## Thursday, May 20, 2021

### A Math and Map Challenge

This evening while recording Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff I was reminded of a neat math and map challenge activity from Mathigon. Here's what I wrote about it last year.

Mathigon's map coloring challenge is to use as few colors as possible to color in all 50 U.S. states without the same color touching two states at the same time. For example, if I color New Hampshire purple, I can't use purple on Vermont, Maine, New York, or Massachusetts but I could use purple on Pennsylvania.

Mathigon's map coloring challenge can be completed online where they offer the same challenge for coloring maps of South America, England, and Germany. But if you send your students to that page they'll be able to quickly click to see the solution to the challenge. So what I'd do instead is print a blank map from a site like Printable World Map then have students try the challenge. Another option would be to upload an outline map to a service like Google's Jamboard to color the map online. Watch my video below to learn how that process works.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and TodayHeadline.

### Three Short Lessons About Algorithms That I Used This Week

This week in my Computer Science Principles course we're talking about algorithms. We started the week with an introduction answering the question, "what is an algorithm?" Then we looked at examples of algorithms that students encounter on a daily basis (YouTube suggestions being the one they related to the most). Today, my students wrote their own algorithms for automating processes of their choosing.

As long-time followers of my blog know, I'm a proponent of using short videos and or sections of videos to provide students with an alternative to my explanations of concepts. This week I used three short videos to help my students understand what algorithms are and how they're used.

What is an algorithm?

There were two videos about that question that I shared with my students. First, I shared a TED-Ed lesson titled What's an Algorithm? in my course's Google Classroom. Second, in class I played GCF Learn Free's two minute video Computer Science Basics: Algorithms.

How to Write a Trading Algorithm
This morning I played part of this video for my students. My point in doing so was to show them how algorithms can be written for all kinds of purposes including attempts at "outsmarting" the stock market. The other point was to show them that algorithms can be written in any language.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and TodayHeadline. Feature graphic created by Richard Byrne using Canva.