Monday, February 10, 2014

Fun With Bad Math In Pictures

My recent email conversation with Marilyn Just about the Art of Problem Solving website. Reminded me of a great source of fun mathematics pictures to use in the classroom. The Bad Maths Flickr group contains lots of examples of bad math spotted in stores and other public places. Some of the bad math is obvious as in this picture taken in a Walmart store. Other examples are not as obvious.
cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo by Danny Nicholson:
Applications for Education
The Bad Maths Flickr group could be a good place to find some images that contain simple mathematics problems for your students to solve. For example, ask students to find the flaw in the math of this grocery store offer or this offer for cat food.

Sokratik - Create Visual Narratives

Sokratik is a new service for creating audio slideshows. To create a presentation on Sokratik you simply add a picture, video, and or text to each slide and when you're done adding slides you can record your voice over each one. Sokratik worked well in my first test but I was disappointed that I couldn't upload images. Images can only be added via URL which means that they have to be hosted online on a service like Flickr.

Applications for Education
Once Sokratik starts to support uploading images and improves sharing options, it could be a good, simple tool for creating audio slideshows to use as part of a flipped lesson.

Depression Explained With a Dog

I Had a Black Dog, His Name Was Depression is a short video that was released by the World Health Organization about eighteen months ago. I just learned about the video through a Common Craft Tweet. The video uses drawings and narration featuring a big black dog (kind of like Clifford the big red dog) as the representative of what it is like to live with depression. The four minute video does a wonderful job of explaining what depression is, its symptoms, and methods of dealing with depression. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
This video could be a great resource for teachers of health as well as for school counselors to have at their disposal. You might consider using the video before having students use go through the Depression Quest interactive story. Depression Quest is a website that features an interactive story designed to educate people about depression. The story puts you in the place of a twenty-something person that is struggling with depression. Throughout the story you are presented with choices to make that influence the next phase of the story. The story has 150 different scenarios and five possible outcomes at the end based on the choices you make as you read through the story.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Week In Review - The Olympic Edition

Good morning from Woodstock, Maine where it is a crisp 4F outside. The Winter Olympics kicked-off yesterday and part of my plan for the weekend is to watch a few events then hit the local ski mountain where I can pretend to be an Olympic skier in my mind. (anyone who has seen me ski knows that I will never be confused with Bode Miller). Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have something fun planned too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 26 Videos About the Science of the Winter Olympics
2. Strategies for Getting Access to Websites Blocked By Your School
3. Behind the Published Posts and eBooks
4. Save the Cell Phones!
5. Padlet Is Now Available in 14 Languages - Here's a Guide to Using It In Your Classroom
6. AirPano - Gorgeous 360 Degree Virtual Tours of the World
7. Doodle Your Invention In the Doodle 4 Google Contest

This week the first registrations came in the for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Even though it is still five months away I've already been working on plans to make it the best workshop experience of the year. This week I lined up a fantastic assistant instructor in Mike Morrell who has been doing a lot of fun technology-infused activities with high school science students for years. Here's one of the things I saw Mike do last spring. He's also one of the most friendly people you'll ever meet which is why students and colleagues alike are often found hanging out in his classroom before and after school.

Would you like to have me visit your school this year?
Click here to learn more about my professional development offerings.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is organizing two iPad summits this school year.
Classmint offers a nice multimedia flashcard service.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
Fresno Pacific University offers a wide variety of technology courses for teachers.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

NASA from Space to Everyday Life

NASA 360 is a series of videos about NASA's technological and scientific work and how it has contributed to elements of our daily lives. The episodes can be downloaded from the NASA 360 page or viewed on Hulu.

I've embedded the Hulu NASA 360 widget below for those who would like to preview an episode before downloading.

Applications for Education
NASA 360 could be useful for getting students to think about math, science, and engineering in new ways. Students may be surprised to learn that NASA's work translates to many fields beyond space exploration.