Sunday, December 23, 2012

The "Other" U.S. Election

In November the choice of U.S. President was all but decided. But the results don't become official until all of the Electoral votes are certified and counted. Last week Glenn Wiebe reminded me of that procedural fact. In the four minute video below viewers learn how the Electoral votes are counted and the role that the National Archives plays in the procedure.

On an related note, I still remember watching, as a college senior minoring in Political Science, Al Gore preside over the counting of these votes in 2000 and thinking how awkward that must have felt.

Applications for Education
Many of my students over the years have asked, "what if an Electoral doesn't honor the people's will?" This video provides the answer. 

A Crash Course in Ecology

Last week I featured John Green's Crash Course on The Great Gatsby and literature in general. This evening I'd like to point out Green's equally good crash course in Ecology. Like his other crash courses the Ecology crash course is comprised of fast paced overviews of important points. Watching these videos won't replace the need for a good teacher, but they can certainly reinforce or introduce a topic. The playlist is embedded below.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Week in Review - The Family Grows

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. This week my little family grew by one as I adopted another dog from Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. Max is a two year old Lab and Pointer mix. He and Morrison are getting along well even if Morrison doesn't quite understand all of Max's antics.

As I shared last week, my "family" of blogs grew this month too as I am now actively maintaining iPad Apps for School in addition to Android for Schools and Free Technology for Teachers. As of this morning more than 2,500 people have already subscribed to iPad Apps for School. Thank you all for continuing to support my blogging efforts through your Tweets, reTweets, Pins, comments, and emails.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Three Approaches to Classroom Blogging
2. Video - How to Create Infographics
3. How to Open and Edit Word Files in Google Drive
4. A Guided Tour Inside the International Space Station
5. How to Use Google Docs Offline
6. Common Curriculum Adds Support for Links and Files in Common Core Lesson Plans
7. Planwise Can Help Students Plan Their Financial Futures

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Friday, December 21, 2012

NASA Shows Us the Earth As Art

Earth As Art is a beautiful collection of NASA satellite imagery of places all over the globe. The collection is available to view in a PDF (link opens PDF) or in the NASA Earth As Art iPad app. Earth As Art includes nearly 150 pages of imagery and explanations of the imagery so that you know what you're looking at. Browsing through Earth As Art is a nice way to see some of the truly unique features of the Earth's physical geography.

H/T to Open Culture.

A Google Map of Plant and Animal Life Cycles

The USA National Phenology Network has built an interesting map of plant and animal life in the United States. The map allows you to see where various plants and animals have been observed and reported to USA NPN. You can search the map by animal, plant, or location. The map includes a timeslider that can be used to visual the life cycles of the plants and animals on the map. Users of the map can add climate overlays to it too. Click here to read the documentation on how to use all of the map's features.

Applications for Education
The USA National Phenology Network's map of plant and animal life could be useful for helping students see the biodiversity of the United States. Turn on the climate overlays to help students see the relationships between climate and plant and animal life.