Monday, April 5, 2010

The Hidden Water We Use

This month's issue of National Geographic is all about water. As usual National Geographic created some interactive elements on its website to complement the printed magazine. The Hidden Water We Use is one of those interactive elements. The Hidden Water We Use is an interactive display of water consumption rates for commonly used products, commonly consumed foods, and commonly consumed beverages. For example, did you know that creating one gallon of beer requires less water than creating one gallon of coffee?

Applications for Education
The Hidden Water We Use could be a good resource to keep in mind as you begin to develop Earth Day lesson plans.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Breathing Earth - Interactive Map
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Explore the Cycle of Recycling

Learn About Owls & Virtually Dissect a Pellet

Kid Wings is a site designed to provide teachers and students with information and learning experiences about owls. The site has distinct web 1.0 feel, but none-the-less offers some good stuff for students and teachers. The highlight of Kid Wings is the virtual owl pellet dissection activity. In the virtual owl pellet dissection students pick apart an owl pellet, examine the bones inside it, then match those bones to the skeleton outline they've been provided. The names of the bones are read aloud to students when they click on the bones.

In addition to the virtual owl pellet dissection, Kid Wings offers some informational graphics about the anatomy of birds, bird photographs, bird call recordings, and some resources specifically for teachers.

After exploring Kid Wings I took a look at National Geographic's website in search of some more information about owls. On National Geographic's site I discovered a couple of nice resources about Snowy Owls. National Geographic Kids has a nice little photo essay about Snowy Owls and a map of the Snowy Owls' range. I also found the following two minute video about Snowy Owls.

Applications for Education
The Kid Wings and National Geographic resources about owls could be useful in an elementary school science lesson. After showing students the video of the snowy owl in flight, have them try one of the flight experiments outlined in teachers' resource section of Kid Wings.

Comics in the Classroom - A Panel Discussion

Last week Jeff and Dan at Wicked Decent Learning released a new episode of their Wicked Decent Learning podcast. I finally got a chance to listen to it this morning and as usual the podcast was wicked decent. (For those readers who are not familiar with the New England usage of "wicked," wicked is generally used as an adjective to replace "very.") The latest episode, titled Comics in the Classroom, features a panel about the use of comics in the classroom. Dan served as the moderator for this discussion which was held at the Comic Geek Speak Supershow. The panel was comprised of three K-12 classroom teachers and a college professor. The discussion covered everything from the development of comics through clear examples of comics being used in the classroom. If you have any interest to using comics in your classroom, I recommend taking an hour to listen to the podcast. You can find it on the Wicked Decent Learning blog or on iTunes.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
More than 100 Editorial Cartoon Lesson Plans
Pictures and Cartoons from PRI's The World
Lessons About Presidential Campaign Commercials

Audio Slideshow - Ex-child Soldier in Sudan

Ex-child soldier in Sudan is a powerful, three minute audio slideshow produced by the BBC. The slideshow chronicles the struggles of 13 year old Deng Chan to care for his family, attend school, and deal with anger after leaving the rebel army in South Sudan.

Applications for Education
When I was still teaching a contemporary global studies course this audio slideshow is exactly the type of resource that I would use to "humanize" the events my students were studying in class.

Helmet Animation Video - How to Wear Your Helmet

The Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky recently released a short animated video designed to teach students about the need for wearing a helmet and how to wear helmets when biking or skateboarding. In the video students learn how to pick a helmet and how to properly fit a helmet. Watch the two minute video below.

Applications for Education
As the weather warms in the northern hemisphere more kids will be out on their bikes and skateboards. This video could be a good, quick reminder to students to wear a helmet and wear it correctly.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Next Vista for Learning
Safe Share TV - Safe YouTube Viewing
30+ Alternatives to YouTube