Showing posts with label Olympics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olympics. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Looking for Errors - A Lesson in Website Accuracy

In Saturday's week-in-review I mentioned that NBC's webpage about Olympic archery contains quite a few errors. I've been thinking about that a lot as I've watched the Olympic archery matches this week. Last night, it occurred to me that NBC probably has other niche sports pages containing errors. My guess is that we all have students who are into one or more of those niche sports. Likewise, we all have students who may have hobbies they're passionate about, but we don't know much about ourselves. For example, six years ago I had a student who was quite passionate about making raising bees, I couldn't have told you the first thing about raising bees.

Thinking about niche sports and hobbies prompted me to think about how I might leverage students' interests into a lesson about web research. One way to do this is to ask students to find a webpage, perhaps on Wikipedia or elsewhere, about their favorite niche hobbies or sports. Once they've found a page or two ask them to try to develop a list of errors they find on the page. Then ask them to try to locate three references that confirm the errors they found on the original page.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Let the Games Begin - An Interactive Map of Issues Surrounding the Olympic Games

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games begin at the end of this week. The lead-up to the games has been full of new stories about physical, political, and economic conditions in Brazil. ESRI has published an interactive storymap about all of these issues. On Ready or Not, Let the Games Begin you can scroll through a story that features summaries of stories about construction of Olympic venues, issues regarding displacement of residents of Rio de Janiero, the zika virus, pollution, and security around the Olympic Games. At various points in the story you can click on maps to learn more about each issue.

Applications for Education
Back in 2008 I had students in my ninth grade world geography course write persuasive essays on the question of whether not the Olympic Games benefited the people who lived in the areas immediately surrounding the event venues. Ready or Not, Let the Games Begin provides students with background on the 2016 Olympic Games that they could use in making persuasive arguments about this year's Olympic Games.

H/T to Maps Mania

Monday, February 17, 2014

Design an Olympic Diet

A couple of years ago there were lots of stories about the massive amounts of food that athletes like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps consumed during training. Are diets like theirs the norm among Olympic athletes? What do athletes in endurance events eat? The answers to questions like those and more can be found in this ASAP Science video, The Olympic Diet.
Applications for Education
After watching the video have students in a health, nutrition, or science class develop a menu to meet the needs of athletes competing in their favorite Olympic events.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Olympic Challenge 2012 - Olympics-inspired Lessons

Through a Tweet from Jen Deyenberg earlier this week I learned about a neat collaborative project started by Chris Leach. Olympic Challenge 2012 is a series of academic challenges based upon Summer Olympic events. Right now there are twenty-two challenges proposed. Teachers can sign-up to have their students "challenge" other classrooms. Or you could simply have your students try the challenges without challenging another classroom. Here's one of the fun challenges in the list; Tennis: draw faces on tennis balls and then animate them to tell a story.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Go Skiing With 2010 Winter Olympians

Just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics Google has added some really neat Street View imagery. According to a post on the Google Lat Long Blog, Google strapped a camera to a snowmobile to record imagery of the downhill ski slopes at Whistler Mountain where the men's downhill skiing competition will be held. Check it out in the map below.

View Larger Map

Applications for Education
The Street View imagery of the ski mountains give students another good way to explore and learn about the 2010 Winter Olympics. You may want to couple these views with the 3D Olympic venue tours available in Google Earth.

If you would like some more resources for learning and teaching about the 2010 Winter Olympics, Larry Ferlazzo has started a good list.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Fun Physical Education and Video Activity

The International Olympic Committee in partnership with YouTube has launched a new site called The Best of Us Challenge. The Best of Us Challenge is designed to give average people a chance to test their unique athletic abilities against those of real Olympians. Through The Best of Us Challenge, participants "compete" against Olympians in unique physical challenges such as spinning an umbrella or balancing a stick your foot. To enter, select a challenge, create a short video of yourself completing the challenge, then upload the video to the YouTube The Best of Us Challege page. Winners of the contest can win t-shirts, video games, posters, and possibly a trip to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The contest is open to participants age 13 and older (under 18 needs parental consent). Read all of the contest details here.

The video below is Asafa Powell's challenge to balance a stick on your foot.

Thanks to Mashable for the information about this fun challenge.

Applications for Education
The Best of Us Challenge provides a fun opportunity to get kids excited about physical education challenges while also providing an opportunity to integrate a technology component into a physical education class. The Best of Us Challenge also provides an opportunity for students who may not fit into the typical "athlete" mold to show-off their unique skills.

