Welcome to the another in a series of PBL Mania Posts here at Tech & Learning. For the next few weeks I am celebrating Project Based Learning. In this post I will introduce you to some multimedia mega-sites found on the web that can be used in the PBL classroom. Before reading please take a moment to visit and subscribe to my 21centuryedtech Blog by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans. You will not want to miss this series or future posts involving STEM, Flipping the Classroom, Technology Integration, Common Core, and 21st Century Skills, So Sign Up Now! As always… thanks and have a great week. - Mike Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/ )
In this PBL Mania Post I explore Online Multimedia Resources. These fantastic mega-sites can provide lessons and formative assessment activities for PBL. The power of project based learning integrated with this type of online technology allows teachers to provide multimedia that can be used individually, in groups, or even at home. The multimedia may be a movie, sound clip, picture, simulation, reading, or game. In PBL, the multimedia may be an entry event, a tutorial, a basis for further discussion and inquiry, or a tool that measures student understanding. It could possibly even be an assignment or activity for students to investigate at home. Best of all, students can even be in control of the speed of delivery and even control their own remediation by repeating sessions. Multimedia can be used to flip the classroom, allowing students to participate and formulate their own inquiry through teacher facilitated posts in content delivery systems such as Edmodo or My Big Campus. Let's take a look at some of these large mega resource sites.
WGBH Teacher Domain - Teachers' Domain is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.
PBS Teachers – Launched within the last year, PBS Teachers is an awesome place for all kinds of educational multimedia. PBS Teachers is PBS' national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you'll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. They provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.
The Khan Academy – At Khan, students and teachers are encouraged to “Watch… Practice… Learn almost anything for free”. The academy has a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 276 practice exercises. They make it clear that they are on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace. So many people watch the Khan Videos but overlook their amazing Practice Sessions. If you have trouble because of school filters blocking Khan, look into My Big Campus… also in this article.
YouTube – Let’s not forget YouTube and its amazing searchable collection. These videos can be used for teaching a concept, providing an entry event, or providing the catalyst for a discussion that climbs the Bloom’s Taxonomy ladder. Having trouble with those school filters?… check out My Big Campus and You Tube Education.
Thinkfinity – This site is worth an entire write-up in itself and will provide a wealth of activities for PBL products. You will find quick and easy access to the highest quality teaching and learning materials. Verizon Thinkfinity offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by some amazing content partners which are the most respected organizations in each academic subject area and literacy. The easy-to-navigate K-12 resources are grade-specific and are aligned with state standards. This truly is an amazing online community where, along with great resources, you can network with friends and other teachers, and share ideas, plans and advice with others in the education community.
NeoK12 - Take a look and you will find a vast collection of resources and Web 2.o tools that might fit into any lesson. Along with pictures and videos that have been teacher selected, there are also some other amazing features. You can allow your students to create their own mashup presentations using Flickr and Wikipedia. There are quizzes, interactive diagrams, and games that can provide for formative assessment and problem solving.
Watch/Know/Learn - Imagine hundreds of thousands of great short videos and other media, explaining every topic taught to school kids. Imagine them rated and sorted into a giant Directory, making them simple to find. WatchKnowLearn is a non-profit online community devoted to this goal. Presently this community has over 30,000 videos and is growing every day through contributions from teachers across the globe. The co-founder of Wikipedia has launched a Web site designed to offer free access to thousands of education-related videos for students ages 3-18. Larry Sanger, who helped create Wikipedia states the site, "will allow students and teachers to sort through a library of online videos by content, and pick out what they need". Topics range from math and science to history. The site is meant to house and organize videos that are free and available online, yet which many educators may not have the time to search for or may find difficult to locate
NBC Learn - While this is a pay service, I am providing a link to some of their free material that might just connect to your standards. NBC Learn is staffed by veteran NBC News producers, who have created scores of original stories and Town Hall events around the country, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and others. The free area includes award-winning collections; Chemistry Now, Changing Planet, Science of NFL Football, Science of NHL Hockey, Science of the Winter Olympic Games, and Finishing the Dream. Videos and archival news stories are correlated to state standards and the Common Core.. Videos are generally short — less than six minutes in length — enabling instructors to engage and enlighten their students without wasting precious class time.
