Friday, May 16, 2008

What's Out There Anyway?: techLearning's Site of the Day

techLearning has an excellent series, Site of the Day, that highlights an educational web site every day. Websites are submitted and presented with a description, the name of the author or publisher, tips on the content of the site and appropriate grade levels. You can check in daily or search the archives. Each Site of the Day story is brief, and you'll need to try out the sites yourself, but the features give a great peek at some of the gems in the huge sea of the Web.

Thursday's Site of the Day was Operation: Heart Transplant, an interactive site from NOVA. Students can engage in a virtual heart transplant, going through 190 steps, and also can learn more about the history of heart transplants. The site has lesson plans, too. Operation: Heart Transplant is suitable for middle and high school students. On Wednesday, the site of the day, submitted by Amanda Barton, was My Very Own Pizza, published by the Dairy Council of California. As the description says, the site "never once uses these important words: calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, fat-grams, etc. A clever teacher might use this fact to spark some interesting class discussions about how we are manipulated as consumers and/or about the growing problem of childhood obesity." The site is appropriate for all grade levels.

Dynamic Earth Interactives, featured on Tuesday, lets users poke around the inner structure of our plant and explore plate tectonics and processes like earthquakes and volcanoes. The site has excellent graphics and some critical-thinking activities. And the week stated with The Circus in America, also appropriate for middle and high school. The Circus in America has biographical information, pictures and audio dating from pre-1793 to 1940. The author is Lavahn Hoh at the University of Virginia.

Other Sites of the Day include The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Thomas Jefferson, Vincent van Gogh, BAM! Body and Mind: Ad Decoder, and guides on writing and grammar. It's easy to get a quick overview of a site and its offerings. Know any fabulous websites you've used with your middle schoolers? Check out the criteria for selection and then click "Submit your favorite Web Site."

SOURCE: "techLearning: Site of the Day" 5/15/08
photo courtesy of eschipul, used under this Creative Commons license

No comments: