Friday, February 15, 2013

Interactive Resources for Learning About Asteroids

By now you have probably heard the news about a meteorite exploding over Russia this morning. I've read some good Q&A articles about meteorites on The Guardian and the BBC News. CNN also has some videos and image galleries on the topic. But those resources are fairly basic. I went to NASA's website to see what they had to help students learn about asteroids and meteorites. Asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to fly by Earth today. NASA has some simulation images and video clips about 2012 DA14 here.

Killer Asteroids: Science Fiction or Science Fact is a NASA sponsored site for students. On Killer Asteroids students can learn where asteroids and comets come from, their structures, and the odds of a large asteroid hitting the Earth. Killer Asteroids offers a simulation that you can use to see the potential impact of various sizes of asteroids if they were to hit the Earth. Students can also try their hands at moving asteroids off course in a couple of games on the Killer Asteroids site.

Asteroid Mappers is another NASA supported site on which you can learn about asteroids. Asteroid Mappers gives students access to high resolution imagery of the giant asteroid named Vesta. The site asks visitors to help map the asteroid which will in turn help scientists determine the age and composition of Vesta.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Taking the Penultimate Notes

A couple of weeks ago Evernote released Penultimate as a free iPad app. Since then it has become my favorite app for taking notes and sketching out my thoughts.

Penultimate provides a place for you to hand-write notes on your iPad. The app allows you to create multiple notebooks with multiple pages in each. You can change the color and size of the pen strokes that are created when you write in your notebooks. Each page in your notebook can include pictures that you have stored on your iPad or pictures that you take through the Penultimate app. The app provides the option to change the look of the virtual paper on which you write. You can copy and paste content from one page to another and from one notebook to another. Learn more in the video below.


Applications for Education
I've found that using the app is a great way for me to record my ideas quickly without typing. This matters to me because I often find that when I type in a mind map format I lose some of the flow of my thoughts. In talking with students and other teachers over the years I've found that I'm not the only one who prefers to hand-write my notes and mind maps. In the screen capture below you can see one of the notes that I took while listening to a keynote from Marc Prensky.

Making Meaning With Mobile Apps

Yesterday afternoon my follow-up presentation to my keynote on collaborative learning with technology was titled Making Meaning With Mobile Apps. There were quite a few requests for the slides so I uploaded them to Slideshare and have posted them below. (The blank spaces are where I had video clips that I have licensed but cannot redistribute).


Making Learning Collaborative

Yesterday, I had the privilege of giving a keynote talk to a great group of school administrators and teachers in Westchester County, New York. The topic of my talk was using technology to create collaborative learning experiences. Many people asked for the slides so I uploaded them to Slideshare and I have embedded them into this post. (The blank slides are ones in which I had licensed videos that I cannot redistribute).


A Crash Course in Chemistry

This post is for my friend Walter Perry and my brother-in-law Dr. Nathan Hnatiuk who teach chemistry. The next time your students are in need of some chemistry review materials to watch online, they might want to visit the new Crash Course Chemistry series from Hank and John Green. In the new series Hank teaches us about Chemistry. In the first video in the series, embedded below, we learn about atoms and their properties.