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Peer Review

Denali for Kids: Online Adventure



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 20, 2002 by Teacher Education
Overview: Denali provides an active evolving website that covers survival, food, trash, and body changes during mountain climbing experiences. This resource website on Denali addresses survival skills and kids can e-mail questions to Denali climbers.
Type of Material: Resource Material
Technical Requirements: None
Identify Major Learning Goals: To discover the needs and experiences of mountain climbing. To explore all the scientific and environmental features of Denali, a climbable area known formerly as Mt McKinley.
Target Student Population: Students and teachers interested in the scientific and environmental interactions related to high altitude climbing, Particularly suited to Elementary and Middle School Students and Teachers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Denali web page could be used as a resource site for elementary and middle school students and their teachers. This site provides information about mountain climbing, survival skills, and encourages questions e-mailed to experts. A popular site for teachers to use if students have developed a driving question such as ?What?s it like to climb Mt Everest?? Resource learning website on Denali, survival skills, and kids can e-mail questions to Denali climbers. Full WWW site with eight sections dealing with specific topics plus an area to interact with scientific experts.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: An excellent site for constructivist learning. This site can provide teachers of all levels with a science unit that can be easily adapted for various ages and science classes. Student teachers can develop driving questions, ask experts, explore resources, design activities and develop artifacts.
This site could be used in variety of ways in science or social studies and at different educational levels. The ?Ask the expert? section alone is an example of learning that many teachers may not have experienced. As such it provides a fine teaching tool.
Concerns: The site is not prescriptive. It provides no lesson plans or activities. Some may find this disconcerting and just assign students to explore the site and not drawing on the wealth of teaching possibilities. Including suggested activities would be helpful to preservice and inservice teachers.
Having experts answer student questions through e-mail is time consuming and after initial experience has worn off, some experts may not continue. Teachers should make sure this feature is available before assigning to students.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Denali website has a kid-friendly format with lots of graphics for easy navigation and understanding. Students can explore and the ease of use encourages driving questions. An inquiry site with many questions for students to explore.
Concerns: None noted.