It’s time for another “Best” list!
I’m adding this post to ALL MY END-OF-YEAR “BEST” LISTS FOR 2018 IN ONE PLACE!
Let me know what I’m missing…
I published a series of guest posts about teaching Science to English Language Learners. You can see them all here.
Weather 2050 is a new interactive from Vox that lets you see what the average winter and summer temperature is predicted to me in your town in ….2050. It’s not a pretty picture. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change.
How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born? is a new New York Times interactive that lets you type in name of your hometown (or any town) and the year of your birth. It will then show you the number of increased days the temperature there has been over ninety and the anticipated increase into the future.
Discovering the Great Indoors was the headline of a recent NY Time column. It talked about a “citizens scientist” initiative for people to photograph insects in their home and upload it to a site called iNaturalist, where scientists then help identify the species and use the information for research. When I went to the site, I learned that this effort is just a tiny fraction of its features. Anyone can use their app to take pictures of just about anything in nature and contribute to an enormous real-world science project.
Here’s how they describe it:
One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
They also have a separate teacher page filled with ideas on how to use the app and site.
I periodically use science projects as language-learning opportunities, this app seems like a great tool – it’s always much more motivating for students when they are doing something that has an “authentic audience” other than the teacher!
Here’s a video about the site:
Zooniverse and GlobalXplorer are two other tools where students can do science projects that have a real-world impact. Read about them at:
America’s Most Endangered Species: Celebrating America’s Landmark Environmental Legislation is a new interactive the NatureServe organization. It’s pretty impressive. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For World Biodiversity Day (& Endangered Species Day).
Legends of Learning offers a ton of cool science games for students, and the ability to create a virtual classroom and track student progress. I originally posted about them last year (see “Legends Of Learning” Is New Game-Based Site That Lets Teachers Create Free (For Awhile) Virtual Classrooms). However, as an addendum to that post says, I eventually discovered it was only free for the first month. I’ll take responsibility for that error, and I also think the site could and should have made that more clear.
Over the summer, I received an email that said this:
Now Legends of Learning is Forever Free
Yep, you heard that right – you’ll no longer need coins to use Legends of Learning in your classroom. In fact, we’re flipping it – launching this Fall, the more you use Legends of Learning, the more swag you’ll earn! We see awesome capes and socks in your future! Paid accounts still get advanced features, but the Legends of Learning educational games will always be free for you to use.
Keeping in my mind my mistake from last year, I followed-up with them. Here’s the chat dialogue:
LF: I’d like a clarification – does it cost anything for teachers to create virtual classrooms and for students to play the games?
LOL: Hi there! It costs nothing for you to create playlists of games and launch them for students. Which I think is along the lines of what you were asking
LF: I’m writing a blog post about the site. What and when exactly do teachers begin paying? Can they track student progress for free, or is that part of a premium plan?
LOL: Hi there! It costs nothing for you to create playlists of games and launch them for students.
If this is indeed the case and, based on the chat, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to doubt it, then Legends of Learning seems like an amazing site for science teachers. I’m adding this info to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress.
I’m adding this new video to The Best Web Tools That Show You Objects To Scale:
I’m adding this video to The Best Sites For Learning About Voyager 1 & Its Departure From Our Solar System:
Here’s how Skype A Scientist describes itself:
Skype a Scientist matches scientists with classrooms around the world! Scientists will skype into the classroom for 30-60 minute Q and A sessions that can cover the scientist’s expertise or what it’s like to be a scientist. We want to give students the opportunity to get to know a “real scientist”, and this program allows us to reach students from all over the world without having to leave the lab! We have over 2150 scientists ready to chat, and teachers can choose the type of scientist that will fit their classroom. Let’s start a conversation!
I’m adding this info to The Best Sites Where Students Can Ask Science Questions & Receive Responses.