To provide solid support, I used a number of resources for the individual coursework. This post will look at the methods used in critiquing resources and look at the justifications as to why I chose the resources I did.
I made a number of references to Space.com throughout the website, including links to interesting articles such as “the top 10 extreme planet facts” or a “photo tour of the solar system”. I chose to use Space.com for a number of reasons, the main one being that they are a widely credited website and provide consistently well written and interesting articles on Astronomy. When I was looking for resources, a number of professionals on an Astronomy forum pointed me in the direction of Space.com due to their interesting daily articles.
National Geographic is great because they are a non profit organisation who provide a wealth of information on a number of areas, but more specifically scientific educational material on Astronomy and Physics as well as many other areas. Their magazines are widely recognised as outstanding, with awards being given for distinction in scientific exploration and research. To be perfectly honest, using National Geographics films and resources in my website was a bit of a no brainer.
The European Space Agency and NASA in the USA are a great place to find up to date articles on all things Astronomy. They are the national bodies of Astronomy in the UK and USA respectively, and for that reason using their resources had two advantages. First and foremost, as large scientific bodies they would provide up to date and (more crucially) accurate information. Secondly, using resources provided by ESA/NASA would introduce the reader to the organisations, which could inspire them to push their learning and understanding further.
Although New Scientist is not peer reviewed, it is still one of the UK’s biggest selling scientific magazines. Their website reflects the articles found in their magazines, and for that reason I decided to use some of their articles in my website. As with ESA/NASA, introducing the reader to New Scientist could have positive implications by inspiring them to either further their learning by trawling through the New Scientists website archives or by subscribing to New Scientists magazine.
This was a great site to use as it was specifically designed for children and would be great for those studying KS3 Physics. The best feature of their website is the interactive solar system, which allows you to see the orbits of all the planets and lets you click on a planet to be navigated to a page which shows information on the planet. The website was fantastic and engaging.
The BBC provided a number of resources to help my website. First and foremost, their television series Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe featuring Professor Brian Cox. Both of these series’ are inspiring, interesting and fantastic and I always wanted to use them in my website. BoB provided a way of integrating clips from the show into the site, so I jumped on it. The second resource the BBC provides to help budding Astronomers is their planet profile pages which feature a vast wealth of information on each planet and each feature of not just our local solar system but of the Universe.
Missouri University’s eThemes
Missouri University’s eThemes provides access to “content-rich, kid-safe online resources” by allowing the user to type in a keyword and viewing all available links on eThemes that feature that word. This website is fantastic and was of great help to me when I was looking for different resources on the planets. It did not disappoint, all the resources linked via eThemes was content rich and definitely appropriate for KS3 level children.
Resources for the website had to fit certain criteria in order to be considered for my website, these were as follows:
- Up to date
- Well written
- Well structured
There are thousands of websites and articles out there that just reel off facts which could be good for some things but for a KS3 aimed website, engaging content was a necessity. The website needed to provide resources that engaged the learner and inspire them to want to know more. Although I did provide an area where the learner could look for quick facts on a planet, the resources I linked to were usually more interactive.
Below is the sitemap for my website.