Fun Online Tools

There are so many websites that provide fun online tools that can be infused into lessons to make them more engaging and fun.  This post was spurred by the Google Doodle, the drawing on the top of the Google homepage, featured online this week.


Les Paul Google Doodle

This week, Google created one of their most memorable logos on their homepage.  This doodle was a playable guitar inspired by the birth of Les Paul, one of the most influential men on the evolution of guitars.  Typically these doodles only last for one day, but due to the popularity it remained for two days on their homepage.  This doodle allowed users to pluck the strings of the guitar, compose their own songs, and record them to share with friends, family, or even classmates.  The link can be posted to websites, shared via email, or shared on social networking sites.  Now, this doodle even has its own website that kids can go and compose and record their own songs on the Google guitar.

This would be a great activity to have kids compose their own songs for fun or to tie in with another classroom assignment. The My Doodle Songs has a list of many of the top songs that were created with the Les Paul Doodle.

Forge FX 3d Simulations

Pearson Prentice Hall has a variety of 3d Simulators that tie in with variety of science-based curriculum.  Children interact with the simulators to change the conditions, select options, and move around in the various simulations.  The hands-on nature lends itself to a great activity after the students have learned and read about the topic.  Topics for the simulators include machines, eyes, topography, eclipses, earthquakes, waves,   solar systems, cells, engines, and biomes.

Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids is a website for K-12 kids to learn about the government.  The activities are split up into grade levels so that it meets the standards and the activities are level-appropriate.  Selecting the topic links on the blackboard provides children with an overview of the topic including links that can provide further explanation and definitions.  After learning about the various topics, students are then ready to play the games.  The games include printables that can be provided for the students and also interactive games that can be played online.

All of these sites are a fun and exciting way to get kids to learn more about other subjects while infusing technology.

Article By Laura Ketcham

Picture By lorda

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