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National Geographic Image Collection

What it is: National Geographic is known for their poignant images.  Now, those images can be viewed online in the National Geographic Image Collection.  There are more than 11 million images that chronicle the world from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century.  Students can also view the history of photography from daguerreotypes to digital through an interactive time line. The image collection includes images related to exploration, wild life, people and cultures, and science and climate change. How to integrate National Geographic Image Collection into the classroom: The National Geographic Image Collection is an impressive set of images from around the world.  The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” proves to be true.  These images are indeed worth a thousand words or more.  Use these images to help you tell the story of our world as you teach students about history, science, wild life, and world culture.  These images will help to connect your students with learning in ways that a textbook can’t.  Use the Image Collection for creative writing prompts.  Allow your students to choose an image from the collection to tell a story about.  The interactive time line can be used to  teach students about the history of photography. Tips: I learned about this site from a Tweet by @McTeach a few weeks ago on Twitter, thanks Karen! Leave a comment and share how you are using National Geographic Image Collection in your classroom.

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DIY: a maker site for kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Art, Character Education, Create, iPod, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-03-2013

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What it is: I LOVE everything about this site.  It truly embodies everything I love about learning and technology.  DIY is an online club for kids to earn maker skills.  Kids (otherwise known as Makers) share their creations and work with a larger online community and collect patches for the skills they learn.  Each skill has a set of challenges that help kids learn different techniques and create something fantastic.  When a child completes a maker challenge, they can add photos and video to their online portfolio to show off their creation.  DIY is a website where kids get a public portfolio, an app that they can use to upload videos and pictures of their projects, makers can choose to do challenges to earn “Skills” badges, and a parent dashboard where teachers or parents can follow along on all activity.

Maker identities are always secure, children are asked to choose an animal and a nickname to help protect their privacy. Parents get access to see what their kids are posting online.

I love that this site encourages creativity, reflective portfolios and using technology constructively.  It is an outstanding balance of online and offline activity!

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How to integrate DIY into the classroom: At Anastasis, we strive to encourage a maker community.  We do have a 1:1 iPad environment.  For many, this equates to a technology rich environment (it is) where everything is done or consumed on a device.  I can think of nothing sadder than reducing learning to a device!  We most often use our technology to capture and share our learning.  DIY is a fantastic site that makes way for kids to be curious about the world around them, create something new and use technology to innovate.

DIY is a great place to help students discover the love and joy of being a learner and a creator.  It fosters a classroom culture of innovation and sharing of learning and accomplishment.  So many of the challenges incorporate learning that support standards and other learning that is “required” in the classroom.  These challenges would be great to take on as individual makers, in small groups of makers, or to tackle as a whole class.  Don’t think of DIY as an “extra” thing to add into your classroom routine.  Instead, look through the challenges through the lens of how it can enhance the learning objectives in your classroom.  Embrace the maker culture in your classroom and allow room for creativity and innovation.  The inquiry model of learning lends itself beautifully toward this.  DIY could be the catalyst to making the shift away from more traditional learning and into an inquiry based model.

Tips: Instead of assigning “traditional” homework (read: piles of worksheets), assign a challenge from the DIY site.  Better yet, let students choose their own challenge to tackle and make time in the classroom for them to share their creations and accomplishments.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  DIY in your classroom.

Comments (1)

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

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