Saturday, September 27, 2008

PBS Mass Media Resources

PBS Site: Children spend the majority of their days consuming mass media. On average, children spend four-and-a-half hours a day using television, video games and computers. Yet children are not provided with the tools needed to evaluate and analyze the media messages they see.
Teachers have the ability to engage students in media literacy — the ability to access, evaluate, analyze and produce both electronic and print media — by dissecting pop culture and advertisements. Media literacy education can help students build critical thinking and analytic skills, become more discriminating in the use of mass media, distinguish between reality and fantasy, and consider whether media values are their values.
This section provides extension classroom activities related to the games on Don't Buy It. The activities are intended for children in grades 3 - 5 and offer suggestions to incorporate media education into your curriculum.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Smithsonian New Partner with Thinkfinity! is proud to announce the launch of its newest Partner: “Smithsonian’s History Explorer”
Today the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, in partnership with Verizon’s, launched “Smithsonian’s History Explorer.” The museum’s new education Web site offers free, standards-based, innovative resources for teaching and learning American history.
Resources available to teachers, parents, students and others include lessons, activities and interactive games that can be searched by grade level, keyword and historical era. Learning activities feature objects selected from the more than 3 million artifacts in the museum’s collections and draw on the expertise of the museum’s renowned curatorial staff making “Smithsonian’s History Explorer” a unique educational experience.
Students can sharpen their critical thinking skills by exploring objects such as a Native American buffalo hide painting, take electronic behind-the-scenes field trips with museum curators to learn how exhibitions are produced or play online matching games where they can discover the seven roles of the President or how to build a sod house.
Teachers will find a wealth of standards-based classroom activities, interactives, media clips and museum objects that can be easily be integrated into any K-12 curriculum as well as professional development opportunities that will help them bring history to life for their students.

“Smithsonian’s History Explorer” was developed under the guidance of a teacher advisory group and made possible by a grant from the Verizon Foundation. The site is accessible at and via

Friday, September 12, 2008

Discover Great Ways to Incorporate Video

The Discovery Education streamathon will take place September 23 from 9am-9pm (Eastern). This 12-hour marathon consists of a series of one-hour webinars. Each webinar is focused on Discovery streaming; however, there are lots of great ideas for Web 2.0 resources and how to use video in the classroom. Register individually, or see if someone in your building can set up a computer in a lab so you can just pop in and watch for 15 minutes, or watch together with your colleagues.
Learn about integrating video into Powerpoint during your free period. See
how to integrate Web 2.0 into the Builders over lunch. Share the latest in
digital storytelling techniques with your colleagues in the teachers lounge.
Come for 1 hour or spend the entire day with us!

For more information, or to register, visit: