Here’s an interesting comparison between virtual world games and how people behave in them, compared to the real world. This infographic comparers various statistics between Farmville farms, from Facebook and real farms across the country and around the world. Interestingly, while 930 million acres are farmed in the US, Farmville players cultivate 500 million acres. I’m wondering what kind of discussions might be generated from examining this graphic.
Blog Page: http://goo.gl/oM3y3i
Graphic Image: http://goo.gl/0lF9Ab
Luckily for children everywhere, a group of physicists believe Santa is real, and have worked out how he is capable of giving toys to children around the world. They deal with the issue of his bag, seeing millions of children, if not a billion, children on a single night, and of course making all his toys.
Wormholes, relativity, and an ever moving North Pole are the answers to these questions, and a great opener to these subjects in an introductory physics class. While many of the answers are theories, it is important to remember that ideas such as gravity were also once simple theories.
The weather is an area of science that has only recently been fully understood. For centuries, people have known the difference between rain and snow, have recognized the change in temperature throughout the year, and have even realized the impact of air pressure on weather. However, only since modern satellites and other weather surveillance has the ability to predict the weather and further understand it been made possible.
This infographic goes into some of the advanced information on weather patters, specifically winter storms. Arguably, winter storms can be some of the most destructive due to the period of time their effects reside. Hurricanes are very destructive as well, and especially on islands can cause a great deal of destruction, however, the affects of winter storms (the snow and ice) can last for days if not weeks, while the affects of other storms (rain and wind), only last for a matter of hours. For this reason, it takes longer to be able to recover from such a storm.
What do your students think about this statement? What have they learned from this infographic?
To go up into space and live for a period of time is the dream of many children, but one that is reached by few adults. It takes a peak of physical health, a high level of intelligence, and a great deal of training. There are also a great deal of people who meet these criteria, and so they then must go through a stringent weeding out process, following by intense training.
Once one reaches the space station, it is a tight fit with little human contact. Thanks to modern technology, the astronauts are able to communicate with their colleagues, and maybe even family back on Earth. But even modern technology cannot give these astronauts a gourmet meal, a luxurious bed, or an overly pleasant experience. These men and women are there to work, and work during the majority of their waking hours.
But the space program does now have an education program for grade schools. It allows schools to submit experiments to be performed in space, which the astronauts will record and discuss in a short segment. Do your students have any experiments they want to happen in space?
Ask your students to imagine the world in 1913. Do they think of fashion, lack of modern technology, impending world crisis? Would any of them chose to go back and live in 1913? Based on this infographic, life was very different 100 years ago.
Choose a few of the ways life has changed and ask your students to share how they think it is different. For instance, what is on the list of top five companies today and 100 years ago. What was the average income, and what was the percentage of people with a high school diploma. Do your students think this is better or worse?
There is a growing problem in the United States, and that is the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. For several decades nearly every concerned parent has brought their children to the doctor for every cough, sneeze, and minor infection. Antibiotics are among the most prescribed category of medications (this information is based on experience in a pharmacy a few years ago).
Because of this overmedication, an increasing number of bacteria are resistant to common antibiotics. New medications are having to be created, but some bacteria seem to be adapting faster than the new medications can be developed.
This infographic goes into the science behind the the resistance of bacteria, and what can be done about it. Poll your class about whether this is a problem that needs to be addressed, or if it is simply a hiccup in human existence. Also, what can be done to help this problem? What do your students already do that is suggested, and can your students come up with any other solutions?
In history, perspective is very important. It is important to realize that our lives take up a very small portion of time, and even modern era, no matter when historians put the beginning of modern time, is a very small portion of time. However, in that time, many significant events have occurred.
Have your students brainstorm some of the most significant events in all of history that have helped create life as it is today. Do your students only think back as far as cell phones, or maybe the personal computer, do they go beyond to the colonization and later independence of America, or even further to early theorists such as Aristotle. Do they recognize the events that had to have occurred in order to for America to be colonized, and then for computers to be handheld?
What are the odds that you exist? No doubt this is something few people have thought about, but according to this infographic, the odds are 0. Luckily, this world has you, and hopefully luckily, the world has every one of your students. In teaching odds, this would be an interesting infographic to share.
Beginning with the chances of your parents meeting the odds are increasingly less likely. Then, once your parents have met, the infographic goes into the odds of a specific egg and sperm meetings (this infographic may be reserved for only the most mature of students), and creating you. On top of this, as this infographic shares, your existence is dependent upon not only these events, but these events occurring for every one of your ancestors.
