How I Use It
I used this website as part of a mini-unit on the effects of climate change on Canadian polar bears. The site contains many relevant resources, games and activities to incorporate into my lessons both on and off-line. Initially I was concerned because most of the games do not work on iPads, but discovered that there were several resources in the Homework Help section that pertained to our topic and were viewable on the iPads. To make it easier for students to access the specific resources that work on iPads, I provided QR codes to navigate students to those resources within the site. Students were able to read interviews with experts, access fact sheets on arctic animals, and even take a virtual tour of northern Canada for the purpose of conducting research to obtain information that they would use to create a digital presentation to share with the class.
When students were finished creating their presentations, they were encouraged to return to the website using laptops to explore the many flash-based games and activities. Students found the information useful, but particularly enjoyed the games and quizzes. Although the format was simple, they were engaging and covered a broad range of topics. It was a great way to extend their learning while others finished up with their presentations.
This is a great website! I only wish the games worked on the iPads or that they would develop an app that includes some of the games. The kids would love it and learn while they played. It is great that teachers can sign up for a free account to access lesson plans, links, and print resources for students. I will definitely use the site to obtain print resources to complement future activities. The scavenger hunt worksheets are a great way to guide students as they locate information in the Homework Help section. Overall, I found the website very user-friendly (both for teacher and student) and to contain useful resources. I would not hesitate to recommend it to a colleague for the to use on laptops or in the computer lab.