Learning from others: Wondersay/Wondersaid

As I shared in the last post, I love learning about tools that are new to me from the learners taking our Classroom Technology course.  This is another of those times. Wondersay is a very cool little app that animates text. Pick a quote or statement, and let it animate your work.  Click here to see an example in action (WordPress left something to be desired in the area of embedding…).

This tool would be great for a set to project and grab students’ attention when entering a classroom or to animate a website. A Wondersay could also be created by students of any age and then shared by a link as no account is required to create one.

The quote you’ll see, I like it so it is here too.  Happy Friday!

Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.  ~ Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer/philosopher



The Friday Five: Food Safety

This Friday Five is dedicated to an important cause, food safety. (I was reminded of its importance late last week, I wish the restaurant that made the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich I ordered investigated some of these resources. Perhaps I would have been able to blog sooner this week! :P) But I digress. Every FACS/food class and many health classes focus on food safety and food preparation safety. These free resources could easily come in handy either as individual assignments to explore, or in some cases, as resources to share and explore collectively.

Number 1: From Canada, this CBC Marketplace place resource has an interactive investigation of a coffee shop and key points to food prep safety consumers can watch for in any fast food place. This interactive also has links to  additional resources about food poisoning, news reports, and eighteen more pieces on food safety, some with videos.

Number 2:  Food Safety Mobile Game from the USDA. The USDA’s flash game has safety tips and questions on how to handle food safely with a focus on fighting “BAC” (bacteria).  The Food Safety Mobile Game would be great for elementary and younger middle school-aged students, though a high school student might enjoy it too (if no-one is looking).

Number 3 (probably my favorite): Food Safety Music from the University of California. 27 “downloadable” songs parody mainstream songs and all focus on food safety. The songs also have PowerPoint slide presentations with accompanying lyrics and clip-art, lyric files, Flash animations and in some cases concert footage. Pretty fun, really, check it out!

Number 4:  Food Hygiene Mission Control, an interactive series of quizzes, games and information aimed at young people ages 7-14 and their teachers/parents. The teacher resources includes two printable activities, a glossary, and links to more resources.

Number 5: From the American Museum of Natural History, the interactive “magazine” Infection Protection Detection. With articles, a game on cafeteria bacteria, an introduction to scientists in this field, links to related content on the web and more, the American Museum of Natural History created a user-friendly resource for students through at least grade 8.

And just for good measure, number 6: Curriculum on food safety for all grade levels. For K-3, a script for a skit on food safety, ideas for storytelling and other lessons focusing on food safety. For grades 4-8, experiments, games and activities focusing on fighting bacteria and food illnesses. And for grades 9-12, a link to the USDA’s food safety program for high school students including a free curriculum kit with video, teachers guide and lessons for the classroom.

Happy Friday and here’s to healthy, enjoyable dining! 🙂

A New Day, a New Resource

Sitting in a meeting discussing a project which is part of a MN E2T2 (Enhancing Education Through Technology) Grant, I learned about a resource which was new to me: the MN Video Vault, a free collection of video resources published by TPT, Twin Cities Public Television, our local PBS station.

Resources in the MN Video Vault are “searchable” by program title, interest areas (people, places, history, MN issues, arts/entertainment and special collections) or in the “educators” section, by subject (Language Arts, Science and Social Studies) and standard.

While much of  MN Video Vault‘s content has a Minnesota focus, the resources could easily act a springboard for discussions of local issues, research and personal histories.

Beyond the MN Video Vault, PBS does a great job with a free “on demand” viewing resource bank with full-length shows including “The NewsHour,” “NOVA,”  “Great Performances,” “Frontline,” “The American Experience” and more. Additionally, when viewing the site for a show, (e.g. the CCC video in “The American Experience) there are additional resources which would be great for educators even if not using the video including interactive maps, time lines, photo galleries, and more.

Great resources for many grade levels and disciplines.

Westward Ho! At least for the US Post…

Have you seen the interactive web curriculum and game designed by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum? “Moving the Mail West” is a neat combination of interactive time lines, lesson plans, an interactive game about the Pony Express, and more all with the purpose of teaching the history of communication in the Western US.  Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, this web experience is a great one designed for grades 6-9 but would be interesting (and fun) for older students (or even adults) who are interested in this time period in history too.