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Jump Start 3-D

  What it is:   I got the tip off for Jump Start 3-D from a tweet by Kevin Jarrett (@kjarrett) the other night and have been having a great time exploring ever since.  Jump Start is the popular software title that makes educational home and school software for pre-k through 2nd grade.  Jump Start 3-D is a highly interactive virtual world for kids.  Each location within the Jump Start 3-D world offers fun learning adventures focused on math, reading, and critical thinking skills.  Students start out by creating a character avitar that represents them in the virtual world.  Registration is free on Jump Start 3-D for access to the basic world.  Membership for $7.99/ month has the added benefit of new games and activities added monthly, grows with students (as they get better at the games, new more challenging games are added).  I was very impressed with the free version!     How to integrate Jump Start 3-D into the classroom:  Jump Start 3-D is really geared toward home use, however, I think it would make a great center in the one or two computer classroom.  The site is an awesome way to familiarize students with computer skills like mouse manipulation, clicking links, using arrow keys, etc.  As the students are playing in the virtual world they will also be building reading, math, and critical thinking skills…just what they need for a great 21st century literacy base.     Tips:   Even if you don’t have room in your curriculum for the Jump Start 3-D virtual world in your classroom, be sure to let parents know about this fun site.  It is a great alternative to other video games that students may be playing at home because of all the learning skills packed in.  This site is highly interactive including video clips, highly interactive games, and sounds.  You will need a high speed connection for this site.  Jump Start 3-D does require an Internet plugin called Utility Web Player.dmg.  The install is very simple and fast directly from the Jump Start website. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Jump Start 3-D in your classroom.

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International Childrens Digital Library

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Foreign Language, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 30-12-2008

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What it is:  The International Childrens Digital Library (also known as ICDL) is an online digital library for children of all ages.  The mission of ICDL is to “ excite and inspire the world’s children to become members of the global community – children who understand the value of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online.”  When students visit the ICDL website they are brought to a simple search area where they can choose different options for finding a book.  They can narrow down results by age (3-13), fiction or non-fiction, book length, award winners, language, picture or chapter books, subject matter, and even what colors that cover has in it.  When students choose a book they can read the book in its entirety online.  I learned about this site in the iTunes store, they have a free iPod Touch and iPhone application for downloading books from the ICDL in addition to their online content.  So neat!


How to integrate ICDL into the classroom:   The ICDL website reminds me a lot of LookyBook.  The search options are extremely user friendly and allow even the youngest readers to find a book they are sure to love.  Students can register for the library (free) and then leave an online review of the book.  I like the idea of digital libraries for students because it opens up a number of books to them that they may not otherwise have access to.  If a story is started during school, students can finish the story when they get home from any Internet connected computer.  The ICDL is nice for reading groups.  All students can be reading the same book from school and from home without setting aside a large budget for group sets.  The search is a wonderful way for students to discover what types of literature they enjoy.  Many of the books featured are from different cultures and languages, these would be perfect to bring into a foreign language classroom.  ICDL books provide a fun way for students to gain global awareness.  Books in other languages could also be used as a starting point for student created stories.  Students can do picture walks through the online books and then compose their own story to accompany the pictures.  ICDL is a great way to read with the whole class.  Connect your computer with a projector and students can read the story along with you, everyone will be able to see the pictures as you discuss the story!  


Tips:  One thing that I really appreciate about ICDL is the ability to view the books full screen and zoom in and out of the pages.  The site is easy to navigate and this feature makes it even more user friendly.  


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

Comments (1)

Thank you for your tireless blogging. I have been more inspired by your website than any other this year, and I visit a great deal of websites. I feel indebted to you and look forward to your new posts. You have contributed a great deal to the lives of my students and other teachers in our district as a result of what you regularly share. Please keep posting and thank you!

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