Over the course of a summer, students forget 22 percent or more of what they learned over the school year (often referred to as summer slide). Although the kids might groan at the idea of school work over the summer break, here are some online sites and tools—with project ideas—that won’t seem like work at all.
1. Audacity – Instead of kids trading texts over the break, have them create their own short podcasts. You can let them run with their own topics or you can come up with a list that will help guide the conversation.
2. Pixton – Along the same line, maybe students would rather share their own comics based on your topic list or what they’ve been up to over the summer. This website makes it easy for anyone to make a comic with no real art skills required.
3. Geocaching – More of a hobby than a website, geocaching is like a technology-aided scavenger hunt. Cachers use the GPS on their phones to find little trinkets hidden by other cachers. If students really love it, tell them to start placing their own caches.
4. Code.org – Many kids get bored with the apps they have and are interested in learning to code themselves. They have no idea that this is a very valuable—and marketable—skill for the future. This site makes coding into a series of games.
5. Smithsonian Quests – It’s the gamification of the Smithsonian. Students investigate all the museums have to offer and earn badges while they’re doing it.
6. Project Noah – Students sign up to help gather data for actual collaborative biodiversity projects with other students around the world.
7. Coaster Crafter – Roller coaster design games are always fun, but students never realize that they’re learning physics concepts like force, motion, and momentum while they’re playing.
8. Youth Radio – Student journalists have recorded stories based on current events. Use social media to have the students talk about what they’ve heard even though they aren’t in the classroom.