Thursday, May 22, 2014

JetStream - Online School for Weather

Looking for resources to teach about weather or learn about weather?  I recently discovered a excellent resource from the National Weather Service called "JetStream".  

JetStream is a outstanding website that has a ton of resources for learning all different aspects of weather.  Topics cover, for example, the Atmosphere, the Ocean, Thunderstorms, Lightning and information regarding the Doppler Radar.  

Here's a sample from their page about Tornadoes: 

The Tornado page discusses everything from wind shear, Doppler Radar images and the Enhanced F-Scale. There is also a WMV video file that shows a train being blown off the track by a Tornado.  Click here to go to the Tornado page.  

JetStream also has several pre-made lesson plans that cover multiple weather topics.  Click here to go to their lesson plan page.  

Looking for more resources on Tornadoes or Hurricanes?  Please visit my Livebinders, Understanding Tornadoes and Understanding Hurricanes:

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Free NASA IPAD Apps

NASA has multiple STEM applications that Educators and Students can use to enhance their learning experience. If you want to see the entire list, click here.  

Here are 5 free Ipad apps that are definitely worth checking out:

The main NASA app is a must have in your STEM collection.  The app includes videos, images, Tweets from NASA, NASA TV and much more.  

If you are looking to get started with the multiple resources that NASA has to offer both Educators and Students, this is a app that would be a great starting point.  

The NASA Television app is a great app to add to your NASA collection.  The app includes live and on-demand videos from the NASA Television program that is also viewable via the NASA website.  This is a great app as well because you can see a schedule of programs up to a week in advance - that way you can plan out your lesson in a timely manner if you plan on using this app in the classroom.

Images of Change is another app from NASA that provides images of how the Earth is changing due to global climate change.  Images compare and contrast one aspect, for example Alaska's Muir Glacier, from a earlier date and time to present time.  If you are discussing global climate change in your classroom, this is a excellent app to add to your lesson planning.

International Space Station Live is a awesome app for learning about the International Space Station.  The app includes real-time data streaming from the ISS and isting of previous crew members and science experiments performed on the International Space Station.  There is also a excellent feature that gives you a 3D virtual tour of the Mission Control Center that is located in Houston, TX.

NASA Science - A Journey of Discovery is a excellent app that has a database of NASA science missions including details about the spacecrafts, instruments, data and what exactly NASA is trying to learn about with these missions.

Some of these questions include, "What are the effects of space weather on Earth's technology?", "Are there other habitable planets?" and "Was Mars ever a habitat for life?".  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let's teach kids to code - by TED

Let's teach kids to code - by TED

Wanted to share this video by Mitch Resnick on on coding.

Well done video from 2012 that shows some pretty cool projects that have been created on Scratch - a coding program created by MIT:

If you are looking for coding resources to pick up coding yourself or for your classroom, please check out my Livebinder, Coding 101:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 5

Livebinders for the Social Studies - Part 5:  Presenting with Livebinders

When it comes to presenting material to the classroom, there are several platforms to choose from - platforms ranging from Microsoft Powerpoint to Apple Keynote and a slew of others.  These platforms provide a means of organizing data and presenting it to the classroom.  I myself have previously used Powerpoint when providing content every now and then to the classroom, which can be useful if used to it's fullest potential.

With that being said, one aspect that needs to bring special attention to your material/lesson is how engaged will it make your students in the classroom?  Thanks to Livebinders, students (and teachers) can now present the material they have created or put together to the classroom and beyond.

Livebinders provide a sense of ownership

Before we get into how you can present with Livebinders, you may be asking why you should be using Livebinders instead of the other options that are available?  Don't get me wrong, I think platforms like Powerpoint and Keynote can be useful when used properly.  With Livebinders, however, students can create their own online portfolio and work on it throughout the year.  With Powerpoints, once it is completed, students don't typically come back and build on it unless you design the lesson that way. Livebinders give the students ownership of their own learning and they are able to reflect upon what they have done.

Presenting with Livebinders

With Livebinders, you have the option of creating a presentation of your material.

To put your Livebinder in "Present" mode, first put your cursor over the "eye" on the top navigation panel:

When you do that, you should see a option to select "Present".  Click on "Present".  This will put your Livebinder into a presentation mode, which will look like this:

If you will notice, the "Present" mode gives your Livebinder more of a finished product.  You see the name of your Livebinder at the top left hand corner, the binder author at the top right and of course the material of your Livebinder being the center focus.

Using Livebinders also saves time.  You can fill your Livebinder with links to websites, videos and pictures. There's no need to create a slideshow and insert images or videos because they are already in your Livebinder ready to go.  Students can use Livebinders to present the material or projects they learned throughout the entire year.

This will show how the student has grown and learned since entering your classroom.  Reflection is a huge part of the learning process.

If you have any videos, pictures or stories to share about how you have used Livebinders in your classroom, I would LOVE to hear about them.  Please feel free to DM on Twitter or Google + at @justinstallings.