Friday, December 17, 2010

The Science of Football (American Football)

This summer I shared some resources for teaching science and math through baseball and skateboarding. This evening I'd like to pass along a resource, found on Kristen Swanson's blog,  for teaching math and science through football. The Science of Football is a series of ten videos from NBC Learn explaining and demonstrating math and science concepts as they relate to football.

Applications for Education
The Science of Football could be a good way to get students who enjoy sports, but don't necessarily enjoy math and science, interested in learning math and science. Lessonopoly offers lesson plans corresponding to each video to support your use of the videos in your classroom.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Science of Skateboarding, Bicycling, and More
Sport Science - The Science of Homeruns
Plus Maths Challenging Math Puzzles

A Home for the Future - Interactive Display

A Home for the Future is a neat interactive display from The New York Times about a solar-powered home. Click on the photo and sound icons on the interactive image to learn about the features and nuances of a solar-powered home.
Click to enlarge
And to learn more about home design, history, and the way people interact with their homes see the Living Rooms section on The New York Times site.

Applications for Education
My school's CAD program now offers a class on "green design." A Home for the Future could be a good resource for those students to learn from. A Home for the Future could also be a neat resource for students in environmental science classes to explore.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:Video - Two Cases of Global Warming
Climate Change, Wildlife, Wildlands Lesson Plans
Infographic World - 12 Interesting Infographics

A TED Talk for Your Weekend - Learning from Mistakes

I love it when practicing educators get to share their experiences on a large stage. Earlier this year Dan Meyer's Math Class Needs a Makeover presentation was featured on the TED Blog. This week Diana Laufenberg's talk, How to Learn? From Mistakes was featured on the TED Blog. In her talk Diana shares what she's done and is doing in her practice (some really cool social studies stuff) and what she and her students have learned. Most importantly, Diana shares what it means to teach in a world where information is freely available almost everywhere. Watch the video below.

By the way, when Diana Skyped into one of my classes last year during a discussion about what makes a good school, my students were totally impressed.

How to Prepare for the Delicious Shut Down

Update: in a blog post this afternoon Yahoo says they might not shut down Delicious. I read it, it doesn't look promising. Check it out

The tech and education blog-o-spheres are humming with the news that Yahoo is probably going to shut down the popular social bookmarking service Delicious (Read Write Web has two good stories about it here and here). In an effort to help you prepare for the closure of Delicious, I created this short post.

Before looking at alternatives to Delicious, let's get your bookmarks out of Delicious so that you can use them somewhere else.

Step 1: Log into your Delicious account and click on "settings." (Settings should appear in the upper right corner of your screen). 

Step 2: Select "export/ backup bookmarks."

Step 3: Choose whether or not you want to export the notes and tags you've assigned to your bookmarks. Depending on which application you plan to use your bookmarks in in the future, trying to import tags and notes might cause some glitches. To play it safe I exported my bookmarks twice, once with tags and notes, once without tags and notes.

Step 4: Save the HTML to your local computer. Once you have the file you can import it into any browser and into most social bookmarking services.

Alternatives to Delicious
If your school is a Google Apps for Education school, the first alternative to Delicious that I would consider is Google Bookmarks. In Google Bookmarks you can create lists that you can share publicly or keep private. One of the nice things about the list feature is that you can choose to make some of your lists public while keeping others private. Just like with Google Docs, you can invite other people to share and add to your work. Lists in Google Bookmarks aren't limited to simple text links. You can add maps, images, and videos to your lists in Google Bookmarks. Additionally, any of your Google Docs files can be added to your lists in Google Bookmarks. Google Bookmarks can be added to your existing Google account so you don't have remember a new user name or password to take advantage of the service.

If you do end up going with Google Bookmarks, I'd recommend also looking at Yawas. Yawas is a free web annotation tool for Firefox and Chrome built on top of Google Bookmarks. Yawas enables you to highlight text on any webpage and save it in your Google Bookmarks account. Once Yawas is installed just highlight the text on a page, right click, and send it to your Google Bookmarks account.
Diigo has been popular with educators for quite a while. Some of its features moved behind a paywall earlier this year, but it's still a good service to consider as a replacement for Delicious. Last fall,  Jose Picardo (I highly recommend his blog) posted a quick guide to annotating using Diigo. He created the video for his students and if you're considering using Diigo with your students it could be very useful for you too. The video is embedded below.

A Guide to Annotating using Diigo from José Picardo on Vimeo.

Memonic is a tool for curating collections of information from the web. Memonic's key function is to give users the power to clip sections of websites and build them into a personal collection. Along with the clipping of information, users can add commentary to each item they place into their personal accounts. For example, if I clipped a paragraph from iLearnTechnology I could also add some notes for myself about that paragraph. There are a couple of ways to add content to the folders within a Memonic account. The easiest way to add content to a Memonic account is to use the Memonic bookmarklet for Firefox. After the bookmarklet is installed, users can click it at anytime while they're browsing the web to add content to their Memonic folders. Alternatively, users can add content by typing the url of a desired page into the Memonic "web clipper" that is present within every Memonic user's account page. Watch a holiday-themed introduction to Memonic below.

What are your suggestions for alternatives to Delicious?