Search Results for: 16 great research websites

16 Great Research Websites for Kids

Please see the update here with more websites, kid-friendly browsers, citation resources, how to research, and a poster!

Quick, safe spots to send your students for research:

  1. BrainPop–with the BrainPop characters, a launchpad to curiosity
  2. CoolKidFacts–kid-friendly videos, pictures, info, and quizzes–all 100% suitable for children
  3. Dimensions–academic research geared for college-level
  4. Fact Monster–help with homework and facts
  5. Google Earth Timelapse–what changes to the planet over time
  6. Google Trends–what’s trending in searches
  7. History Channel–great speeches
  8. How Stuff Works–the gold standard in explaining stuff to kids
  9. Info Please–events cataloged year-by-year
  10. Library Spot–extensive collection of kid’s research tools
  11. National Geographic for Kids
  12. Ngram Viewer–analyzes all words in all books on Google Books
  13. SqoolTube Videos–educational videos for preK-12
  14. TagGalaxy–search using a cloud
  15. Wild Wordsmyth–picture dictionary for kids
  16. World Book–requires membership

More

Use Unconventional Research Sites to Inspire Students

How do I teach Inquiry and Research in Middle School

updated 3-22-21


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

12 Websites for Digital Books Summer Reading

At the beginning of the 21st century, the definition of digital equity revolved around the provision of a digital device to every student. Usually, that meant desktop computers, iPads, and laptops, either in small groups or 1:1. As digital equity discussions matured and hyperbole became reality, educators found that those loudly-touted digital devices often became paperweights. The reasons were varied (teacher training, infrastructure, and professional support to name a few), but one of the most prominent was money. Good intentions to give all students access to the world’s knowledge were derailed by the cost of the websites and webtools that made that happen. Turns out — and not really a surprise — the cost of the digital devices was minor compared to the cost of the websites and webtools required to meet goals.

There is one bright spot in this story: Online books. Thanks to the efforts of many devoted professionals and the financial support of more, there are a wide variety of free/inexpensive sources for books that students can use for classroom activities as well as pleasure.

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In Love with Space? Here are Great Websites to Take You There

Space units are always exciting. Part of it’s the history, but a lot is that space is our final frontier, a wild untamed land that man knows so little about. Now that Elon Musk’s SpaceX has safely delivered American astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time in almost a decade, the fever of excitement over space couldn’t be higher.

I have a list of over 20 websites I use to support this theme for K-8. Here are five of my favorites: 

SpaceX ISS Docking Simulator

This simulator will familiarize users with the controls of the actual interface used by NASA Astronauts to manually pilot the SpaceX Dragon 2 vehicle to the ISS. Successful docking is achieved when all greeen numbers in the center of the interface are below 0.2. Movement in space is slow and requires patience and precision.

This can be played online or as an app through Google Play.

Educational Application

This realistic webtool is an excellent scaffold for MS and HS students connecting STEM to their curiosity and excitement about space. Good applications not only for space but engineering, mechanics, and computer technology.

Cost: Free

Age group: MS and HS

Overall rating: 5/5

Build a Satellitebuild a satellite

This is an online simulation that challenges students to build a working satellite. They choose what science their satellite will study, select the wavelengths, instruments, and optics that will be required, and then build! After launch, students can learn about a large range of real astronomical missions dating from the 1980s and the data they collected.

The game is a cooperative effort of the James Webb Space Telescope and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Grammaropolis is aligned with both national Common Core standards and Texas Expected Knowledge and Skills Objectives for grades K-6. – See more at: http://www.techlearning.com/magazine/0007/grammaropolis/54131#sthash.bauH6spt.dpuf

Educational Applications

To build a satellite, students must understand advanced topics like wavelength and optics, and research scientific areas such as black holes, the Early Universe, and galaxies as they select what their satellite will study. A real interest in telescopes and space science will make this game more meaningful.

