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ARKive

  What it is:  ARKive is an incredible website that I learned about from a tweet on Twitter (forgive me I was in the middle of class and didn’t keep track of who- thank you whoever you are!)  ARKive tag line is “images of life on Earth”, but ARKive is so much more than just a collection of images, it has thousands of videos, images and facts about the world’s species.  This is the digital version of Noah’s Ark!  This is the most impressive animal and life website I have seen!  I truly can’t say enough about this site, students of all ages will enjoy this one (I’m talking k-12 here!)  ARKive has an education section of the site that is a free multi-media educational resources complete with downloadable, ready to use audio/visual modules on a wide range of science, geography, citizenship, and environmental based topics.  ARKive also has some great games for students to play that are directly related to the lessons they learn while on the ARKive site.  Games range from building a habitat to word searches and digital fridge poetry. How to integrate ARKive into the classroom:    ARKive’s ready made educational resources make it simple to integrate into your science, geography, or general classes.  The resources are ready made PowerPoint presentations (which incidentally also open nicely in Keynote which we use).  The resources bring learning to life with images, videos, facts, and some interactive pieces.  This is what textbooks should be!  ARKive’s ready made resources can be downloaded on classroom computers for use by small learning groups as a center, downloaded to a lab of computers for individual student exploration, or used with a projector and an interactive whiteboard for whole class learning and exploration.  The ARKive site itself is a wonderful place for students to explore and learn more about animal species and life on Earth.  This would be a great place for students to collect information, images, and video to create their own presentations.  The games provided on the ARKive site are fun for students and teach them as they play.  For example, students who are studying habitat can play the Design a Habitat game and gain an additional opportunity to interact with the concepts they are learning.  Older students can dig into the facts provided on ARKive and learn about animal classification and species of the world.  ARKive images could be used in the language arts classroom as a story starter or creative writing prompt.     Tips:  This is truly an incredible site, I encourage you to take a look at it and use it with your class!  (Click on the education link at the bottom of the site for the Resources and Games.)    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using ARKive  in your classroom.

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Atlantis Remixed: Inquiry based virtual world

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Character Education, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Interactive book, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 15-04-2013

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What it is: Atlantis Remixed is a great interactive virtual world that supports students and teachers in conducting rich, inquiry-based explorations during which students learn standards related content and develop pro-social attitudes regarding environmental and social issues.  More than just making learning fun, project Atlantis Remixed aims to help kids realize that they can make a real difference in the world.  Atlantis Remixed is really a combination of education, entertainment/gaming and social action.  The game environment has been designed to support students in social commitment and real-world action.  Atlantis Remixed was created for children ages 9-16 to engage in transformational play in both online and offline learning activities.  The storyline in the online activities inspires students toward social action.

Atlantis Remixed is a combination of a 3D multi-user virtual environment, learning quests and unit plans, a storyline (presented through an introductory video, novel and comic book), a global community of participants, and a narrative programming toolkit that kids can use to remix user-created stories.  The storyline helps bridge the virtual, fictional, world of Atlantis with the real-world.  Students can travel to virtual places to perform authentic activities (Quests), talk with other students from around the world, build virtual characters and professions, and demonstrate learning through multi-media portfolios.  The platform is transdisciplinary including math, science and literacy. Students are sent on virtual social missions that reflect global ideals such as social responsibility, compassionate wisdom, creative expression, diversity affirmation, environmental awareness, healthy communities, and personal agency.

How to integrate Atlantis Remixed into the classroom: Atlantis Remixed has full units ready to use. Each unit is aligned to standards, inquiry based and meets multiple domains of learning. A single water-quality unit puts students in role of scientists hired by a national park, to come to the forest to help explain fish decline in the area.  Students interact with virtual park rangers, loggers, fishermen and indigenous people and discover multiple perspectives.  After decisions have been made, students can log back in and see the impact of their decisions.  They can reflect on the consequences (and unintended consequences) of their decisions, and make changes as needed.

In addition to the virtual component, there is guided offline learning that can take place including discussions and in class activities.  Teachers can modify curriculum to fit their own classroom needs.

Units include: Taiga- a water quality unit, Virtual Mesa Verde- a social studies unit, Plague World- a persuasive writing unit, Ander City- a statistics unit, Spacenik- a planetary science unit, Biological Indicators Mission, Rights & Responsibility Mission, Two Cells-One World Mission, and Diversity Mission.  You can look at a snapshot of any of these missions to learn more about it.

Think about the added components you could layer on Atlantis Remixed Quests and missions.  Are your students practicing writing business letters?  Who could they write to in the virtual world or real world?  Are your students learning how to use a new tech tool?  What tie-in is there to the inquiry?  How can you integrate other learning and customize the Atlantis Remixed environment to best fit your needs?

Tips: On the Educators Page, you can choose to login to the 2D gateway without logging into the 3D world.

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

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

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