As we are entering into the lovely spring days of May and early June, many seniors are preparing to go to college as first time freshman. This can be a daunting situation, especially for someone who is the first person in their family to be attending a college or university. Luckily there is a free Website to help them make the transition – Transitioning to College. This site is run by Kent State University and is a sister site to the TRAILS Program – a real time assessment of a person’s information literacy skills from grades 3 – 12.
Transitioning to College provides text and video compilations to help students do the best they can as they move from high school to the college environment. It has sections on what to expect when going to college; college libraries and what they offer from studies to socialization; tips for college research and projects; learning modules where current students provide advice and discuss what they learned from their own experiences as first time college students; resources for teachers working with high school seniors on how they can help prepare their students for college; free assessment tools to determine a high school student’s current information literacy skills and a section where users can share and/or view other favorite Websites on what it means to be a college freshman.
There are also videos on how to use academic libraries and their databases. This is a skill not many students will be fluent in when arriving at college; but will be expected to use for their projects and reports. For someone who has limited or no experience, using these services can be an intimidating task. By visiting this Website and watching the videos, students have a resource where they don’t feel put on the spot or embarrassed to find ways to fix their lack of knowledge in this area.
Users also are taken step by step on how to develop the type of research paper their college professors will be looking for. Some of these steps are acted out by college students in a more accessible manner than by just reading the text alone.
Links are provided to other aspects of college life. There is a section on the steps one needs to take to get to and pay for college. Users can find links for information on different aspects of life experiences one may encounter on a typical college campus. Links to study guides and study strategies are a great help for first time students and are easily found on the site. Time management skills is a big hurdle for many freshman who are on their own for the first time. Information and links are provided to ease a student’s way into learning these skills. There is also a section for students with disabilities. Tips, videos and a list of disability friendly colleges are provided.
Finally, if users have additional questions – e-mails and phone numbers are provided for staff members at Kent University who might be able to solve the problem. You can find someone at Academic Advising; Career Services; Computer Labs; Counseling; the Disabilities Office; the Health and Wellness Center; the Library; the Student Life Center; the Tutoring Center and the Writing Center. Whatever your question is, there is someone who can help you find the answer.
So whether you are an educator, a student, a parent, a guardian or a friend helping someone who is going to college for the first time – Transitioning to College may be the free, reliable resource you are looking for.
I am surprised that I have not run across ARKive before. I recently learned about this Website through my librarian listserv. I am so glad that this information was shared with me so I can in turn share it with you.
ARKive is a not-for-profit initiative from the charity Wildscreen. Its purpose is to use information contributed by the world’s best wildlife filmmakers, photographers, conservationists and scientists and present the material in a fun and interesting manner. You do not need to create an account and the site is free. Material is presented across age groupings from 5 through 18. Of course adults can find plenty on the site to stimulate their interest as well.
You can search for information by species, places or topic designation. Each category has multiple sub-categories so you can broaden or narrow your search as much as you need. Photographs, news articles and videos are available to all users.
In addition to the prior methods of presentation, ARKive endeavors to make learning fun as well. There is a blog where readers can read about and view quick facts with up-to-date news about wildlife from around the world. You can sign up to have the blog sent to your e-mail whenever there is a new post. The blog can be searched by recent posts or by category if there is something specific you are looking for.
ARKive also presents Team Wild. You can join this “squadron of superheroes” as they work to protect and conserve the plant and animal species on our planet. There are four teams you can join: 6 or under; 7-10; 11-13 and 14+. Information is presented in an interesting and interactive manner.
Users can also choose to play Survival – an endangered species game. Players race against the clock as they go through a number of mini-games to discover the identity of our most endangered animals. The game has beautiful color photographs and users will have to use all their skills in order to become a top survivor.
For those of you who are “arts and crafty” there are even activities that you can download for fun. Be able to create origami of different plant and animal species, go on treasure hunts, create a shoe-box habitat and find links to other safe hands-on adventures.
So whether you are looking to learn about science, have a fun interactive for your students or child or just having some fun while viewing spectacular images from around our planet, ARKive may be just the site for you.
A library peer of mine just shared a wonderful Website that you can use for multiple purposes in your classroom. It is The Teaching Channel and it is free for you to use. All you have to do is register an e-mail address.
The mission of this site is to provide reliable video resources that teachers can use for lesson planning, Common Core connections and to find ideas. You can also tap into your professional peers for methods that have provided successful results in their classroom.
Have you ever heard of a fantastic lesson, but can’t remember exactly how it went? Odds are you can find information about it at The Teaching Channel. Did you see something that would be great for a lesson you are doing four months from now, but are afraid you will forget about it? You can have the site send you an e-mail reminder at exactly the time you need it. Just fill out the quick boxes and put it out of your head. When the time comes, you will get that reminder with the notes you created when you had the idea.
Say you see specific moments in a video you wish to share with your grade or subject team. You know they are busy and do not have time to watch the whole video. You are given the tools to highlight the exact moments you wish to share so everyone can collaborate on the ideas as soon as possible.
Does your school have a program that the teachers use to post assignments and links for student work? You can post the videos you find right on that page for your students to use as well. Teaching Channel provides embedding codes for each video. Just click on the “Embed Video” link and a code will be provided for you to copy and paste on any Website you wish.
So whether you are looking for a great lesson plan idea, information about the Common Core Standards or a video you can share with your students, The Teaching Channel may be just the page for you.