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National Craft Month – Time to Get Crafty

March is National Craft Month. National Craft Month was started in 1994 by the Craft & Hobby Association. The purpose of the awareness month is to share knowledge and ideas about crafting and encourage creativity.

crafts

While some people might consider this a commercial ploy of craft companies, this truly is the perfect time to implement craft activities into the classroom. Creative craft projects combined with content curriculum help students to build visual connections. Having hands-on projects in the classroom helps students with special needs, visual learners, and ESOL students to connect with the curriculum while be engaged and actively learning. This means that students will be learning on a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Many arts and crafts store and companies are promoting National Craft Month by providing special sales, events, and crafting lessons and ideas. Teachers can take advantage of this opportunity to come up with new creative activities for the classroom.

Early Childhood Crafting Ideas

The Early Childhood News & Resources website compiled a list of online crafting resources for children. One of the resources found on this site is Freckles Crafts. Freckles Crafts provides all of the materials for a particular crafting project in craft kits so that there is no need to find all of the individual pieces.

Another resource is craftbits.com. This website has a plethora of craft ideas, many of which would be great for the classroom including an entire kids crafting section. I really enjoyed their recycled craft ideas because they show that you can be green and save green and still create a meaningful project. Being a computer teacher, I loved all of the creative ways that a CD could be used to make a sun-catcher, candle holder, invitation, and decorations.

Crafting Ideas from Crayola

Crayola has put together special page on their website to promote National Craft Month. This site is great because it provides lesson plans along with the craft idea to make the connections between the curriculum standards and the activity. Many of the resources are free and can be downloaded from their website like coloring pages and ecards. The Craft Ideas and Lesson Plans section contains over 200 classroom crafting ideas. Each idea includes a “why” section (what is the purpose of the craft activity), the steps to creating the craft, safety guidelines, and classroom connections along with a picture of the final craft.

One of the activities I liked was called “Fishing for Friends.” In this activity students learn about the other students in the classroom. Each student designs a fish for the pond and on the back of the fish they write something important about themselves. This would be a great activity for an icebreaker at the beginning of the school year. The fish could then be changed out throughout the school year to incorporate other activities like learning vocabulary words, math problems, historical dates, and events.

Other Kid-Friendly Crafting Websites

1. Craft Place

2. Teacher Place

3. KinderArt

4. Free Kids Crafts

5. Michael’s Arts & Crafts: Kids Crafting

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Connecting Concepts through High-Interest Topics: March Madness

Teaching challenging concepts by using high-interest and timely topics helps students to make connections and increase comprehension.  World and national events like a presidential inauguration, the soccer World Cup, the Olympics, shuttle launches, and large sporting events can be used in teaching lessons including  math, science, social studies, and language arts.

basketball

One event coming up that many students will follow is March Madness.  March Madness refers to the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament of the top 64 Division 1 teams.  March Madness is also called “The Big Dance.”  It is a single elimination tournament.  The winner of each game moves on to the next round until the top team emerges as the winner.

The Bracket:  Conducting Research & Making Predictions

One of the most popular activities associated with March Madness is the filling out of “the bracket.”  The bracket is a tree-graph that is filled-in with predictions of game face-offs based on university regions and expected winners.  This is an activity that students can do that actually has connections in the classroom.  Students can fill out the bracket with the teams that they think will win each game, which teams will face-off against each other, and end with their guess for the final two teams and the ultimate winner.  Students should develop their predictions by researching team statistics, ranks, standings, and divisions using online websites or by reading sports journals or newspapers.  University websites, along with ESPN, are also appropriate student resources for conducting this research.

Getting other teachers, classes, and even the administrators involved in creating and sharing their bracket predictions make the lesson even more meaningful.

