What it is: Neo K12 is an outstanding online collection of educational videos, lessons and games for students in grades k-12. Neo K12 believes that “kids learn best by ‘seeing’ the real world.” They have created this site with that belief in mind. Neo K12 has cataloged the best free online educational videos from the Internet in one place. Each video is watched and reviewed by k-12 educators to ensure their accuracy and appropriateness for students. Subjects include physical science, life science, human body, earth and space, social studies, math, English (including phonics, stories, and grammar), and fun videos such as time lapse, slow motion, arts and crafts, learn magic, music lessons, and sports lessons. In addition to videos, Neo K12 has Web 2.0 tools. The School Presentation tool is a mashup of Flickr and Wikipedia, and allows users to create and share presentations online. To create a presentation, students choose pictures for their presentation from Flickr, read and article about the subject from Wikipedia, and then add text to their presentation. When the presentation is finished, it can be printed or viewed online as a slideshow. Quizzes, games, and puzzles on Neo K12 are an interactive way to improve learning. Teachers can create and share videos playlists complete with notes and instructions for their students.
How to integrate Neo K12 into the classroom: Videos provide excellent opportunities for learning, they make it possible for kids to visualize and build a model in their minds. This helps them to better understand key concepts and can stimulate curiosity in a subject. When students or teachers search a subject, they are given a list of related videos, quizzes, games, and puzzles. When a teacher creates an account, they can create a complete assignment within Neo K12 that includes instructions and notes for the students. Students can complete the assignment by watching videos, playing related games and creating a School Presentation that shows understanding. The presentations are easy enough for even young students to create. Primary students can skip reading the Wikipedia article and just choose pictures and add some captions about facts they learned from a video they viewed. These videos are a great way to introduce new learning, expand on previous learning, or to spark curiosity in a topic.
Many of the educational games and puzzles would be great for an interactive whiteboard as whole class activities. They could, of course, also be used as classroom center activities, or completed individually in the computer lab. The jigsaw puzzles can be used as teasers to introduce a new topic. The jigsaw puzzles use incredible images from Flickr. Have students take turns coming up to the interactive whiteboard to put puzzle pieces together. Students waiting at their seats can take guesses about what new learning you will be doing in class.
Tips: Create a free Neo K12 account, you will receive a dashboard where you can store videos, games, presentations, quizzes, and add notes and instructions. You get a unique URL for your dashboard to share.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Neo K12 in your classroom.