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Secret Builders

  What it is:  You have undoubtedly heard of virtual world Second Life and its growing popularity in the education realm.  Second life has some amazing educational opportunities for older students (students must be 13 years or older to have an account) but nothing for the elementary age student.  Enter Secret Builders, an enchanting virtual world designed specifically for elementary age children.  Virtual worlds like this are highly engaging for all ages and allow students to interact with each other in new ways.  Secret Builders can be used to supplement different topics including literature, arts, science, and humanities.  One of my favorite features, is the ability for students to interact with historical figures like Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland, Galileo, and more!  Students can visit these historical figures homes and ask them questions.  There is a magazine in Secret Builders called The Crooked Pencil where students can submit writing to be published.  There are learning games to play that, like Free Rice, donate to a charitable cause for correct answers.  Students build up points by completing quests and can use the points to purchase things in Secret Builders.     How to integrate Secret Builders into the classroom:   Secret Builders is a really neat site, students will love the online world and ability to connect with other students online.  Secret Builders is more than just a ‘game’ sort of site though, there is a lot of learning to be done here!  Students can build netiquette skills, computer skills, and learn about humanities, arts and literature all in Secret Builders.  Students can write stories in Writers Block, go on a quest which requires logic skills and weaves in arts and humanities, perform a play in the Theater, solve puzzles, and interact with others.   This is a really neat alternative to worksheets and traditional story writing.  I think that the opportunity for students to interact with historical figures and tour their virtual home is fantastic!  I hope that they continue to add historical figures, I would have loved this sort of history environment! The ability for students to play games and earn real money for charities is a wonderful motivator for students and great for building character education.   Tips:   Secret Builders encourages student and teacher suggestions, if you have an idea, let them know…you may just add the next cool feature to the Secret Builders world!  Take a look at the Teacher page for some great classroom tie-ins and features.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Secret Builders in your classroom.

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Safe Surfing with Dongle

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Internet Safety, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 22-01-2008

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What it is: There is no such thing as too much emphasis on Internet safety. Safe Surfing with Dongle is another game to help kids learn the rules of Internet safety. This fun site teaches kids Internet safety through an interactive movie/game. Students learn safety tips on emails, chatting, playing games, and having fun online.

How to integrate Safe Surfing with Dongle into the classroom: Safe Surfing with Dongle can be played individually in a computer lab setting, in partners in the one or two computer classroom, or as a whole class using a projector. If you are playing as a class you might split the class into teams and alternate which team gets to answer each question. This game would be great to use at the beginning of the year as an introduction to Internet safety and throughout the year for review of online safety rules.

Tips: Create a bookmark to this site for quick easy access.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Safe Surfing with Dongle in your classroom.

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