The Bracket:  Math & Geography Connections

Teachers can tie in connections with math and geography using this bracket.  Students can be asked questions that involve percentages and fractions.  For example, what is the likelihood that a certain team will make it into the finals?  What percentage of teams a student chose won during a certain bracket?  What is the reduced fraction of number of teams that are in the final 16?  As the games progress, students should make updates to their brackets.  Additional lessons based on this can also include who had the most winning teams.

As students follow the games and find the winners and losers, geography connections can be made by having students take the teams in the bracket and locate the universities on a map.  An extension can be made where students would have to conduct research about one of the universities or the cities in which schools are located.

Incorporating topics that students love while teaching the curriculum is a great way to motivate students.  Highly engaging activities ‘trick’ students into mastering the learning outcomes that are desired.  March Madness is a great way to make math and geography connections based on a high-interest subject.

More lessons based on March Madness:

1.       Creative Parents March Madness Lesson

2.       March Madness Project

3.       Time out for March Madness

Article By Laura Ketcham

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The iPad 2: An Innovative Educator & Student Resource

Yesterday’s much awaited announcement of the iPad 2 did not disappoint.  Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple was on hand to unveil the new iPad at a live press conference demonstrating the new features of the new iPad 2.  The iPad 2 will be available in store and online March 11th.

ipad

In the past year, Apple’s iPad has made a significant impact on the education world.  Administrators, teachers, and students have all embraced the tablet style computing device in the classroom.  Many features, including the long battery life, portability, innovative 3rd party applications, lower pricing point when compared to laptops and accessibilities options have made it a viable laptop alternative in the classroom.

From an educators stand-point, the updated options that are available on the iPad 2 will make it an even more popular device to use in the classroom.  Here are the new options and how I think it will impact the education world:

Faster Processor

The iPad 2 has a new duo-core processor.  This will allow students to process data at a faster speed without much lag time.  Students can create projects and multi-task smoothly with this faster processor rather than using it to surf or passively learn.  This will also allow app developers to create more robust apps that will be an advantage when teaching complex material in the classroom.

Camera

The iPad 2 has two cameras, one at the front of the device and one on the back.  This will allow students to take pictures and videos on the iPad 2 for class assignments.  The new apps, iMovie, Photo Booth, and even Face Time can be used by the students to produce polished, innovative projects.

Lighter weight & Longer Battery Life

The iPad 2 is lighter than the original iPad.  This increases the ease of portability even more.  The battery life has also been increased by 1 hour.  The iPad 2 has a 10 hour battery life.  This is one of the best selling points for its use in school.  Students can use the iPad for a full day of school without ever having to charge the device.

Video Mirroring

There is now no need for any teacher to have to “jailbreak” their iPad.  The original iPad had no way of connecting to a projector.  This was a disadvantage to teachers who wanted to use the device to show students movies, apps, or lessons on the iPad.  Now, the iPad 2 can connect to a projector using extra accessories, the Digital AV adaptor or the VGA adaport.  This will allow teachers to connect their iPad 2 to either a projector or television (even HDTVs).  These accessories also allow the iPad 2 to be charged during the presentation.   What is displayed on the iPad 2 will be mirrored onto the larger screen.

iPad Smart Cover

Reading various sites online, there was not much buzz about the new cover that Apple has created for the iPad 2.  However, as a teacher, I thought it was a great invention.  The new Smart Cover, when placed over top of the iPad 2, automatically turns the device into sleep mode.  When removed from the top of the iPad 2, it can be used as a stand.  It fits great and aligns perfectly making for an easy transition between use and non-use.  For the classroom, it will save battery life when students are not using the device along with providing a protective cover when not in use.  This will be useful between transitions of students needing to focus on the teachers’ directions and not using the iPad 2 to when the students can then use the iPad 2 for the classroom lesson.

There are also many successful features that Apple has incorporated from the iPad to the iPad 2.  The new device has the same pricing point as the original, along with the one-touch off and on options, and accessibility features for individuals with disabilities.

The iPad 2 will be a big hit both in and out of the classroom.  I’m very excited to see the impact that it will have on education over the next year.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Voki – Creative Web Program for Students!

