The Community

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The programming language known as Scratch is a tool that has been used by students and educators throughout the world as a means of expression, collaboration, creative thinking development, and often just plain fun. The website is designed to be a worldwide hub for sharing, discussing, and learning about this tool and is an excellent resource for educators as well as students. The program is described on the site's About page:

Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art—and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

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on Aug 23, 2010
by Laura Beth Fay
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Come SCUBA with us in WhyReef—a virtual coral reef—and discover the splendors of coral reefs and the creatures that make reefs their homes! Observe amazing reef species from the Harlequin Shrimp and the Giant Triton Snail to the White-Tip Reef Shark, count and identify species to monitor reef populations just like scientists do, or play the Food Web Game to figure out how these creatures depend on one another.

Imagine being able to virtually explore the undersea world, make informed decisions about the ecological future of the world, and communicate with a marine biologist (AskMark)!

Imagine having access to database filled with all the Earth's living organisms!

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on Aug 16, 2010
by Linda Biondi
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For a novice Podcaster like me who has never used podcasting in the classroom, the book, Podcasting at School, is a must to read.

I always thought that I was fairly techno savvy. After all, I had six working computers in the classroom; students published their writing pieces on the computer and created PowerPoints; and we even dabbled in a classroom blog. However, I realized that I was not taking advantage of what my students had to offer and I was not preparing them to be literate learners in today’s world.

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on Aug 12, 2010
by Linda Biondi
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Step back and listen to "Virtual Love" by Legrand. This music video is a collaboration that took place among 20 Japanese students at Temple University in Tokyo and Philadelphia. Relax as you watch the music video, a musical, upbeat walk through various social media and desktop applications. It certainly will get the listener to tap/rap along.

Director JJ Aucouturier, known as JJ Madrigal in Second Life, met Legrand at a music industry convention, and asked the East Coast rapper if he was interested in getting involved in a unique project:

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on Aug 12, 2010
by Linda Biondi
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Video games and young adults sometimes “get a bad rap”. Sponsored by Learning “Playing and the game design company GameLab, a New York-based project is helping kids create and construct serious video games. As educators, we realize that the potential for video games as learning tools is overwhelming.

Students perform better when they are connected, engaged, and meaningfully involved in their work.  In the 1990s, Dennis Harper, founder of Generation YES, developed a program for the Olympia School District in Washington State that engaged students in teaching teachers about technology.  Students helped teachers understand concepts such as PowerPoint and web page design while learning about the various topics in the school curriculum. By encouraging student ownership, meaningful student involvement occurred which directly influenced student literacy.

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on Aug 12, 2010
by Linda Biondi
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ArtSnacks is a social learning network created by Kevin Honeycutt to offer kids, especially those without art teachers, free art lessons and help them build up their confidence. Since its beginning days it has grown into a great space with over 15, 000 art works posted. Not only are kids learning to draw but they are learning to become good online citizens as they comment on the work of others in a polite, constructive ways. Kids are drawn into these short drawing lessons that are chock full of aligned curriculum in science, history and more.

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on Aug 12, 2010
by Rita Sorrentino
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Darfur is Dying a newsgame, released in 2006, is a browser game about the crisis in Darfur, western Sudan. The design of the game was led by Susana Ruiz who was inspired to create the game after her nephew told her about a lesson his teacher presented about the Holocaust. She was shocked to learn that the lesson did not speak at all to genocides that are happening in the world at the present time.

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on Aug 11, 2010
by Linda Biondi
DigiTales Book Cover
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DigiTales, The Art of Telling Digital Stories, is the website of Bernajean Porter providing ideas and resources for enhancing the art of storytelling with digital tools. Digital storytelling invites a multimedia approach to personal narratives, family stories, and oral history, as well as informative and persuasive stories in various subjects across the curriculum. The technology that is readily available today provides opportunities to create new types of communication weaving written text with images and sound giving voice to the author’s story in creative and compelling ways.

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on Aug 11, 2010
by Rita Sorrentino
Book Cover of American Born Chinese
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"Well, I think it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my experiences as an Asian-American, and that's something that I still struggle with and I still have to think through. I think that this book has opened up a lot of really good conversations with other people, especially other Asian-American men, about our common experiences. And that's been really good for me."

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on Aug 9, 2010
by Rita Sorrentino
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Our global community has expanded but in spite of how close we have become, our students don’t always have the ability to understand what is happening in the world. Imagine being able to provide our students with the opportunity to “walk in someone’s shoes”.  Games for Change is one organization dedicated to providing resources for you to do just that.

The Games for Change website describes the organization this way:

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on Aug 6, 2010
by Linda Biondi

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