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Reform Symposium: Opening Keynote Steve Hargadon

This weekend is the Reform Symposium eConference, 48 hours of free learning! I am going to do my best to keep notes of all of the great conversations and learning when I am not moderating or sleeping This was the opening keynote by Steve Hargadon: Information overload vs. Web as a conversation We have to get past our perception that participation is only for the elite. Everyone is a participant and a creator. The answer to content overload is to create more content because our paradigm shifts and we start seeing everything as conversation. Our students hold in their hands technology that was the stuff of dreams when we were growing up. They are incredible devices for learning. Learning is everywhere. We are seeing an amazing shift toward openness. Consider Wikipedia that in a relatively short amount of time an open encyclopedia took the place of a cultural institution. MIT is now providing classes to free when anyone goes online. The value is no longer in the specific content but in being actively engaged and they are doing something that is valuable to humanity by providing this openness. Flexbook- online open virtual textbook initiative. This will bring value and save money. Participation is being reinvented, it is a return to participation. It is a pre-broadcast, pre-factory, un-consumer model. This is dramatically changing the lives of youth because their lives are largely interactive. Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and Myspace are showing us a new model of growth and success that is driven by consumer demand instead of top down economics. Linux is running Google’s servers.  This is incredible! Volunteerism 2.0- we have always recognized value of volunteering but we are now seeing the opportunity to volunteer and participate in ways that weren’t possible before.  Clay Shirky calls this the “Redistribution of Our Cognitive Surplus”.  We are spending time creating instead of consuming.  This is unleashing energy.  Clay Shirky Ted Talk. This is a change in structure it is participative (like democracy).  The Internet is doing this for content and knowledge.  We need the same structure in education. We have to move toward the freedom end of the structure in schools.  We aren’t used to thinking this way.  It is possible for students to be their own driver in education. We are organizing without organizations. What used to take financial resources to pull together to get something happening, doesn’t require that any more.  (Case in point the Reform Symposium conference!!) Wikis let us organize information the way we want them, post at our convenience (not every day like a blog), but social networking has been widely adopted in a way wiki’s and blogs weren’t.  Social networking opened the door to the participation and conversation and made it easy to come in.  Blogs take longer to get the conversation going. Wikis are a little more complex and have a learning curve.  Social networking aggregated web 2.0 tools in a single location.  Facebook is now up to 500,000,000 members. Steve started Classroom 2.0 and it now has 45,000 members, social networking is valuable to the education world.  It gives peer-to-peer practice sharing and conversation. We have to get over that social networking is a dangerous place to be.  It will become the framework structure of the educational experience. Communication platform: social networking + learning management system + live collaboration It makes us rethink how teaching and learning take place. We have to ask how well are we preparing students for this world and how prepared are we from this world? Principles of school 2.0: contributing, collaborating, creating. The best way to predict the future is to be it: Be a learner first, we need great teachers to be a part of the conversation and figure out how to harness web 2.0’s inherent capabilities, keep perspective-students need really great teachers more than ever, join an educational or social network (lurking is allowed), become a part of the conversation and encourage others to do so, help collaborate to build a new playbook and be a voice in the public discussion (Twitter #edchat!!), embrace the change process (this is going to be a wild ride, it is going to challenge the way we think). Find the recording of the Keynote here.

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The Hobby Shop

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2009

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What it is:  The Hobby Shop is an amazing interactive site where students can learn about science.  Students can learn about a compound microscope, dissecting microscope, catapults, chemistry, and rockets.  Each section of the hobby shop is completely interactive and has students discovering learning through virtual experimentation.  Students can look through microscopes, each step of the way they are taught how to do things like prepare petri dishes, and clean up properly afterward.  In the chemistry lab students can create an ingredient found in chalk, make a chemical used in photography, make liquids change colors, or test chemicals for electrical conductivity.  Students are led through each step of an experiment just as they would do it in an actual lab.  There is an interactive periodic table of elements that students can use to learn about different elements.  Students can create their own rocket in the rocket lab choosing the body, nose cone, and fins of a rocket and then test it out.  Students can also test out catapults with water balloons.

How to integrate Hobby Shop into the classroom: Hobby Shop is a wonderful place for students to experiment and interact with science in preparation for doing the experiment in class.  It is interactive enough to take the place of experiments where the science budget doesn’t allow for a class set of materials.  I am SO impressed with the way that this site leads students through each step of the process to complete an experiment.  Use this site with the whole class using an interactive whiteboard, invite students to come up to the board and conduct the experiment.  This site is also perfect for use as a science center in the one or two computer classroom or for individual use in a computer lab environment.  

 

Tips:  Check out the Teacher Resources for standard alingment, correlating worksheets, and other pdf files.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Hobby Shop in your classroom.

Comments (2)

Thoroughly enjoyed the rocket excercise! I am an associate director of a nonprofit dedicated to bringing technology into the classroom. Check out our website when you have a moment, and please consider becoming a member. I was pointed to your site from a member of the Education Consultants Community.

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