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A Healthy Learning Environment

Are your young people excited about learning? How can Internet resources engage learners?

childrenThe standards movement has segmented teaching into bits and pieces. It's time to go back and help young people see the "big picture." Think of it this way. If you take a vitamin, you'll get some of the nutrition you need. However vitamins are not a substitute for a healthy diet.

In his book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1997) describes the characteristics of people who are in the "zone" known as flow state including having clear goals, intense involvement, complex challenges, and feedback on progress. In Flow States and Student Engagement in the Classroom, David Shernoff stated that concentration, interest, and enjoyment were keys to putting people into the flow state. How will you get young people into the FLOW? The visual below was adapted from Csikszentmihalyi's book.


What puts you in a "flow state"? What about your students? How can technology be used to promote flow?

Fresh Ideas

Use the following approaches to locate new ideas for teaching materials:

  1. Thinkfinity/MarcoPolo Search Tool
  2. Apple Learning Interchange - great examples of technology applications
  3. Scholastic - Teachers, Librarians
  4. PBS Teachers
  5. Discovery School Lesson Plans
  6. National Geographic Leson Plans
  7. New York Times Lessons
  8. State Lesson Resources: LessonLocator-Indiana, LearnNC, Utah Education Network, Wisconsin (Do a Google search for the state and the word lessons)
  9. Find more links at Starting Points and Lesson Plans from Teacher Tap
  10. Search Google or get involved with Google for Educators

It's time to look at your content and learning goals with fresh ideas.

Let's use Google Notebook to organize ideas and resources. Or, try Google Docs.

Think Different

Look for a different view or a different way of thinking.

Let's use "cross sections" as an example. Kids LOVE books and websites showing cross sections. Explore examples of cross sections, layouts, and perspectives:

Do a Google Images search for cross sections and a topic such as cross section "ship".
Before you use an image, be sure to check the SIZE and think about it's origin. Do you have permission to use it? Copy the URL into the Speakernotes of PowerPoint so you have the citation to use later if you want to gain permission.
Go to a website you think might have good ideas and do a Google search such as site: cross section

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