Tools and resources for science teachers

As I browse through tweets and Facebook pages, I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the wealth of resources that are available for teaching STEM topics! I’ve learned to skim selectively, looking at some right away and bookmarking others that relate to current projects and curriculum topics or that are versatile and adaptable to a variety of situations. Here are a few that I discovered this month:

50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About – OK, I don’t have the time or energy to master all 50 of these! But the author divides them into four categories: Social Learning, Learning, Lesson Planning and Tools, and other Useful Tools. I was pleased to see that I was familiar with a few in each category, and I’ve added a few more to my “explore these” to-do list.

NASA recently announced its Wavelength Digital Library, a collection of resources for earth and space science education. With Wavelength you can find educator resources including hands-on learning, discussions, guided inquiry, models, and visualizations (more than 600 just for elementary grades!), NASA apps, videos, and images.

NOAA’s Ocean Today website has recently added its 100th video. These are brief clips that could be used as bellringers or discussion starters. They are embedded in the NOAA site, not as YouTube videos. If you don’t have time to preview them all yourself, this could be a task for students to “preview and review”!

And from NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory: The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season in 4.5 Minutes. It’s fascinating to watch the movement patterns of clouds, and hang on for the 3:36 time when Hurricane Sandy first appears. This NOAA site has many other animations and photographs.

If your students are eager to add music to their presentations and online projects (along with the visuals), check with you technology coordinator for the latest in copyright guidelines for sound files. Students also discover that the cool songs this week might sound “lame” a few weeks later! So you might want to show them some sources of “timeless” music they can use without worrying about copyright limitations. Two that were suggested recently are Royalty-Free Music and Purple Planet. I would still have students document the source of the music, though.

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2 Comments

  1. stephanie Janes
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing the Links. They will prove to be most helpful. I especially look forward to showing my students the 4.5 min video of the 2012 hurricane season. I believe it will help them understand how this storms form and move up the east coast. Another interesting point to teach with children is the weather moves in different directions. This video I will be able to use in many aspects of my curriculum. Thank you again for compiling these resources and tools.

  2. Mary Bigelow
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Stephanie– I’m glad that these resources will be helpful. Living in the northeast, my students had firsthand experiences with hurricanes, nor’easters, and blizzards, but when they heard the news about tornadoes, they were perplexed: “Why don’t they evacuate the people ahead of time??” It helped when they saw how quickly tornadoes form and how narrow their path is, compared to larger storm systems! These videos can help us to address misconceptions!

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