Iowa teachers can now play “Marco Polo” to find great new lesson plans on the Internet.The program, named after the famous explorer, offers lesson plans created with help from the National Association for Advancement of Science, Council on Economic Education, Teachers of math, Endowment for the Humanities, and National Geographic. Distance learning educator Jim Christensen is Iowa’s administrator of the Marco Polo project. He says teachers can do things like take a virtual visit to the Kennedy Center in Washington for an art class, and get teachers’ guides and study materials from the website. Christensen says not only were they created by experts, the materials are “ready to teach.”Plans include context and background for the lesson, other resources to get, and printable material to hand out to students. Christensen says just putting computers in classrooms doesn’t add technology or improve teaching. The Marco Polo program is free to teachers, and 49 states have joined.
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