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May 21st, 2013

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Seattle Says

November 29th, 2011

I was in Seattle attending Supercomputing 2011 a week ago.  It is an amazing experience to be surrounded by scientists in all shapes and sizes (no kidding), and computational experts in all fields.  I have collected some quotes which I think are relevant to our philosophy as inquiry-based teachers.

“Everything we do as humans is a model.  Computational thinking is enhancing how you think—the ability to manipulate a model with the power to re-compute and re-vitalize.”

Bob Panoff, Shodor Institute                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

“Computational (Science Education) is using a model to teach a concept.   (Computational Science) Education: teaching how to build the model.”

Bob Panoff,  Shodor Institute                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

“Have = had + change” 

 Stephen I. Gordon, Ohio Supercomputer Center                                                                                                                                                                              

“We are dealing with a Data Tsunami….there is more data generated than can be humanly read… Many of today’s important scientific breakthroughs are made by large, interdisciplinary collaborations of scientists working in geographically distributed locations, collecting, producing, and analyzing ever vaster and more complex data sets. This deluge of scientific data has been called the “data tsunami.” Large-scale science projects require software tools that support, not only insight into exponentially growing data, but collaborative science discovery. ” 

Cecilia Aragon,  eScience Institute, University of Washington                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Zoomit

November 13th, 2011

Are you envious of those Mac users who have zoom in and out at the touch of a finger. Don’t despair. Zoomit is here. Mark Russinovich wrote it to be used during his technical presentations, but it is ideal for science and math teachers. Zoomit provides the ability to screen zoom and annotate. It works with all versions of windows and you can use pen input to draw on a tablet PC. For more information read the developer’s notes then scroll to the bottom of the page and download Zoomit. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897434

Truly Portable

October 27th, 2009

 

PDF means Portable Documents for Free

Don’t have the software to create portable document files.  Well, then use Primo PDF Creator which is available as a free download from CNET Download.  CNET guarantees that all software has been tested, scanned, and monitored for spyware, adware, viruses, and other malicious programs.  PrimoPDF converts any file which you can print into a pdf format.  Easy to obtain at http://www.download.com/PrimoPDF/3000-10743_4-10264577.html?part=dl-10264577&subj=dl&tag=button

Super Size It

June 18th, 2009

Found a great image, but it’s not the right size for your document–in the past you probably grabbed and dragged it to the appropriate size loosing the clarity as the pixels moved apart.  Now, you can use Photo Gadget Pro to resize, crop, and rename photos or images. You can even add a caption or frame along with special effects and filters. Photo Gadget Pro also provides the capability of executing format conversions and uploading directly to the Flickr web site. To use Photo Gadget Pro, do not open the program. Instead, highlight the image you want to resize and right-click. One of the options from the menu will be Photo Gadget. Select your image size, and the location you want to save the images. Voila, your image is ready to use.

http://www.xemico.com/photogadget/index.html

Know Your Tech

April 30th, 2009

This year’s TechKowledgy Conference was held in Richmond this past November 13-14, 2008 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.  I have been musing over the information garnered there. This conference focuses on effective practices in assistive technology and creating technology rich environments for all students.  Many UDL ideas were presented.  Penny Reed, National Consultant in Special Education and Assistive Technology, must be credited with the quote of the conference, “The single most effective way of encouraging technology use by teachers is the administration.”  All the technology in the world is no good unless it is used.  Teachers are overwhelmed with paperwork and regulations not to mention the number of students assigned to their case load.  IEPs require different technologies for different students—all dependent on the assessed need.  Even with help from ITRTs, OTs, PTs, and Vision Specialists, no teacher can be aware of all the technology that is out there and available in their school district. How do we help?   What more can we do?

WAIT

April 2nd, 2009

But not for long. The Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia has a web-based tool which allows teachers to provide both a constructivist and an interdisciplinary approach to learning for students.  WAIT (Web-based Art Interactive Tool) allows students to interpret works of art in the museum’s permanent collection.  Students publish their interpretations online than explore other students’ opinions.  Students have the opportunity to improve their communication technology skills as well as their critical thinking and observation skills.  Art becomes a real-life experience.

 

 http://www.taubmanmuseum.org/TM_education.html

It’s in the Quote

March 31st, 2009

“All children are gifted, some just open their packages later than others.”
                                                         Dr. James Philip Raley

Think Through Infinity

October 29th, 2008

Greetings from the Conference Center of Sweet Briar College in beautiful Amherst County where I am participating in a VDOE Thinkfinity Certified Trainers session. Several newly developed content include one for librarians, Thinkfinity: At Your Library and one for all from new partner, Smithsonian’s History Explorer.

First, Thinkfinity: At Your Library page includes links to resources on the Thinkfinity main site and provides specific “browse resources” category links. These category links include:

Themes

Book Reports

Interactive Games

Homework Help

Maps

Activities

Parent Resources

Subjects

The Arts

Social Studies

Literacy

Mathematics

Reading & Language Arts

Science

Geography

Also, links to American Library Association, Thinkfinity Calendar, and Newest Resources are located on the right-hand navigation tool.

Second, Smithsonian’s History Explorer, provides standards based online resources for teaching and learning about American history. Designed and developed by the National Museum of American History as a content partner of Verizon Foundation’s thinkfinity.org, the site focuses on artifacts, primary sources, and online tools for classroom, afterschool programs, and home. Of particular interest for teachers and students is the accessible Resources by Historical Era.

What is Expertise?

October 24th, 2008

Well, we all know that teenagers know everything! And in these modern times, it appears that there are a lot of experts out in the world. Not just teens. And they are all on the internet. Actors, who need words written by someone else in order to perform their jobs, are testifying before Congress as to the causes of autism, global warming, and even mountain top mining. Technology has put boundless information at the ready for multitudes of young people. The internet is perceived as the leveler of the playing field between the non-expert and the expert. The internet is perceived as having all the accurate and the relevant information; if one accesses and absorbs this relevantly accurate information then one will have gained the knowledge to make an informed and intellectual decision about anything. Thus, becoming an expert. But, is this true? Take time to listen to this Eye4You Alliance Science Friday: Making Science User-Friendly podcast “Who’s An Expert?” featuring Harry Collins, Distinguished Professor and Director for the Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science, Cardiff University. Then, you make a truly informed decision on who are the experts.

http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200810171

Sponsored by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, this site is for teens, about teens, and to encourage teens to become “better informed global citizens”.