Using Harlem Shake to Teach Physics

I’m not going to pretend that I remember enough about my high school physics to speak intelligently about the difference between  centrifugal and centripetal forces, but I do know a good piece of teachable media when I see it. When you introduce a brick to a front-loading washing machine spinning at several hundred RPMs, you get something both destructive and magical. read more

Photographing the Speed of Light

If you’re the type of geek that stays current on scientific news out of MIT, this is not new for you. For everyone else, the MIT-developed camera that can capture up to one trillion frames a second (yes, that’s a “T”) is mind boggling, yet conceptually clear. In existence for a few years, the Photon Camera is not only quick enough to capture light waves as they travel through space, but it can also see around corners by capturing bouncing light. I was reminded of just how amazing technology like this is when a old 2013 Youtube video from Nova made it’s way across my Twitter feed yesterday. read more

Estimating Sticky Notes – A Video Story Problem

I did a search on YouTube today for the terms “video story problem.” It returned more than 16 million results. Interestingly enough, many of the top results are from people creating video story problems that I’ve never met, have never been in one of my workshops, and have no links back to where they got the idea; and that’s awesome! Loving that so many other educators and students are starting to play with video to help create publicly available examples of the old “learning is messy” adage! read more

3 Ways to Create Math Equations

I was asked a couple of weeks ago by a teacher in my district about various ways to create math equations using software we had available to us in our district. Our teachers use a wide variety of tools, including NeoOffice, ExamView, and a host of other applications. Our Macs also include Grapher, we have access to Google Docs, and most of our teachers have Promethean Interactive Whiteboards. That means they also have access to the equation editor within ActivInspire, the software that many of our elementary and middle school teachers use to craft interactive lessons. read more

Giant Twix – A Video Story Problem

After an almost two-year hiatus, I actually set aside some time to edit together a new video story problem. It’s not a particularly difficult video, nor is it highly polished…but it does involve candy, so that’s a plus, right? Truth be told, to create a video story problem properly (or at least the current way I feel is proper) involves pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Among a list of internal checklists, here’s a few items that I typically have to go through when creating a video story problem out in “the wild”: read more

Exploring the Adobe Edu Exchange – Expanded Algorithms

I was recently asked by some nice people that work with Adobe to help spread the word about the Adobe Education Exchange, and a little contest they have going on over there. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m providing that information up front, but more importantly, I wanted to critique some of the content that’s on the Education Exchange. Some of the resources seem more like advertisements for upcoming books and resources that you should buy in order to be a better teacher with Photoshop, while other resources are actually quite useful (if even in a limited capacity). Below is a video of me exploring a simple animatic that helps learners remember how to work with expanded algorithms in simple additions problems. It’s actually a WHOLE lot less complicated than it sounds 🙂 read more

Exploring the Adobe Education Exchange – Kerning Around

I was asked a few months back by some nice people who work with Adobe to give the Adobe Educator Exchange a look, and share some of the resources that I found interesting. While I haven’t always found the resources to be compelling or engaging (there are a LOT of rather dry tutorials and lessons, especially in the Higher-Ed categories), there are plenty of amazingly creative and useful interactives, lessons, and ideas being shared there. They even have their annual Educator’s Choice Awards going on right now (submission deadline is this evening), so it’s been interesting to see which submissions are being rated the highest. read more