Archive for the ‘STEM’ Category

Scale of the Universe


One of my former students (who is still a Twitter user) pointed me to this fantastic animation of powers of 10 meters, called “Scale of the Universe 2.”  I think you’ll appreciate the design and relevance of the objects the authors, Cary and Michael Huang, use to help the user to understand the relevance of scale.  Just like Powers of 10, you can zoom from the smallest part of a cell to the edges of the universe.

 

 

The authors have a collection of science- and math-oriented animations at HTwins.net that might be worth checking out too.  They also have a clever little game called Get to the Top (with 82 variations).

P.S. If you’ve never seen the 1977 film, Powers of 10, it was a really incredible movie for its time and you can see it on YouTube.  Another animated version of this film can be found at the Powersof10 website.

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Random But Organized Thoughts (9-5-2010)


Data Visualization and Data Mining
Serious Games
  • Check out these brilliant little games: Machinarium (for critical thinking, logic) and Small Worlds, which is like exploring a cave. [via @BryanAlexander]
  • There’s a project to use WoW  to “develop a curriculum for an after school program or “club” for at-risk students at the middle and/or high school level.  This program would use the game, World of Warcraft, as a focal point for exploring Writing/Literacy, Mathematics, Digital Citizenship, Online Safety, and would have numerous projects/lessons intended to develop 21st-Century skills.” Read more about it at the WoWinSchool wiki.
  • Tabula Digita will be releasing a new game soon, this one called Dimension L and designed to teach Literacy skills.
  • Grow Valley: A game about thinking about the future and how we get to a futuristic high-tech society. (click on English and be sure to actually read the instructions)
  • “With “gamification,” companies study and identify natural human tendencies and employ game-like mechanisms to give customers a sense that they’re having fun while working towards a rewards-based goal.” from Play to Win: The Game-Based Economy [via @HoppingFun and @amyjokim]

Futuring

Great Quotes
  • “I don’t think Americans are ‘bowling alone.’  They’re bowling on their cell phones.” from @WorldFutureSoc
  • “It’s not a bug, it’s an undocumented feature.” from @dahara
  • From the latest #lrnchat, “I spent 18 years in schools to get ready to learn.” from @mrch0mp3rs, followed by “On the other hand, there is a saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” from @moehlert (wise words from both)
Links for STEM

    Great Links for Everyone

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    Random But Organized Thoughts (8-29-2010)


    Data Visualization and Mining

    Great Links for STEM

    Just for Fun

    Great Links for Everyone

    Serious Games

    In other news, our Math ELITEs are ready to be used!  Here’s a picture of the new tables.  Also, my husband and I spent our 15th Wedding Anniversary sitting in front of a large screen TV (with no reception … not watching it) and watching TED Talks on a 3″ phone screen.  It was a great way to celebrate!  Also, I booked my trip to Mountain View for September. Can’t wait!

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    Random But Organized Thoughts (8-22-2010)


    For STEM educators

    Other great stuff

    • If you like geeky cartoons, you have to check out Geek&Poke!
    • Teachers Without Technology Strike Back [via @jryoung] offers more on the digital divide when it comes to, technology and teaching. Let’s hope this professor doesn’t really see himself as the center of all knowledge in the classroom. [thanks @ppezzelle for pointing that out about the photo]
    • Very interesting analysis of Los Angeles teacher data: Year after year, some teachers’ students make great strides and some do not.  Who’s teaching LA’s kids? is intriguing. Ask yourself what you’d do if you discovered your classes were falling behind the rest?
    • Another interesting study finds that children who are younger than their classmates are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.  It’s likely that we’re often confusing ADHD with simple immaturity. [via @courosa]
    • It turns out that Android users use even more data than iPhone users! We may all end up with our bandwidth usage capped (let’s hope there’s always an option to pay for unlimited bandwidth for those of us without landline broadband at home). [via @hybridkris]
    • A few folks on twitter were asking me about a cheap and portable data projector.  Here’s one for $300 that should do the trick (although, for the record I have not tried it myself).
    • TIP: You should always download the flash version of any Prezi you plan to give as an in-person presentation.  First, once you’re duplicating your browser on another screen there are glitches in the Prezi browsing.  Second, there are still too many random down times on Prezi to take the chance that it happens during your presentation time.  Be safe: Download the flash files (free).
    • NPR takes on the Beloit College “Mindset List” that is published annually, and they make some good points. [via @academicdave]
    • Wired magazine has an eyecatching headline this month (big surprise): The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet.  It’s not that we’re less digital, it’s that we’re accessing the web more through applications than direct visits.  They have a great visual, which should make it worth the click. [via @eLearningGuild]
    • The Face-to-face Lecture: Only Accidentally Valuable? is a great blog post by @erekbruff in response to reading Cognitive Surplus.  He poses the question: Are there activities in which higher education faculty engage that seem inherently valuable that are only accidentally valuable?
    • Designing for the Mind by Francisco InChauste [via @oxala75]

    Serious Games

    1. Appointment  dynamic: a dynamic in which to succeed, one must return at a predefined time to take a predetermined action (i.e. Happy Hour, Farmville,
    2. Influence and status: the ability of one player to modify the behavior of another’s actions through social pressure (i.e. Gold Medallion vs. Silver Medallion on Delta, report cards, Valedictorian)
    3. Progression dynamic: a dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks (i.e. progress bars like on LinkedIn, World of Warcraft)
    4. Communal discovery: a dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied to work together to solve a challenge (i.e. Digg, DARPA Balloon Challenge)

    Great quotes

    • “What looks like laziness is often exhaustion – change simply wears people out” -Dan Heath, from Why Change Is So Hard: Because Self-Control is Exhaustible (a video about why self-control is so hard, from Fast Company)
    • “I don’t take attendance and don’t collect homework but I don’t think you can do well without it.” quoted from @DrTimony‘s favorite professor, who started the course with this statement.
    • Why we shouldn’t restrict/ban Internet in schools: “We TEACH kids how to cross the street, we don’t ban cars!” – Jamie from #mcsli10 [via @logicwing]
    • “It’s just a matter of time before Facebook becomes like Amazon: You went out with ____, you might also like ____.” from @jackscholfield
    • This just made me giggle: “Since when are higher ed institutions a beacon for innovative pedagogy?” [from @mctownsley]
    • “With seven game dynamics you can get anyone to do anything.” - Seth Priebatsch (from his TED Talk at TEDxBoston)  Also: “School is a game. It’s just not a terribly well-designed game.”

    Events

    In other news, I cancelled my Kindle order because I got used to reading books on my HTC EVO (Android) and the screen sizes are not so different between the 6″ Kindle and the EVO.  I invested in a souped-up battery which should give my EVO 24 hours or more of battery life.  I’m still reading Kindle books, just not waiting for a Kindle device.

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