There are a variety of reasons why you might want students to be able to access excellent sites for brushing up on topics at home. Many teachers are now using the Flipped Classroom model, which sees the usual order of teaching reversed, so that students learn the main nuts and bolts of a new topic during home learning time, before tackling questions (traditionally an activity reserved for homework) in the classroom. This allows students to spend valuable classroom time taking advantage of teaching support as they implement the knowledge they have learned at home.
It’s also commonly recommended for students to do a certain amount of home learning during long holiday periods, to help them keep on top of what they’ve learned at school, keep them focused and abreast of important skills like reading and writing, and help them to supplement their existing knowledge.
So home learning is a valuable and important process. And thanks to education technology, the quantity and quality of available resources to help students do it effectively is absolutely enormous. Good resources are absolutely vital to successful home learning. Without a teacher to ask for guidance, it is important that clarity and excellent explanation are in place. Without the focus and discipline of a classroom environment, timed or clearly segmented resources are hugely helpful in keeping students on track and concentrating for the correct period of time. And without the benefit of one-to-one support, interactive resources are an excellent way to engage and retain students’ attention and interest.
Here are some resources that combine these important features for fantastic, productive home learning…
BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Its award-winning online resources are specially designed with home learning and flipped classroom models in mind. Unique characters introduce and explain complex concepts and there are puzzles, quizzes, games and assessments to help teachers and students keep track of progress. The site is clearly and simply divided by subject and topic, and includes videos to explain tricky ideas.
2. BBC Learning
The brilliant BBC learning website is a treasure trove of materials, including over 10,000 video clips from BBC programmes on issues like “What drew the Vikings to hot Constantinople?” There are resources divided by subject and grade level, topical news resources for students learning about current affairs or media studies, and tools to help master basic critical skills such as different styles of writing.
3. Smithsonian Students
This website from the Smithsonian Institute offers a practically limitless supply of fascinating articles, resources and tools for home learning, specially geared towards young people and ranging across an absolutely enormous selection of topics. From ‘sizing up the universe’ to ‘digging for answers’, the site is divided into sections based on Art, Science and Nature, People and Places and History and Culture. There’s a massive variety of different learning tools, from quizzes to exploratory adventures and the site is accessible and easy to use for kids of a wide range of ages and abilities.
Have you found any great sites for home learning? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, _joshuaBENTLEY.