What are they and why use them?
Learning Objects are instructional materials used by both teachers and students to learn. They are digital and found on the internet. Some would call them digital content. They tend to fall into three categories --
(1) Instructional materials including readings, maps, movies, and etc. They are designed to provide content. Compile them to create your own digital textbooks and/or resource packets for student use.
(2) Drill and practice sites where students practice skills such as math facts and identifying verbs. These types of tools involve students learning from technology.
(3) Games and simulations where students interact with their learning trying different strategies to improve their score or influence the outcome of the game or simulation. These tools involve learning with technology.

Which type of tool is better? They are all important. Determine your purpose then select the correct tool.

Assignment
  1. Explore the resources listed on this page.
  2. Create a page where you will collect great learning objects that you might use with your students in your classroom. Categorize the resources so they are easier to use. Develop this page throughout the semester. Notice how in this wiki how I have done this. Collect at least 20 resources.
  3. Within the instructional plans you create be sure students explore at least 10 content focused learning objects to learn about a topic. Be sure to provide hyperlinks for your students. Not all students have to use all the links. Think differentiated learning and provide links at a variety of different levels for your students. You do not need to create a separate learning objects page but you may if you wish. Many students start several resource pages. It's up to you.

Due by Oct 4 (Learning Objects page created, a few resources collected)
Due by Dec 15 (Learning Objects page more fully developed, at least 10 learning objects in your instructional plans)

Slideshow to view in class and for your use later too.
Beware! learning objects are very different than learning objectives.
What are learning objects? How about some examples....



Drill and Practice
Math is a popular topic to teach via drill and practice. There are a number of sites on the web offering tutorials and practice problems. These sites also typically tutorials on topics other than math too. Check them out.
No More Pencils, No More Books Artificially intelligent software is replacing the textbook—and reshaping American education.
Khan Academy
ALEKS
Algebra Nation
DreamBox Learning - Elementary mathematics
Front Row
Week of Inspirational Mathand Stanford University's YouCubed.org-- more math resources


Games and Simulations
Check out this wiki's page on games and simulations.

Virtual Field Trips
Virtual Field Trips Spice Up Learning -- Article contains good ideas on how to include virtual field trips in your classroom as well as a variety of interesting sites to visit.
Skype Connects Classrooms With Field Trips Around the World

Content Focused Websites
There are so many great resources on the web we will be committing educational malpractice if we don't utilize them. But, they do change the learning game because we now must ask different questions than before. We must ask higher order questions -- analysis, synthesis, evaluation, create -- so that copy and paste isn't want we get when students submit their work. Are you familiar with this resource?
http://www.wolframalpha.com/screencast/introducingwolframalpha.html
How does it change the educational landscape?

How do these websites change how you structure
an assignment?

Here are a few more another potentially good resources for teachers

Instructional Videos
Instructional videos can fall into any of the above categories.
  • If you wish to make them more interactive, add questions. Check out eduCanon.
  • If you are looking for videos on a specific topic, check out TED Ed

The Teacher’s Guide To Open Educational Resources



Extra Ideas:
  1. 197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About
  2. Have you explored online learning? If not, now might be a good time. How about developing an online unit utilizing a variety of learning objects?
  3. Have you explored the Kahn Academy? Everyone seems to rave about it.
  4. For vocabulary building and more, check out Free Rice. Subjects include: vocabulary, grammar, famous paintings, literature, world hunger, famous quotes, math, language learning, human anatomy, chemistry, geography, and SAT test preparation.
  5. Learning objects are a GREAT way to differentiate your lessons. Provide resources at varying reading and skill levels for your students. We don't all learn in the same way or at the same rate so personalize instruction via learning objects.
  6. How about creating a chapter for a virtual textbook? You could use a wiki or a google doc to host your chapter then fill it with learning objects and projects for your students.
  7. Ten great sites with free teacher resources (see page 31)
  8. 40 amazing free resources that will help support STEM-based PBL in the classroom
  9. http://theory.cs.uvic.ca/~cos/amof/index.html The Amazing Mathematical Object Factory
  10. Livebinder allows you to organize your materials with tabs on the top of your page (see sample). Some people like that organization pattern better. How are you putting together your grammar lessons/writing notebook ? Hint, hint, hint....
  11. Federal Registry for Educational Excellence -- The Federal Registry for Educational Excellence (FREE) makes it easier to find digital teaching and learning resources created and maintained by the federal government and public and private organizations.
  12. E-Curriculum: Exploring 24 Free Open Education Resources- Digital Curriculum
  13. http://scijinks.jpl.nasa.gov/weather-menu Cool site for weather related info. Elementary focused.
  14. 10 Sites for Differentiated Instruction
  15. Here's a fun one.... The Why Files, it's all about science. Pull some essential questions from this source too.
  16. Maker Space in Education Series: 10 Sites to Start Making in the Classroom -- get your students creating/making 'stuff'