Classroom/Real World Connections Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love
Are you looking for apps, tools, and resources that you can help your students make classroom/real world connections? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.
Labster– Labster connects the scientific and real-world for children by creating realistic and interactive lab scenarios. With immersive stories and an expansive 3-D world to explore, Labster gives your child a risk-free environment in which to experiment, play, and learn about science and technology virtually. This app presents endless opportunities and education in science without the risk of anyone getting hurt in a lab, breaking equipment, or reacting to dangerous chemicals or other hazards.
Elephant – Experience learning without limits with Elephango. No more searching for project ideas, lessons, and supplements! The goal of Elephango is to build a sense of wonder and deepen learning experiences while shaping real-world connections. Elephango is a website designed to supplement and enhance existing curricula and puts thousands of homeschool lessons, activities, and supplements at the fingertips of students, parents, and educators. Dynamic, educational, and age-appropriate lessons deliver interest-grabbing instruction, connections to life, project ideas, and student-centered learning opportunities that spark additional curiosity.
Murder at Old Fields– Forensic science is a tricky topic to teach without allowing students to get their hands dirty and try some experimenting themselves. Murder at Old Fields is available as a real-world kit or online activity. It is based on the real 1842 double murder of Rebecca and Alexander Smith at a farmhouse in Old Fields, Long Island. In this forensic science lab activity, students gain evidence and conduct lab experiments on historical artifacts. They take lessons and quizzes while exploring this 3-D crime scene to figure out the case. Overall, this is a great tool to provide a real-world example for forensics classes, and it can help give students the confidence to pursue a forensic career.
RealWorldMath – RealWorldMath creates interactive, 3-D, user-friendly activities that assist kids in applying mathematics curriculum that proffer solutions to real-world problems using Google Maps and SketchUp. This platform allows teachers to use existing lesson plans to incorporate activities that encourage students to challenge themselves with interactive problem sets, group projects, and digital representations of mathematical applications.
Community in Crisis – This is one of three games in the Read-to-Lead series that uses a point-and-click system to thrust children into the role of a community center director who must manage the impact of a hurricane. It has 12 episodes, each taking about 20–30 minutes to complete. Students can check their phone, which has a to-do list, messages from characters, etc. Periodic assessments are handed out to measure the effectiveness of the lessons.
Gro Garden – Gro Garden allows children to sow seeds and manipulate the elements such as rain and sunlight to make the seeds germinate. Children can access three areas in the game: the garden plot, the house, and the compost bin. They harvest the plants and nurture their farm animals with the plants; they put scraps in the compost bin to fertilize the soil and make plants grow faster. Progress is rewarded with seed varieties, special food treats, and microorganisms.
iSideWith – This is a politically neutral website that uses a quiz to allow users to see how their political opinions compare with political parties and their presidential candidates. In addition to the quiz, the website also has political materials, heat maps, and forums in which users can interact with each other. You can also check the general stats of the submitted quizzes for in-depth analysis of voting (e.g., the demographic distribution of voters).
We The Jury – This game that introduces children to the tasks associated with being a juror. Students are encouraged to trust the information provided by other members of the jury and compare it with existing laws and reach a verdict. They try to convince other members of the panel of their position within the five-day in-game period. Failure to win other jurors to your position leads to a “hung jury.”
Solve the Outbreak – This is a game that allows kids to have fun, save lives, and get rewarded for it. There are 12 outbreaks in the game. Points are earned as players look to solve each breakout and bring it to an end. Kids are also able to share their scores on social media.
Zoo Tycoon – Zoo Tycoon is part of a series of business simulation video games. In this game, the player focuses on building and running successful zoo scenarios. The player oversees their zoo, which they stock with animals of different types. To be successful, the player must look after the animals to ensure their survival and meet specific business and growth goals.