Think online curriculum and math and science come to mind, but MobyMax has a new set of materials for first-, second- and third grade social studies curriculum; the company’s fourth- through eighth-grade content is on the way. The interactive material covers four of the NGSS areas, including economics, geography, government and history and is personalized to each student based on their needs and abilities.
Mastering basic math can be taught as a matter of specific tricks and shortcuts that let you do just about everything in your head, and that’s where Origo One comes in. The company’s YouTube site has five free math videos that show how to do math without a pencil or paper in sight. There are minute-long clips on everything from the doubling strategy for adding numbers to counting by fives. Look for Origo One to add more in the coming weeks.
Adobe Slate is a great way to teach kids how to tell and show stories, but it has suffered from the lack of ability to incorporate videos from YouTube and other online repositories. Well, version 1.3 of Slate can do that as well as put Google photos into a story and has added a Vintage theme to its repertoire of settings. It remains an iPad exclusive with no Android app available, but you can use the online version.
Kurbo can’t replace a good gym coach and teacher, but it can help overweight kids shed a few pounds and get into shape. After setting goals for weight, nutrition and fitness, the app provides daily email, text or phone motivation and sets up periodic video conferences with a coach to review the progress, suggest new activities and provide encouragement. The key is that the interface delivers a traffic light motif for yes, no or maybe. The app costs $85 per month, but can be licensed by schools at a discount.
Correctly footnoting a paper is never the first thing students think of, which makes EasyBib an essential app for iPad or Android schools. The free software works in MLA, APA and University of Chicago styles and can compile a screen’s worth of citations as they come up during research. You can search for specific books, find them through their bar code or scan them with a Web cam. Either way, they’re there in the app’s database ready to be integrated into an essay or emailed to a teacher for approval. It’s free and works with iOS systems as well as Androids.
While other curriculum packages treat struggling students as an after-thought, PowerUp What Works puts them front and center. The service has the lesson plans, strategies, videos and customizable materials they need to catch up with the rest of the class. The resources are available for free to OpenEd subscribers, placing this wealth of teaching resources at their disposal.
Google Play for Education and the movie “Interstellar” have teamed up with a slew of lessons that use the film as a way to teach about the science of space. There are 20 lessons online that are indexed to Common Core and Next Generation Science standards, including designing a planet, building your own biosphere and a tutorial on black holes.
The weekly print edition of Time for Kids is now supplemented by a digital one with a classroom app for iPads. The software and content are free until the end of the year. In addition to getting kids caught up on world and national affairs, TFK has a multitude of videos, images, maps and animated sequences.
Instead of concentrating on creating classroom software for PCs and Macs, Net Texts is focusing on individual apps for iPads and iPhones, Androids and the Chrome browser. The system provides a good variety of classroom content that’s absolutely free with over 1,000 K-12 courses that are ready and waiting. The service has everything from a look at Greek sculpture from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to a Big History survey.
Regardless of whether it’s for connecting a classroom with a sick child, to talk to a parent remotely or to watch a virtual field trip, video conferencing is taking hold in most schools. Lifesize lets you do it without any extra hardware because all you need is a PC, Mac, iPad or Android device and a good Internet connection. The system lets you log-on, talk and see other participants in high definition video without expensive hardware or busting the budget. The company’s package of 25 licenses can be extended to 625 actual users, more than enough for the typical elementary or middle school. At $7,500, it adds up to about a dollar a month per user. You can set up a remote demo of the system or try it out for two-weeks for free.