Technology Education Know-How

Helping Teachers Teach with Technology

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Here is an awesome collection of pictures from Time Life. http://images.google.com/hosted/life
These pictures capture some of the forgotten moments in our History. There are millions of images dating as far back as 1750 that you and your students have access to. These are images that LIFE took but never published, yet they capture such rich snippets of history.

As an automobile enthusiast this picture of the first Rolls Royce car from 1903 sure captured my eye.

The first Rolls Royce from 1903

The First Rolls Royce in 1903

I sure could have used this when I was a student and writing those papers about cars. What about that student that you have that just lives for sports? Here is a picture of Muhammad Ali raising his gloves victoriously after knocking out Oscar Bonavena in 1971.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali in 1971

This resource can be used for many lessons in history, writing, math and even science as you look at how technology has changed over time. Technology should not just be about computers but all innovations.

You can use these images as writing prompts as they compare and contrast the there and then to the here and now or they can write about what it must have been like during those days working on the big oil derricks and no A/C to come home to.

Oil in 1943

Oil in 1943

Often our students hear about walking to school in the snow, uphill and barefooted. Now they can see the picture.

Snow at School

Snow at School

OK, so they were not barefooted but most people that tell that story never went barefooted either. 😉

The ways you can use photography, images and historical photos is endless. The good part is that they can be used in every subject area. Leave a comment letting me and others know how you used the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.

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.

Flickr and the Library of Congress

Monday, February 9th, 2009

As a photographer I’m always on one the lookout for great photography. As an educator I’m always on the lookout for photography that captures a piece of history with great relevance that teachers can use in education. This week the Library of Congress added a Photostream Set of Abraham Lincoln. These are truly great photographs! You’ll find the entire Library of Congress’ Flickr Sets of over 5,000 pictures here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/ I’ve included the photo stream in my post below but I’m sure you’ll enjoy perusing the complete collection. You can subscribe in your RSS reader and get updates any time they add to their collection. Thanks Library of Congress, this is a great tool for education!!!

You can also find other great collections from the Worlds Public Photography Archives in the Flickr Commons at http://www.flickr.com/commons. There you’ll find collections from the Smithsonian, Imperial War Museum, and the New York Public Library along with several others.

Be very careful here History Buffs, you can end up spending a lot of time here. I hope you find this resource useful for your classroom and instruction. Please, leave a comment letting me and others know how you’ve used this resource in your classroom. We can all learn from your experiences!

Educational PowerPoint Resources Galore!!!

Friday, January 9th, 2009

This week I was reminded of how powerful PowerPoint can be in the classroom if used correctly. So, I went back to one of my former blog posts to pull a resource for a teacher. Well, the link to my resource was dead. I spent a little time this morning reacquainting myself with some PowerPoint resources and found plenty to share. I love not having to re-invent the wheel. Below you will find links to a plethora of PowerPoint resources, templates, premade presentations and even tutorials. I hope you find the resources helpful.
http://jc-schools.net/PPTs-la.html This one is LA but you can click on other subjects to get resources for them. Lots of great stuff here!
http://facstaff.uww.edu/jonesd/games/
http://people.uncw.edu/ertzbergerj/ppt_games.html
http://teach.fcps.net/trt10/PowerPoint.htm
http://teach.fcps.net/trt14/Power%20Point%20Games/power_point_games.htm
http://elainefitzgerald.com/gametemplates.htm
http://www.pppst.com/templates.html
http://www.nebo.edu/misc/learning_resources/ppt/
http://www.pppst.com/index.html
http://www.murray.k12.ga.us/teacher/kara%20leonard/Resource%20Folder/Integretating%20Technology.htm
http://www.vickiblackwell.com/ppttemplates.html
http://it.coe.uga.edu/wwild/pptgames/
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/powerpoint.htm
http://clear.msu.edu/dennie/matic/
http://its.leesummit.k12.mo.us/powerpoint.htm
http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfjro1/wiu/tea/game-files/gamesfront.htm

Enjoy!

Online Voice Recording for Student Playback

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Sorry for the delay in posting, I’ve been extremely busy these past few weeks.

