Saturday, December 18, 2010

Interactive Science/Math, from the University of California, is an online collection of thousands of hands-on interactive science and math activities dedicated to making learning exciting and engaging for everyone. All activities are freely accessible., funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the National Science Digital Library, brings together a consortium of science museums across the country to empower educators working with students in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Skype for the Classroom

Skype is developing a free online directory to make it easy for teachers to connect with other teachers and resources from around the world. The directory will launch in December 2010 in English only. Once you sign up with your Skype account and create a profile, you'll be able to search for other teachers and classes by subject and region. You can also share inspiration and tips to help students learn with Skype. The beta version is available for investigation now at the Skype pre-registration site.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Timetree of Life

The Timetree of Life contains electronic files of articles and figures from the book The Timetree of Life (2009), Oxford University Press, and a wall poster. These resources are copyrighted but are provided free for personal, research, or educational use.

TimeTree is a public knowledge-base for information on the evolutionary timescale of life. A search utility allows exploration of the thousands of divergence times among organisms in the published literature. A tree-based (hierarchical) system is used to identify all published molecular time estimates bearing on the divergence of two chosen taxa, such as species, compute summary statistics, and present the results. Check out the "resources" section, too, for links to other sites that focus on evolutionary history.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Web Video & Innovation

TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010


TweetDeck is a personal real-time browser, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Buzz and more. The download is free. You can also sign up for a TweetDeck account, which allows you to add columns and Twitter Lists straight from the TweetDeck Directory, as well as rate and comment on all the lists you find. You can also participate in the TweetDeck Support Forums and you can use your TweetDeck Account to synchronise your TweetDeck groups and searches too.

The edtech blog, Teacher ReBoot Camp, offers several useful tips (July 10,2010 entry):
- You can add more than one account to Tweetdeck such as your LinkedIn or Facebook account. Click on the ones you want to update your status on and they will be highlighted. A separate column will show you the updates in these accounts. Choose which to be your default browser to change the account.
- By clicking on the person’s profile picture you have several more options, such as replying to all members in a tweet, favoriting the tweet, blocking them and more!
- You can add to your settings to automatically tweet with a hashtag or include hashtags when you reply to a person.
- You can automatically shorten links, upload videos and images by dragging and dropping them into the status bar at the top.
- If you get the small screen notifications then you can reply quickly by clicking those tiny windows. In the settings, you can set them not to show up.
- With the newest version you can set tweets to tweet later! If you know you will be somewhere with no wifi you can still participate in a discussion or tweet resources!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blogging Tips

Tech Standards

The ISTE National Technology Standards for Students say that we should be preparing students so they can effectively use technology tools and demonstrate…
1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Communication & Collaboration
3. Research and Information Fluency
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
5. Digital Citizenship
6. Technology Operations & Concepts

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jeopardy Labs

JeopardyLabs allows you to create a customized jeopardy template without PowerPoint. The games you make can be played online from anywhere in the world. You can build your own jeopardy templates or browse other jeopardy templates created by other people. It's free, without login requirements.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Science Buddies

Looking for information about a hypothesis or chromotography? Or maybe the scientific method or how to build a wind tunnel? The Science Buddies website is full of reference materials and Project Ideas, particularly for free science fair ideas. There are:

  • Over 900 Project Ideas to choose from.
  • The Topic Selection Wizard will recommend a science fair project idea that is just right for a class/student.
  • The Science Fair Project Ideas Directory lets you browse through a list of all the site's science fair project ideas organized by area of science.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making Tracks Challenge

Making Tracks Challenge provides downloadable nature guides and species lists for hiking trails throughout the United States. It offers resources for students to make their own educational nature trails on school grounds or in nearby communities and the site will automatically generate an illustrated field guide for their site. It has more than 2,000 species in the database already but users are encouraged to suggest additions. There are also inquiry-based trail activities and short nature films.

Monday, April 19, 2010

MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare is a collection of over 1,800 college-level class materials offered at no-cost to the public. Upgrade your knowledge and skills by studying the lecture notes, completing assignments, reading study guides, and watching lecture recordings. All classes are available through the official Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare website.

The courses are designed for learning independently; learners do not have access to professors and cannot earn credit. The collection is organized by category and by class format. If you search in Audio/Video, you will find recordings of entire lecture series. Pre-college students may be interested in the "Highlights for High School" section, with AP and college prep resources.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Kidblog is designed for elementary and middle school and it's free and simple to set up. Teachers will notice the ease of creating and maintaining blogs if they have tried other blogging platforms like Blogger or Wordpress, which are not always easy for younger students. Kidblog
allows students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.