Voki is a free Web 2.0 website where students can create their own online avatar character that they can customize, add voice, and then publish to the Internet.  Using this website in the classroom will engage students in the learning activities offer by the website.  There are so many educational applications for this technology tool in the classroom!

voki

Using Voki in the Classroom

Voki has two pages of their site that are dedicated to using Voki in the classroom:  Voki for Education and Lesson Plans.  In the Voki for Education page, teachers can learn about what Voki is, why they should use it in the classroom, and get connected with other teachers who are using Voki.  In the Lesson Plans section, teachers can search an extensive list of lesson plans that range from kinder through high school and cover many subject areas including geography, spelling, drama, and technology.

Teachers could create Voki avatar to share with their students or even the parents.  Introducing a project, lesson, or unit with a Voki avatar really catches the interest of the students.  Teachers could also create an avatar to welcome parents to a back to school event or open house night.

Students can also create their own avatars.  The main idea of using this program would be to have the student research a specific topic and then record what they have learned to then share with the rest of the class.  For example, students can create a Voki about learning about facts of a state, explaining the steps on how to solve a math problem, or a science experiment.  In a special education classroom, students could use the avatars as a fun way of communicating in the classroom via the text to speech option.

When I used this program in my classroom, each student researched a different tab on the new Microsoft Word 2010 Ribbon.  They then wrote a script, recorded their script, and then they shared their Voki with the other students in the class via the SMART board.  This way, all of the students learned about the all of the tabs in Word 2010.  It was such an engaging assignment and the high quiz scores proved that this assignment really actively engaged them in the learning process.

How to Use Voki

Voki is very easy to use.  To begin, you select the create button, and then you can customize your avatar.  When you customize your character, you can change the style of head, hair, mouth, and facial features.  You can also change the clothing and ‘bling.’  The features of the avatar can then be made larger or smaller and the color can even be changed.  After that, I suggest that the students select the background for the avatar.  Students can choose one of the many pre-made backgrounds, or they can upload their own.

I suggest that before students start to record either their voice or using the text to speech feature, that they draft a script of what needs to be said.  This way, when recording the ideas are well thought out to meet the needs of the assignment and the avatar. They also need to keep the 1-minute time limit into consideration when writing their script.  Then the students can either use the phone to speech, microphone to speech, or text to speech tools.  The text to speech tool would be great to use for students who may have a disability that makes it difficult to speak or even students who are shy.  Always remind your students to “Save” their speaking after they are finished recording it.

When the students are done creating their avatar, they can then publish the avatar.  One great feature of this site is that to publish the avatar there is no need for students to create an account.  However, if they want to save the character and be able to go back and make changes, they will need to make an account.  Students need to be at least 13 to create an account.  When they publish their avatar, there are literally hundreds of ways to share them.  The most simple way is to save  are to email it, publish it to an already created website via the embed code, or to post it to a social networking or blogging site that has already been established and is approved and secure

Have you tried Voki?  Feel free to share the links of your Voki avatars!

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Lead the Way! President’s Day Activities for Students

President’s Day Activities

President’s Day is on Monday, February 21st.  This holiday was originally celebrated to honor President Washington’s birthday.   It is now held on the third Monday of February every year.  On this day, Americans honor all presidents.  This date was chosen because of the proximity to both President Washington and Lincoln’s birthday.  Many states will hold parades and other ceremonies honoring the presidents.  The name of the holiday varies from state to state including President’s Day, Presidents’ Day and Washington’s Birthday.  Typically, schools are not in session on this day.  However, there are many creative language arts and social studies activities to tie into your classroom curriculum.

presidents

Middle School Activities

One activity that students could complete to learn about President’s day is by completing a Web Quest.  A Web Quest is a guided online scavenger hunt to answer questions and completing worksheets while learning about topics through researching provided links online.  Scholastic also provides an interactive web hunt, similar to a Web Quest, for students to learn about presidents.

