May 31, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
As I’ve posted in Updated: Here Are The Sites I’m Using For My Summer School “Virtual Classroom,” I’ve set-up virtual classrooms for my present Beginning English Language Learner students who are moving up to Intermediate English with me next year; my present ELL Geography students who moving into World History with me; and my present World History students going into U.S. History.
We’ll be spending Thursday and Friday in the library and computer lab getting students registered and familiar with the sites, and I announced those plans today.
However, with the work involved in setting those activities up, I neglected to do anything for my present ELL U.S. History students who will be entering Economics/Government class next year with a different teacher (who is very open to giving them extra credit). And several made it very clear today that they wanted that option available to them.
So, with school ending soon, I scrambled tonight to set up some activities they could do for Economics. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull a Government component together in time.
So, here’s what I have for them. Please let me know if you have positive or negative opinions of them (I was able to give them a fairly good look-over and tried their “demos,” but I didn’t have time to give my usual extensive review), or suggestions for others. They needed to have some kind of process where I could monitor process and validate their work, be free of cost, and, of course, be relatively accessible to English Language Learners:
Hands On Banking is from Wells Fargo. It doesn’t actually let teachers create virtual classrooms, but there are assessments that students can take at the end of the course which appears they can either print-out or take a screenshot of demonstrating they completed the program.
Money Skill looks like an accessible online series of activities (they provide audio support for much of the text) and the interactives look relatively engaging. They say they typically provide instructors with an account within twenty-four hours, and I’m hoping they stick to that commitment.
FoolProof seems to have a lot of similarities to Money Skill, including instructors needing to wait for twenty-four hours until they get their account.
GeniRevolution is clearly more complicated than the first three, and is designed like a series of video games. It was hard for me to understand how to play it (however, you have to remember that I look back fondly at “Pong”). I am, though, regularly surprised at how sophisticated my students are at figured these kinds of activities out, so I’m going to offer it as an option. It’s easy to set-up up a virtual classroom and you’re given a class code immediately.
EverFi is good, but our economics teachers already use it with their students during the school year.
There you have it. I’m all ears from those more experienced than me – I’ve only taught Economics and Government once, and it was several years ago.