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Ology

  What it is:  Ology is an outstanding free website from the American Museum of Natural History where students can learn about archaeology, astronomy, biodiversity, earth, Einstein, genetics, marine biology, water, and paleontology.  The site is user friendly for kids and has an attractive interface that students will enjoy.  Each subject has polls, inside stories on the subject, experiments, book lists of related books, interactive games and activities, “make it” ideas, interviews, a snapshot of scientists at work, and more.     How to integrate Ology into the classroom:   I like to uses sites like Ology for scavenger hunts.  I give students a list of facts that I want them to find while exploring the website and have them take part in a virtual scavenger hunt following the clues.  Activities like this build research skills.  This is a great site for using in any science class.  The online reading is wonderful and the suggestion for books related to the subject is a nice addition.  Students can explore the site during science and share what they learn with the class.  The experiments and make it ideas would be fun to learn about and create as a class.  Ology is an excellent addition to any science class!   Tips: Does your school hold an annual science fair?  Share this site with parents for suggestion of science experiments and as a launching point.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Ology in your classroom.

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Codecademy: Learn how to code

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Create, Interactive book, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Technology, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 05-01-2012

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What it is:  Codecademy makes learning to code a snap.  It is an interactive, fun way to learn coding one step at a time.  The site will prepare students to program websites, games and apps.  Learn independently or with friends, keeping track of their progress and comparing it with yours.  Students can track and share their progress to see how much they have learned and to stay motivated.  The platform could not be simpler to use and after just a few lessons…I’m starting to really understand and get the hang of programming.  I think that is pretty impressive considering that I have never had a lesson before now (not entirely true, a few years ago I went through the learn C in 24 hours course…I could follow along but didn’t really understand what I was doing.)!
How to integrate Codecademy into the classroom: With the popularity of apps, I have students who are just itching to learn how to program.  It is great to see boys and girls of all ages excited about learning how to code.  Codecademy is something that you can use to learn right along with your students.  You don’t have to be the expert because Codecademy guides everyone step-by-step through lessons and lets everyone move at a pace that is comfortable to them.  If your students can read, they can learn to code with Codecademy.  Today, a fourth grader at Anastasis started going through Codecademy lessons and quickly surpassed me.  His excitement was evident as he figured out variables in lines of code, how to set off an alert or command.  What I love about using Codecademy as a class or school is that students can work together, encourage and challenge each other.  When students hit certain lessons, they unlock new badges to display.
Codeacademy’s obvious use is to learn how to code.  For students who are passionate about gaming, websites, and programming this is a great sandbox to learn in.  Students get immediate feedback about the code they are writing.  Start a class club where students learn how to code together.  Use some time each week to learn to code with students, you could set the goal of learning to code together over the course of the year.
Codecademy is great for students who are reluctant to read but love technology.  This reading is for a purpose and students love it!  With Codecademy, getting an online education has never been so much fun!
Tips: Codecademy has created a new site called Code Year.  Make your New Year’s resolution to learn to code and sign up for Code Year.  Each week, you will get a new interactive lesson delivered to you via email.  By the end of the year you (or your students) will be lean, mean coding machines!  So cool!  I’m taking the challenge with several interested students and am looking forward to learning something new this year!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Code Year in  your classroom!

Comments (3)

LOVE THIS! I know HTML but have always wanted to learn other code. My son just learned Java in HS and he wants to learn C now. Great resource! Thanks for sharing!

Love it! Needed this site back in 1996–when I was learning HTML! Great tool to teach kids behind the scene web activity and start creating cool sites.

Thanks

Love your tips on integrating it into the classroom. There’s really a lot of room for improvement in teaching computer skills, especially programming, in the classroom and I hope teachers put this to good use.

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