Looking for ways to inspire a love of reading and writing in your students? Digital storytelling is a great way to get disinterested or struggling readers and writers involved in storytelling. Storybird is a collection of unique artwork that provides a stimulus and a background to begin a story. Young writers can browse through the diverse archives of illustrations to find images that match their story or inspire them. Once a story is complete, students can share their creations with a global community of writers. Check out this article from SimpleK12 for other language arts tools.
Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that gives you answers to any question. This free tool can be used in any subject area, but many of the uses focus on the math and sciences. Enter any calculation, simple or complex, and Wolfram Alpha will solve it. It can even show step-by-step solutions and offer other ways of solving a given equation. Teachers can use this tool in the classroom or show it to their students for homework help. Check out this article for examples on how Wolfram Alpha works.
So much of education takes place indoors. Help reconnect your students with nature by taking them out-of-doors with Project Noah. Students can take pictures of anything from fungi to mammals and submit them to contribute to the global project for documentation. Project Noah also offers special registration for teachers for more ideas on getting your students to become citizen scientists. Check out this article and video for more information about Project Noah.
HistoryPin is a user-generated archive of historical photos, videos, audio, and more. Teachers can take their students back in time by exploring the extensive archives in class and even get their students involved in the project. Anyone can contribute by submitting pictures and stories of their local community. Teachers can use this resource to teach their students the importance of getting involved on a local level and taking pride in their community. For more ideas on how to use HistoryPin in the classroom, check out this article.
Learn just about any major language with Duolingo. This app and site combines game-play with language-learning to make language acquisition fun and effective. Each account is specific to that individual user, which means that students can build their skills at their own pace and receive personalized feedback. Duolingo even has various lesson plans and activities to help students along their language-learning journey. For more ideas on how to use Duolingo in your classroom, check out this article.
Available on iPhones and iPads, Joytunes is a series of apps that combines game play with music education to help students learn how to play the piano. There are three different levels of learning with these apps. The first is an introduction to the piano, the next is a more in-depth tool where students can learn complete pieces of music, and the final level lets students learn all the basics of music in a step-by-step fashion. Since the piano uses both bass clef and treble clef, it is a great instrument to start music education. Check out this article on the power of music in the classroom.