Friday, July 25, 2008

Cartoon Explanation of the Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis

I love videos that explain complex concepts in simple terms. This cartoon video about the sub-prime mortgage crisis just aired on Current TV.

Applications for Education
Cartoons and other animated illustrations are fun and simple ways to introduce students to complex concepts. CBS features a series called Fast Draw that tackles different ideas with simple whiteboard explanations, Common Craft also uses simple whiteboard explanations to introduce viewers to technology resources.

Science - Interactive Body

The BBC's website is full of great educational materials, the Interactive Body is just one example of that. The Interactive Body has students place bones, muscles, and organs in their proper place using a simple drag and drop interface. Along with the "jigsaw" style activity of the Interactive Body the BBC offers fact files about each part of the body.

Applications for Education
The Interactive Body is difficult and challenging making it a good tool for high school students studying anatomy and physiology. It could be used to introduce students to anatomy and physiology as a prior knowledge assessment or be used as study and review guide.

Opposing Views - Experts Debate Public Policy and More

Opposing Views is a new website created for purpose of having experts debate public policy and other issues of popular concern. Opposing Views has categorized debate channels which are subdivided by specific questions. For example in the religion channel one of the current questions is "Does Islam Promote Violence?" Verified experts from two organizations, American Watch and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, are offering their commentary on the question. In some ways reading the responses to the question is like reading the transcript from a debate television show like Meet the Press or Face the Nation.

Applications for Education
Opposing Views is a great place for students to find opposing viewpoints on a wide variety of public policy and public opinion questions. As the presidential election approaches, Opposing Views, could be a place for students to find opinions and information about both candidates. Opposing Views can also be used as a resource for teaching students lessons about argument organization and recognizing bias and fault in arguments.