Monday Morning Roundup #4

Another week gone by – another Monday Morning Roundup of useful educational resources.

1. Gooru – If you are a math or science teacher, check out this site immediately! It is still in its “beta” phase, so changes are occurring to the site all the time, but it’s pretty cool all the same.  Gooru allows users, whether teachers or students, to search for study guides that cover 5th-12th grade math and science.  Those study guides include digital textbooks, animations, instructor videos, quizzes, etc.  This site is very helpful for those wanting to flip a lesson or unit.  Because this site is still in its early stages, they are open to feedback from users, so feel free to email them with comments or questions.  Fair Warning: The site is not the easiest to navigate right now, but I think it’s probably worth the effort and hopefully it will improve over time.  The site is FREE.

2. WatchKnowLearn – WatchKnowLearn is a website that features educational videos that are organized and searchable.  The site includes thousands of videos organized by content area and further broken down into subcategories.  You can also search for videos by the students’ ages.  The videos included are anywhere from one-minute long to 45-minutes or longer and come from a variety of sources.  The site is FREE.

3. iRubric – I’ve written about rubrics and their importance in a previous post, so I definitely wanted to mention this site.  iRubric is an easy way to develop and share rubrics, making the job of assessment a little easier.  There’s a searchable bank of over 200,000 rubrics already on the site that you can adopt completely or edit, but you can also make your own from scratch.  The site is FREE.

4. AwesomeStories – Apparently, this site has been around since the late 1990s, but I’d never heard of it before now.  The site is a kind of hub for primary source material. Instead of just linking to a primary document, however, the site places those primary documents within a larger story, often with videos and images, giving the primary source context.  The site’s creators believe that this makes it more interesting for the reader and more likely that the reader will actually read the primary document in its entirety.  The site is organized into different categories like biography, famous trials, history, philosophy, sports, and the arts. All these categories are searchable and broken down into further subcategories. The site is FREE.

5. Doceri – In a previous Monday Morning Roundup, I talked about how you can use your iPad to control your desktop computer and project what’s on your iPad to the SmartBoard.  Doceri Desktop seems to be amongst the favorite products to do this.  A single license is $30.

6. Google Lit Trips – Google Lit Trips are along the same lines as Meograph, which I mentioned in a previous post.  The site uses Google Earth to “map” out a story from literature.  Each major point in the story is marked with a pin, and pop-up windows with information, photographs, and questions for discussion appear.  The works of literature included are divided into K-5, 6-8, and high school.  There’s a variety on the site right now, including Homer’s The Odyssey and Night by Elie Wiesel.  There’s also a “suggestion box” that you can use to ask for a title that’s not yet on the site.  Downloading the files is FREE.

7. TimeMaps – The TimeMap of World History is an online atlas that covers world history from 3500 BC to 2005 AD.  The site combines maps with a timeline and brief narration.  You can click on any map to get a closer view of a given area of the world, which then includes more narration.  There’s also timeline maps by topic such as the Maya, Ancient Egypt, and the Enlightenment.  This might be useful for lecture or review purposes, or perhaps you could use the site as part of a web quest.  The website says that new content is being added all the time.  The site is FREE.

8. The Collaborative Lecture – This is a recent blog post that I found in which Spiro Bolos, a social studies teacher, writes about how he has adapted his traditional lectures to a more interactive format.  If you are looking for a way to rejuvenate some of your tired lectures, perhaps you’ll get some ideas from him.

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