What an awesome tool http://vocaroo.com/widgets.php !!  With this tool and a microphone your students can login onto your wiki or blog record their reading and play it back!  What K-2 teacher couldn’t use this?

It doesn’t save the recording in any location so you don’t have to worry about copy right issues.  The student simply clicks the record now button, reads his/her story into the mic and then presses stop.  The student can then listen to his recording as many times as he likes.  (just don’t close it)  Once the page is closed the recording is lost. 

Another option for use is having a student read for other students to listen or for a teacher to read and have students listen.  This is a great way for struggling readers to hear themselves or other quality readers to help them improve their reading skills. 

One librarian is using this as a library center http://monarchcenters.wikispaces.com/readingrecording .  What other ways can this be used?  Leave a comment and share your ideas for this tool.  Play with it over Thanksgiving break and see what you can come up with.

If you want to save the recordings then you’ll want to look at other options, but then you need to be careful with copyright issues. 

Timelines in the Classroom

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Timelines can be used for a lot of subjects in education. They can be used for things like studying US History and Scientific Experiments to tracking the stats of your favorite (Longhorns) football team.

An online collaborative tool that you can use is www.xtimeline.com Your students can collaborate in the classroom or from home. They can post images, maps, links and videos that they find to their timelines.

Check out this US Civil War timeline that a student created. Use the green dot at the bottom to navigate the timeline.

Do you have a student that you have a hard time getting to buckle down and do his research? What if you gave him a topic that he likes and a computer to create a timeline of that topic? He can find articles to link to, videos to post and images to demonstrate. Check out this timeline about the life of Michael Jordan. What kid wouldn’t research their favorite athlete?

For your kindergarten students you can even timeline your daily events together. This can help them get an idea of sequencing, time and scheduling.

This tool can be used in hundreds of ways. Leave a comment about how you plan to use it or how you have used it.

YouTube and TeacherTube on your iPod???

Monday, May 12th, 2008

This week’s post was prodded by a question asked in my PLN (personal learning network) last week. 

As time goes by, I think, we’ll be seeing more iPod use in the classroom.  The good part about that is that there is a lot of already generated content that you can use, borrow or beg from.  You can find great educational materials on YouTube, teachertube and other online streaming sources.  Don’t you wish you could get some of that material onto your iPods? 

Well, today I’m going to give you several tools that you can use to get the job done.

First is: http://www.techtracker.info/  You just simply past the URL of the streaming video into the line and then download. 

Second is: http://get2pc.com/  Past the URL and download your new file.  After download you’ll need to add “.flv” to the end of your file for it to work.

Thirdly is: http://keepvid.com/  Same as above, copy and paste then download your new video.

There are more, but these are the ones that I’ve used and have worked.

Now all you have to do is import your video into your iTunes and send it to your iPod. 

(Note: Do not use copyrighted material.  You could get in trouble.)

Plan a Vacation to Teach Math Skills

Monday, May 5th, 2008

This week I was talking to a friend about going on their vacation this summer.  As a teacher I had two things going in my head.  One was, “I need a vacation.”  The other thought was, “How can I turn this into a real world learning experience for our students?”

Of course, http://www.priceline.com/ came to my mind, but there are other sites as well that can be used. 

Have your students create a dream vacation.  They will need to plan for travel to and from the departing location, the plane fair, cruise, activities, hotel or condo, transportation while on location, food etc.  You can make this activity as extensive as you’d like.  This activity will help them review the math skills that you have already given them while applying them to real world situations. 

To expand the learning experience I would have my students:

1.       Budget  (money, charts and graphs)

2.       Plan an Itinerary Schedule (time line development, elapsed time, scheduling, and critical thinking)

3.       Map out events (maps)

4.       Use checklists to make sure they have thought of everything for their trip. (Google, travel checklist and you’ll get tons of them.)

5.       Have them write about their trip planning learning experience.

To extend their learning experiences have them break into travel groups and plan their entire vacation on a wiki! 

Enjoy and leave a comment letting me know how you plan to use this in your classroom. 