Cost: Free

Age group: High school and college

Overall rating: 5/5

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15 Websites to Teach Financial Literacy

When kids read that America’s $23 trillion+ debt is accepted by many experts as ‘business as usual’, I wonder how that news will affect their future personal finance decisions. Do they understand the consequences of unbalanced budgets? The quandary of infinite wants vs. finite dollars? Or do they think money grows on some fiscal tree that always blooms? The good news is: Half of the nation’s schools require a financial literacy course. The bad new is: Only half require a financial literacy course.

If your school doesn’t teach a course about personal economics, there are many online sites that address the topic as mini-lessons. Some are narrative; others games. Here are fifteen I like. See if one suits you:

Admongo

Age group: Middle school

Through this interactive video game, students learn to identify advertising and understand its messages with the goal of becoming informed, discerning consumers. To win the game, they will have to answer questions like, “Who is responsible for the ad?”, “What is the ad actually saying?”, and “What does the ad want me to do?” For educators and parents, Admongo includes tools like videos, lesson plans, printed materials, downloads, and alignment with state standards.

Admongo is put out by the Federal Trade Commission who also offers another well-received game, “Spam Scam Slam” about spam.

Banzai

Age group: middle and high school

Banzai is a personal finance curriculum that teaches high school and middle school students how to prioritize spending decisions through real-life scenarios and choose-

your-own adventure (kind of) role playing. Students start the course with a pre-test to determine a baseline for their financial literacy. They then engage in 32 life-based interactive scenarios covering everything from balancing a budget to adjusting for unexpected bills like car trouble or health problems. Once they’ve completed these exercises, they pretend that they have just graduated from high school, have a job, and must save $2,000 to start college. They are constantly tempted to mis-spend their limited income and then must face the consequences of those actions, basing decisions on what they learned in the 32 scenarios. Along the way, students juggle rent, gas, groceries, taxes, car payments, and life’s ever-present emergencies. At the end, they take a post-test to measure improvement in their financial literacy.

The program is free, takes about eight hours (depending upon the student), and can include printed materials as well as digital.

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Spotlight: How One Teacher Taught Digital Citizenship Via Student-driven Websites

Sheila Slawek teaches digital literacy & computer science. I’ve known Sheila a long time and am profoundly impressed by how she passionately and energetically blends technology authentically into the learning lives of her students. When she showed me the websites her 8th grade students put together–by themselves–I begged her to share with my AATT audience how this came about. When you read this, I think you’ll find her can-do attitude and never-quit approach infectious. Here’s her story:

Beyond Expectations

I’m an inner city, level 4 middle school teacher that provides free daily breakfasts and lunches to a diverse student population. Every semester I receive new students for each grade level and I always wonder, what will we accomplish?  I noticed that my eighth-grade class contained 16 students vs. the usual 24 students. The 8th grade just received their own profiled laptop since the school was deploying a blended learning/personalized learning initiative and the 1:1 student laptop was a key project. Of course, being the tech coordinator for this initiative, I was politely asked by a random number of teachers as they passed me in the hall, “so now that the students have laptops, how are they going to learn what they need to be able to use them in my class?” I quickly assessed that the teachers didn’t realize that they will provide instructions regarding the technology their students will use. I was perplexed since I thought to myself, the district has been deploying laptops to schools for 10 years! This initiative was just the next step of student ownership. Ownership of not only the assigned laptops, but ownership of their learning! With all of this going through my mind, I only had time to giggle as we passed each other while walking out students to their destination.

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orton-gillingham

13 Websites That Provide Lots of Digital Books for Summer Reading

online readingAt the beginning of the 21st century, the definition of digital equity revolved around the provision of a digital device to every student. Usually, that meant desktop computers, iPads, and laptops, either in small groups or 1:1. As digital equity discussions matured and hyperbole became reality, educators found that those loudly-touted digital devices often became paperweights. The reasons were varied (teacher training, infrastructure, and professional support to name a few), but one of the most prominent was money. Good intentions to give all students access to the world’s knowledge were derailed by the cost of the websites and webtools that made that happen. Turns out — and not really a surprise — the cost of the digital devices was minor compared to the cost of the websites and webtools required to meet goals.

