Technology Education Know-How

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Archive for the ‘current events’ Category

137 Years of Popular Science Magazine is Archived with Google

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Popular Science Magazine has partnered with Google to host 137 years of POPSCI archives.   http://www.popsci.com/archives Popular Science magazine could be and is a great resource for research projects in education.

As a student in the late ‘70s and throughout the ‘80s education wasn’t very individualized. I was often forced to read and study the same exact thing as everyone else.  Well… this just didn’t work for me.  I had no interest in whether or not PUG could run, jump or chase Jane or Ted.  But yes, at an early age I had an interest in technology, science, but mostly how those things worked.  Oh yea, I also had a love for cars!  The funny thing is, all of my teachers knew it but never tapped into this love or interest.  If they had I believe my success in education could have been much different.

Many of my teachers thought I needed to be self medicated, but in when it all came down I just needed to be self educated!  I needed my teachers to tap into my interest.  I would sit in class all day thinking about school ending so I could go work in my dad’s shop. I wanted to get my hands dirty, figure out how things worked, fix stuff, install radios, change oil, build model cars, work on my go cart, etc.  But never, not one time did any of my teachers bring in a set of gears to teach me how my bike worked, never brought in a magazine or book that talked about how leavers worked in a braking system on a car. Now THAT would have changed my outlook on education.

To this day I could tell you that I probably haven’t completed 10 fiction books over my entire life.  I can actually remember 3.  C.L.U.T.Z , Runaway Ralph ,  The Mouse and the Motorcycle .  I even knew when I went to the Book Mobile (You young wiper snappers can find out what that is here.) that I wanted books about my interests Robots and motorcycles.  Why my teachers couldn’t figure it out I’ll never know.

These magazine archives could very well offer some of your students an opportunity to read, study and learn from their interest.  Popular Science Magazine covers a vast variety of topics.  So, I encourage you to tap into your students interests and allow them to flourish.  Remember, their education isn’t about you, it’s about them!

I hope that you find this resource helpful.  Please leave comments of how you intend on using it with your students.

Tying in Current Events, Week of 5/7/09

Friday, May 8th, 2009

The Swine Flu or N1H1 virus has been the biggest news outside of our Presidential Election. There is no doubt that our students have heard about it from the news, friends, parents, or even their teachers.
Every kid gets excited about the idea of getting out of school, but do they know the ramifications behind it? – make up days, learning, food purchased for lunches, economy This is the perfect way to tie in Calendar, money and other math concepts depending on your grade level.

This is obviously a prime opportunity to tie in health content as well. 4th and 5th grade need good hygiene lessons this time of the year anyway, so why not use this as the tie in. lol My wife tells me of her elementary years in New Zealand and how they had time in the schedule to brush their teeth after their lunch meals. Her teeth are a lot better than mine now. I wonder if we took the time to take health issues more serious if we’d be a healthier America now. What are your student’s thoughts about this?

Another way to tie this into your curriculum is by writing about it. Over the last few weeks I’ve heard a lot of opinions about how to solve the problem or what should be done. What are your student’s opinions? Have them take the time to research the issue, think out a resolve, and have them write about how they would solve the issue if they were in charge. Other students have fears about it because it has become such a big deal. If we give our students the opportunity to write about that we may be surprised at their concerns.

As a 4th grade teacher I once gave an assignment similar to this and it changed my perspective forever. Without any details, I gave one student a voice to be able to get some things out that she had obviously been dying to tell someone. She always had a smile so before that essay I had no idea that she had been going through such sad things. It totally changed the way I was able to teach my students.

Anyway, back on track. Maps, you can teach maps, geography, continents, etc. by plotting the course of the N1H1 Virus. Using Google Maps or other tools you can plot the growth and spread of the virus. Students can really start to realize we live in a small world after all. 😉

Again, reach into your bank of ideas and see where you can use this current event and leave a post telling us about it. Economics teachers, Journalism teachers and Science teachers should have a hay day with this current event.

Tying in Current Events, week of 3/29/09

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Growing up, my generation wasn’t very exposed to the world around us. I do remember when one of our classrooms got a TV with cable so we could watch a space shuttle mission launch. Today our students have access to current events like never before due to things like twitter, facebook, mobile tv, personal home pages similar to Yahoo, RSS readers and TV in general. Yes, most of the current events that they adhere to are entertainment related, but none the less, they are involved.

We as teachers should take the current events of our time and build meaningful lessons out of them, but being careful to not push our own political views or ideals from the headlines but true meaningful lessons. Of course my goal is that you incorporate technology into that lesson.

So, in order to help, I’m going to start posting a “Tying in Technology to Current Events” posts every so often. This week I want to take a look at the new “White House Garden News” .

What lessons can be done from this? Just off the top of my head I think of:
1. Health – A study on the importance of Fruits and Vegetables.
2. Math – Students can do calculations for savings. Take a news paper add and determine what it would cost at the store to feed your family and then how much they saved by growing it themselves.
3. History – Have them research how gardens have helped in recessions of the past.
4. LA – Write a persuasive paper on why more people should grow home gardens.
5. Politics – Have students talk and write about what this does for the Obam’s politically.
6. Science – Turn this idea into a Science project for your school and grow a school garden.

The lessons are endless. These are not the only lessons in each of these areas that can be used. I can think of several more Math lessons as well as LA lessons. The important part is that you tie in current events with the student’s learning.

How do these lessons tying in technology? Each student should present his/her findings in some form of digital media, and the teacher should provide several digital medias for the student to resource for their projects. News articles, TV News Clips, etc.

Please, take the time to leave a comment about other ways you see that this “Current Event” can be used in education.