Teaching & Learning
Since 1996, San Diego State University has maintained a database of example WebQuests. This database is kept up to date and weeded out when a link goes bad (as volunteer time permits). As of this writing, the database contains over 2500 WebQuests. You can search for any string of characters in the Title, Description, Author name or URL
BestWebQuests.com is a site to celebrate the work of thousands of educators. It is powerful clearinghouse of resources that are more than just a list but each webquest meets a specific eductionally sound criteria. Typically students learn a terrific amount as background information or in the roles of experts, but then this knowledge isn't used to create new meaning or construct knowledge, isn't transformed or applied to a new situation. And this is the heart of a true WebQuest.
This is a site that provides step by step directions in developing or adapting webquests.
Response to Intervention
The RTI Action Network is dedicated to the effective implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) in school districts nationwide. Our goal is to guide educators and families in the large-scale implementation of RTI so that each child has access to quality instruction and that struggling students – including those with learning disabilities – are identified early and receive the necessary supports to be successful. The RTI Action Network is a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, funded by the Cisco Foundation and in partnership with the nation’s leading education associations and top RTI experts.
12 free iPad apps—10 covering somewhat more advanced topics in science and math, and two utilities. Remember, if you can imagine it, it's probably out there, so put on your detective cap, and search the web for apps you wish you had. And if you find something great, send it along!
This one is addictive. Don't panic when you open it and see that it only comes with a few molecules—DNA, acetylcholinesterase, insulin, and caffeine, for example. The magic is in the plus sign, which is where you can search PubChem and the Protein Data Bank, and when you get your results, the particular molecule is downloaded onto your iPad. This is one instance in which the touch screen is a huge advantage over a mouse. Have fun comparing various sugars, predicting the size of some molecules versus others, and get a good idea of the chemical structure of the substances you are interested in seeing.
The molecules do some cool things when you pinch and pull and stretch and shrink them. You can rotate them with your finger and see the structure from all orientations. Eventually they break apart, but how much fidelity the models have is uncertain; i.e., are they breaking apart at the weakest bonds? It doesn't appear so, but that's a good question for class!
Seeing the types of bonds would be nice, as would an ability to build your own molecules. If you want to do that, you can purchase another app, iMolecular Builder for iPad, for $4.99.
Colleen Gravel, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Plumsted Township School District wants everyone to know about the app called Common Core, which lists all the topics in the Math and Language Arts curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade. The whole standard is there in a nice, neat package for your easy reference.
Navigate through the subjects, then grades, right through to each individual standard and exactly what the student must learn.
QuickGraph allows for graphing in three dimensions or in two and allows you to manipulate and rotate the graphs for 360-degree views.
Allows the data in a data set to be averaged, baseline corrected, normalized, and fit to various functions. Options for saving the graph in various formats are also available. There are videos on youtube explaining how to use this app at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRjEvgAYyOg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6-GJz2Ep20&feature=related.
PhysicsHD lists all the formulae, definitions, and facts students need to study for topics in a high school physics classes and links to Wikipedia articles for additional information on each topic. The app summarizes all the info a student will need as a supplement to their physics text.
Video Science is a collection of science experiment videos that help students visualize science concepts. The experiments are suitable for middle school students. Chromatography, Spacesuit Simulator, Light Physics, Giant Squid, and Bubble Racing are just some of the titles.
Using a built-in accelerometer, compass-navigation capabilities, and a database of all the celestial bodies readily visible from Earth, GoSkyWatch Planetarium can be used to explore and learn about the universe by simply pointing your iPad to the sky. The app color-codes planets and stars for easier identification and overlays images onto constellations in real time. The app can also be used to search for a specific star or planet, then the rendering of the sky turns to that location. When you point the iPad overhead, you see the sky above as it appears at those exact coordinates.
Novim's app on climate change features an interactive map of the planet, displaying how the Earth’s land surface temperature changed between 1800 and 2009. A color-coded video map of climate change allows users to explore details by zooming into geographic regions, changing playback speeds, and linking to Wikipedia to reference concurrent world history.
Science Glossary is exactly what it sounds like—a glossary of important science terms and concepts. It has a random bottom for generating random science facts, which is a bit like a flash card. Generally iPad apps that don't offer much more than a paper implementation would offer can seem a bit pointless, but this provides a good study aid or fun trivia-like experience.
