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Wikipedia School

  What it is:  Wikipedia is often the first place students head when faced with a research project.  While Wikipedia can be an excellent resource, content can be vandalized and is not always student appropriate.  Wikipedia School is a free, hand checked, non-commercial selection from Wikipedia.  It has about 5500 articles and is the volume of a twenty volume encyclopedia.  It will fit on a DVD and can be downloaded for free thanks to the SOS Children’s Villages website.  Topics were chosen that would be of interest to students and in accordance with the UK National Curriculum (but are appropriate for any English speaking country).     How to integrate Wikipedia School into the classroom:  Wikipedia School is a nice alternative to using the Wikipedia website in a school environment.  The ability to download Wikipedia School to DVD means that it can be used on computers that don’t have Internet access.  Students can search freely and you will have the peace of mind knowing that with Wikipedia School, students won’t stumble on inappropriate content.  Subjects for search include: art, business studies, citizenship, countries, design and technology, every day life, geography, history, information technology, language and literature, mathematics, music, people, portals, religion, and science.  There is an outstanding selection of articles and pictures for each subject!   Tips:  Wikipedia School can be accessed online or offline when downloaded.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Wikipedia School in your classroom.

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Science of Everyday Life

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Technology, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 16-05-2013

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What it is:
Discovery Education and 3M have partnered to bring the science of everyday life into your classroom.  This fantastic collection of resources is for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  On the site you will find videos and interactives that help kids learn about the science around them and make connections to what they are learning in school.  Lessons are inquiry based and encourage exploration in life science, physical science, earth science and technology/innovation.  Virtual labs are interactive flash-based labs where students can discover more about science like wind energy.  At the Innovation HQ portion of the site, students can travel through time and look at innovations that they use in their every day life and “meet” 3M scientists. On the Student page, students can see a young inventors hall of fame.

How to integrate Science of Everyday Life into the classroom:  The Science of Everyday Life is packed FULL of great videos, lesson ideas, virtual interactives and student activities.  I really appreciate that the approach to lessons is inquiry based!  The lessons include great resources and encourage students to ask questions and dig deeper.  The virtual investigations and labs are also really well done.

Content is separated out by grade level, quickly find exactly what best fits your classroom needs!

The travel through time feature is really neat for students to explore.  This could be done as a class using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard or used as a center exploration or individual activity in a 1:1 or lab setting.  Split students into smaller teams or have them explore a specific time period independently.  The timeline gives some basic information, and would be a great launching point for further investigation.  Students could turn this into a larger project where they connect the innovation from history with innovations today.  What learning had to take place in the past, in order for the innovation that we have today?  This would make a great compare/contrast activity for students.

Because Discovery Education is involved, you can anticipate high quality videos and related resources.

Tips:  The resources and interactives on the Science of Everyday Life are largely Java and Flash based.  If you are running these resources off an iPad, you will want to use an app like Rover (which allows you to view Flash), Photon, iSwifter, etc.

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Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Science of Everyday Life in your classroom.

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