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Zoodles: a kid safe mode for every device

What it is: Zoodles makes it possible to have a “kid safe” mode on every device: Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android.  Zoodles includes wonderful features for technology use in the classroom and at home.  With Zoodles every child has their own “playground” space (login) that they access by clicking on their picture.  A parent dashboard lets teachers (or parents) customize Zoodles to meet the needs of students. Parents and teachers can clearly see where a student spends their time, what their interests are, and what subjects they have been practicing.  Every game in Zoodles has been previewed by experts and is rated based on it’s educational merit.  Parent play-along mode makes it possible for parents or teachers to guide the learning experience.  The interface is focused on kids and is extremely intuitive.  There are no distracting “extras” in the navigation or URLs where students can get sidetracked or lost.  The content in Zoodles adapts to each child’s age and ability level so they are constantly being challenged and engaged. There are thousands of educational games built into Zoodles…students always have something new and challenging to interact with.  Zoodles also gives students access to fun educational videos.  Zoodles is geared for toddler to third grade (8 year old) students.  You can peruse the games included in Zoodles by clicking on the “Games” tab on the site.  There are games for: cognitive development, creative development, life skills, math, reading, science, and social studies. The games and videos in Zoodles are pulled from several places on the Internet.  What makes Zoodles a great tool is the ability to guide students in their learning, easily find quality educational content, scale as a student is ready, and keep ads blocked and hidden. How to integrate Zoodles into the classroom: Zoodles is great for classroom computers and devices in the primary classroom.  It provides students with access to quality learning games and content from the Internet without having to sort through the Internet to get to it.  Zoodles is perfect for classroom computers that are used as learning centers.  For the classroom, create 3-5 different accounts.  Instead of basing the accounts on individual students, the accounts can be based on a learning level.  Through the dashboard, teachers can guide the learning that happens in each account.  This keeps your students on task, learning at their level, and engaged in meaningful activities.  Even if you don’t use the Zoodles interface on your computers for students, it is definitely worth a download as a teacher.  The games and videos are broken up into subject areas and age groups.  This makes it easy to find an activity for any learning that you are doing in the classroom.  Use Zoodles as your guide to find great activities and learning games on the web. Tips: I found Zoodles when searching for a solution for one of the families I teach.  They were looking for a way that all of their kids (2 years old to 8 years old) could use the family computer for fun, safe learning experiences.  This is a great app to recommend to parents who don’t know what they don’t know, but want to provide their kids with virtual learning experiences.  Be sure to recommend it to your students families!  There are premium features that families will LOVE! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zoodles!

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Picturing the Thirties

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 11-10-2009

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What it is: Picturing the Thirties is another great virtual web activity from the Smithsonian.  This virtual museum exhibit teaches students about the 1930’s through eight exhibitions.  Students will learn about the Great Depression, The New Deal, The Country, Industry, Labor, The City, Leisure, and American People in the 1930’s.  Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum are supplemented with other primary sources such as photographs, newsreels, and artist memorabilia.  Students can explore the virtual exhibits complete with museum guides that explain each exhibit to students.  The feature presentation of the museum is a series of interviews of abstract artists describing the 1930’s.  User created documentaries can be viewed from the theater’s balcony.  Students can visit the theater’s projection booth where they can find primary access and a movie making tutorial.

How to integrate Picturing the Thirties into the classroom: I am always amazed by the virtual content that the Smithsonian has produced.  Picturing the Thirties is an incredible virtual field trip to museum exhibits that will put your students face to face with primary resources that will help them understand the events and culture of the 1930’s.  This is SO much better than learning from a textbook!  This interactive site is a great way for students to explore the 1930’s and learn at their own pace.  This site is perfect for the computer lab environment where every student has access to a computer.  You could also take a class virtual field trip to the museum using an interactive whiteboard or a projector.

Tips: Make sure that students have headphones or speakers for this website, there is quite a bit of audio content.

Related Resources: Smithsonian Virtual Museum, UPM Virtual Forest, efield Trips

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Picturing the Thirties in your classroom.

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