3 Classroom Lessons for Using Gas Prices to Teach Math, Writing, Social Studies, and Technology

Monday, April 28th, 2008

This morning on Yahoo! News another headline reads “Gas.”   Later this morning as the headlines rotated out another one read “Gas.”  Yes, we are facing “Gas” issues like never before.  So, why not turn this into a learning activity for our students.  Our children will face things that we have never faced before, and our job is to prepare them.  So, this Tech Tip will incorporate Math, Writing, Current Events, Maps and Technology.    

The goal here is that we tap into the higher order thinking skills of every student and allow them an opportunity to problem solve a real world event. 

Note: Teachers should not use this to promote any political agenda; you can find yourself in hot water over that.  This is just an exercise for learning.

Note: If you are reading this and are in another city, state or country there are alternative sites that you can use to gather the same data for your location. 

Exercise 1:

This web site http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_history.html  produces a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet with a price history of gas prices by region, state, or even some cities.  From these spreadsheets you can create charts and graphs showing changes, have students calculate differences between time periods and even calculate percentages in change over time. 

You can have your students present his/her findings to the class in a power point, video, printed graphs and a written report. 

            The teacher can discuss issues as they come up.  (No Political Agendas!)

Exercise 2:

Now that students can know the importance of and can physically see from the above presentations that the price of Gas is a real issue, have them do a little problem solving.  Have the students go to http://www.autobytel.com/content/research/top10/index.cfm/action/mileage/vehicleclass/all/listtype/3  to make an automobile selection based on their newly found information.  Encourage your students to select cars that would be suitable or comparable for their current families.  (ie. If their mom drives a van now have the select a type of van.  If they drive a truck have them select a type of truck.) 

Their goal is to select a vehicle that would save them money as well as suit their needs.  Have them research the different car types, gas mileage, and feasibility.  They can sort the cars by all, compact, convertibles, luxury, passenger, pickups, sport utility, sports, vans and wagons.  (I think I want the Honda Civic, does it have enough room for my kids?)

Have the students report back with their selection.  They should make a presentation of their top 3 choices with a conclusion as to why they selected their top choice.  How will this car impact gas prices?  How much money will they save by getting this car?  Does the price of the car off set the price of gas?

If you want to make this an extra challenge  give them a car price budget and a weekly gas budget.  They should have a select number of miles that they have to calculate to get to and from work(school).

ie: Less than $20,000 for a car.  Weekly gas allotment is $40.  They must drive 20miles one way to work.  You’ll need to give them a list of web sites from local dealers to get the prices on the cars.

 

Exercise 3:  The Big Challenge

 Using Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps along with http://www.austingasprices.com/  or http://www.gasbuddy.com/ for those not in the Austin area, to calculate mileage to determine if it would be worth it to drive out of your way to the cheapest gas prices locations. 

Students will need to know:

1.      gas mileage of car (from exercise 2)

2.      price of gas (exercise 3 links)

3.      mileage to lowest priced gas station (Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps)

4.      price of gas at the gas station near your school (you’ll need to provide this)

5.      location (mileage and map) of home and school (work) (Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps)

Have the students report as to whether or not it’s worth the extra drive.  Will they save money or not?

Closing:

As always, these activities can be extended, shortened or changed.  You are only limited by your imagination as to how this can be used in your classroom.  For higher grade levels you can turn them loose with the idea and see what they come up with.  I think we would all be shocked! 

My generation kinda grew up not being very concerned with the environment or economy at all, but today’s generation seems to be more involved with trying to solve issues than we ever where. 

If you use these ideas leave a comment and let me know how it went, or if you have other ideas please share!

 

 

Amazing Space Activities

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

This week I would like to introduce you to Amazing Space at http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/

Amazing Space has lots of amazing tools and resources for teaching about the solar system, space and observation tools.  Here you will find videos, diagrams, images, lesson plans, and student activities that involve exploration, history and new found knowledge.   If nothing else this is a great place for your students to start their research, and I’m sure you’ll find some useful tools and information as well, I know I did. 

I enjoyed getting to see images from the Hubble Telescope like this one of the Whirlpool Galaxy and the Companion Galaxy. 

 

Wow! Along with that image comes a complete lesson plan.  Click here for the complete lesson plan.     

I hope that you enjoy exploring this site of exploration!  Leave a comment giving suggestions of how you used it, plan to use it, or other related sites of interest.