Kamis, 16 Desember 2010

Best 10 Free Online Resources for High Science Teachers

One of the greatest ways technology can empower teachers is by helping them demonstrate concepts and by making it easier for students to learn through their own exploration and experimentation.
Because science teachers are often called upon to teach topics that are too large, too small, happen too fast, happen too slowly, require equipment that is too expensive, or has the potential to blow up a laboratory, the Internet can be particularly helpful in assisting them convey a concept.

Universities, non-profit organizations and scientists with free time have put an overwhelming number of resources for teaching science on the web. These are nine of our favorites.

1. The Periodic Table of Videos

A group of scientists based at the University of Nottingham added some character to the static periodic table of elements by creating a short video for each one.
Hydrogen, for instance, seems much more exciting after you’ve seen what happens when you hold a match to a balloon that is filled with it, and it’s easier to remember the name Darmstadtium after you have seen Darmstadt.
The group also puts out a non-YouTube version of the site for schools that have blocked the site.

2. Teach the Earth

The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College has compiled just about every fathomable resource for geoscience educators. By serving as the portal to helpful web pages from dozens of independent project websites, the site provides visuals, classroom activities and course descriptions for everything from oceanography to “red tide and harmful algal blooms.”

3. Stellarium

Stellarium is a planetarium for your computer. Just input your location and explore the sky outside or the view from any other location. The program offers up information on stars, nebulae, planets and constellations according to 12 different cultures.
In addition to being ideal for classroom astronomy lessons, Stellarium’s open source software is also used to light up the screens of a number of real planetariums.
Even though Google Sky won’t give you a view from a specific location, it will direct you to specific galaxies, planets and stars or to a map of the moon that notes where each of the six Apollo missions landed.

4. YouTube

“What happens when you put Cesium in water?” is a question that in some cases is best answered by YouTube. YouTube’s archive of demonstrations have the advantage of being safe, clean and unlikely to catch on fire.
You’ll find experiments for most concepts just by using the search bar. But if you’re in a browsing mood, check out this list of the 100 coolest science experiments on YouTube.
Most schools that block YouTube allow access to educational alternatives like TeacherTube and School Tube.

5. NASA Education

NASA has lesson plans, videos and classroom activities for science subjects ranging from Kindergarten to university levels. The best part of this resource gold mine is that it’s easy to search by keyword or to browse by grade level, type of material or subject.
Check out the Be a Martian Game, the interactive timeline and the NASA Space Place for some smart fun.

6. Learn.Genetics

These resources for learning about genetics by the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center include interactive visualizations, 3D animations and activities. Student activities include taking a “tour” of DNA, a chromosome or a protein, building a DNA molecule, or exploring the inside of a cell.
The university is also building a sister site, Teach.Genetics, with print-and-go lesson plans and supplemental materials for some channels on the Learn.Genetics site.

7. The Concord Consortium

The Concord Consortium is a non-profit organization that helps develop technologies for math, science and engineering education. Their free, open source software is available for teachers to download to use in their classes. They include visualizations and models for a broad range of topics.
Some examples include: The Molecular Workbench, a free tool that creates interactive simulations for everything from cellular respiration to chemical bonding. Geniquest introduces students to cutting-edge genetics using dragons as their model organisms; Evolution Readiness is a project designed to teach fourth graders about evolution concepts using simulations; and The ITSI-SU Project provides lab-based activities involving probes, models and simulations.
To search for classroom activities across all projects, teachers can use the site’s Activity Finder to browse by subject, grade level or keyword.

8. The ChemCollective

The ChemCollective, a project that is funded by the National Science Foundation, allows students to design and carry out their own experiments in a virtual laboratory and provides virtual lab problems, real-world scenarios, concept tests, simulations, tutorials and course modules for learning basic chemistry.
The project recently won a Science Prize for Online Resources in Education from Science Magazine.

9. Scitable

Scitable is both the Nature Publishing Group’s free science library and a social network. Teachers can create a “classroom” with a customized reading list, threaded discussions, news feeds and research tools. There’s also an option to use the material on the site to create a customized e-book for free that can include any of the more than 500 videos, podcasts or articles on the site.
Topic rooms combine articles, discussions and groups related to one key concept in science and make it easy to find material that is relevant to your class and connect with people who are also passionate about the subject.
What resources did you find most helpful, or what great science tools did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.

10. Impact: Earth!

Want to see how a particular projectile from space would affect the Earth? With this tool that was developed for Purdue University, your students can enter the projectile parameters, angle and velocity to calculate what would happen if the object were to actually hit Earth. You can also get the details on the projectiles that caused famous craters.

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