Sunday, April 22, 2012

Garbology! I must use you in a lesson!

I'm on a roll today.  Also, here's where I'm getting this stuff.  You know how AASL has its annual best websites for teaching and learning?  Well, they're not the only organization giving out awards for excellent websites.  I just discovered the Webby awards!  They have awards for great sites in about a zillion categories, but I found the Best Use of Animation and (duh) Education categories to be most relevant to what I do.

Anyway, here's my other find: Garbology.

Description: Users drag and drop an item on the bottom into the right receptacle (trash, recycling, compost, or "reuse") and are treated to a short animation that teaches them about how products are made and what happens to them after they are disposed of.

The animation is broken into short clips and in between, users sometimes have the chance to play around with what's on the screen.  When they're done, they click "next."  An example of how they can play around is dragging a slider to show a banana in various stages of decay.

It reminds me a lot of an interactive ebook or an app, because it sort of has pages, but on each page there are animations and/or interactive features.

Curriculum connection: Science!  Specifically conservation, recycling, natural resources, compost, and consumerism
Technology Required: Flash, audio equipment (sound is integral)
Skills Required: Reading, Dragging and Dropping, Clicking "next"
Grade Level: 3rd and 4th (because of concepts like "global warming" getting thrown around ... 2nd grade could probably have fun with it, too, although they wouldn't get all of it.)
Teacher Involvement: I think students can do this one pretty independently.  It's also somewhat linear--they can click next and back, but they have to complete each section before moving on.
Advertising: No
Login/Personal Information Required: No
Quirks: When I tried to start the game a second time without closing my browser in between, the play button didn't work.  Restarting my browser solved the problem.
Bonus: The site has some nice lesson plans, too.

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