Dealing with odds, exponents, and other various mathematics, this would be a great infographic for the math classroom. Share this infographic with your students, and hopefully they will realize how lucky they are. And hopefully this feeling of luck will make them want to learn more, rather than live a crazier life.
Yang Liu was born in China, but has lived in German since she was 14. A celebrated designer, Liu recently released a graphic exhibit that illustrates her observations about differences between East (China) and West (Germany). The exhibit has been re-interpreted as a series of Infographics. Just Google “yang liu east meets west.” Brain Pickings author, Maria Popova wrote,
Liu has a unique grip of this cultural duality — and she channels it with great wit and eloquent minimalism in graphics that say so much by showing so little. (Popova, 2013)
Two similar exhibits (left) were installed in Berlin, two in Beijing, and 1 in Nanjing. Liu, though initially apprehensive, says that the response to her interpretations have been positive in both Germany and China.
Perhaps the most elegant part of Yang’s graphic is its simplicity or minimalism. ..which might give learners a unique opportunity to draw conclusions about the differences between people and life in China compared to the West and then look for evidence that supports their conclusions.
- Blog - http://wp.me/peM2X-139
- Graphic – click individual images to the right
- Yang Liu’s Web Site - http://yangliudesign.com
Yesterday, Tim Holt wrote “Why I am At a Science Conference,” describing his work at this week’s Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST), and why it is so important that we edubloggers and techspeakers should be sharing our messages into other communities of interest, science teachers for instance. I agree. I’ve tried, for years, to get into social studies conferences. When I succeed, it’s to do a concurrent session, and only 12 teachers showed up. It’s part of the nature of the profession, that we owe our professional identity to our particular area of specialty.
I have keynoted foreign language conferences, library conferences, administrator, and even book publisher, real-estate developer and farmer conferences. Perhaps the most receptive to my particular message are school boards conferences. But Tim is right. Little of this actually makes it into classrooms, especially the “Common Core” classrooms.
Holt referred to the fact that I too will also be speaking to Science teachers this week, in Charlotte, at one of the regional conferences of the National Science Teachers Association – and my efforts to tailor my presentation to that audience. I admit some concern about speaking to science teachers, because I taught social studies, and my examples tend to be more social studies oriented – though I would maintain that any good social studies teacher is also teaching science, math, health, literature, and everything else. It’s all societal.
Tim mentioned me because of a string of posts I made to Facebook and Twitter yesterday, reporting my progress in playing with Kerbal Space Program, a sandbox-style game that has the player designing, building, and flying space craft, on missions from the planet Kerbal. It’s been fun, regardless of my immigrant clumsiness with video games – though I am experiencing some pride in finally getting a manned (well a Kerban-piloted) space craft into orbit. It cost the lives of 12 fellow kerbans and several billion $kerbols worth of hardware.
And although (David’s) message is VERY general, it is at least a start. He is trying to tailor the message to the audience by demoing the Kerbal Space Program online game (https://kerbalspaceprogram.com) so good for him. But those opportunities are few and far between.
These opportunities rare and priceless. ..and forgive me if I seem overly sensitive and even defensive, but there is nothing general about this. The message is singular and it is revolutionary. It has nothing to do with, “Look, here’s something that you can do in your classroom with technology.” It is,
“Look, here’s what many of your students are doing outside your classroom. It’s fun, but it’s work. It’s hard work. And it is entirely about learning. The energy of our students’ youth culture is not based on how high you can jump or fast you can run. It is neither wit nor the appealing symmetry of your face. The energy of their culture is the ability to skillfully and resourcefully learn and to inventively employ that learning.”
My message is that children are entering our classrooms with learning skills that, although based on long understood pedagogies, they are skills that we are too often ignoring and sometimes even handicapping. When I say that we “chop their tentacles off,” it’s not about cutting them off from technology. We’re amputating their access to the learning skills that they are so effectively developing outside our classrooms – their avenues to personally meaningful accomplishment.
Perhaps those of us who have chosen to pursue education technology or have been seduced by its potentials are in a unique position to notice our children’s ’native’ learning skills – more so than science or social studies teachers. But we all must be careful to shed the glow of tech, and get right down to the point of being educated in this time of rapid change.
It’s not about being taught.
It’s about becoming a learner.
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