This app gives students a 3D view of a cell and allows for 360-degree rotation of the cell. It also comes with quite a few videos of cellular mechanisms such as mitochondrial dynamics through cell division and a magnified view of mitochondrial motility. The app also allows you to stain your own cell, coloring various cellular structures such as the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, endosomes, etc.
Free Graphing Calculator
Why bother paying for a graphing calculator these days if you have an iPad? In fact, subtract the price of the graphing calculator from what you paid for the iPad, and keep subtracting books and other essentials that are now available on iPads.
Two Useful Unrelated Apps
Citrix Go to My PC
GoToMyPC for iPad makes it simple to control your computer while away from your work area, but the lack of multitasking support, and latency issues, may dampen the experience.
This one is obvious and very simple, but pretty useful if you make any videos at all and need a teleprompter for free!
Free Video Websites for Educators
Clip Blast - Claims to be the world's largest video search engine
Khan Academy - Offers over 2,600 tutorial videos for math, science, and history.
Neo K-12 - Contains videos, lessons, and games that have been reviewed by K-12 teachers.
School Tube - Videos for students and teachers.
Snag Learning - High quality documentaries to encourage classroom discussions.
Vimeo - A popular alternative to YouTube
WatchKnow - Thousands of educational videos that are organized by categories.
What is this about? COMPOSE is an acronym for techniques which teachers can use to enhance student memory of information taught. COMPOSE stands for Connections, Odds of success, Meaningfulness of the materials, Practice, Organizational clarity, Strategies, and Emotional impact. Choosing techniques to improve memory is a critical aspect of instructional design!
What is this about? COLA is a mnemonic device, which can be used by teachers to enhance the ability of all students to identify, comprehend and demonstrate knowledge of critical concepts. COLA is a method used to teach the diverse classroom community while adhering to the general curriculum!
What is this about? “Jeopardy!” is an effective review method, but only for students who understand and study the material presented. This article informs teachers of different methods on how to modify classroom content to make “Jeopardy!” an effective game for ALL classroom members, even those who are unable to study the material independently at home.
What is this about? Our brains are not designed to think, but we do still enjoy thinking! This article provides methods teachers can implement in order to encourage students to think, and to make thinking even more fun. The author explains how thinking works and appropriate times to challenge students’ thought processes.
What is this about? Executive Dysfunction is a common source of students’ difficulties initiating, completing and turning in homework assignments. This article provides information on the executive dysfunctions, such as panning for the future or initiating behavior, and how these dysfunctions may be impairing your students.
What is this about? Students who may appear to be intentionally forgetful or who appear to not take school seriously may have a deeper issue. Problems in the frontal love cause executive dysfunction, which affects planning, flexibility, organization, and self-monitoring. This article provides techniques to overcome challenges resulting from this dysfunction, such as ways to manage time, space, materials, and work.
Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
What is this about? This webpage provides various posters and resources for teachers to post around their classrooms. Some of these posters include Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and planning strategies. These posters are extremely helpful and printable.
What is this about? This article discusses the importance of using inquiry in the classroom. This author lists different inquiry strategies to implement in the classroom. The applications and outcomes of inquiry are also explained within this article.
What is this about? This website provides dozens of different graphic organizers which can be used across all curriculum's. The site explains how to create each organizer and how to choose the proper organizer for your desired outcome. Explicit directions and a printable version accompany each graphic organizer.
What is this about? This site provides a video of Ken Robinson speaking about how to nurture creativity in schools. This speaker is very entertaining and informative.
What is this about? This article focuses on students with ADHD. The author discusses why children fidget during class, and why this helps them focus. A small study was conducted in order to obtain the effectiveness of fidgeting. The results are explained, as well as the affects of different medications on children with ADHD.
What is this about? Graphic organizers are a great way to help your students classify and organize ideas to communicate more effectively. They could be used across the curriculum for writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and brainstorming. This site provides a list of graphic organizers that teachers could implement in their classrooms.
What is this about? This site is a wonderful source to help students with mathematics while ensuring that they have fun as they learn! It provides teachers with graphic organizers from K-12, lesson plan examples, math aerobics exercises, and math games.
