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The Power of the PLN and education karma

Okay, here is the deal, I know this is a highly unusual post and request from me but bear with me for just a minute while I explain the importance of what I am asking.  At the bottom of the post I talk about a really cool new tool worth checking out. I am working on a rather large educational project that will make it possible for every teacher to customize and tailor curriculum and learning for each of their students without putting a huge burden on teachers.  I have met some wonderful entreprenuers and business minds as I have worked on that project.  One of those brilliant people is @Toma_Bedolla.  Yesterday Toma and I were talking about this big project and I was trying to convey the powerhouse that is my personal learning network.  People outside of this network don’t really understand how it works or how it can make a difference in the world.  Toma could see that I have a lot of followers on Twitter and that I follow a lot of people on Twitter, what he couldn’t see is incredible support system that it is.  We don’t just follow each other. We make changes happen. We pull together and network and brainstorm and collaborate and discuss and encourage.  People who don’t use social media this way have a hard time getting it. As we were wrapping up our conversation yesterday Toma mentioned this little contest he was involved in, a contest to get more fit.  Not education related per-say but I thought…what if I could use this contest to help someone outside of the PLN and outside of education see just what a powerhouse my PLN is?  What if by winning a contest (and subsequently $10,000) I could show someone outside of the PLN why it is worth investigating more, why it is worth investing in?  This is where you come in.  I’m hoping that I can get all of you to vote and help Toma out.  The problem?  The site is a PAIN to vote on, seriously, they couldn’t have made it more confusing.  But…it is really just 4 steps and if you know the secret (which I will tell you) it is a piece of cake.  Here is a hint I use on ALL websites that I sign up for that I’m not sure I really want to sign up for (education or not).  Use an @tempinbox email address.  You can type in anything you want before the @tempinbox.com and it will keep you from getting on lists you don’t want to be on.  To confirm the email just go to www.tempinbox.com, type in the preface you used infront of the tempinbox extension and you can click the confirmation in the email. Here’s the simplest way to vote: 1. Register for a free account at Precision Nutrition: http://on.fb.me/fZBnXk (sign up with that tempinbox.com account if you want) 2. Click the link sent in the confirmation e-mail. (If you used my Tempinbox trick go to www.tempinbox.com to confirm). 3. Scroll to the bottom to click Vote at: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/s2b-winners-2010 4. You will be redirected to the poll where you can vote.  Vote for finalist #8. Toma is only 146 votes out of the lead for the $10K first prize…  I’m pretty sure my powerhouse PLN can make that happen! I’m a big believer in helping each other out in any way we can, it creates some great education karma. Now, for the part of the post where I share a really cool tool:  Toma is the brains behind a new website called How Tru.  You’ll have to take a look at the site to really feel its full impact but I have to say-this could be HUGE for education.  Toma describes it perfectly, everyone has a credit score…none of us had to do anything special (other than borrow money) to get that score. A credit score gives us a way to verify whether we can trust someone financially.  How Tru scores will give us a way to begin to verify a persons veracity online.  The ultimate in digital footprints.  The tool has a few implications for education: 1. It gives students and teachers a way to begin verifying the veracity of content. 2. It gives everyone a way to track their digital footprints and the footprints of those they follow.  Pretty cool!  I’ll write a full post as soon as the site is “officially” launched with my ideas of how it can be used in the classroom. Thank you to all who helped and feel free to spread the word! Now back to our regularly scheduled edutech content

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Solar System Scope: See the solar system in 3D

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 20-04-2011

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What it is: Well, yesterday set me off on a space kick.  Today I spent time with the Solar System Scope site, talk about a COOL way to view the solar system!  Solar System Scope (SSS) is a 3D real-time look at celestial positions with planets and constellations in the night sky.  Students can adjust planet and moon settings, star and constellation settings, earth observatory settings and time settings.  View the solar system from a heliocentric, geocentric or panoramic view.

How to integrate Solar System Scope into the classroom: Who would have guessed the day would come when we could take our students on a realistic field trip through space?  That is exactly what the Solar System Scope makes possible.  For young students, it would be fun to plan a class space mission.  Prepare your students as astronauts, load into your classroom spaceship (which may just be chairs and desks specially configured for the day) and prepare for launch.  “Fly” through the universe and solar system using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  This is almost like having a planetarium right in your classroom. Pretty cool!

Of course after traveling through space as a class, students will want to explore more on their own.  They can do this at a classroom computer center or individually in a computer lab setting.

Older students can get more in-depth using the built-in distance meter to measure the distance between planets.  Each star reveals information about how many light years away it is from earth.  Students can adjust the settings to learn more about constellations.  Time and date can be adjusted to view the solar system on a given day. When students click the play button, they will see a 3D animation of the solar system based on the view they chose.  Very neat!

In addition to using Solar System Scope for science, use it as a launching point for a creative writing activity.  Students can write a fictional story about their travels through space, or even pretend to colonize a planet using factual information about the struggles they would have to overcome.

This site is a great one to use in connection with the NASA 50th Anniversary site I shared yesterday!

Tips: Solar System Scope isn’t finished yet, they are still working on some cool features.  Be sure to watch for a planetary journey for kids complete with an animated talking guide named Zyx, desktop clocks that show all planet positions at the moment, a space-flight simulator screen saver (perfect for the interactive whiteboard!) and a space forum.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Solar System Scope in your classroom!

 

Comments (3)

[…] Solar System Scope shares an interactive 3D view of our solar system. Select the view on the left tab of the screen and choose the telescope to view the stars. Kelly Tenkley shares more about this site on her blog iLearn Technology. […]

[…] done and dusted, I decided to work on my planning for teaching the solar system. A post by Kelly Tenkley set me off in the right direction. The Nine Planets tour that I mentioned in a previous post shares […]

Hi,
After the success of SolarSystemScope we have launched a new Watch & Play model

http://www.sunmoonscope.com/

focused on the Sun and the Moon as they appear from the given location of the Earth surface:
– current position of the Sun, its trajectory, time and azimuth of sunrise and sunset
– moon phases, current position and trajectory of the Moon
– seasons, solstices and equinoxes in chart

But the most interesting part is to drag the model in time and watch changes during a day or year.
(polar day and night, analemma and situations on the equator are our favourite)

Enjoy it :-)

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