Sunday, February 26, 2012

Video - America's Briefest President

This evening while browsing the CBS News video section I came across a short piece about William Henry Harrison. The four minute video, narrated by Mo Rocca, tells the story of how William Henry Harrison came into office and why his wife never did make it to Washington, D.C.

Applications for Education
As I watched the video I noticed there were some striking similarities between Harrison's attempt to hide his aristocratic roots while campaigning and those same attempts made by politicians today. Show the video to your history students and ask them if they can draw any comparisons between the campaign practices of Harrison and of today's politicians. Then ask them to think about why some politicians may want to hide their aristocratic backgrounds.

Create a Virtual Volcanic Eruption

A couple of years I posted a list of five good resources for teaching about volcanoes. Last week, through Ask a Tech Teacher, I discovered another resource to add to that list. The Discovery Channel's Volcano Explorer provides a small simulation that students can use to design a volcanic eruption. Using the Volcano Explorer students choose the magma viscosity and gas content to create a virtual volcanic eruption. When students make their selections the Volcano Explorer provides a short explanation of how those settings will affect the shape of the volcano and its eruption.

Applications for Education
Discovery's Volcano Explorer could be a nice little simulation to use in an elementary school science lesson. While students won't experience the fun mess of the baking soda and vinegar eruptions that we did as kids, the Volcano Explorer does provide some direct explanation and visuals of magma and gasses in action.

Submissions Still Being Accepted for the Classroom 2.0 Book

Last month Steve Hargadon, Chris Dawson, and I put out the call for submissions to the Classroom 2.0 Fifth Anniversary Book. We have had a steady flow of submissions over the last month. And there is still time for you to make a contribution. Contributing to the book is a great opportunity to have your voice heard by a large audience of teachers, school administrators, and other stake-holders in the world of education.

If you're interested in contributing to the Classroom 2.0 Fifth Anniversary Book Project, you can read the call for submissions here. Here are some bullet points about contributing to the book.
  • All submissions will be displayed online on the Classroom 2.0 Scribd page. 
  • Some submissions will be chosen for inclusion in the printed version of the book. 
  • Our hope is that the printed book will be able to reach an audience that doesn't typically get involved in social media/ Web 2.0 and prompt that audience to investigate the benefits of using technology in schools.
  • As a contributor to the project you may be able to reach a wider audience than you could on your own. From my experience with other projects like this, all contributors end up reaching a larger audience due to the mutual sharing of content by all contributors.
  • Here again is the call for submissions to the Classroom 2.0 Fifth Anniversary Book Project