What is this about? On this website, there are nearly 100 free, printable graphic organizers for a variety of topics that will enable your students to easily gather and record their thoughts and ideas. Some of the graphic organizers that are provided include author study worksheets, observation charts, story prediction forms, and note taking charts.
What is this about? Persuasive writing is an essential skill for third graders and up. To help your students better understand the persuasive writing process, this site provides teachers with persuasive writing graphic organizers, worksheets, and lesson plans.
What is this about? LD Online is a great source full of hundred of expert-reviewed articles and resources for educators, parents, and others concerned about children and adults with learning disabilities and ADHD.
What is this about? It is evident that memory of factual information is essential for success in school, particularly at the secondary level. However, students with learning disabilities and other learning problems have been consistently shown to have difficulties with remembering various academic content (e.g., Cooney & Swanson, 1987). In this present study, 7 mnemonic (memory-enhancing) strategies have been implemented to find ways of increasing the amount of content-area information all students, particularly students with learning problems, are able to remember. Overall, this article gives information on the usefulness and effectiveness of mnemonic strategies in enhancing memory for learning.
What is this about? The Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools website provides information on how to help create and maintain a comfortable environment that serves as a safe haven for all students.
What is this about? The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative is a Federal grant-making program whose mission is to prevent violence and substance abuse among our Nation’s youth, schools, and communities. Grants could be requested through local authorities that allow SS/HS to provide schools and community-based services in an attempt to reduce violent behavior and substance use. This website provides information on how to obtain a grant and the necessary steps to get the services needed in various types of schools to strengthen healthy child development.
What is this about? The mission of OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, created by the Office of Special Education Program in the US Department of Education, is to give schools information and technical assistance for identifying, implementing, and maintaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices. This website provides information on what school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports are and the significance of applying them into the school system.
RubiStar is a free tool to help teachers create quality rubrics. Registered users can save and edit rubrics online. You can access them from home, school, or on the road.
Teachers of mathematics for centuries have helped students udnerstand mathematics using "manipulatives" - visual objects that help illustrate mathematical relationships and applications. Manipulatives allow students to visually examine, explore and develop concepts. The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) at Utah State University has transported these powerful teaching tools into the virtual dimension of the computer. The NLVM collection of over 100 interactive software programs, called "applets," are an effective means for accelerating and deepening students' learning.
This website chronicles the most critical stories in the news each Friday and communicates it in rap music.
Edutopia is a organization that is funded by the George Lucas Foundation and dedicated to showcasing and promoting effective educational practices. It's websites contains a variety of resources and initiatives of interest to teachers, parents and other involved in the education of children.
Common Core is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that maintains a website design for and by teachers who are dedicated to promoting the common core curriculum to all children. Common Core is a source for quality education standards, programs, and curricula. It's website contains data supporting a comprehensive education in the liberal arts and sciences.
This is a website that where teachers can buy other teachers creative ideas and materials in an open marketplace for educators. In addition, you can sell your material to other teachers. There are thousands of educators that are sharing their unique approaches, instructional materials, and lesson plans for a reasonable piece on the internet. There are also free materials available.
A website that makes connections for teachers to strategies that help students with special needs successfully access the general education curriculum.
What is this about? Explore is a philanthropic based media that displays the selfless acts of others, creates a gateway into the soul of humanity, and inspires learning for life. This site provides a gallery of films, photos, and live cams for various educational purposes.
What is this about? The EduApps Family covers a range of user requirements to support teaching and learning, so users can choose the App that best fits his or her needs. The techniques covered include reading, writing, planning and literacy. There are also sources available for different types of learners, including learners with visual difficulties and inclusive settings.
What is this about? This website is a resource of resources. Educators and parents can select between study skill tools, graphic organizers, math tools, speech-to-text, writing tools and more. Each link provides numerous different resources for each category, including productivity tools and games. This site is parent, teacher and student friendly!
What is this about? Visuwords Online Graphical Dictionary is a website where you could look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) and concepts! It can be a dictionary or a thesaurus. Whatever it is used as, it is a great source for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists. The best part about it is that it is free!
This website will helps students prepare for the SAT by giving free practice tests. The questions that are on the sample test will be similar to the tests you will experience as part of the college application process. The questions are arranged into mini practice tests with each practice test providing a score card at the end. There are also explanations to the questions you get wrong so that you can learn from your mistakes.