Monday, June 29, 2009

Tech Tech Boom Gets Kids Talking About School

Tech Tech Boom is truly one of my favorite discoveries here at NECC 09. Tech Tech Boom can best be described as a social network for high school students interested in science and math. The unique thing about Tech Tech Boom is that its user interface was designed by kids. Too often websites are designed by adults and the forced upon kids for learning. Tech Tech Boom has created a their site from the students' perspective by enlisting the help of students. The purpose of Tech Tech Boom is to help students get interested in math and science and connect them with other students interested in math and science. The site is still in its beta phase, but it has great potential. When I talked with creators of Tech Tech Boom, Mario Armstrong and Nicole Hunter, today they explained to me that the future of Tech Tech Boom includes plans for live video conferences that can be used the classroom. In essence, they plan for Tech Tech Boom to be a resource that students can use and will want to use at home and in their classrooms.

Applications for Education
Tech Tech Boom has the potential to be an excellent site for students to connect with other students that are interested in math and science. In Maine we have an annual conference where middle school students interested in technology can connect, Tech Tech Boom makes it possible for that same type of connection to take place globally.

My Interview With ISTE Connects TV

Earlier today I did an interview with Joe Corbett from ISTE for ISTE Connects which was streamed streamed throughout the conference and around the web. If you missed it, you can watch it below. If you're reading this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video.

New(er) Library of Congress Teachers' Page

This morning I attended a session about searching the resources of the Library of Congress. The session was intended to show people some of the newer changes to the Library of Congress website. The most obvious and significant change is the replacement of the "learner" page with a "teachers" page. The teachers page is arranged thematically with links to lesson plans, special collections, and primary source sets. In addition theses new collections and lesson plans, the LOC is developing a set of self-directed professional development tutorials. The purpose of the tutorials is to help teachers develop their knowledge of and skills for teaching with primary sources. Not all of the modules are live yet, but they should be live in time for the new school year this fall.

Applications for Education
The collections on the Library of Congress website are still a bit cumbersome to navigate, but the new(er) teachers' page is an improvement toward making it more accessible to teachers.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The Library of Congress is Now on YouTube
Library of Congress at Work - Great Interview
American Memory Historical Maps

The Future of Food

The Future of Food is a documentary film that I first heard about when the producer appeared on an NPR interview last summer. Recently, I found the film on Snag Films and watched it in chunks over the course of a few days. The film provides an interesting look at consumption, how we got to our current rate of consumption, and where we are headed. Despite some fairly obvious bias, the film could be used as part of a lesson about global economics and global development.
The film is embedded below.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Five Resources for Teaching About Earthquakes
Two Ways to Watch National Geographic Online