There are not many worksheets/assessments in file yet (teachers can upload their contributions) but they can be used as quizzes, homework, or assesments. The interactive videos can be used for self-learning, homework, or entertainment as they are quite engaging.
The user will need an updated internet browser that supports Adobe Flash.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The interactive videos focus cover crash scene investigation, deep brain stimulation, design a cell phone, knee and hip surgery, simple and compound machines, weather and stem cell. Overall the topics seem too complicated for elementary students and more suited for junior high or high school.
Target Student Population:
Advanced elementary, junior high and high school.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
There are no prerequisites but a basic knowledge of the topic before starting an intercative lesson would help the student get more out of the session.
The interactive videos are engaging and give useful information that can spark a desire to learn more.
The other materials (worksheets/assesments/lab activities) are scarse; not that many uploaded yet. The site is full of advertisements requesting donations.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This material definitely increases the potential for student learning. It exposes students to difficult concepts very early but takes the edge off by using animation to do it. It also address the current trend to use multi-media delivery modes for learning materials. The overarching goal is "critical thinking" and it does a great job of giving students the opportunity to think and make choices based on their thoughts. Some vignettes have right and wrong choices whereas other simply have further elaboration of a concept based on a choice (i.e. nanoparticles for brain tumors- where the next stage of the animation is dependent upon the choice of they type of nanoparticle the student wants to investigate). This is a versatile tool that can be used to illustrate a variety of concepts.
It is a bit confusing trying to determine the desired audience for the materials. One one hand the interactive videos are animated so they have a feeling of elementary school, however the themes are, in my opinion, too complicated and advanced for young children. How many young kids can understand the basics of aortic aneurism surgery?
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is self explanatory. It prompts you to click when a vignette is done to move on. The questions that are asked are challenging but you are prompted if you click a wrong answer by a buzzer, etc. Very well put together.
Activites/worsheets are not organized by age so teachers will have to dig around to find what they need if it is available.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site has a long way to go yet. It needs more activities, labs, and worksheets if it is going to be a good site for teachers. I applaud the effort for all the interactive videos but throw in something more simple for younger audiences.
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