Friday, October 14, 2011

Mathematics in Movies

Mathematics in Movies is a website developed by Oliver Knill, a Harvard Mathematics professor. Mathematics in Movies is a collection of video clips from popular movies and television shows in which references to mathematics are made. One clip that I enjoyed comes from an episode of The Office in which Oscar tries to explain the concept of a budget surplus to Michael. I've embedded the episode below.

Applications for Education
The video clips from Mathematics in Movies could be a fun way to introduce a mathematics lesson. The clips might also be useful as a break from a traditional lesson plan for a day. Students can enjoy the clips while reviewing mathematics concepts.

New LearnBoost Features - Multilingual Support and Lesson Sharing

Full Disclosure: Learn Boost is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

LearnBoost, providers of a free online gradebook service, has released a few new features this month that you might be interested in. This month LearnBoost announced that LearnBoost is now available in Spanish and French. Yesterday, LearnBoost announced the option to share lesson plans through their service. A video overview of sharing lessons is embedded below.

How to share lesson plans from LearnBoost on Vimeo.

A Book and a Hug - Find Good Books for Your Students

A Book and a Hug is a book recommendation site that I just learned about this morning at the WLMA conference. The site currently hosts reviews of more than 6,000 titles for student readers. You can search for books by keywords, age of the reader, genre, geographical setting of a book, and reading level. In addition to finding reviews your students can contribute their own book reviews to A Book and a Hug. Email addresses are not required in order for students to submit their reviews.

Applications for Education
Finding books that are appropriate for and engaging to young readers can be a challenge. A Book and a Hug could be a tremendous aid in your search and your students' searches for their next favorite book.

Developing a Personal Sharing Network

As I mentioned last night on Twitter and on Google+ I've decided to stop using the term Personal Learning Network (PLN) and start using the term Personal Sharing Network. I'm changing the phrase I use because after giving many presentations on the topic and watching even more presentations and conversations on the topic I've come to the conclusion that there's too much emphasis on what "you can get out of a PLN" rather than "what you can share." Yes, I'm guilty of promoting PLNs in that manner in the past.

You can learn a lot by observing and occasionally sharing with a network. But until you start to share, you won't experience the full benefits of social media. As Guy Kawasaki mentions when in his latest book Enchantment (affiliate link) the way to get people to work with you is to trust them first and to share with them first. The more you share the more others will share with you.

This morning at the Washington Library Media Association's annual conference I will be giving a 45 minute talk on the topic of Personal Sharing Networks. The session will be streamed live at 10:15am PST and I would love to have you join us to add your comments and questions to the conversation. The slides for my talk are embedded below.