Friday, July 31, 2009

Catch of the Day - Differentiation Toolbox - 31 Jul 09

Today I reeled in the Differentiation Toolbox.

Differentiated instruction is a key component of 21st century education, but it's hard work. The Differentiation Toolbox by Francine Oliver and Matt Shields is a set of tools to help you construct exciting, engaging, meaningful, and memorable differentiated lessons for your students. The tools include templates, examples, and other resources for planning differentiated lessons; tools to help you develop quality curriculum prior to employing differentiation strategies; aids to assessment and data evaluation; and a discussion board.

Thanks to Russell Tarr via Twitter
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Catch of the Day - Stock.XCHNG - 30 Jul 09

Free stock photo site Stock.XCHNG is the fresh catch of the day.

Stock.XCHNG bills itself as the leading FREE stock photo site on the Internet. SXC was launched in February 2001 as an alternative to expensive stock photography. The objective was to develop a site where people could exchange their photos. Since then, the site has evolved into the massive community you see today with over 2 1/2 million registered users and about 400,000 photos online by more than 30.000 photographers.

Yesterday, it was announced that Stock.XCHNG has been incorporated into the Getty Images group of companies. This is not expected to change the day-to-day SXC user experience, but there will be more access to iStockphoto, another Getty Images company and one of the world's leading royalty-free stock multimedia destinations.

If you use Firefox as your browser, here's a handy little SXC search plugin you can add to it.

SXC is also a friendly community of photographers who offer their works to those who need them free of charge. If you have some nice photos that you'd like to share with others, you can do it by joining Stock.XCHNG.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catch of the Day - Wed 29 July 2009

The catch of the day for Wednesday is iLab Central.

iLabCentral is where teachers and students go to access real lab devices over the internet, making high school science labs more real, more engaging, and more accessible.

The iLabs online experimental facilities can be accessed through the Internet, allowing students and educators to carry out experiments from anywhere at any time. These remote labs significantly increase the breadth of experiments that students have access to in their classrooms thereby greatly enriching their science education.

iLabs currently offers nine labs in conjunction with the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships. Included among these offerings are the Polymer Crystallization Lab, the Shake Table Lab, the Neutron Spectroscopy Lab, and the Radioactivity Lab.

The following are possible through The iLAB Network:
  • Science teachers and learners in traditional and online high schools and informal science education programs now have the ability to experience the excitement and authenticity of using high-end equipment to investigate the world in the same way that scientists do.
  • Students are provided new research and learning opportunities, allowing them to share and discuss procedures and results.
  • Teachers can learn to integrate iLABs in a range of science courses (including AP courses), encouraging them to go beyond the current paradigm of cookbook science labs with outdated or inappropriate equipment
  • Students around the world can access costly or delicate lab equipment which their schools might not other wise have the resources to purchase and operate .

Click here to see a Flash video example of the ELVIS lab located at MIT.

The iLab Network is supported in part by the National Science Foundation
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Catch of the Day - Tues 28 July 2009

Today's tasty catch is Topmarks.

Established in 1998, Topmarks is one of the largest independent educational websites in the UK. Topmarks will help you quickly find the best teaching resources, homework help and educational websites for use in the classroom. Search by keyword or browse through any of 35 different subject categories or seven distinct age groups.

The people at Topmarks have been working especially hard to find the best teaching resources for interactive whiteboards. They've included many sites across a wide range of subjects and age groups, and are adding more all the time.

In the Maths Games section you can find games appropriate to four different age groups spanning the ages of 3 through 14. These games are motivating and children will have fun while they are learning.

Run by Sue and Chris Spolton, the content on Topmarks is carefully reviewed by qualified teachers and because of the changing nature of the web, regularly re-examined.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Catch of the Day - 27 July 2009

Today's featured catch is the HMH Education Place Activity Search.

The Activity Search feature of textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Education Place web site offers a large collection of K-8 classroom activities. The activity database can be browsed by topics and themes and is also searchable by keywords from any page.

