Thursday, March 31, 2011

Instructables

Image courtesy of instructables.com
Instructables is a website I've been browsing, reading, and (more recently) contributing to for a few years. It is a fabulous resource for all sorts of amazing ideas. I'll let the about section put it succinctly:
Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others.
If you're ever looking for science fair ideas, just look in the science channel. Want to get some Halloween decoration ideas? They've got that, too! In fact, it's a great place to look for all sorts of amazing ideas, inventions, solutions to problems you didn't know you had, and amazingly creative and intelligent people. If you can't find what you're looking for, post in the forums, and people will be happy to help out. They even give out free pro memberships to teachers. The categories of instructables (or 'ibles for short) are too numerous to mention here, so you're likely to find one that fits your particular interests. If you want some ideas on how to use instructables in your classroom, there's an instructable for that. Imagine that: a great teaching resource that teaches you how to use it as a great teaching resource (gotta love that recursivity).

Image courtesy of instructables.com
It's also a great place to write informational texts. Document a process using photographs, write about it, annotate your photos, and put together a step-by-step instruction manual. Pretty useful for procedure-heavy homework assignments, or to have student practice writing this type of text. It's also got a real-world audience, making the students' efforts much more authentic. They can share their work with the world, and get feedback about how many views they've gotten, what comments readers have for them, an overall rating, and much more.

Take a few moments to look.

James.

(Please note that instructables is in no way affiliated with this blog, its author, or this website. I just think it's a great resource. They have kindly allowed permission to use their images in this post.)