Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Week in Review - In the Dog House

Good morning from Woodstock, Maine where the sunshine has given way to clouds and snow is on its way. This week I gave presentation at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Massachusetts. Prior to that trip I had been home for over a month and my dogs had gotten out of their kennel routines. When I went to drop them off on Thursday morning Max refused to go into his kennel. Eventually, to get him in the kennel I did the sensible thing and went into the kennel first and lured him in. It proved to be a great photo opportunity for the kennel caretakers. Next week I am going to London for BETT and TeachMeet, but my housesitter is staying with Morrison and Max so that I don't have to get into a kennel again.

Morrison, Max, and I are heading out to spend the afternoon on some new snowshoeing trails I discovered. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope you have something fun to do too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Seven Free Online Whiteboard Tools for Teachers and Students
2. Free Ebook - Digital Storytelling With Comics
3. Would You Rather - Quick and Fun Math Lessons
4. TED Introduces TED-Ed Clubs to Get Kids Talking About Big Ideas
5. Compare the Size of Countries and States With These Map Mash-ups
6. Webinar Recording - Digital Storytelling With Comics
7. Three Good Tools for Building Flipped Lessons That Include Assessment Tools

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Find Vintage Public Domain Posters and Advertisments on Viintage

Viintage is a neat site that developed by a husband and wife graphic design and photography team. Viintage features collections of vintage posters, postcards, and various printed advertisements that have been released into the public domain. Viintage hosts thousands images organized into dozens of categories like vintage travel posters, classic alphabet learning books, and vintage nursery rhymes images. You can download medium resolution (600px-3000px) copies of the images for free and higher resolutions are available to premium site members.

Applications for Education
Some of the travel posters available through Viintage could be good for students to use in presentations about the history and or appeal of various places around the world. Many of the Viintage graphics could be used as part of a lesson on advertising methods (endorsement, appeal to emotions, etc) as well as lessons on the evolution of graphic designs.

You might also consider having students use the Viintage graphics of children's stories to develop audio slideshows in which they narrate they stories depicted.

An Interactive Timeline of Music Genre Popularity 1950 to Now

Earlier this week the folks at Google Research released an interesting Music Timeline depicting the changes in the popularity of various music genres from 1950 through today. The Music Timeline uses colored spaces to depict the increase and decrease of the popularity of each genre. Click on a genre to see the most popular albums of that genre over the last six decades. Popularity is calculated by how many Google Play users have the album in their libraries.

Applications for Education 
A couple of things came to mind as I explored the Music Timeline. First, the format of the timeline could be applied other areas in which you might want to visualize popularity over time. For example, students could develop timelines to depict the changes in popularity of political parties or politicians over time. Or they could develop a timeline to show changes in the popularity of various clothing styles.

The other thought I had while viewing the Music Timeline was that like From Gospel to Grunge: 100 Years of Rock that I shared a couple of weeks ago, Music Timeline could be a neat resource to include in a music appreciation course for a lesson about the history and evolution of American culture.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Slides from Presentations at Archbishop Williams High School

I had a great day talking to teachers at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Massachusetts. In addition to meeting a bunch of new teachers, it was a pleasure to connect in-person with long-time readers Linda and Linda. As I usually do, I promised to post the slides from my presentations here for those who attended and for anyone else who wants to see them. (The slides don't mean nearly as much without me talking).

Discovery & 3M Young Scientist Contest Opens to U.S. 5th-8th Graders

Discovery and 3M are hosting their Young Scientist Challenge again this year. This contest is open to U.S. students in grades five through eight. The challenge for students is to create a short video in which they identify an everyday problem relative to their lives and present their solutions using using concepts from science, technology, engineering, and math. The grand prize for this contest is $25,000 and many smaller prizes including trips to Costa Rica are also to be awarded. Contest FAQs are available here. The entry deadline is April 22.

Applications for Education
Even if your students aren't going to enter this contest, you might want to take a look at the supporting lesson plans. The lesson plans are intended to get students thinking about the role of science in their daily lives.