Friday, February 14, 2014

Conversations About Curating the Web

On Tuesday evening I was a guest on Open Online Experience's Google+ Hangout about curating the web. The Hangout began with a short presentation from me followed by a question and answer period in which I talked about my workflow as it relates to finding and sharing content for Free Technology for Teachers. The video of the hangout and my slides are embedded below.


The Science of Snow

Good morning from Woodstock, Maine where we have roughly ten inches of new snow on the ground. The fresh snow combined with the approaching full moon reminded me of a couple of neat videos about snow and the moon.

The episode of Bytesize Science embedded below explains how snowflakes are created.


One of my favorite things about the combination of fresh snow and a full moon is that it is so bright at night that I don't have to wear a headlamp to see my dogs in the yard at night. In the following Minute Physics video we learn why the full moon appears brighter in the winter.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snakes!

In the words of Indiana Jones, "snakes! I hate snakes!" I don't actually hate snakes, but they do make me a bit nervous. Fortunately, I live in a cold climate that has few snakes and no native venomous snakes. The question of why venomous snakes live in warm climates is the focus of this video from Veritasium. The answer is much more complicated than I anticipated.


Applications for Education
Why Do Venomous Snakes Live In Warm Climates? could be the jumping-off point for lessons on biodiversity and adaptation to climate. The video also provides a great example of how statistics don't always tell the full story.

The 2014 Google Science Fair Is Open - Project Ideas for Students

The 2014 Google Science Fair is now open. This annual event asks thirteen to eighteen year old students to carry out a test or experiment on a subject they’re passionate about, and submit their projects online. To help students develop project ideas the Google Science Fair website offers an idea springboard. The idea springboard asks students to complete the phrases "I love," "I'm good at," and "I want to explore." From the students' responses to these questions the idea springboard generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.

Applications for Education
The Google Science Fair website includes a section for teachers in which you will find lesson plans addressing the topics of how science changes the world and what good science looks like. These lesson plans are designed to guide students in the processes of inquiry and experiment design.

Click here to find complete details about entering the Google Science Fair.

OpenEd Releases an iPad App for Finding and Sharing Educational Videos and Games

OpenEd.io is a free service that launched in October of 2013 for the purpose of offering a huge catalog of educational videos, games, and assessments. One of the services OpenEd.io offers is the option for teachers to create courses and collections of resources to share with their students. This week OpenEd released a free iPad app for teachers and students.

Teachers can use the free iPad app to locate videos, games, and assessments. Teachers can search for materials according to standard, content area, grade level, and material type.

Students can use the free OpenEd iPad app to log into the courses that they are members of and view the materials that their teachers have shared with them.

Applications for Education
The OpenEd iPad app is a great complement to everything else that OpenEd offers. As a registered OpenEd user (registration is free and takes less than thirty seconds to complete) you can create courses and playlists of videos and other materials that you find in the OpenEd directory. You can align your courses and playlists to standards. Adding assessments to your courses could be a good way to provide your students with some self-study / self-quiz materials to review before coming into your classroom.