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More cool e-learning for kids (and their grown-ups)

September 10, 2010
A Sea nettle jellyfish.

Image via Wikipedia

I noticed that a post of mine cool e-learning for kids got a few hits a day, fairly consistently, so I thought it must be time for a follow up.  When I googled “cool e-learning for kids”, my blog post came up at #4 – which is not to say “yay me”, but more of a “is this a common search topic, and can I add some more goodies to people’s toolboxes?”.

One of the things that I think is really powerful is for educators to use resources as part of their learning strategy, not go looking for a packaged solution.  My suggestions are piecemeal for a reason.  I would like to see interesting things incorporated into hands-on activities, instead of info dumps.

But, if you need inspiration for a full game – check out Karl Kapp’s suggestions.

My younger daughter’s school is doing a year-long “water theme”, which I think is pretty cool.  And not just any old water, but understanding the waters around them – creeks, lakes, rivers (ok, no rivers on our island) and the Pacific Ocean.  They even have a seaquaria to house local critters for closer inspection (urchins, crabs, spot prawns…may also provide a sushi buffet should we even get locked in the school). 

I searched for some water themed e-learning, and this is what I located:

  • OxFam: Water for All.
  • Somehow I ended up on Virtual Musuem of Canada, which has a bunch of virtual exhibits and a teacher community.
  • Then, I found nature.ca, where they have a number of sites – one is about the Rideau river – I think it would be so profound for a teacher to encourage our kids to CREATE a site like this.  To me this would be an ultimate of e-learning – not only are the kids learning about their natural environment, but they are using 21st century skills to build a website, populated with photos, videos, interactive stuff. 
  • This isn’t related to water, but as I meandered through the government of canada’s teaching resources, this detecting forgery game on currency canada site seemed very intriguing – Parks Canada has an Adventure Zone – games, etc.
  • This site has a whole bunch of educational resources related to my search.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium has tons of games, too.  But, I wouldn’t be a good Canadian if I didn’t mention David Suzuki‘s One Ocean, an informative documentary and interactive website.

What an exciting time to be a teacher – the resources available are mind-boggling.   

PS – While I was writing this post, I checked out the Orca Lab again and for a few minutes listened to the somewhat distant calls of the northern resident orca!  How lucky was that?

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