Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sites from Edutopia

If you've never seen Edutopia magazine (published by the George Lucas Foundation) I suggest you add it to your 'must read' list. It has a lot of useful ideas and thoughtful articles defining what works in public education. One column is 'Head of Class>Hot Stuff' which has great new websites to explore:

Woogi World: http://www.woogiworld.com/ Free for kids; $7 per month for "Honors Program"

Combining a virtual game with school standards, the world of the Woogi teaches children in grades K-6 responsible uses of the Internet while also promoting cooperative behavior offline and encouraging students to enhance their reading capabilities. Educational online games reinforce other classroom skills, while offline activities promote community involvement and family time.

Europeana: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/

Coming soon to a laptop near you: Vast treasures from more than 1,000 manuscripts, as well as museums, libraries, archives, and film and sound materials from 27 European nations. From the Magna Carta to music scores by Mozart, Europeana seems to be the European Commission's answer to Google's ambitious venture (along with the Library of Congress) to create a World Digital library. The site offers multilingual searching and plans to have ten million items by 2010. A prototype version with two million items went live last November, got swamped by users, promptly crashed, and is now up and running again with quadruple the server capacity. Stay tuned for the full-blown site.

Poe Revealed 1809-2009 http://www.poe200th.com/

Celebrate the master of the macabre's 200th birthday with help from this site. Students can watch an animated version of The Tell Tale Heart, solve the mystery of how Poe died, read an overview of his life, take a fact-or-fiction quiz, and compete in a writing competition (deadline May 8). The site also offers teachers information about Poe's life and writing technique, suggested readings, and a classroom-activity packet.

Classroom Earth http://www.classroomearth.org/

Delivering activities and resources for six high school subject areas and 14 topics, this online resource from the National Environmental Education Foundation in partnership with the Weather Channel helps teachers incorporate environmental content into lesson plans for language arts, math, science, social studies, and more. Educators can also learn about professional-development opportunities and find relevant grant information.

This article was also published in the April 2009 issue of Edutopia magazine under the headline "Hot Stuff".