Leadership – Education – Technology – Other Interesting Stuff

Posts tagged ‘STEM’

3 Science Resources

In doing some research this fall, I came across 3 science resources.

Next Generation Science Standards: I was in a workshop last year when a teacher started talking about NGSS – an acronym new to me then. This site is an everything-you-want–to-know-about-NGSS. The story of the evolution of science standards along with questions is found on this site.

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth: Business class, preparation for summer break or talking with students and parents, this site from Johns Hopkins provides reports, articles, fact sheets and suggestions.

Garden.org: Sponsored by the National Gardening Association this site offers free, plant-based materials, grants and resources. NGA resources expand knowledge in a variety of areas to include science, social studies, leadership, problem solving and team building, to name a few.


Formative assessment…Science simulations…Summer reading…Online portfolios

Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond and the Colorado State Library are urging educators and families to help students retain and develop academic skills by reading during summer vacation. The free online “Find a Book, Colorado” utility provides a way for parents and children to quickly and easily search books that match a child’s reading level and interests as well as to locate the local library carrying each title.

I first ‘met’ Chris Smith at some lectures in Second Life. Like me, Chris is a curator of information with a focus on technology in education. In fact, his Twitter account identifies him as a Digital Nomad Evangelist if that provides a clue as to his passion for the subject.

Long before I learned about formative assessment, I taught computer classes. When students had a problem they placed a red plastic cup on top of their monitor (and yes, this was way before monitors were an inch thick). This was a signal to me that they needed help. If you have seen, heard about or used red-yellow-green cards, disks or cups in your class to allow students to signal you where they are with the learning, you have an idea about this new app (of course there is an app for this). However, I would love to get your comments about this idea. Understoodit says that students can “anonymously, and in real-time, indicate if they understand or are confused.” Why would anonymity be a good thing with this tool? Please share your thoughts about this.

While I attended and worked at the University of Colorado Denver, the Boulder campus has some pretty cool science simulations, at PHET. Physics, biology, earth science, math and chemistry comprise the library. This site is the recipient of The Tech Award 2011

Is an online mixed media portfolio a scrapbook, portfolio, resume or progress monitoring tool? While I haven’t decided it definitely looks interesting to me. Pathbrite has a site that makes you think and a tool to provide a different way to capture who you are and what you bring to the table.

My friend Tom brought me to O’Reilly Radar where I discovered to interesting blogs. The first on “Teachers as Makers where hands-on learning is demonstrated to help teach writing.”

And the second, which is a long-time favorite topic of mine and one that I used to earn my Master’s degree, is about Marie Bierede talks about DIY learning and three groups of people leading us into more personalized learning. Funny thing is, I have been on this path since I got back into teaching in the mid-90s. Her term “edupunk” got me thinking.

Sites for Educators

While the end of the school year is upon us, there is always time to share sites that can serve as great resources for teachers. Check out a few of these during your summer break.

San Diego Zoo — The zoo’s education site offers K-12 classroom materials and teaching guides focusing on animals, the environment and conservation. If you don’t live close, the zoo makes its experts available to schools via videoconferencing.

For those who live in the Pittsburgh area, plan on a live field trip to the Carnegie Science Center. This center is known for pioneering STEM-related programs and houses the Robotics Hall of Fame. This site also includes downloadable lesson plans.

From grade K through higher education teachers will be surprised that this NASA site offers a wide variety of surprising materials to support a wide variety of content from the expected STEM offerings to history and careers.

Want to get your kids out and moving? Check out this soccer site designed for elementary schoolers. Information provided is about the game, the rules and most importantly the behaviors.

This PBS site – Liberty – is all about the American Revolution. It goes beyond the PBS series and seems to be a large database of everything associated with the American Revolution. There is even a trivia game that allows students to test their knowledge of the material.

If improving school climate is part of your school improvement plan for next year, check out this site. The Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students (formerly the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools) to help address issues such as bullying, harassment, violence and substance abuse. The archived webinars and research section cover a variety of topics.

Shmoop is today’s version of Cliff notes. While some areas of the site are paid, the free areas are pretty comprehensive.

