Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Video Demonstrations of the Periodic Table of Elements

The Periodic Table of Videos is produced by The University of Nottingham. The table features a video demonstration of the characteristics of each element in the table. Each element in the Periodic Table displayed on the home page is linked to a video. The videos are hosted on YouTube, but don't worry The University of Nottingham provides an alternative server through which you should be able to view the videos. My school doesn't block YouTube so I haven't been able to test the alternative server yet. If you find that the alternative server does indeed work, please leave a comment and I'll update this post.

Applications for Education
The Periodic Table of Videos is a great way for students to explore and learn about the Periodic Table of Elements. This could be a great resource for high school Chemistry teachers who don't have access to some or all of the elements to make demonstrations for or with their students.

The Periodic Table of Comics that I shared last month might be a nice complement to the Periodic Table of Videos. Using those two resources in tandem can show students the serious and the "lighter" sides of science.

Here is the video about Oxygen that visitors will find on the Periodic Table of Videos.

Cartoon Demonstrating Why Every Teacher Needs a Blog

Here is a short cartoon I sketched to demonstrate the benefits of having a blog for your class.

If you're viewing this in an RSS reader the slide show might not be displayed properly. Please click the post's title to view the slide show.

Quick and Simple Drawing Tools

Occasionally, you or your students may need to create a quick sketch to diagram or illustrate an idea. Fortunately there are free websites that will allow you to do that in less time than it takes to enter an email address. Two of these websites are Art Pad and Online Sketch Pad. Neither Art Pad nor Sketch Pad requires users to register in order to start drawing. Both websites let users share their work privately via email or by contributing to their public art galleries.

Sketch Pad and Art Pad do essentially the same tasks, allow users to draw free hand with a mouse or track pad. Sketch Pad is the website I used to create the drawings for the Cartoon Explanation of Cloud Computing that I posted yesterday. Art Pad is the website I used to create the image you see posted with this blog entry. Art Pad has a few more features than Sketch Pad does. Art Pad offers a selection of drawing tools including a paint brush and an eraser to clean up mistakes. Sketch Pad's erase options only allow you to undo the last action or start over. The coolest feature of Art Pad is the drawing actions playback that allows you to playback the actions taken to create your drawing.

Applications for Education
Art Pad and Sketch Pad are simple tools for creating drawings to use in presentations. Both websites are very intuitive so a teacher could, without spending a lot of classroom time on instruction, have a class creating images very quickly.

Free hand drawing programs like Art Pad and Sketch Pad can also be used as fun ways for younger students to learn to use a mouse or track pad.