The Visual Thesaurus and The New York Times Team Up for Learning
For the past few years, the Visual Thesaurus has been a proud partner of The New York Times Learning Network, helping students boost their reading, writing and communications skills. We've been working together to develop innovative lesson plans that integrate the Visual Thesaurus with engaging articles from the pages of The New York Times. Now, as the Learning Network gets a new look, re-launched as a Times blog, we're working even more closely to provide new resources for teaching and learning.
The Learning Network was first launched back in 1998 as a repository of educational materials making use of New York Times content. After more than a decade of consistent quality in its online offerings, it was due for a makeover. Earlier this month, the Learning Network made its transition to a new publishing platform, as part of the Times family of blogs. The Learning Network FAQ explains:
[The old] platform was technologically inflexible, however, and our ability to feature new student-friendly innovations like Times video, interactive graphics, podcasts and slideshows was extremely limited. It was also difficult for readers to interact with us and with each other to share ideas. Moving to a blog gives us a greater range of tools, and, via the commenting and sharing features, it is also a chance to re-conceive our site as more of a "two-way street" between us and you, our readers. So, here we are!
When the Learning Network moved to the new blog format, the core features were revamped as well, including the Word of the Day. The Visual Thesaurus now provides the words and meanings for the Word of the Day feature, and along with example sentences from The Times you can also see a thumbnail image of the relevant VT word map. The word map is clickable, allowing further exploration of the word and its meanings on the Visual Thesaurus.
As an illustration of the strength of our cooperative effort, representatives from the Learning Network and the Visual Thesaurus made a joint presentation at this week's T+L Conference in Denver, Colorado, sponsored by the National School Boards Association. Georgia Scurletis, director of curriculum development for the Visual Thesaurus, teamed up with Katherine Schulten of the Learning Network to present on "The Visual Thesaurus: A Dynamic Approach to Vocabulary Development."
Here are some of the lesson plans that the Visual Thesaurus has developed over the past few years in conjunction with the Learning Network:
- Using Descriptive Language
- Learning Grammar Through Wordplay
- Analyzing a Writer's Stance
- Where Math Meets Poetry
- Online Homework Help: An Ethical Dilemma
We here at the Visual Thesaurus eagerly look forward to an even more fruitful partnership with the Learning Network in the years to come.