Discovery Education has done some great virtual field trips from all over the world but their most recent from 3M’s innovation labs might be one of their best ever. With one exciting revelation after another, classes can explore the science behind some of the things we use constantly like the screens on our smart phones and tablets. The video is available on demand and hosted by one of the hosts of Science Channel’s relaunch of Mythbusters.
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Here is a great opportunity to utilize some movement lessons and videos to promote healthy living this winter.
Not only has Discovery Education teamed with the American Heart Association to provide fun lessons and videos with a member of the Washington Redskins, they are now giving you the chance to be featured with your students on their new site.
It’s one day away! Tomorrow Madden, Discovery Education, and the NFL Players Association launch their “EA Sports Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers” interactive site to promote math and science in the classroom through football.
Brandon Wislocki and I share our experience of getting to preview the site and the simulations. We talk ease of use and some of the key features of the offensive and defensive sides of the ball as we preview some of the core math and science skills being explored.
As a huge chunk of our population sits down tomorrow and eats way too much, how many will think of the hours, dollars, sweat, and luck that went into producing the bounty in front of them? Probably not many.
Through video and print resources, the site is broken into four lessons (45-60 minutes each) that explore a wide array of farming and ranching topics that are important to not only the sustainability of the industry but also our food supply and the cultural heritage of farming and ranching that has been a part of America since its first settlers.
You might also really strike a chord with one or many of your students who are already passionate about farming or ranching like my former student and Hamilton (MI) Middle Schooler Nate Freyhof, “What got me interested in hobby farming was having a good environment and having fun playing outside instead of sitting inside all day. I also think gardening and training or working with animals is fun to do. It is sometimes good to have technology around like tractors to pull a plow or dig up something.”
Here are 7 great things about teaching with the Discovering Farmland site.
The videos and the lessons really put a human face on farming and ranching. This is done visually but one whole lesson focuses untangling stereotypes.
The four lessons fit nicely into a variety of units. Teachers can spread it out to where they spend an hour per week on top of their prescribed curriculum. Think of it like Google 20% time where you step away from “what has to get done” for a little bit to supplement with projects based on interest or that might be especially impactful. Teachers could do two lessons a week and be done in two weeks or maybe full week is dedicated to a deep dive through the entire set of lessons.
Resources provided make these units ready to roll out, even if the teacher knows nothing about farming or ranching.
Teacher guide for each lesson
Student activity sheet for each lesson
Formative assessment exit ticket or activity for each lesson
Video snippets of the Farmland movie to support each lesson
Web links to extend the research and learning for each lesson
All lessons are vocabulary rich with words that fit into science, social studies, and technology.
Even though each lesson is well designed, each can be modified to meet more personal or curricular needs. For example, an economics class could research where its county ranks in terms of agricultural production or what the taxable value is on a 40 acre plot of farmland.
Discovering Farmland transports students who may have never left their own urban city limits to a completely unknown and almost foreign seeming part of our world. The virtual visit is one of the truly transformative things educational technology can do and this site and resources are perfect for creating those learning opportunities.
There are great resources already in place but there is still more to come from Discovery and the USRFA. Both are committed to showing not only how important our agricultural heritage is but how there are exciting high-tech careers to be had in farming and ranching. There is no food without farming and there is no farming without great science, technology, engineering, and math skills.
Somebody somewhere grew the potatoes, the turkeys, the cranberries, even the cinnamon for the apples sauce we will be feasting on tomorrow. Why not use the resources in Discovering Farmland when you return to the classroom and challenge your students to find out more about who and where our food comes from?
We talk about a fun way my students have been mashing up Discovery content with Apple’s Keynote, some Sketchnoting teaching strategies, and 20 random questions.
Apologies for the poor lighting and the Tom Brady/Go Blue informal apparel…well, at least for the lighting.
