Thinkfinity.org has announced that they will be closing up on June 30, 2014.
From their blog post, it looks like Verizon has decided to stop funding for Thinkfinity.org. That’s too bad, Thinkfinity.org was a good repository of resources from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. In their announcement, they have listed several of their content partners who provided many of their resources. In addition, their updated FAQ section suggests saving information and your favorite Thinkfinity pages as PDF’s for use later on. After June 30, 2014 most of the content on their site will be gone. Unfortunately, this is one of the risks of using “free” content sites.
I’m always looking for interesting hands-on projects to use for engaging my students. I ran across this page at Instructables.com about making your own customized Operation game. The project requires the use of several tools that are not readily available in my classroom and probably not available in most, but finding someone to loan the tools might be a viable option.
I can see this type of project working in several subject areas. Here is an example of how far a little creativity can take this idea.
Do you find yourself searching the web for presentations about a topic you want to cover? Try using slidefinder.net. Think of this as presentation search engine. Type a topic into their search box, and see what presentation file results Slidefinder’s indexes have found from all over the web.
Are you interested in free textbooks? Flexbooks may just help stir the waters of the expensive course material domain. Flexbooks are basically open source textbooks. Flexbooks are part of an initiative by the CK-12 Foundation to help lower the cost of textbook materials. The CK-12 Foundation has partnered with several experts from education and the tech industry to create a website and system that should be around for a while.
This year, I ran into the obstacle of trying to teach programming to students who at this point in time do not want to be programmers. I have recently introduced them to the Alice 3D Programming Environment. Alice is a free programming environment developed by Carnegie Mellon University.
I ran across Viddix.com recently. Its a little hard to describe. Basically, you can upload a video to Viddix. Then you can add a timeline of information to play during the video. The timeline can contain text, images, RSS feeds, html code, polls, and web links. I can see where this resource can be extremely useful for teachers who film their lectures and demonstrations. For example, if I am filming a demonstration of graphic editing a photo, I could use screencasting software to capture the steps in to a video, then add detailed notes about how and why a particular tool affects the image. I also really like the option to add a poll in the timeline.
Below is a very quick and simple example of what you can do?
If you are looking for an interesting website about the Periodic Table, check out The Periodic Table of Videos. This is a site from the University of Nottingham. When you click on an element in the Periodic Table, you are treated to a video clip describing interesting facts about that element. The only drawback I see is that they use Youtube for their video clips. If your school district is like mine, Youtube is blocked by an internet filter.
It is a very interesting site. I am not a chemistry teacher. I avoided chemistry in school. However, I loved going through the elements to learn about each one’s properties and uses.
EDIT: I found a link on their site for those who have Youtube blocked by a filter.
I came across a great resource for students and teachers at www.hippocampus.org. The website has lessons for Algebgra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Religion, and U.S. History. The lessons either in Flash, Quicktime, or Text formats .
Hippo Campus’ goal is to provide multimedia lesson content free of charge. They are a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.
Hippo Campus also has an option for teachers to create a page for their content area. Within this page, you can bookmark topics. Hippocampus then has an option for you to link to this page from your school website, blog, LMS, etc. I tried it, but unfortunately they do not have any materials for my program (I.T.).
The Common Craft Show has released a new video. This one is Electing a U.S. President in Plain English. They do a great job of explaining complicated issues, products, and processes in "Plain English".