Help wanted: Active summer learning with technology?

The News Service Office here at Iowa State University has issued me a challenge: use my online network to come up with some ideas for parents to cure kids' mid-summer 'blahs.' Specifically, what we're looking for are ways to use technology to facilitate active learning opportunities during the summer.

Here are a few quick ideas that I had:

  • Discover the fun of geocaching.
  • Use a digital camcorder and YouTube to make a commercial for your city.
  • Use the WorldWide Telescope or Stellarium to find the view from your home. Then go outside at night to locate the sky features shown by the software.
  • Get involved with a project at TakingITGlobal.
  • Use Google Earth to make an annotated map of your summer trip.
  • Research a topic and create an article on Wikipedia.
  • Visit your grandparents or a nursing home or the local VFW chapter. Use a digital voice recorder to capture folks' memories of a specific time period or event in history. Post as a series of podcasts.
  • Check out the pictures of your hometown on Flickr. Use a digital camera to add local landmarks that are missing.
  • I'm no longer a K-12 teacher so I'm sure that many of you have more creative ideas than these. What suggestions do you have for how parents and kids can use technology to facilitate active learning this summer?


    A big THANKS to everyone who contributed ideas. So far we have appeared on the ISU News Service home page and the Ames (IA) Tribune editorial page. I also have been interviewed by WHO Radio and Radio Iowa. If you have further ideas, please share them as a comment below. We are getting lots of visitors!

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