For some extra fun, students who like to add images to their blog might want to try Speechable. This free online tool let’s them upload images and add speech bubbles to them.

Photo: Screenshot of a fifth grader's blog, courtesy of teacher Lee Kolbert, Florida.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

High-Tech Nature/Science

Science and Nature magazines will co-launch an open-access, online-only journal in April 2010. The name of the Journal is being decided by text-message vote by the public. Preprints will be posted on a special social networking Web site where scientists registered in the newly created Faculty of a Million can vote for acceptance by pressing a "Like" thumbs-up button or reject the paper by pressing a “Dislike” button. Another innovation will be a ground-breaking iPad application that will allow scientists to view charts, images, and figures in 3-D. And readers will have the option of Skyping authors directly simply by clicking that author's name. (Magazine cover in the photo is a draft.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Internet Bird Collection

The Internet Bird Collection (IBC) is a non-profit endeavour with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge about the world's avifauna. It is an on-line audiovisual library of the world's birds that is available to the general public free of charge. The online collection consists of over 40,000 videos, about 20,000 photos, and almost 5,000 bird sound recordings.
Photo: Horned Sungem (Heliactin bilopha) by Ciro Albano

GEON Mentors

Why not invite a geneticist to visit your classroom? You can search the Genetics Education Outreach Network (GEON) to find a genetics professional in your area. GEON members include scientists, clinicians and counselors who are eager to work with K-12 students and teachers.

Nearly 650 members of the genetics scientific and counseling community have volunteered to be a part of this unique resource for K-12 students and teachers. These human genetics professionals and advocates volunteer their time on National DNA Day as well as throughout the year to assist science teachers in increasing understanding and awareness of the Human Genome Project and genetics among students and the general public.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Zine the Science

Imagine a mini-magaZine you make yourself. Now make it smaller – from a single 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper to make an 8 page booklet that fits in the palm of your hand. You'll be amazed how much entertaining science can be packed into a zine and shared with the world! After three rounds of reading, laughing, and learning a lot of science, a panel of six judges selected the winners of the Year of Science 2009 Science Zine contest –a contest sponsored by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) and the Small Science Collective. More than 250 submissions were received from all over the world. The contest grand prize winner was Chen Dou (age group 13-17) from Gaithersburg, MD with the zine “Meeting a Giant Octopus.”

Want to start a zine project at your school? The basic steps are:
1. Choose a topic/theme.
2. Design it! (here's a template)
3. Fold it! (easy instructions)
4. (Optional) Combine the zine with technology. Because these are standard one-page works, they are easy to post to the class blog or wiki. Or, use the zine as a prep for a digital story project using applications such as iMovie.

Examples of student-made zines can be found on the Small Science blog.

SPILL: Learning by Avatar

SPILL is a Business Simulation that takes place in a 3D world that teaches students how to apply business skills to environmental remediation. In the 3D city there has been an oil spill. Students design avatars and collaborate in teams inside the Virtual World to apply business skills, learn, clean up the spill, and win. Underwritten by Deloitte and provided to teachers at no cost, this new curriculum uses videogames and avatars as futuristic teaching tools in the classroom. Log into the Deloitte Virtual Team Challenge to use this game and win cash prizes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

AIBS Webinar Series

In January 2010, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) launched a series of
webinars, under the banner of Practice What You Teach. The series is a joint effort of AIBS, NABT, UCMP, and IBP to support the community of educators teaching introductory biology. Each webinar will offer information about an exceptional teaching resource or pedagogical technique and provide the opportunity to interact with resource providers and your colleagues about successful teaching strategies. Webinars will be offered once a month throughout 2010, each lasting from 60 to 90 minutes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Citing Electronic Resources

Citing an Internet resource is almost the same as citing a book or periodical. There are different rules for different types of citations, depending on whether you follow the MLA, APA, CSE guidelines or other authoritative style manual. Electronic resources vary, e.g., web pages, live chat, listserves, etc. and each type is cited differently. What they all have in common is that your citation must provide the date you accessed the information.

Some useful sources for electronic citation formats:

- APA Citations Electronic Media-Internet

- MLA Citation Style

- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Documenting Sources

- A Research Guide for Students

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vidque: Video Curator

Vidque aims to help users curate their own collections of the best videos available on the Internet. You can grab videos from sites such as YouTube and TED and put into your own collections.

Vidque is different from other video collection services such as VodPod in that it tracks your video preferences to help you find more videos. You can also follow other users, share videos, and rank videos. As such it's very much like a video bookmarking application.