The New Science Lab

I dropped in on a grade 8 science class a few days ago. Students were using temperature probes to collect data every few seconds and getting real-time heating and cooling curves directly onto their tablets! This is nothing like how I remember science class…

Using Temperature Probes
Collecting Real-Time Data

There are a few other probes you can use (motion and pressure sensors are two I can think of off the top of my head) and they can be used in math class as well.

I think these are awesome! It allows the students to focus on the science and lets the the technology focus on the data collection and graph creation. I know the latter two are important skills, but would you rather your students spend an hour transcribing the data and creating the correct graph or use that same hour to investigate the scientific principles at work? If used properly, I think technology such as this can maximize the effective contact time that teachers spend with students and that students spend with learning.

Google Earth in English, pt 2

A while back I wrote about Mr. Whatley using Google Earth as  a way for students to create their own ‘life maps’ in Grade 8. Here’s an example: Bloomability Life map (10MB .kmz file). This was also featured in our Speedgeeking session in February.

Now it looks like the Grade 8 Humanities class is going to use Google Earth to create a timeline (of sorts) of events worldwide that led to Vietnamese independence. I think it will be a great way to show the inter-dependence of events in France, the Soviet Union, China and Vietnam and how they collectively affected Vietnam.