High School Physics
[PLATO (800) 44.PLATO]

PLATO High School Physics, winner in the High School Physics Website category, provides an interactive, multi-sensory approach to learning high school physics. It incorporates text, photos, graphical animations, web links, and various practice strategies to engage the student, while ensuring a structure that maintains focus and progress. The reviewer was particularly impressed with the concise language and format used to teach complicated theories and processes.
         The main menu gives an overview of coursework, indicators of mastery or completion, and progress reports. Each course
is broken into units, lesson tutorials, activities (both unit and lesson) and tests. Units include:  Kinematics 1 and 2, Dynamics, Energy and Momentum, Periodic Motion and Thermodynamics.
         Prior to the unit tests, the student has numerous opportunities to apply knowledge through the self-check activities and practices. Enrichment activities are available through web links, and past College Board AP essay questions. Study aids that are available include: Notebook, calculator, graphing tool and links to social network systems (Twitter, Facebook etc.).
Communications component in the program provides an assignment list, drop box (for direct access to the instructor), messages, and discussion forums. The forums are both sectional and threaded, and encourage collaborative learning with other students. The Learning Support Center provides resources to both the instructor and student for maneuvering the site.
PLATO High School Physics is a well-designed, comprehensive method for student introduction to, and application of, this important branch of scientific study.

TeachSource Video Cases
[Cengage Learning (650) 595-2350]

         Winner of the Post-Secondary Teacher Vocational Training award, Cengage's
TeachSource Video Cases is clearly a front-runner.  Elegantly designed and executed, this website offers much of the relevant training students need to become competent teachers, using short, engaging news clips selected from ABC and BBC, and integrating them with real-time best-practice demonstrations from master teachers in the classroom.
         Some of the topics covered include Teaching Strategies, Educational Technology, Exceptional Learners, Socio-cultural Diversity, Assessment, and Literacy.
TeachSource Video Cases is the next best thing to hands-on, in-the-classroom practice. Each video case has a generous mix of supporting materials -  from interview transcripts, viewing questions and classroom artifacts to bonus videos.
         Beyond pre-service courses,
TeachSource Video Cases addresses other currently pressing issues: Teacher evaluation, and remediation for struggling educators. The website provides step-by-step solutions for nearly all problems facing public schools today, including professional development (with a mentor teacher, or individually). One recommendation: A counter, showing the length of each video, would greatly assist professors and PD presenters as they craft their lesson plans.
         TeachSource Video Cases should be available in every teacher training program and every district!       

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