Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten Lessons on the Math and Science of Hockey

Back in October it looked
like the Bruins might be good.
This evening I spent some time watching the Montreal Canadiens lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning (I root for the Bruins and whoever is playing the Canadiens). Watching the game reminded me of a good resource from NBC Learn called the Science of NHL Hockey.

The Science of NHL Hockey features ten short videos about the math and science of hockey. Through the videos and accompanying lesson plans students can learn about things like obtuse angles, statistics and averages, and Newton's Three Laws of Motion. Each video in the series is accompanied by a transcript and two detailed lesson plans (one for grades 5-8 and one for grades 9-12). All of the videos can be watched online, but they cannot be embedded into other sites.

Applications for Education
I'm always searching for resources that can connect students' personal interests to lesson in the classroom. NBC Learn's Science of NHL Hockey could be a good set of lessons sf you have students who are following the NHL Playoffs or are just generally interested hockey.

Skype Translator Preview Opens to All Windows 8 & 10 Users

Last year Microsoft announced plans for adding a real-time translation function to Skype. In December of 2014 they made it available to a limited audience. Today, Microsoft has made Translator Preview open to anyone who is using Windows 8.1 or a preview edition of Windows 10. Click here to visit the download page for Translator Preview.

Skype Translator will automatically transcribe and translate as you talk. It currently supports English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin.

Applications for Education
As demonstrated in the video embedded below, the realtime translation option in Skype will open up more possibilities for connecting classrooms through activities like Mystery Skype.

H/T to Lifehacker.

Think Kit - A New Way to Create Diagrams on Your iPad

Think Kit is a new addition to Paper, a popular and free iPad app for sketching notes and drawing. Think Kit offers tools for creating diagrams, flowcharts, and mind maps. Within Think Kit you will find a Diagram tool for drawing straight lines, connecting lines, and drawing shapes. The Fill tool in Think Kit allows you to color the shapes in your diagrams. Think Kit's cut tool makes it easy to cut and move shapes in your diagrams.

Applications for Education
Using the Think Kit tools within Paper could be a good way for students to develop mind maps as they brainstorm story ideas. The app is also good for building flowcharts to show an understanding of a process like solving an equation.

Diagrams created by using Think Kit in Paper can be exported to PowerPoint and Keynote to use as part of presentation.

H/T to The Next Web.

Why Are There Clouds? - Lessons on the Water Cycle

A cloudy day in Woodstock, Maine.
It is a rainy day here in Maine today. We need the rain so I'm not complaining. The weather has reminded me of some good resources for teaching and learning about the water cycle.

Why Are There Clouds? is a relatively new Minute Earth video that explains how clouds are formed and how they rise or fall in the sky. The nice thing about Minute Earth videos is that a list of references is included in each video's description on YouTube.

Thirstin's Water Cycle takes students on an animated and narrated tour of the water cycle from water, to vapor, to clouds, to rain. Thirstin's Tour of a Water Treatment Plant takes students on a narrated tour through a typical water treatment facility found in the United States.

Waterlife is an interactive story about the water cycle in the Great Lakes. Waterlife is a twenty part story through which students can learn about the role of water in our lives. Through the story students learn about things like fishing, pollution, invasive species, wetlands, and the politics of water conservation. When students select a part of the Waterlife story they will be able to hear narration, see visuals, and read the text of the story. Some parts of the story also contain links to external resources that student can explore.

Scholastic's Interactive Weather Maker is an activity in which students adjust temperatures and humidity levels to create rain and snow storms. Students simply move the temperature and humidity sliders until rain or snow begins to show up in the scene on their screens.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Story Prompts - 20 Random(ish) Pictures at a Time

My dog, Morrison, smiling
in a canoe.
Pechaflickr is a neat little tool built by Alan Levine. Pechaflickr displays twenty random images pulled from Flickr based on a tag (keyword) that you enter. For example, enter the word dog and twenty pictures of dogs will appear. But all of the the images don't appear at once. Instead each one appears for only twenty seconds. Alan built the tool as a fun way to get people to try their skills at giving impromptu presentations. But as he wrote in a recent blog post, people are using it in other ways like learning a second language.

Applications for Education
As I tested Pechaflickr I started to think about using it as a source of story starters for students. Enter a tag into Pechaflickr and as each image appears have students try to write down the first word or sentence that comes to mind. At the end of the set of images students can pick their favorite images to write about in their stories.

Popular Posts