Friday, August 27, 2010

Resource of the Week - Tikatok

Tikatok is a site where children can write, illustrate and publish their own storybooks. Children may create three types of stories: personalized stories (using their names and pictures), StorySparks (using writing prompts to spark ideas), or students may write their stories from scratch. All stories allow the writers to illustrate their books using pictures from the gallery or their own uploaded photos or drawings. Books may be created and shared for free and may be published (hardcover, paperback, or e-book format) for a fee.

Free teacher accounts are available with the Tikatok Classroom Program, allowing teachers to view and edit student work, encourage collaboration, and track each student's progress.

For more resources like this, please be sure to check out the eLIS Digital Resources Collection.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Resource of the Week - Conservation Central

Conservation Central is a habitat educational program designed to teach children in grades 5-8 about the temperate forest and biodiversity. The program features a middle school curriculum with lesson plans, alignments to national standards, and online activities designed to supplement the curriculum. The online activities, including, Design a Panda Habitat, Habitat Adventure: Panda Challenge, and A Walk in the Forest, may also be used as standalone activities.

In Design a Panda Habitat, students learn how to design a habitat that meets the needs of the pandas, zoo staff, and visitors. Students may choose trees/plants, water features, climate control, food, items for enrichment, and research/observation tools. Helpful tips are available and, upon completion, the pandas will explore their new habitat.

In Habitat Adventure: Panda Challenge, students learn how to protect giant pandas by protecting their habitat. Students accompany a researcher in a fictional Chinese nature preserve and learn about making observations, identifying core areas, the healthy balance between carnivores and herbivores, creating habitat corridors, and helping the local community.

A Walk in the Forest leads students on several virtual nature walks through a fictional Virginia forest. Available walks currently include Dirt Detectives: Trees & Soils, Forest Layers, I.D. a Tree, Observing Seasonal Changes, Mapping Forest Changes, and Using Amphibians as Indicators. Each walk teaches students about the temperate forest and encourages them to make observations using the same tools and methodologies that scientists use when monitoring biodiversity.

Additionally, Conservation Central features Family Learning Activities designed to help students and their families explore the world around them.

For more resources like this, be sure to check out the eLIS Digital Resources Collection.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Resource of the Week - Wordia

Wordia is an online dictionary that provides the spelling, meaning, and etymology of the word and encourages members of the community to make personal connections to the words through video. An example may be found below in Wordia's Word of the Day for June 18, 2010:

In addition to the public version of Wordia, a school version is available, providing a private destination for students and teachers. Wordia Schools allows students to explore vocabulary and contribute their own personal thoughts and reflections on the meaning of a word through video. Wordia Schools allows words to be broken down in to subject area, theme, and keywords; lesson plans and assessment tools are forthcoming.

All videos uploaded to Wordia Schools are moderated and are not published to the public Wordia site. Teachers may decide if their videos are to be shared with one class, the whole school, or the entire Wordia Schools network.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Resource of the Week - Admongo

Admongo is an educational game designed to teach children how to recognize and understand advertisements. Students journey through a game world where they overcome obstacles, collect coins, and solve challenges designed to teach them about advertisement. Throughout the game students learn how to answer three important questions:
  • Who is responsible for the ad?
  • What is the ad actually saying?
  • What does the ad want me to do?
Additionally, a free advertising literacy curriculum designed for 5th and 6th grade classrooms is available. The curriculum contains lesson plans, worksheets, classroom resources, and handouts. Teacher training videos are forthcoming. Admongo also includes areas for both parents and teachers as well as a Text Version (containing all of the information learned in the game), a Glossary and an Ad Library.