The Annenberg Learner, from the Annenberg Foundation, is a collection of classroom resources sortable by discipline and by grade. From step-by-step lesson plans on a variety of topics from the Wild West to neuroscience to literature to multimedia resources, there is something here for all types of teaching and learning styles. Some of the resources here are free; to access complete programs, purchase is necessary.
Bozeman High School, Bozeman, MT
In this video, Paul Andersen explains how he is using elements of video game design to improve learning in his AP Biology classroom. Mr. Anderson has created over 200 science podcasts that are viewed by students in his class and learners around the world.
These lesson plans and resources introduce problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs that underlie the computer applications you use such as search, email, and maps.
Google Earth, Maps, and SketchUp have been identified as a powerful learning toolkit that can help students conceptualize, visualize, share, and communicate information about the world around them.
Created by Peter Bohacek, in this project students use high speed video to determine whether a roller coaster is an example of a system in which mechanical energy is conserved. Students use frame counting to measure the speed of a roller coaster as it heads up a hill, and then measure the speed as the roller coaster comes back down the hill. The outcome of the measurements depends on which part of the roller coaster they measure because a motor continues to propel the roller coaster until it begins to climb the hill.
High school biology students at Eminence High School (Eminence, KY) create a mitosis video project using animation. The students use digital cameras, iPods, or cell phones to take still pictures of the stages of mitosis. They put the pictures together in Windows Movie Maker. They record their voices explaining the process. Some students created songs to go with the video as seen in the YouTube link above. Following the lesson, students will reflect on their work and comment on each other's work as a gallery walk through the school website. This video shows this project in action. The directions and samples are found on her webpage.
National Geographic Education (NatGeoEd.org)
This site brings science, social studies, and geography to life for K-12 educators, learners, and their families—in and out of the classroom. The free education resources at NatGeoEd.org include activities, lessons, teacher guides, encyclopedic entries, printable and interactive maps, National Geographic’s iconic media, and more.
Created by the Baltimore County Public Schools, this online education campaign about the Chesapeake Bay has myriad student resources for learning more about the Bay as an ecosystem. The campaign presents a scenario for students to work through as members of a “Bay-Watchers” team, which gives each student a different role. Students work through the scientific method and use various tools and approaches to learn more about human impacts on the Bay.
PowerMyLearning.com includes free educational activities from across the web. Developed by nonprofit CFY, this free platform for students, educators, and parents helps propel achievement in all major K-12 subject areas. PowerMyLearning® Science offers stimulating science activities to reinforce classroom learning and spark new interests.
Created by Peter Bohacek, this project emphasizes the importance of teaching students to communicate complex ideas by creating video. In this assignment, students need to determine whether a flying object fits the physics textbook definition of a projectile. Students perform video analysis of a flying object to make graphs they can use to determine whether air friction is noticeably affecting the object's motion. Then, they report their results as a video lab report. This link provides a complete set of instructions and sample projects:
Created by Peter Bohacek, this project goes beyond the traditional word problem in which the information is given and helps students learn to extract data about the motion of objects using videos. Several examples of videos are provided, as well as instructions for using some of these videos to measure velocity. Once this technique is mastered, students can begin to use the velocities of objects in the videos to explore other aspects of mechanics, such as collisions, conservation of energy, or projectile motion. If the video is taken carefully, students do not need video analysis software, just a simple video playback software, such as Quicktime player, that allows students to advance the video one frame at a time.
Virtual labs are used as a center in a chemistry class at Eminence High School (Eminence, KY). Half of the students use Dell netbooks in groups of 2-3 while the other half is doing the actual lab with the teacher. The students will have academic dialogue in groups and whole class comparing and contrasting both kinds of labs. The lesson can be found at the teacher's website.
Each day, Wonderopolis features a free inquiry-based learning approach through its Wonder of the Day®. Each Wonder includes: an intriguing main question that introduces the Wonder, an embedded video related to the subject matter of the Wonder, additional questions that preview and introduce the content, information and facts that answer the intriguing question, and a list of Wonder words that provide continuous vocabulary-building opportunities. The daily Wonder also includes suggested on and offline activities teachers and parents can use to extend learning. The site furthers learning both as an individual unit—one Wonder of the Day at a time—as well as collectively (e.g., the 200 Science-focused Wonders of the Day, or more specifically 17 Wonders for the topic of Space). Wonders are explicitly aligned to Common Core State Standards and each Wonder has a STEM component. Wonderopolis is sponsored by the Verizon Foundation and is a member of the Thinkfinity community. Visit Wonderopolis.org to begin Wondering!