Friday, October 17, 2008

For Physical Education and Health Teachers

It's not often that I come across web resources that physical education teachers can use. Today, I found on Larry Ferlazzo's blog, an Olympics quiz from CNN. This quiz asks questions about your personality and preferences then tells you the Olympic sport for which you're best suited. The quiz told me that I should be a runner.

Applications for Education
For physical education teachers or health teachers that are trying to get students to try an athletic or aerobic activity this quiz could be useful. The quiz might expose students to sports that they've never tried before.

Monday, August 25, 2008

History and Olympics Lesson Plan

The Olympics are over until 2012, but your students may be talking about it for a few more weeks. The Olympics provides teachers with a some teaching opportunities in math, world cultures, and history. The Olympic Medal Map from the New York Times has an interactive timeline of the modern Olympics. For each year on the timeline the circles representing each country expand or contract according to medal count.

Application for Education
The Olympic Medal Map provides students and teachers with an interesting way to look at 20th Century World History. Students should notice the size of the circles representing Asian countries expanding over the course of century while many of the circles representing European countries contract. This pattern of change could be the stimulus for having students examine causes and possible explanations for the changes over the course of century.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Calendars Through the Ages and Around the World has a great online exhibit about calendars used throughout history and about the calendars used in by various countries and cultures. In Calendars Through the Ages visitors will find the history of different calendars, how those calendars were developed, significant dates on each calendar, and in some cases why a particular calendar is no longer in use.

Applications for Education
The Olympics are in full swing and are sure to be a topic of conversation in classrooms now and in the fall. This will provide teachers and students with an opportunity to talk about Chinese culture and history. One of the aspects of Chinese culture sure to be discussed is the Chinese calendar and how it differs from the calendar of the west. By visiting Calendars Through the Ages students can explore the origins of the Chinese calendar and significant dates on the Chinese calendar.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Math

Adrian Bruce has a great lesson posted on his website that using math and Olympic diving. The lesson is designed for elementary and possibly middle school math students. Click here to read the lesson plan.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Most Read Posts

After a five day vacation (camping in the rain) I'm back to civilization. I'm trying to get caught up on nearly 5,000 new items in my RSS reader. While I'm catching up, check out five of the most commonly read blog posts over the last six months.

In order by popularity here are the five most read items over the last six months.
1. Famhoo - Family Safe Search Engine
2. An American Teacher in China - Olympic Thoughts
3. Banned Websites are Today's Version of Yesterday's Banned Books
4. Free Moodle Hosting on Global Classroom
5. Animoto vs. Photostory 3 - A Side by Side Comparison

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bab.La - Learn a Language Through Sports

Bab.La takes an interesting approach to learning a language. BabLa features a translation dictionary for seven languages including Chinese. The difference between Babla and many other language learning websites is in the categorization of terms. Babla features a large selection of words and phrases used in sports. Babla also offers more traditional translations. Babla is a new website so the selection of terms and categories of terms is not as extensive as other services, but it invites user generated content to expand the website.

Applications for Education
Babla's sports related words and phrases may be a tool for engaging reluctant students in the study of foreign language. The translation of Olympic terms to Chinese would be a nice complement to the study of Chinese culture or the Olympics in general.
The quizzes on Babla provide visual clues to students as they practice translations and vocabulary.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

An American Teacher in China - Olympic Thoughts

The 2008 Olympics is sparking controversy around the world. As a Contemporary World Studies teacher, I always try to expose my students to multiple perspectives. Fortunately for me and my students, my friend and colleague, Jason Long is teaching in China this spring and sharing his observations and experiences via a blog titled Viking in China. In his most recent blog entries Jason shares his observations and experiences regarding the Olympics. One of the more interesting pieces of news from Jason is that some Chinese are boycotting American and European goods in response to the protests in the United States and Europe.

Jason also reports on less serious topics. In his latest writing he reports about his experience playing baseball with his Chinese students. And in earlier blog entries Jason talks about his difficulties overcoming the language barrier and the challenges of sticking out like a sore thumb amongst a sea of people.

Applications for Education
Blogs like Jason's are fantastic resources for exposing students to multiple perspectives on global issues. Jason's blog also has nice stories that can be used as conversation starters about culture and international travel.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Google Maps - Torch Relay

Google Maps has added an Olympic Torch Relay Map. For every city that the torch visits there is a pop-up window displaying a short summary of information about that city. The map is embedded below.

Applications for Education
The Olympic Torch Map provides a good stimulus for discussion about the relationship between politics and the Olympic Games. The Torch Map could be the basis for a research assignment about the various cities the Olympic Torch visits.