Monday, February 7, 2011

Search for the Afghan Girl

This week's Snag Learning film of the week is Search for the Afghan Girl. Produced by National Geographic and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, the film chronicles photographer Steve McCurry's quest to find the girl he photographed in 1984 and whose eyes captivated the world when she appeared on the cover of National Geographic. You can watch the film and find discussion questions here.
Watch more free documentaries

Knoword - A Challenging Vocabulary Game

Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points.

You don't have to register to play Knoword, but you can register if you want. Registering for Knoword gives you the option to keep track of your game statistics. Registered users can also earn badges based on their performances.
H/T to Angela Maiers.

Applications for Education
In the few games that I played I noticed that Knoword is probably best suited to use by students in middle school and high school. I think many of the words would be too difficult for elementary school students and they could end up frustrated with the game. For middle school and high school students though Knoword could be a fun way to refresh their memories of words they already know and add new words to their vocabularies. 

Post Schedule for the Next Week

Thanks to Time Warner Cable's horrible customer service response time I have been without a consistent home internet connection for more than a week and won't be fully back online until February 14 (keep your fingers crossed that they actually show up that day). Therefore, my posting schedule might appear a little sporadic over the next week as I work from a combination of library wi-fi, McDonald's wi-fi, and a slow mobile connection. And if anyone has a direct number to someone at Time Warner that can actually be helpful, I would appreciate it. Thanks for sticking with me.

The Science & Math of Basketball's 3 Point Shot

I've previously shared resources about the science and math of baseball, football, and soccer. This morning I'd like to share with you the science and math of basketball's three point shot. In the video below Sport Science evaluates why Ray Allen is one of the most consistent three point shooters in the history of the NBA. The video demonstrates the roles of angles, velocity, and rotation in making a three point shot in basketball.
Update: the original video hosted by ESPN has gone offline, but the same video was found on YouTube.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good introduction to a simple geometry lesson for students who aren't interested in math, but are interested in sports. You might even take students down to the school gym and have them measure and test the angles of shots from different distances on the court.

CBS Fast Draw Video - The Truth About Lies

Why do people believe the things they do? What makes lies believable? And what are the consequences of those lies? The CBS Fast Draw team has the answers to those questions and more in the video below.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a quick resource to show students why fact-checking is important, take a look at this video. Before showing the video ask students if they think the sun revolves around the Earth or if shark attacks are the summer's leading cause of death. Then ask them why they think those things are true or not.