Discovery Education - This outstanding pay service also has a section that is free, found via this link. Discovery Education offers a broad range of free classroom resources that complement and extend learning beyond the bell. Foster deeper engagement and provide opportunities for students to take charge of their own learning with high quality, engaging, relevant tools designed for today’s busy teachers. Take a moment to explore Discovery's programs and contests, interactive games, puzzles, lesson plans, videos and more.
Smithsonian Channel - From one of the greatest museums comes a network, and this website filled with some amazing clips, games, and activities that might just provide the right spark for some PBL.
National Geographic - Find some amazing videos, pictures, segments, and stories that could be used to spark interest or engage inquiry. Whether it be a discussion starter, an informational lesson, or a question raiser, you will find some awesome content at this site.
History.com - This is an amazing site that is sure to provide a game, video clip, or article that will engage students. Whether it be a hook to begin a study or some outstanding information to sustain learning, it is definitely worth a look.
C-SPAN Video Library - A great collection of both short and longer video clips that allow students to explore the workings of government. Did you know that CSPAN also includes American History TV, Book TV, Campaign 2012, and Washington Journal? Best of all, check out a large number of resources on CSPAN in the Classroom.
BBC Learning for Teachers - What an amazing amount of activities and resources, including over 9000 video clips. Enjoy a visit... you might just stay awhile!
PicsForLearning - Not everything has to be video. Perhaps you wish to use a still image to facilitate a discussion and promote inquiry.
iTunes Education Podcasts - Countless numbers of videos and series' that cover every educational topic imaginable.
Pulse of the Planet - Each weekday, the Pulse of the Planet radio series provides its listeners with a two-minute sound portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide, blending interviews with extraordinary natural sound.
Center for Civics Education - Make sure you discover these amazing podcasts, slideshows, and videos. Not to be missed is the 60 second civic education podcast series.
Newton's Apple- Discover the fascinating science of the world around us through over 300 video clips. Browse the categories, or enter a question or a keyword in the search box. There are a number of videos with resource guides included.
American Field Guide - Over 1400 short video covering all areas of science.
Exploratorium TV - Browse hundreds of webcasts, video clips, podcasts, and slideshows from the Exploratorium's collection of original programming, from remote scientific expeditions to fun hands-on activities.
Chemistry Video Collection - Excellent selection of videos that relate to chemistry. Contains experiments and many simulations that might not be able to be demonstrated in a standard school lab.
Science Hack - Every video on this web site is screened by scientists to ensure accuracy.
Math Interactive- MathActive lessons are Flash-animated math modules designed for grades K-12. Each module features content that touches a geometry performance objective from the Arizona Academic Standards for mathematics.
Sports Science - Awesome collection of short videos that will engage kids in science and math from the people at ESPN.
Science Videos - A selection of engaging videos and podcasts from the creators at the New York Times.
Copernicus Project - Selection of short biology resources and videos.
How Stuff Works Science - Excellent collection of videos that cover interesting and engaging topics across the science curriculum.
Ted Talk - What an amazing place to begin some deep and meaningful conversations and thought. In fact, there are some amazing videos if you are working on the skill of collaboration. Or check out the hundreds of other categories.
Science For Kids - Cool place for videos and activities. But wait... while you are there check out Kids Math Games and Fun English Games. You will find a gold mine of resources that can be put into a unit to help your students master content in a project.
Thanks for joining me and for learning about Project Based Learning here at Tech &b Learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue this series on PBL Mania. After that, discover more posts devoted to 21st century education including such topics as Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy. I enjoy learning from all of you. Also, remember to subscribe to my 21centuryedtech Blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. I hope you enjoyed this journey through a land of on-line PBL multimedia possibilities. Have a great week! – Mike Gorman (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/ )