Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nok Hockey


It's certainly not the N Game, but it is an object-oriented flash game...and I made it by myself (almost)! Now if I can only remember how I did it to show Web Design class next week.

Really its just a single player Pong game. The ActionScript code was borrowed and modified to work in Flash Player 7. The class has a strong interest in athletics so I'll encourage them to make a soccer or basketball version. I'm planning to spend an entire week on this project since the guys don't have any programming experience.

I also dug up a couple other flash banner ad examples I made last year: Egg Drop Soup and Lobster Tank

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's On The Horizon?

Just finished browsing the latest Horizon Report and would tend to agree with them. One point that jumped off the page was, "People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want... Feelings of frustration are common when it(the Internet) is not available." Almost every day, someone asks me to override something the filter blocked. Most will acknowledge that the internet SHOULD be filtered at school, just not the sites they want to visit.

On a more hopeful note, I was excited to see they're predicting widespread adoption within three to four years of game-based learning. I have a couple freshmen who are already picking up JavaScript concepts after I showed them the code to their favorite online game. I see game-based learning as not playing "educational" games, but instead using games as a means to dissecting digital operations. The challenge of the game holds the student's attention while they continually seek to problem solve or creatively design a solution. And it's just fun!

Connecting Geography to Everyday

If the Persian Gulf's oil supply dries up, what changes would develop in the region (population migration, political power, religious influence)? That was one of the questions posed on last week's chapter test. Most of the students understood the relationship between economics and migration. A few added how it would effect the US. But today, President Obama answered the question even better.

Now if the President would only answer this one: What do you think would happen to the sale of oil from the Persian Gulf if a great Christian revival swept through displacing Islam as the dominant religion?

*Based on timelines constructed through the week, students were to describe the relationships between natural resources (oil), religion (Islam) and industrialization. Check out the full lesson plan.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lego Shorts

video
Making stop motion animated movies is just what we do for fun over Spring Break. The concepts came from my daughter's creative mind. It may be a bit thin on plot but it makes hilarious sense to her.

What's Your 10-Year Plan?

Twenty-one high school seniors present their personal desires over the coming decade. The New York Times Magazine has an interactive web page where you can hear their responses in their own voice. Personally, I found their desires, dress and logic to be a muddled confusion. Certainly, twenty one seniors from Patrick Henry High School in San Diego cannot adequately represent their entire generation. But one thing's for certain, there will be a lot of changes in their lives over the next ten years.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Goodwill Finds

Picked up two books (remember those things) for just a buck each at Goodwill today. I already have the Word, Excel and PowerPoint books from Pearson's Go! with Microsoft Office series, so it was nice to find Access 2003 as well. The series spells out every step which is nice for younger students just learning how to use office products.

The second find was the Technology Connections For School Improvement Planners' Handbook. It appears to be a well organized process for organizing the rationale behind technological implementations within education. At least it asked and posed answers to some of the same questions I've been asking lately. While searching the web for a link to the book, I found the entire book as a free pdf. Oh well, the dollar I spent is still cheaper than printing the file! There is a Teacher's Edition available online as well.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reading Over Break

Just picked up a couple books from the library as a bit of Spring Break indulgence. The first book: Is the Internet Changing The Way You Think? is a collection of short articles, just right for snippets of reading between the honey do list of activities. The second book: Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper actually came from the Intermediate fiction section. For some reason I'm drawn to the young adult fiction books probably because they're quick enough to actually finish over break.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Persian Gulf Lesson Plan

This lesson takes four days (4 x 45 minute classes) and uses parallel timelines.

Key idea: Over time, how have the roles of oil and religion combined to influence the history of the Persian Gulf.

Covers Indiana State Standards: WG.2.2, WG.4.2, WG.4.3, WG.4.6, and WG.4.8

Download the full lesson plan from Google Docs.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Whiteboard Blog

The Whiteboard Blog has several tips, guides and suggestions on creative uses for your projector and white board. Make it more than just a big TV, be INTERACTIVE!