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Spent: Social Justice Simulation

What it is: I learned about Spent from my friend @ianchia last week on Twitter. Spent is a collaboration between McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham to show students how the decisions they make affect their lives.  The Urban Ministries of Durham serves over 6,000 people every year.  Students have the opportunity to accept the Spent simulation and challenge to see if they can make it through a month of living expenses.  They have just lost their job, their savings are gone, they have lost their house, and they are down to their last thousand dollars.  Students must find a job, make decisions about housing, food, emergencies, and more as they try to survive one month on minimum wage. How to integrate Spent into the classroom: Spent is a social justice game simulation that helps students understand the tough circumstances that so many face that have caused them to be homeless and in need of outside assistance.  The game uses scenarios that are true to life and shows students how each decision that they make has consequences.  Spent would be a great game for students to play in an economics or social studies class.  Students can play the game individually and come together at the end of the game to discuss how the decisions they made affected their ultimate outcome.  Which students made it to the end of the month and which failed?  What decision(s) led to that outcome?  If you don’t have the ability for students to play the game individually, play as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Make decisions together as a class weighing the pros and cons of each decision as you go. Extend this online game by moving to a place of action.  What can your students do to help those in need?  Can they hold a school fundraiser to donate to the Urban Ministries of Durham? Can they create compelling call to action videos and post them to YouTube?  Let your students be creative and come up with their own solutions for making an impact. Tips: There are some great ethical scenarios in the simulation that should spark some interesting discussion and debate among students. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Spent in your classroom!

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HIP2B²: Science/Math edutainment magazine and videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, inspiration, Interactive book, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 11-02-2011

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What it is: HIP2B² is an edutainment site that aims to show students that subjects that are generally labeled as “difficult” or “hard” can be fun and are important to our future success. HIP2B² is a website, digital magazine, and TV show that work to equip learners with vital life skills including analytical thinking, problem solving, and a curious mindset.  The goal is to encourage curiosity in science and math in everyday life.  The magazine is a high-quality quarterly publication that is free to view online, the magazine uses the Issuu platform for the digital viewing.  You can see an example of the digital HIP2B² embedded above. The TV show can be viewed online, powered by YouTube.

How to integrate HIP2B² into the classroom: The HIP2B² videos and digital magazine are a fantastic way to invigorate a sense of curiosity and discovery in your students.  The digital magazines are really well done, students will eagerly read through them.  Each of the digital magazines is focused on a science or math topic such as mysteries, senses, the environment, technology, origins, animals, safety, food, intelligence, and much more.  Students can view the digital magazines all the way back to June 2007.  Use the digital magazines as inspiration for science and math inquiry.  Students can read through the digital magazines on a classroom computer set up as a reading center, as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer, or individually in a lab setting.   Do your students get silent reading time in class? Allow them to use the computers to read through the HIP2B² digital magazine.

In the video section, students can learn about “tricks” of science like invisibility cloaks and floating paperclips or more serious science like nanotechnology and extreme weather.  These videos can be used to introduce a topic or science/math concept or to illustrate a concept.

Are your students working on science and math that encourages analytical thinking, problem solving, and curiosity? Why not have them create their own HIP2B² inspired digital magazine.  Students can put together their own magazine using any word processing or publishing program and upload the finished product to Issuu to share with the world.

Tips: For those of you who don’t have access to YouTube in your building, you can still use these awesome videos in your classrooms with a little bit of pre-planning.  Download and save YouTube videos so that you can show them at school without accessing the YouTube site. UseKeepVidYouTube DownloaderHDKick YouTubeSaveVid, or Zamzar.  Some of these tools will even let you download at school if you know the YouTube url.  The downloaded video should have no trouble playing at school!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using HIP2B² in your classroom!

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, BJ Berquist, Bridgette Wagoner, Edtech Feeds and others. Edtech Feeds said: New Post: HIP2B²: Science/Math edutainment magazine and videos: Open publication – Free publishing … http://bit.ly/gGLpmV by @ktenkely [...]

[...] Science/Math Edutainment Magazines and Videos [...]

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