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Diego Fonstad

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The Cloud Institute

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Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 02 February 2011
in Online Resources

cloud institute for sustainability educationTeachable Moment: Highly recommended web site for teaching sustainability.  I haven't used it myself so would be interested in others experience with it.

Einstein once said, “[t]he significant problems we face cannot be solved with the same level of thinking we used to create them.” Education for Sustainability (EfS) is our contribution to cultivating that different way of thinking.

RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 02 February 2011
in Online Resources

RAFT ImageTeachable Moment: If you're a science teacher in the SF Bay Area, this is an amazing resource.

The Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) started with an idea. What if:

Every child could get excited about learning through collaborative "hands-on" activities?

Every educator could obtain low-cost materials and the training to use them in "hands-on" projects?

21st Century learning skills developed through "hands-on" education could become pervasive and improve educational outcomes?

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GE Carbon Footprint Calculator

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 02 February 2011
in Images that speak for themselves

carbon-footprintTeachable Moment: It is often hard to communicate the carbon impact of our decisions because it is often a third or fourth order calculation and an abstract concept.  This web site provides a powerful visual engine for understanding the carbon impact of our every day decisions.

Every action, every event, every person, everything emits a certain amount of carbon, but putting it in perspective can be a bit tough. As part of our focus this week on the home energy technologies on display at the Consumer Electronics Show, GE has again partnered with author and designer David McCandless to create an interactive data visualization that examines some of those scenarios.

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Radar -> Sputnik -> Serendipity -> GPS

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 12 January 2011
in The Mother of Invention

Teachable Moment:This TED video discusses the invention of the GPS as a perfect example of open innovative systems where "chance favors the connected mind".  I also like it because it provides a good example of how innovation can be as simple as merely the inversion of our thinking... in this case, one group of scientists had discovered how to track a moving object in space from a fixed point on the ground... and another one pushed them to think about tracking a moving object on the ground from a fixed point in space.

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The NXT Classroom

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 11 January 2011
in Online Resources

Teachable Moment: This is the best one-stop place to find amazing resources for teaching using Mindstorms NXT. 

The NXT Classroom; a community dedicated to supporting teachers who are using the LEGO Mindstorm System in their classroom.

References: http://www.thenxtclassroom.com/

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Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 11 January 2011
in Videos worth watching

Teachable Moment: This timeless film is still probably the best way ever devised of communicating relative sizes and magnitudes.

Powers of Ten takes us on an adventure in magnitudes. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to Earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward- into the hand of the sleeping picnicker - with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell.

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WKRP: Venus Explains the Atom

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 09 January 2011
in Videos worth watching

WKRP in Cincinnati: Venus Explains the AtomTeachable Moment: Interesting approach... perhaps interpersonal conflicts are an easier way of teaching the atom than magnetic forces!

Only on TV, could a teacher find a teachable moment in a locked storage room with a gang member. And of course, if you're going to challenge a gang member to anything, it might as well be explaining to them how an atom works!

Tags: Physics
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Schrodinger's Cat

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 09 January 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: Frankly, quantum entanglement is a pretty complex idea... but if anything's going to start cracking your brain open to it, this is a pretty good start.

In 1935, Schrodinger wrote a paper about the state of Quantum Physics wherein he posited the following:

"One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts"

Tags: Physics
Hits: 15312

Stand and Deliver: Finger math

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 09 January 2011
in Videos worth watching

Stand and Deliver: Finger MathTeachable Moment: What can you say?  I'd never seen this before and it's a pretty cool way of teaching multiplication by 9s!

Great video from Stand and Deliver

 

Tags: Math
Hits: 11067

Rule of Thumb... for gauging distances

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 09 January 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: What I like about this is how practical it is as a tool while simultaneously teaching ratios and entry level trigonometry.

Your arm is about ten times longer than the distance between your eyes. That fact, together with a bit of applied trigonometry, can be used to estimate distances between you and any object of approximately known size.

Imagine, for example, that you're standing on the side of a hill, trying to decide how far it is to the top of a low hill on the other side of the valley. Just below the hilltop is a barn, which you feel reasonably sure is about 100 feet wide on the side facing you.

Tags: Math
Hits: 65968