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Monday, September 20, 2010

Mr. Robb's Math - Hundreds of Math Videos

Mr. Robb's Math is a YouTube channel containing 555 videos produced by high school mathematics teacher Bradley Robb. Mr. Robb's videos explain and demonstrate solving problems in Algebra I, Algebra II, and Calculus. Most of the videos are recorded while Mr. Robb is teaching. You can find the videos on the Mr. Robb's Math YouTube channel or visit Mr. Robb's website WowMath to find the videos organized in sequence with accompanying screenshots.

In the video below Mr. Robb shows viewers how to solve one step equations.

Thanks to Scott McLeod for sharing this useful resource.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:

YouCanBook.Me - Appointment Booking in Google Calendar

YouCanBook.Me is a free scheduling tool that integrates with your Google Calendar. YouCanBook.Me allows people to book fixed blocks of time in your calendar. You specify the length of each block of time and the dates and times you are available. Visitors to your calendar click a block and enter their email addresses to reserve a block of your time. When a block of time is reserved you receive an email alert. Watch the video here to see a demonstration of YouCanBook.Me.

Thanks to Angela Maiers for sharing this on Twitter.

Applications for Education
YouCanBook.Me could be a great tool when it comes time to schedule parent-teacher conferences. Post your YouCanBook.Me calendar on your classroom blog to let parents schedule meetings at a time that is convenient for all parties involved.

22 Minutes With EdTech Pros

For the last couple of months Kimberly Warrner at Simple K12 has been recording two minute video interviews with educators. The videos feature educators talking about some of their favorite ed tech tools. Today, on the Simple K12 blog there is a list of the first eleven videos that are now available. I'm in one of them talking about Drop.io.

Applications for Education
The Simple K12 video interviews with educators are a good way to hear to practicing educators about how they are using some of their favorite resources in their classrooms. In two minutes you can pick up some good nuggets of information that you could quickly put into practice.

Disclosure: I have done some work for Simple K12 and have a marketing relationship with Simple K12.


Eight Good Resources for Space Science Lessons

Last week one of my colleagues asked if I knew of "any good websites" for space science lessons. I said of course I did and gave the suggestion to turn on the moon view in Google Earth. This post was prompted by that 90 second conversation. Here are eight (for the eight planets) good resources for space science lessons.

Celestia is a free space exploration simulation program. Celestia is a free download that works on Mac, PC, and Linux systems. The advantage of Celestia over other satellite imagery programs is that in addition to seeing the Earth's surface, students can zoom in on moons, stars, and planets. The user controls what they see. Operating the program is easy enough to be used by students as young as six or seven. The user guides for Celestia are very thorough and available in four languages. There is a companion website to Celestia called the Celestia Motherlode that features add-ons to Celestia and educational activities that teachers can use in their classrooms.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey better known as the SkyServer is a rich website full of images from throughout the galaxy and beyond. The SkyServer aims to, in their words, "build the largest map in the history of the world." The project is supported by NASA, the US Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The galleries of famous places is one of the world's most extensive public galleries of space imagery. To date over 50 million images have been captured.

Google Sky allows you view images of space in your web browser. Google Sky offers great images of outer space captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Google Sky has images that have captured x-ray and infrared wavelengths. The Google Sky web browser also has some more basic images in a collection referred to as "backyard astronomy." Watch the video below for a quick overview of Google Sky.

To view the moon imagery and to view tours of the moon in Google Earth simply select "moon" from the planet menu in the Google Earth toolbar.




Some of the coolest features of Google Earth moon are the layers based on different Apollo missions as well as the embedded video footage recorded at the moon. Watch the video below to learn more about "moon view" in Google Earth.

You can also view Mars in Google Earth by turning on the Mars view. See the screen capture above to see where to locate Mars view in Google Earth. Watch the video below to learn more about "Mars view" in Google Earth.

NASA has an excellent interactive timeline tracing the history of astronomy and space exploration from the Greek philosophers through today. Planet Quest is actually three timelines combined into one. The three timelines cover technology, discovery, and culture as it relates to astronomy and space exploration. Each element on the timeline is narrated. Users can select individual elements on the timeline or choose autoplay to hear the narration of each item in sequence.

Gunn Interactive has a fantastic interactive visualization of the planets in orbit. The visualization was created by Gunn Interactive. Using this interactive visualization tool students can see the different rates of orbit for all of the planets. Students can zoom in and zoom out to see more or less of the planets. Students can also adjust the speed of the orbits.

Amazing Space is a great website for teachers and students of astronomy. Amazing Space has a great collection of virtual tours and online simulations. Each simulation contains valuable lessons about an astronomy topic. The educator resource page on Amazing Space is full of great ideas and lesson plans for teaching astronomy to students in elementary school, middle school, and high school classrooms.

The WorldWide Telescope makes very detailed, high resolution images (scientific quality) from space available to anyone with access to a computer and an internet connection. The goal of the WorldWide Telescope is to enable users to use their computers as virtual telescopes. The WorldWide Telescope can be downloaded and run on Windows-based computers. Mac users will have to use the web client to access the WorldWide Telescope. The educators page on the WorldWide Telescope site has lesson resources and ideas for middle school and high school use.

Bonus Resource or Pluto:

8 Wonders of the Solar System is a Scientific American interactive feature about the solar system. In 8 Wonders of the Solar System viewers explore the sites that future "space tourists" will want to view. The sites are depicted through the artist Ron Miller's drawings. The tour includes audio and video commentary about the featured sites. One of my favorite stops on the tour is the Peaks of Eternal Light on the Moon. The Peaks of Eternal Light are one of the few places in the solar system on which the sun never sets.

Gapminder - Graphing the World's Data

Graphs of data sets on their own can be useful for understanding the causes and ramifications of many types of economic, social, politica, and scientific problems. Interactive graphing tools can make it easier to explore data sets related to those problems. That is the purpose of the graphing tool Gapminder. Gapminder gives users the ability to create graphs of nearly 500 demographic and economic indicators. Tekzilla Daily has a video demonstration of Gapminder in action. Watch the video below.


The TED Talk below features Gapminder's founder Hans Rosling using Gapminder.

Applications for Education
Gapminder has a page for educators on which they can find thematic animations, graphs, quizzes, a lesson plan, and a PDF guide to using Gapminder. For teachers working in schools with slow Internet connections or very strict filtering, Gapminder has a desktop application that you can download and install for Mac or Windows computers.

Gapminder is a good tool for visual learners to see data in a way that changes the data from numbers to bubbles for easy comparison.

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