Here is a portion of a Grades 7-8 Social Studies activity called Friends of the Desert from the Maps/Map Skills topic ...

Education Place Activity: Friends of the Desert

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Catch of the Day - 25 July 2009

NGA Classroom- For Teachers and Students.png by tom16602 on Aviary

This site from the National Gallery of Art is a place where teachers and students can connect art and curriculum. Currently featured lessons include Art & Ecology, 19th Century America, Counting on Art, The Dutch Golden Age, and more. There are learner interactives such as Mobile Maker, Medal Maker, and Cake Maker.

Use the Resource Finder to locate lessons and resources by curriculum, topic, or artist.NGA Classroom- For Teachers and Students.png by tom16602 on Aviary

Free-loan teaching materials such as CDs, DVDs, and teacher packets are available. The NGA Kids area features several interactive activities and projects.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Catch of the Day - 24 July 2009

Today's catch is The OWL at Purdue.

Welcome to the OWL at Purdue - The OWL at Purdue.png by tom16602 on Aviary

Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University provides writing resources and instructional material as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Users worldwide can find information to help with many kinds of writing projects.

Among the topics included are ...
  • General academic writing,
  • Creative writing,
  • Writing for the Social Sciences,
  • Technical writing,
  • Job search writing,
  • Research and citation,
  • Teaching writing, and more.

Teachers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction. Users are invited to submit brief, writing-related questions to our OWL Mail Tutors. You may also find the new Grammar Gang blog (in association with the University of South Australia) useful.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Catch of the Day - 23 July 2009

This is the first of what I hope to be daily (or nearly so) posts featuring an online resource that I found to be interesting and worth sharing.

Calculation Nation - Challenge others. Challenge yourself..png by tom16602 on Aviary

Today's feature is
Calculation Nation™ from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Calculation Nation™ uses the power of the Web to let students challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing fundamental skills. The element of competition adds an extra layer of excitement.

The games are organized around upper elementary and middle school math content. Kids can play online math strategy games that allow them to learn about fractions, factors, multiples, symmetry and more, as well as practice important skills like basic multiplication and calculating area. “The games on Calculation Nation™ provide an entertaining environment where students can explore rich mathematics,” said Jim Rubillo, Executive Director of the NCTM.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Computer History Museum: A Video Tour Plus

Located in Mountain View, CA, the Computer History Museum offers visitors the opportunity to see and experience one of the world's largest collections of computing artifacts. Their exhibits allow you to explore the computer revolution and its impact on the human experience.

The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer released by Commodore International in August, 1982, at a price of $595 (US) with 64K of RAM and a 1Mhz processor. The C-64 is the all-time best selling single personal computer.

The Johnniac was an early computer manufactured in the early 1950's by the Rand Corporation in California. It was one of several computers inspired by the IAS computer designed by noted mathematician John von Neumann (after whom it was named) at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. It was removed from service in February 1966.

In 1956, the first IBM 305 RAMAC was shipped. The RAMAC was the first commercial computer that used a moving-head hard disk drive for storage rather than magnetic tape. More than 1000 systems were built before production ceased in 1961. Weighing more than a ton, it had a storage capacity of 5 megabytes.

IBM promotional video for the 305 RAMAC...

The SAGE system was developed by MIT in the late '50s with Air Force sponsorship to counter the threat of a manned bomber attack by the Soviets. It became operational by 1963 and remained in service until 1983. The project required over 800 programmers and the technical resources of some of America's largest corporations. With 60,000 vacuum tubes and weighing in at 250 tons, the SAGE system was the largest, heaviest and most expensive computer system ever built.

An Enigma machine is any of a number of advanced electro-mechanical rotor machines used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. Several types of the Enigma machine were developed before and during World War 2. The most complex Enigma type was used by the German Navy. The machine has become well-known because Allied codebreakers were able to decrypt a huge number of messages which had been enciphered using the Enigma. The information gathered from this source was a substantial aid to the Allied war effort.

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