Fact Monster has a President’s Day page written for children that explains the history of the day.  It explains how different states will celebrate this day in different ways depending on the presidents that may have impacted their community.  There are also many more links to facts pages about presidents, inaugurations, impeachments, biographies, elections, and history.

Elementary School Activities

Elementary students could visit a virtual museum about Lincoln and Washington.  The museum contains images and facts written in a language easy for kids to understand.  There are several activities that go along with the museum visit including creating a KWL chart, a Venn diagram, treasure hunts, quizzes, and additional presentations.  The activity I liked the best was being able to show the students an animated map of when the states were added to the United States.

Kaboose provides links to craft connections for teaching about President’s Day.  Some of the ideas were very creative and fun  and would tie in with the virtual museum trip.  These include making a pretzel log cabin, cherry tree, finger puppets of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln hats, and old glory flags.  Other links on this site include activities, games, printables, and facts about the presidents.

School Family has printables for President’s Day.  There are coloring sheets, word scrambles, writing prompts, and poems.  This site has printable pages of all of the presidents.  An idea for a class activity would be to have the students color pages for each president and then have the students write a few facts about the presidents on each of the pages.  They could then be hung in the classroom or on the bulletin board.

Links for Other President’s Day Lessons & Activities

1.        The Teacher’s Corner President’s Day Activities

2.       Suite 101 President’s Day Lesson Plans

3.       Classroom Activities for all February Holidays

Article by Laura Ketcham

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The Florida Educational Technology Recap

The FETC was an energizing 3-day experience with immersion into education technology.  Everyone was buzzing about iPod’s and iPads, educational apps, cell phones, and what the future may hold for these devices in the classroom.  Sessions with “i” in the name filled up quickly with many attendees creating their own seats on the floor.

conference

Edmodo

One of the great additions to the conference was the integrated use of Edmodo.  Edmodo is a free social networking site for teachers and students.  Presenters used this website by creating groups to post their materials, including their presentations, websites, and other useful links.  Their presentation pages were also used as a conduit for the users in the session to ask questions or add more information in real-time as the presenter was speaking. Attendees can join their sessions (called groups) through a group code.  Also, attendees who were unable to attend the session could then still receive the materials and the feedback from the session over the web (including those who didn’t even attend the conference).

Check out group codes FC0321, FC0492, and FC0269 to review and receive great resources and information.  Over the next few weeks I plan to see what other ways that this website can be integrated in both building my PLN and if it could be useful for my classroom and students.

Resources for Younger & Special Needs Students

This year, there also seemed to be more sessions geared to educating younger students pre-k-2 and special needs students.

One of the websites that I learned about that would be great to use with both sets of students is Kerpoof Studio.  Kerpoof is a free website created by Disney where students can create movies, drawings, and online story books.  They have a lesson plans page with ways that you can incorporate their online programs into the classroom through standards-based activities and extensions.  For younger students they can play the spell a picture game.  As they spell words correctly, it is added to their digital drawing.  The objects can then be moved around the page to build a scene and can then be printed to share in the classroom.  There are so many possibilities of ways to use this website in the classroom. (Edmodo join code:  FC0491)

A great session I attended for special needs students included apps that address social skills, schedules, and mathematics.  The presenter, Shannon Sullivan, works with special education students in the greater DC area and maintains her website about apps via www.ipads4kids.com.  On this site you can find a wide list of apps sorted by subjects and needs for the students.  There is also an area for other educators to share their favorite apps that they are using with their students.  Check this site often as it is frequently updated.

There was another session on the use of iPod’s and iPad’s in the special education classroom that has many resources posted on Edmodo (Edmodo join code:  FC0501).  One key point that they make about the iPad as a tool for the special education classroom is that it is portable, adaptable, and even socially acceptable.  It also has built in accessibility along with the power of the apps.  You should definitely check out their presentation on Edmodo and the associated website Mobile Learning 4 Special Needs.