This site is the source of everything technology that CNN covers. A great site for tech teachers, this is also the place where teachers not quite so tech-savvy can learn a lot. Education World says, “Whether you’re the one who can’t throw out that old typewriter or the one who’s already waiting in line for the new iPhone, CNN.com/Tech is worth a look.”

Looking to put some fun into a math lesson? Check out details behind the Rubik’s Cube here. If you’re a fan of the 80s, click here.

Geo-Cube is geography on a Rubric’s Cube and a fun way to learn more about the world. With 6 faces and 54 topics there is so much to explore!

RTI is a challenge to implement. This site holds a wide variety of assessment tools to help teachers find out where students are and to monitor their progress. There are a lot of ideas, evidence-based technical assistance and resources.

I used to have a question of the day in my class – sure wish this site had been around then. What a great resource for teachers and students – the question, the answer and background information. Could be fun for everyone.

Two site for tag clouds that are fun AND have assessment value. Take your classroom blog or online discussion, dump the text into a tag cloud at Tagxedo and see what jumps out. Are the words that are most prominent the ones that you would expect to see most often. Can you tell how well your students are getting the content you want them to learn??? Try Wordle as well.

Every Friday my leadership students turned in a journal. We shared a written conversation about their thoughts, impressions and learning…and their lives. It was also a full milk crate to lug to and from the classroom. This electronic journal takes away the need to carry paper and pen.

All things regarding US politics live here and, thanks to NBC, are made easy to understand. All civics, social studies and history teachers should at least peruse the content here, particularly during this election year.

Annenberg has long been a favorite of mine when it comes to articles and videos for professional development. There are a wealth of resources and courses available here.

Infographics – economy & science

The first thing that got my attention about this NY Times article is the title – Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller? Then the trend in the graphic reminded me of lines I see in student achievement and student growth data.

THIS is just too cool! If you are near Grand Central Terminal in NYC you should take time to see the 3D infographics display. And if you are not going there, take the time to watch these short videos (each under 3 minutes). If you teach economics, geography, history, statistics, or any “global” thinking course, how might you use this information? What can we do in education to engage all stakeholders at this level with the mounds of data to which we have access? Next step…once engaged, what paradigm changes or disruptive innovations can we cause such that ALL kids learn and grow the most they can?

  • FT Graphic World Live – project installation and beginning
  • The Global Economy – fascinating statistics about everything from education to drinking worldwide
  • Recession and Recovery – the rays of light in global economy
  • Money Talks – cell phones transforming world economy

 The details about this display are found at Financial Times Graphic World.

 The Scientific Visualization Studio is a repository of engaging visualizations of a variety of earth and space science from the Goddard Space Flight Center. Due to the dry weather winter we’ve had, this one about snowfall caught my attention.

Because I recently shared a different kind of visual about the ocean, this one about ocean currents also caught my attention.

Just a quick shout out to Nathan Yau and his Flowing Data blog, which I have followed for a couple of years now. Many of the infographics shared here were found as a result of his blog.

For teachers…

A new report about why schools should not ban mobile technology. I totally appreciate and support the concept that the use of mobile devices should be paired with instruction in digital citizenship and acceptable use.

Facebook revisits its original roots with the release of Groups for Schools.

For AP Biology teachers – summer 2012 professional development opportunity  

NCTM’s Summer Institute for teachers of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Probability/Statistics

Smithsonian’s Summer Science Education Academies for Teachers – Earth’s History & Global Change, Biodiversity, Energy: Past, Present & Future 

4 reasons why Early College High School might support students

Having taught woodshop for 5 years, I know the kind of rap CTE courses can get. The skills, rigor and experience students receive in these classes are needed to succeed in both college and the workplace.

College readiness begins in kindergarten. when I was in a district I collaborated with the information office to create posters promoting that thought.  This short video (under 10 min), from Montgomery County Public Schools, MD,  shares data about college and 7 keys to college readiness.

Check out Resources for Idaho Teachers if you are looking for tips and resources on differentiation, instructional strategies, curriculum ladders (using DesCartes) and rubrics. While aligned with Idaho state standards, these are ideas that can definitely be adapted.

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