanish. In a Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education study of Middlebury Interactive programs, feedback from teachers was “overwhelmingly positive” and the courses were said to be “very successful in promoting cultural awareness and appreciation and growing language proficiency. A free demo is available.
Back in Time, an IOS app that can be used with all ages, is described as best for Grades 6-12. The site TeachThought calls in an innovative educational app, and although it comes at a high ($7.99) price as apps go, it is sure to capture your interest and that of your students. It includes all subject areas. With a clock as a time-machine, it takes the user on a journey through history. TeachThought says that it “visualizes the mind-numbing scale of history.” There’s a trailer you can watch to determine if you want to purchase Back in Time and then travel with your students through time whenever you want.
In its latest newsletter, PBS LearningMedia features
resources related to Hispanic
culture and history. The content is designed to help students gain a deep
appreciation of the Hispanic culture and history while building Spanish
language skills. Some of the digital resources include salsa
music, bilingual science discussions, Hispanic names like Nevada and
Montana in the United States, Latino family ancestry, gender, and race as part
of an understanding of history, and revolutionary
art featuring the Mexican Muralist Movement.
an Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University, is working on the
development of 3D, high fidelity virtual experiences in which people learn by
entering a virtual environment. Her company, Virtual Field Trips LLC offers
“simulations for exploration, discovery, and intrinsic learning designed for
the young child in all of us.”Public
schools qualify for the company’s educational license.
first field trip features the Trillium Trail, an
area in Fox Chapel, PA. Students at the O’Hara Elementary School in Fox Chapel
piloted the program. With the software, they took off on the virtual trail
learning as they went while enjoying a scientifically accurate 360-degree view
of their surroundings. Armed by the learning they gained on their virtual trip,
the students hiked the trail in real life. According to those who have
experienced “Trillium Trail”, it is like “walking into a painting” and others
say it is “more real than real.”
the Smithsonian, and TakingITGlobal are partnering to create Shout,
a global network that will challenge students to collaborate online as they try
to solve environmental problems facing our world. Shout will feature
project-based learning activities designed to promote social responsibility and
will help teachers use technology to enhance students’ problem solving skills.
Although, work on the Shout network is still in progress, you can preview
content from the Environmental Education
Online Conference with Smithsonian experts.
Library Association, always a trusted source for recommendations, provides a
apps that it considers “of exceptional value to inquiry-based learning . .
.”These are apps that encourage
students to be innovative and creative as they engage in collaboration with
others. Categories on the list include: Books, STEM, Organization &
Management, Social Sciences, and Content Creation. A few of the apps on the ALA
Best App List are: Shakespeare in Bits,
Got to Have Music, Operation Math, SimplePhysics, Tinkerbox, Dropbox, Evernote,
Socrative, News-O-Matic: Daily for Kids, GarageBand, and Educreations. There are links to all the
apps on the list.
The Children's University of Manchester in the United Kingdom hosts a very nice language arts site for students and parents. On the site, you'll find an introduction to words, a world language map, jigsaw puzzles, and fun with nouns, adjectives, pairs, and much more. There's even a timeline of the English language. —And, if you don’t know what an EPONYM is, you should head to this very nice site, which also includes fun with history, science, and art and design.
The Halloween Vultures Rock Poetry Competition
is open once more for entries. This competition focuses on the plight of
vultures, whose numbers are dropping around the world mainly because people
know so little about them and why they need to be protected.To honor the job that vultures do in cleaning
up our world, children, ages 8-12, are invited to submit original poems that
describe how they think vulture’s rock. Poems, which do not have to rhyme, are
to be submitted to the Vultures Rock website by October 18th, 2013.
Winners will receive iPod Shuffles.
The competition is an excellent way to help students learn
about the importance of vultures in our world and celebrate the fall season. Be
sure to check the rules for entry on the site.