Please check back for more resources that I’ve learned from FETC over the coming weeks.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on Monday, January 17th.  Every year we celebrate his birthday on the 3rd Monday in January.  It is a federal holiday and the majority of schools will be closed.  However, there are many language arts and historical classroom connections to remember the accomplishments of his life and work through a variety of activities and lessons.  This can transition to various activities that will lead into Black History Month or the Civil Rights Movement discussions.

mlk jr

Middle & High School Activities

Beyond teaching about the historical significance of MLK’s accomplishments, lessons could also include information about the about the history and reluctance to observe the holiday.  MLK Day was signed into law in 1983 by President Reagan.  However, 2000 was the first year that all states celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday.  Some states, especially in the south, combine this day with other celebrations like Robert E Lee’s birthday or a general Human Rights Day. Mr. King is one of the only men whose life is celebrated through a federal holiday that never held a political office.

There are a lot of great resources available on the History Channel website about Mr. King, the Civil Rights Movement, and Black History Month.   There are articles, videos, photos, links and other classroom materials that can be utilized to build lessons and activities for the classroom.

One lesson on the subject could include learning about both Martin Luther King Jr. and President Kennedy, who were both influential leaders of the 60’s.  The lesson could then focus on how their assassinations effected both that era along with our society today.  This could be held as a class discussion or a research assignment where students create a presentation or paper on the topic.

Elementary Activities

There is a wide variety of ways to teach about the history of MLK beyond coloring pages and worksheets.  One engaging activity is to have students create a written and illustrated timeline of the important events in MLKs life.  You can show your students the example online and then they can research and create their own timeline as a class.  A tie in for history and language arts would be to include the “I Have a Dream” speech into a lesson.   The students could listen to the speech then discuss the speech as a class, and then have them write up their own speeches of their dreams to share with their peers.  Students of all ages can watch the “I Have a Dream” speech on many of the video sharing websites like YouTube and TeacherTube.

For younger students there are many excellent picture books on the topic of Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement, Black History Month, and equality.  There is a great lesson plan that ties in the reading of Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King with equality, dreams and hopes, and art.

Other Activities

  1. “I Have a Dream” Cloze activity
  2. Lesson on Equality
  3. Mapping Martin Luther King
  4. Identifying Heroes

 

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Low-Tech Classroom Aids for Special Needs Students

Making adaptations for special needs students in your classroom does not always have to be high-tech.  In a blog post from last year, I shared several low-tech options for teachers to use in their classroom to make the curriculum more accessible.  There are many other low-tech tools besides special pencils and grips, post-its, and highlighters.  This post will focus on a few more pocketbook-friendly tools that you can use with your special needs students that can be found at your local craft and office supply stores.

classroom

Soothing & Calming Tools

The school day can be a stressful time both academically and socially for all students and even more so for some students with special needs.  Offering students opportunities for soothing and calming experiences can help them to control or manage their stress and emotions.  Providing students with soothing sensory items that can be taped or stapled under their desk can be a creative solution.  At a craft store, you can purchase different items like feathers, felt, Velcro, or foam.  These different tactile feelings provide an outlet for students to calm emotions and refocus on classroom tasks.

Students with cerebral palsy or some students with autism may have difficultly controlling saliva.  Providing a sweat band they can wear on their wrist can help them to wipe their mouth area.  This can help the student to feel more confident about interacting with other students in the classroom and provide them with one less thing to worry about.

Accessibility Tools

One tool that I use a lot in my computer classroom is book rests.  This helps the students to lean the textbook up while completing their computer-based assignments.  This can also be very helpful in the regular classroom.  I’ve purchased actual book rests from the local office supply store, but you could also use frame holders that can be bought at the craft store for perhaps a lower price.  This provides a physical prop for their books to help raise them up where it may be either a better position for the student to read or more accessible for them to turn the page.

