Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Good Game for Learning About Nutrition Around the World

The Smithsonian offers a lot of neat apps and games for elementary school students. One of those games is called Pick Your Plate. It's available to play in your web browser or as an iPad or Android app. The premise of Pick Your Plate is that students have to create balanced meals within a budget in eight countries around the world.

To play the game students simply open the Pick Your Plate app or website then choose which country they want to start from. They're shown a budget for each meal in the country's currency. They're also shown a selection of common foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in each country. The goal is to build a balanced meal within the budget in each country. Students get instant feedback on the construction of each meal. 




Applications for Education
Pick Your Plate could be a good game for elementary school students to play to learn about different foods around the world while also practicing their budgeting skills. Registration is not required in order to play the game.

A Crash Course in Computer Science

Try as I might, as an old history teacher turned computer science teacher, I can't help sprinkling in a few history lessons now and then. We talked about the Y2K bug (history to my students all born around 2004/5) a couple of weeks ago. And this week I had some of my students watch Crash Course's video on the history and development of Keyboards and Command Lines

Crash Course Keyboard & Command Line Interfaces gives students an overview of the origins of keyboards and keyboard layouts beginning with early typewriters. If you've ever wondered why we use QWERTY keyboards, this video answers that for you. After explaining the development of keyboards the video goes on to explain how early computers functioned with tape and punch cards. Finally, the video explains to viewers how command line interfaces came to be when computers became powerful enough to handle multiple processes and interact user input. 


Crash Course Keyboard & Command Line Interfaces is one video in a series of 41 computer science videos produced by Crash Course. The series more or less follows the history of the development of computer science. In the series you'll find videos covering a wide range of topics including binary, programming languages and their development, the personal computer "revolution," and operating systems. 


Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, I used the video about keyboards and command lines to give my students a little historical perspective on the development of the machines and processes they're using today. My students just started using command lines a couple of weeks ago so sharing this video right before our Thanksgiving break was a good fit. Just to make sure my students actually watched the video, I put it into an EDpuzzle activity.