Get to Know Your Community, introduces you to your fellow community members in a way that’s never been seen before. Each week, we will interview a new community member. You’ll get to know who they are, what their favorite Spotlight on Strategies is, and they’ll play 20 questions in 60 seconds. Each participant will see how many questions they can answer in 60 seconds. You’ll get to know more about each community member in a brief amount of time.
The VFTs are not only live but will also be archived and available on demand.
Register your class for the live showings and submit questions for the hosts to ask scientists in the middle of each broadcast.
Check out “Tundra Connections” from earlier today for a sample of the high quality learning experience available to students and educators or people who just love to learn.
Discovery Education also is providing its subscribers with additional polar bear and tundra resources to support the virtual field trips. Check out those here. You’ll be transferred once you’ve logged in to DE Streaming.
Polar Bears International has also launched an iTunes U channel with great support resources to use in conjunction with the VFTs as well.
Last week I had a chance to catch a glimpse of this fabulous new partnership in the works. Talk about a way to “hook” the reluctant learner. EA Sports, the NFL Players Association, and Discovery Education are teaming up on an educational partnership that brings the math and science of the gridiron into the lives of kids, fans, and gamers.
Below is an exert and link to Brett Molina’s article in USA Today about the new program.
Math and science students may soon huddle up with a name familiar to many video game fans: Madden NFL.
Electronic Arts announced Wednesday it is teaming up with the NFL Players Association and Discovery Education on a program called EA Sports Madden NFL: Football By The Numbers, aimed at teaching math and science to students between fifth and ninth grades.
The program will kick off on December 1. It’s free to any math and science teacher seeking to incorporate Madden into their curriculum.
“We’ve always strived for Madden NFL to be a teaching tool for the sport of football, and now we’re marrying the art of the video game to the science behind our young fans’ favorite sport, teaching them both the fundamentals of the sport and the math that fuels it,” says Anthony Stevenson, vice president of marketing at EA Sports.
The plan features several interactive scenarios based around exploring, learning and game play. The program combines football concepts with math and science principles including physics and probability. For example, one lesson involves throwing the football, broken down by the velocity and angle required to complete each pass. In another lesson, players pretend to be a defensive coordinator, using probability to choose the right play and stop an opponent.
“What’s really fun about it is whether a student loves football and knows the game, or has never played football before, it’s so easy for them to come in to the interactive, to understand the core concepts that drive decisions that are made during the football game, and be able to apply those critical thinking skills,” says Lori McFarling of Discovery Education.
If you went back to all of my notebooks from high school and college you would notice a lot of doodling. It wasn’t random though. It was a series of pictures I created to help me remember more deeply the content being presented. There might be a crude White House next to something that was supposed to be the Washington Monument as we were learning about the Executive Branch. You’d probably find a lot of flames and snow flakes in my Chemistry notes as I tried to keep straight whether certain elements exploded or froze when they reacted with one another.
What was once perceived as random scrawlings or worse yet time wasting is proving to be an effect way for learners of all ages to help remember material more effectively.
Seeing some of the great stuff Karen Bosch was doing with sketchnotes during the 2015 MACUL conference made me realize I had been on to something since the mid 1980’s. Below are slides from the introductory presentation she gives on sketchnotes.
Susan Bowdoin wrote this past September on the Discovery Education blog about sketchnotes as an instructional strategy. Personally I like how she ties sketchnoting into the research of Robert Marzano that shows non-linguistic representation plays a powerful role in making learning stick.
Visual or graphic note taking, also called Sketchnoting, is gaining greater popularity as a strategy for increasing engagement in lectures, seminars and video presentations. When sketchnoting, learners use visual means to analyze information, make comparisons and develop analogies to better understand and communicate what they’ve learned. This requires higher level thinking. It is also directly related to Robert Marzano’s research on the significant positive affects that nonlinguistic representations have on student achievement.
Wow, and to think all of the mean looks I got from Mr. Stuyver in Trigonometry for “doodling” too much were all for naught. Those weren’t doodles; they were sketchnotes. Maybe if he hadn’t discouraged my use of non-linguistic representation, I would have remembered more from his class.