Even in my 7th grade classroom, some students are not tall enough to reach the floor when sitting in the chair.  Especially when teaching about computer ergonomics and keyboarding, I provide them with a FREE resource to help them be more comfortable when sitting – a phone book!  They can use this as their foot rest and helps them to be more comfortable in the chairs during class and helps them to focus on the academic lesson.

Academic Tools

Academically, there may need to be physical accommodations employed in order for students to be most successful.  Some low-tech strategies can be easy solutions for simple accommodations.  One example is if a student is struggling to keep their paper on their desk because of limited use of their hands or arms, you can use magnets or tape to hold down the papers on the desk.

During reading assignments (both silent or group), if a student has a hard time following along on which line they are one, they can use a clear colored ruler to use as a guide.  After each line the student would move the ruler down as they continue reading.

For math assignments, large key calculators may be more appropriate than the small scientific kind.  You can find these types of calculators almost anywhere including office supply stores or even the grocery store.

Students who have difficulty gripping art supplies can benefit from supplies that are larger in size and easier to grip.  Craft stores sell larger crayons, which are typically used for toddlers and pre-k students, however they work great with older students with difficulty gripping.  Thinking beyond just crayons, paint brushes, paint tubes, scissors, and glue all come in larger sizes and can be found at the craft store as well.

There are many low-tech cost-effective tools that you can use in your classroom to help students to be socially and academically successful.  Do you have any favorites that you use in your classroom?

Article By Laura Ketcham

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“Top” of 2010 – Resources for Students

Many websites this week are reflecting upon the past year including top movies, events, and people.  From an educational standpoint, there are also many top ten lists that can help to inspire your creative lesson planning.  Some examples would include top websites for students or education, top educational apps for the classroom, or even top blog posts on MangoMon for 2010.

school

Top Websites of 2010

Time Magazine has a tradition of making “top” lists at the end of the year.  On their website this year, they have a top 50 list of websites.  Many of these websites can be great additions for classroom use including Sesame Street, National Geographic, and Read Print.

PC Magazine’s “top” list of websites includes both classic websites, websites that have been around, and undiscovered websites, which are websites that were new in 2010.  They also include information about the trends of web surfing for the year, which would be a great addition for teaching in a computer course.  The easy to navigate top 10’s make finding educational connections easy.  When I reviewed the “Classics:  Apps” section I found that over ½ of the websites I have used in teaching this past year.

To find a day-to-day list of the most popular websites, you have to check out www.mostpopularwebsites.net.  This site follows the page hits on a daily basis to rank the top websites.

Top Apps of 2010

PC Magazine also has a list of the free Top Apps for 2010.  They have this section broken down by device including all of the top smart phones.  Many of the apps included for the iPhone/iPad on the list have education connections including iBooks, Bing, Dragon Dictation, DropBox,  Evernote, Google Earth, and Skype.

IEAR, a website based for the review of educational apps, has their top list of apps for 2010. Their list includes the virtual frog dissection, NASA, and many that were mentioned above.  This site has a  handy feature is that it includes a brief explanation of the app along with the curriculum connection.

Top Blog Posts on MangoMon

This past year, the top blog posts for MangoMon have been about the incorporation of the iPad in the special education classroom.  Any blog post that mentioned the iPad, iPhone, or related apps was always a big hit with the readers.  Tech tools for the special education classroom were also very popular with readers whether it was low-tech or high-tech.  For easy searching all of the top viewed posts, a tool can be found on your left-hand side of the browser page.

Incorporation of Top 10’s in the Classroom

With students coming back from break, an easy transition lesson would be to incorporate the concepts of top 10’swhile reflecting upon the past year and looking toward the future.  There are so many different ideas of what the top ten’s lists could be about and sharing them with the class would be a great kickoff to the New Year.  This idea could also incorporated into history by comparing their top 10’s to previous year’s top 10’s or even start off a lesson on past generations.

