Cool Websites for Kids
Easy access to multiple technologies makes this a genuinely exciting time to begin the process of going global at any school. In fact, one of the fastest and most effective ways to incorporate a global approach is through the use of digital technologies. Computers, interactive software, video conferencing, games, online courses, blogs, educational television, video sharing websites, cell phones and more devices and services than can be named connect our world like never before. They have decreased the importance of distance and increased our ability to learn from each other--to see new places, meet new people, explore other cultures, learn new languages, share ideas and collaboratively generate new ones. Bringing the world into the classroom has never been faster, easier or more motivating for teachers and learners. Below is a list of sites, games and activities for students to help you get started.
Learning Activities and Games
- iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad Apps (applications) feature many for students for example, Hello-Hello a language learning program that allows for students to connect to native speakers around the world. International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) has a free iPad app for online children's books in more than 50 languages.
- Asia Society Kids features online games and activities for youth with an Asian focus.
- BBC Students features learning activities and games on global topics as well as resources on current events and issues from around the globe.
- Global School Net's Online Expeditions hosts several virtual field trips that allow young people to follow real trips online through daily updates of text, video, and photos.
- UN Cyberschoolbus provides quizzes, games, and "webquests" on global subjects ranging from health to urban development.
- WGBH's Fin, Fur and Feather Bureau of Investigation (FFFBI) takes children 8 to 13 on virtual missions to solve international detective stories set around the world. Developed in collaboration with National Geographic.
- Whyville is a virtual city where students can participate in activities and play educational games with others from around the world.
International Collaboration Tools
- Circle of Friends Pen Pal Club is a safe online place for girls to find pen pals around the world.
- ePals is a K-12 online exchange operating in 200 countries. It provides safe and secure email, blogs and matching systems, and offers National Geographic Society lesson plans and educational resources.
- GLOBE is a worldwide hands-on science and education program that allows students to work with scientists and other students around the world.
iEARN offers more than 150 projects across many subject areas linking 30,000 classrooms and youth organizations in 130 countries.
- Nings are online platforms for people to create their own social networking sites - students can use them to collaborate with other students across borders.
- Edu Glog is an online "poster" creation site, which includes the ability to embed sound, video, and images, through which students can create and share projects.
- One World Youth is a "unique sister-school program for middle and high school students, linking groups in the US/Canada with groups from around the world together in learning partnerships for the purpose of community service toward the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals."
- Rock Our World is a ning allowing students on every continent to collaborate and compose original music, make movies, and participate in live videoconferences.
- School to School International has a pen pal program to connect US elementary students with students in Guinea, West Africa.
- VoiceThreads contains a secure K-12 area for digital storytelling. A voice thread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents and videos and allows people to leave comments.
- Voxopop is basically a message board where you record your message instead of typing it - perfect for student collaboration!
International News and Information
- Google Earth allows students to see close-up maps of much of the world and to create their own maps as well.
- Kids Around the World, the National Peace Corps Association's website for elementary-age children, features audio clips of children answering questions of interest to other children; images of kids and their daily activities; links to background information about each country; and lesson plans for educators.
- Link TV brings diverse international stories and perspectives to American viewers through its satellite television broadcasts and online streaming video. YouthNoise, offers online and offline tools that equip youth to take action for a wide range of social issues and is composed of 158,000 registered users from all 50 states and 176 countries, creating a virtual meeting place for the next generation of activists.
- Media stories by youth for youth: Time for Kids, Y-Press Youth News Network, or Pearl World Youth News.
- The Newseum Interactive Museum of News displays daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Some front pages may contain material that is objectionable to some visitors. Viewer discretion is advised.
- World Almanac for Kids has resources for younger children, including basic facts about each country as well as information about how children live around the world and quizzes and games.
- World Bank's YouThink! Website for students includes facts, stories, quizzes, slideshows, and multimedia resrouces on international development topics. A special section for kids introduces global issues to younger children.
Educators around the world are rethinking the ways in which they prepare students for learning, work, and citizenship in a global society.
"Language is a currency for trust, and respect; it provides bricks and mortar for building an ability to explore the beauty of diverse cultures, traditions, and historical perspectives."
Heather Clydesdale on how the pedagogical approaches that world language teachers have been using for years bear striking similarities to the Common Core.
Amelia Peterson and Jal Mehta are investigating the learning experiences of participants in international learning communities, including Asia Society's Global Cities Education Network.
"Non-cognitive" skills such as critical thinking and creativity are just as vital as traditional skills in helping 21st century students.