Volcano – Create Your Own at Discovery Channel

Last week one of our Science teachers had their students working on a Volcano unit in the computer lab.  I was wondering if there was an interactive volcano online and of course there was at the Discovery Channel Volcano Explorer.

The Discovery Channel Volcano Explorer allows students and teachers to Explore a Virtual Volcano

You might want to start with having the students exploring whee on the world globe the most active volcano’s are located.

How do we identify volcano’s by type?

What does the cross section of a volcano look like?

And finally the most fun part, build your own volcano and watch it erupt with animation and sound!

The Discovery Channel Volcano Explorer would be well worth a visit, if you are studying volcano’s!

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BioVisions at Harvard University

While searching for Science Animations I came across this site at Harvard University called BioVisions.

The BioVisions website has several incredible movies and animations illustrating the inner workings cells.

Watch cells at the microscopic level as they move within the body.  Pretty amazing stuff!

Many of the movie/animations have won awards.  Even if you do not use the BioVisions website in class, they are interesting to watch.  And Learn!


Harvard University – Teacher Animations – Science – Health

Harvard University – Harvard Life Sciences offers a summer institute for teachers and their students.  Part of the program teaches Adobe Flash animation.  The completed teacher animations are now posted and available on the Harvard Life Sciences website.

View Flash animations completed by teachers in the areas of Physiology, Microbiology, Neurobiology and many more.  There are several animations available on sports topics.

The majority of the animations were created for middle and high school students studying within a Health or Science curriculum.

The Harvard Life Sciences animations are very well done!  The Harvard Life Sciences program is presently taking applications for teachers and students on their website for the Spring of 2012 program.


The Eagle Has Landed or is at Least Nesting – Live Eagle Webcam

I want to thank my friend Nancy, there I gave her the only plug she is getting, for sharing with me the Live Decorah Bald Eagle webcam.

I could watch this live view of a Decorah Bald Eagle nesting in the wild for hours and I am sure your students could also.  You will get some advertisements once in a while.  I guess that is how they are paying for the live stream, but they are short and appropriate for school.

Mrs. Eagle is ready for her close-up!  I think I remember that look from my mom!


Mrs. Eagle is usually sitting in her nest but sometimes she does fly away.  Well everyone gets hungry!  She is usually not gone long and when she did leave I could see at least one egg in her nest.

There is Mr. Eagle sitting on a branch of the same tree!

Your students will love watching this on the Interactive Whiteboard full screen!

Who will get to see the eggs hatch?  What is the incubation period?  How do they weave their next?  What is the nest made of?  Decorah Bald Eagles are found in what areas of the country?  Where is Mr. Eagle?   Does he take his turn at the nest? Write a paper on what you learned about Devorah Bald Eagles from watching the live stream video?  What do you still want to know about Eagles?

Wow I can find lots of educational links to the curriculum!


Trees Inside Out

Trees Inside Out could be a wonderful web site to use when studying transpiration, conduction, photosynthesis, etc. in plants.

Trees Inside Out uses still images, animation and movies to explain the processes inherent within a plant.  In this case a Tree.

Look at a leaf at the cellular level?   Watch an animation of transpiration!  All of this is explained at Trees Inside Out.



Smart Workshop at PeteandC

My presentation at PeteandC, Pennsylvania Educational Technology Conference and Expo, was entitled “Getting Smarter About Your SmartBoard.”  The presentation introduced intermediate skills available when using Smart NoteBook 10.

A copy of my presentation NoteBook file can be downloaded by clicking on this link:  Getting Smarter About Your SmartBoard.


Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference

This past week I attended PETE&C the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Conference and Expo.  I have been attending this conference from the beginning of the “computer movement” (We did not call it Technology back then.) and I am always amazed at the constant change and enthusiasm exhibited at the conference.  The conference has undergone many changes starting out as a small one room get together to the almost 3000 that gather in Hershey, Pa each February today.

Yes there has been change but have we really changed.  It seems that we are still searching for the one tool the will change learning.  Personally, I am not sure that there is one.  I have listened to the siren song of the introduction of the overhead projector, super8 projector, Laserdisc, too many computer systems to remember, touch screens, palms, Podcasting, IPods, Smartphones and IPods.  All of them came with the hype of revolutionizing education.  Well I am still here and I seem to be more involved in an Evolution than a Revolution.

The one truth that I have learned is that Learning is Hard Work!  You can buy all of the toys, tools, or curriculum you could ever hope for.  You can sing it, record it, video tape it, YouTube it, chant it, write it, flash card app it, web it, wiki it, online it, Glogster it, ITunes it, share it, Google it, interact with it, web quest it, (What did I forget?) and still you have the hard work of learning it.

All of these gigits and gadgets can help but I have only ever seen one tool make a real difference in the classroom or online, the teacher.  A wonderful individual who knows how to organize material, manage a physical or online classroom and brings an enthusiasm to learning every day.

OK, enough from me, but this is my blog so I do get to speak my mind once in a while.