Belouga is versatile. Teachers could select specific videos for current events or class discussions or SEL activities. It's designed for more in-depth projects -- either whole-class, group, or individual. It'd be great for independent study projects for students, as a variety of passions and topics are included. Students could also connect with a peer from around the world and then, through distance collaboration, present their learning to their classes. Students can join classes for multiple teachers so that teachers from different content areas can review cross-curricular assignments. The virtual classroom features also let teachers use videos outside of the Belouga collection, which allows for more customization.Continue reading Show less
Topics within Belouga are globally focused, cross-curricular, and diverse. When teachers create their account, they can select content area and grade level of students, and content is suggested. Students answer a few this-or-that questions to narrow their interests for suggested content. Teachers and students both can search by keywords or filter by subject or sustainable development goal (SDG). Within Belouga, teachers and students can also connect with classes from around the world. Students can be partnered with a specific buddy, or classes can connect more broadly.
Each unit intersperses quick questions with videos, reflection questions, and activities and projects for students to complete. They can submit images or text through the site, and teachers can assign work to classes and view student progress from their dashboard. The platform also has distance learning features like screen sharing, virtual hand raising, real-time transcription, and recording for students who missed class.
Belouga brings everything together to make learning meaningful: real-world issues, dynamic content, cross-curricular applications tied to the content. And after students learn, they take action. Allowing for other videos and hosting distance learning features make it even easier to assign and track learning. Each lesson or unit gives an overview of how long the project should take, which is helpful for teacher planning. Being able to search by estimated time would also be helpful.
One downside: account setup. Teachers have to wait from a few hours to a couple of days to get their account activated. Students create their accounts and then have to add themselves to a teacher's class by entering the teacher's name, selecting from a list, and then selecting two images the teacher has chosen. A join code or direct link would make the process easier -- or even better, integration with other full-scale learning management systems.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
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