Top 10 List Ideas

  1. Top concepts/lessons/ideas they learned the past year in your class (or combined)
  2. Top school memories from the past year
  3. Top websites they have used for school
  4. Top apps that have used for school
  5. Top list of what will make them a successful student
  6. Top list based on goal setting
  7. Top lists of books they would like to read

 

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Best Mobile Sites for Education

diigo it

mobile internet

This blog post was inspired by a recent experience where I had to spend a few hours at a car dealership without Wi-Fi access on my laptop.  However, I still had 3G access on my cell phone and I began surfing around the net to pass the time.  This spurred me to think about using the iPad and iPods in the classroom and what websites were the most mobile friendly.

These small computerized devices like the iPod and iPad provide great ways for students to search for information without having to use a laptop or desktop computer.  They are mobile and can be easily circulated in the classroom or shared among several classrooms.  However, the use of these devices is not limited to the downloaded apps.  They will also be used to browse the web to find research data and information for various classroom assignments.  Many of the most popular websites have adapted their traditional websites to fit this small format screen by providing the most important information in the small space by putting the most important information on the homepage, reducing the clutter, and making it easier to sign in or select links.

Here are some of the top mobile sites that would be great for your students to use in the classroom when using iPad and iPods, or similar small format devices, with Internet access.

Mobile Wikipedia

Mobile Wikipedia is a great educational online resource.  The mobile version has an article of the day, a short news section, and a place for students to search online.  This would be a great resource for students to use to find background information on a variety of projects.  It is easy to navigate, read, and quick to load.  It keeps the students interest by also including pictures, a quick-snap shot of info about the topic searches, and links for more information.  The great aspect of the mobile version it breaks down the entry into sections that you select to load based on what you want to read about.  For example, when I searched Niagara Falls, it gave me a picture, several facts, and then a basic overview.  To learn more I could select on the sections like History, Geology or Tourism.

Answers.com

The Answers.com mobile version is a combination of a search engine for questions, encyclopedia, and language resource.  As the student is typing in the search question, questions will pop-up to fill in the results limiting the amount of typing that needs to be done.  I typed in “when is the next lu” and at that point it filled it in with “When is the next lunar eclipse?”  It then provided a short answer to the question and provided links for more information and answers to similar questions.  On the homepage of this site, there are also quick links for today’s highlights, new answers, and new questions.  Users contribute to this website and it would be a fun lesson to get your students involved by asking or answering questions!

Web on Your Cell

Web on your Cell is a portal website.  From this site, students can select one of the main categories like news tech or eBooks and then be linked to a list of mobile-ready websites that meet those categories.  It is a great one-stop website to get to the best and most frequently used mobile websites.  The low-graphics also make it easy to navigate and quick to load, great features for mobile surfing.

Math Slice

Mobile Math Slice contains a variety of educational and fun games.  They are represented by small icon links associate with the topic of the game.  The games are not only math related, other games include hangman about the state capitals, “Finding Nemo” while learning about the compass directions, memory games, and Spanish vocabulary.  Some of the games are very simplistic, but would be great for those few extra minutes before the end of school or for fun transition activities when a student finishes an assignment early.

Dropbox

Dropbox is an online storage system.  Students can upload and download the various assignments they are working on the mobile devices to this website.  This is a good remote storage device and is free for the first 2 GB.  The mobile version is very user friendly.

Ta-Da List

Ta-Da List is a simple mobile website where users can create and manage to-do lists.  Students can use to write down their homework or a list of items that need to be completed.

Other Great Mobile Websites

  1. Google – not only the search engine, but also Maps, Calendar, Docs, and Mail
  2. Discovery Channel – links to science videos, articles, and activities
  3. Dictionary.com – mobile online dictionary
  4. Ask – search engine to answer questions

Feel free to comment and write about your favorite mobile websites for education.

Article by Laura Ketcham

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