Monday, December 22, 2008

1 + 1 = 2 Mathematics Podcasts

The Math Factor podcast is a podcast that I discovered today while exploring Alltop's mathematics section. Math Factor is series of short (10-15 minutes) podcasts produced by University of Arkansas professor Chaim Goodman-Strauss and Kyle Kellams. Each episode presents a mathematics problem for listeners to ponder. Each episode gives an explanation of the solution to the previous episode's problem.

Another mathematics podcast that I discovered today is the West Virginia Math and Science Initiative's video podcasts. These video podcasts, available on iTunes, give short demonstrations and explanation of mathematics concepts. Visitors will find video podcasts for Algebra, Statisitics, Trigonometry, Contemporary Math, and Chemistry. You can access the podcasts here.

Applications for Education
The Math Factor is a good podcast for the "math team" student that is interested
in finding interesting and challenging mathematics problems. Math teachers may also want to play the podcast in class then have students discuss and work on solutions to the problems.

The West Virginia Math and Science Initiatives's podcasts could be useful for high school mathematics students that need a visual explanation of mathematics concepts. These podcasts could be helpful when for students when they get stuck on a homework problem.

TED 2009 Presenters List

Every year the TED Conference brings together some of the most influential figures from business and academic fields to give twenty minute talks about their work. The conference costs $6000 to attend in person or $900 to attend virtually so, needless to say, I won't be attending this year. Even though I, like 99% of public school teachers, am not able to attend, I am able to watch the videos of presentations from previous conferences. Knowing that eventually I'll be able to watch the TED 2009 presentations, I am intrigued by this year's list of presenters which includes Bill Gates, Seth Godin, and Herbie Hancock.

Applications for Education
The videos of previous TED presentations are engaging and informative. Letting students explore previous TED presentations is a good way for students to explore topics they're interested in on their own.

Nibipedia, which I've written about a couple of times here and here, has added all of the available TED videos to their database. Nibipedia matches Wikipedia references to the topics and terms mentioned in each TED talk. Watching TED presentations through Nibipedia makes the videos a great independent learning resource.

You can read more about TED here.

This Library is Awesome!

Today while searching for some US History resources, I came across the Awesome Library. The Awesome Library is a collection of more than 36,000 educational resources organized by academic category and sub-categories. For example, if you click on the "teacher" category you can then select from nine sub-categories about teaching. Or try selecting the "technology" category where you will find guides for using technology including this Internet guide for beginners.

Applications for Education
The Awesome Library could be a good reference resource. The categorization scheme is easy to navigate which may be helpful for students that have difficulty refining general Internet searches.

Projects Using Google Docs

This afternoon the official Google Docs blog posted a collection of eleven academic projects that incorporate the use of Google Docs. All of the projects in the list were developed by practicing educators. There are projects for science and social studies. Teachers will also find ideas for rubrics and evaluation forms in the collection.

Here are some additional resources and ideas for using Google Docs in the classroom.
Bibliography Templates for Google Docs.
Eight Ways to Use Google Docs from Tom Barrett
Give An Old Lesson New Tricks

Tutsearch - Find an Online Tutorial

Tutsearch is a recommendation service and search engine for online tutorials. Tutsearch has indexed more than one hundred tutorial websites. If what they have indexed doesn't offer what you need, try the tutorial search engine. On Tutsearch you can find tutorials for everything from writing html code to improving your command of the English language.

Applications for Education
Tutsearch could be a useful resource for teachers that are looking for websites that students can use for independent learning. If you're a computer science teacher, Tutsearch is especially handy for quickly finding tutorials in html and CSS.

Get Students Involved in Government Through Twitter

One of the great things about living in this digitally connected age is that information and news is so readily available. The Internet also makes it much easier and faster to communicate with just about anyone. (See old high school friends connecting through Facebook after 20 years for an example). Combine the ease of information finding with the ease of communication and it was only a matter of time before Tweet Congress was developed.

Tweet Congress is a registry of members of the US Congress that are on Twitter. Whether or not it's the actual Congressman/ woman or their PR office that uses the account is debatable, but none-the-less Tweet Congress makes government more accessible to the citizenry. If you're not sure who your representative is, enter your zip code in the finder and Tweet Congress will tell you.

Not to leave out my friends in the UK, Tweet Minister is the UK version of Tweet Congress.

Applications for Education
Tweet Congress and Tweet Minister could be engaging tools for your students to use to track what their representatives in government are saying. Depending on how responsive your representative (or their office staff) is, both services could be used by students to ask questions of their representatives.