1. The Big List of 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities – This is a blog post from Open Culture that lists hundreds of free online courses. Courses cover a wide range of disciplinary topics, from philosophy to computer science. Use them to fill in the gaps in your own learning or have students watch or listen to clips as part of a homework or in-class assignment.
2. Practical PBL: The Ongoing Challenges of Assessment – Here’s a blog post from Edutopia that I learned about from my principal, David. The author addresses how to fairly assess the individual student within group projects.
3. Game Changers Electoral Map – This interactive Electoral College map allows students to play with a map of the United States and guess which way each state will go in the election of 2012. The site gives students the history of each individual state in terms of which party and candidate has won the state’s electoral votes in past elections, helping students make educated guesses. Thanks, Lucy, for sending this one my way.
4. Chockadoc – Chockadoc is a website full of free, full-length documentaries that cover nearly every discipline. The documentaries are organized by category, and the site includes a search feature. FREE.
5. Brain Pickings – This website is incredibly interesting but difficult to describe, so I’ll let its creator handle it. “Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.” Check it out.
6. DIY.org – This is such a cool site for kids and their parents. Kids can log on, get various DIY project ideas, complete the project, and upload a picture of their work, creating an online portfolio. In completing the projects, kids develop all kinds of critical thinking and fine motor skills. While this might not be useful in a traditional school environment, homeschool kids or parents looking for ways to engage their students outside the classroom might find this site useful.