There is one bright spot in this story: Online books. Thanks to the efforts of many devoted professionals and the financial support of more, there are a wide variety of free/inexpensive sources for books that students can use for classroom activities as well as pleasure.

FREE

Here are eight sites that offer free books for kids to adults:

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videos

10 Reasons Why Videos are Great Educational Tools

mysimpleshowI’ve written a lot lately about the benefits of using videos in your classroom. Guest author, Emily Clearly over at mysimpleshow has ten more reasons why videos are a great educational tool for your teaching:

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Videos are in line with the technological times and can be accessed on the Internet at any point, from wherever you are in the world. Education is something that will never go out of style. Why not put the two together?

There are plenty of reasons why videos are great educational tools, and there are many tools on the web to help provide you with video content. You can hire professionals to create videos for you if your budget allows. Video hosting sites like YouTube, Wistia, and Vimeo offer endless options for pre-curated content. Although they are helpful, sometimes these sites can be over-saturated with content. That’s where video creation tools like mysimpleshow come in (see the sample video created below, using mysimpleshow). The tool is great for creating more tailored and personal content, and you end up with a professional quality explainer video in no time, and without budget! It’s simple, and adding videos to lessons really engages the learner.

If you’re not a believer in video and need some convincing, or you’re still slowly hopping on the bandwagon, here are 10 reasons why educators should be using video inside and outside of the classroom.

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geography

10 Websites + 4 Apps that Make Geography Fun

geographyOne of the hardest challenges for teachers is how to engage students in core subjects such as geography. It’s about mountains and rocks and valleys that haven’t changed for thousands of years. Why is that interesting? If you aren’t a geography buff, you’re probably nodding. You know what I mean. But watch how quickly the fourteen resources  below morph geography from dusty to dynamic:

2-minute Geology

2-minute Geology is a collection of two-minute videos that address the geology of locations around the world. The presenter is clever, the taping professional, and the experience mesmerizing as students are immersed in the importance of geology around the world–in just two minutes.

Continents Explained

Continents Explained is a four-minute humorous video that discusses the difficulty of defining continents on our planet (with a brief cameo from a Minecraft-like character). I came away scratching my head, wondering how the heck the experts ended up with the seven continents we all accept rather than four–or twelve. The video is engaging, energizing, and informative. This is a must for any discussion on continents.

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elections 2016

11 Websites that Explain Elections

voteI published this article in early October, but am republishing it as our American elections are upon us. I got a lot of good feedback from readers, as well as a few new sites, so the collection has increased from 8 to 11:

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In about half the world’s nations–such as those ruled by socialism, communism, dictators, and autocracies–law and order are decided by government agencies, often people placed in power by those already in power. When America wrote its Democracy-based Constitution and Bill of Rights in the late 1700’s, we chose a different route. Called ‘the Grand Experiment’, the founders empowered ordinary citizens–farmers, shopkeepers, laborers, and seamstresses–to elect the individuals who would protect America’s shores, our freedoms, and our way of life. Fifty years after our inception, it was still unclear whether it would work. In fact, Abraham Lincoln warned:

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

A hundred years later, Gore Vidal bemoaned:

“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”

Still, every four years, Americans make a critical choice that will shape our nation’s path. Because decisions are made by the people rather than government agencies, citizens are expected to research their options and then vote for the Presidential candidate most qualified to fulfill the country’s goals.

With this most influential position up for grabs in just a few months, I’ve curated a list of eight websites to share with students as they prepare for the day they’ll be asked to cast their vote and decide the future. The first five explain elections in general and the next three teach the process through gamification.

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