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29 April 2011

Push Pop Press and "Our Choice"

This morning I saw a tweet about a new publishing company called  Push Pop Press.

Here are a few videos about the company, and their first book.

Al Gore's Our Choice Guided Tour from Push Pop Press on Vimeo.

Al Gore's Our Choice from Push Pop Press on Vimeo.

You can order the book through iTunes at this link.

And here is Mike Matas, one of the developers, at TED Talks, describing the book.

Wouldn't it be great if we could publish our class books in this format?

26 April 2011

Will Richardson on TEDxNYED

On-demand learning, and the state of schools (in the USA) and what the two have to do with each other.

Text from the YouTube page:
"Uploaded by  on Mar 25, 2011

A parent of two middle school-aged children, Will Richardson has been blogging about the intersection of social online learning networks and education for the past 10 years at Weblogg-ed.com. He is a former public school educator for 22 years, and is a co-founder of Powerful Learning Practice, a unique long-term, job-embedded professional development program that has mentored over 3,500 teachers worldwide in the last four years."

Will is the author of Blogs, Wikis Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, Corwin Press’s “2008 Book of the Year,” and Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education (Solution Tree, May 2011). He is also a national advisory board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation, and a regular columnist for District Administration Magazine. (link)

Read Will's blog post about giving this talk on his blog.  You can follow his Twitter stream here.

What are you learning from your internet connections?

25 April 2011

Where is my Gmail, really?

Have you ever wondered where your Gmail, Google Docs, Blogger blogs, YouTube videos, or anything else hosted on a Google server really is located? Is it physically secure?  "Cloud computing" is a nice term, but we know our data has to be on some computer somewhere....

Watch this video from the Google Apps YouTube channel,"Security and Data Protection in a Google Data Center".

Text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on Apr 13, 2011
"This video tour of a Google data center highlights the security and data protections that are in place at our data centers."

24 April 2011

Global Warming, It's All About Carbon

These videos are for the Miss Judy's class which inquired into energy, not so long ago,  Miss Christina's Juniors who have been looking into air, and Miss Adele's Seniors, who are about to meet some choices and challenges.

"NPR's Robert Krulwich and Odd Todd, in partnership with Wild Chronicles, present an animated cartoon series on the atom at the heart of global warming: carbon." (link) The show was first broadcast in 2007, but, or course, all the information is still pertinent - perhaps increasingly so! The All Things Considered show page is here,

23 April 2011

Oscillating Eggs

This video from the University of Nottingham is for the students in Miss Judy's class last year, who inquired into energy, and made their own videos.

Text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on Apr 20, 2011
Coupled Oscillators, or pendulums, are demonstrated by Professor Roger Bowley as part of little Easter series. He's using creme eggs, of course..

Energy Explained Part 1 from ISOCS on Vimeo.

(The pendulums appear at about minute 1.40) The other two Energy videos from class are Energy Explained Part 2, and Energy Explained Part 3

22 April 2011

Hatching Eagles

This morning I read a post on Open Culture, by Sheerly Avni , about the Raptor Resource Project in Iowa, (USA) which included this video. It's a 10 minute collage of 24-hours of first egg pipping and hatch. You can see the mother eagle carefully turning the eggs, and at the very end, see the first chick.

You can watch the third egg hatch on this video - There are many more videos on their YouTube channel.

Click here to go to the Resource Project's home page.  From there, you can click through to their webcam "nest cams" page, where you can watch what's happening in about a dozen nests.   (Remember that there's a  time difference between Iowa and Switzerland.)  You can watch the nests of Eagles, Ospreys, Falcons, Kestrals and Owls.

Here's what's going on in the eagles' nest now - this is the live webcam stream (you'll have to watch a very short ad first :-( )

Live video by Ustream

I learned from the Project's blog that eagles incubate for approximately 34 - 37 days, that nest-building seems to be part of the courtship ritual of the male and female bird, and that the eggs are laid in a separate "cup" of soft material, built inside the regular nest, which helps keep the eggs warm.

On Learner.org's Journey North webpage, you can read a "list of duties" for an Eagle couple when raising a family, and links to pages with more information about which duties are for the female, and which for the male.

Now that you're really interested, you'll find more links, information, and webcams watching Eagles and Ospreys in Maine at this webpage.

21 April 2011

Balancing Bikes

This post is for the "Forces and Motion" inquiries.

One of my favorite podcasts is National Public Radio's  Science Friday. This video is on the show's webpage, where you can download it:

If you're interested, check out this web link about the TMS Bicycle - a stable bicycle, for more facts, and many more videos.

You can read a summary of the research at the Science magazine site, (published 15 April 2011), and the whole article can be downloaded as a .pdf file.  You can also listen to (and download) a very interesting  podcast about the article.  The podcast section about bicycles begins about minute 17.40.

There are more good links to the research on Andy Ruina's (one of the researchers) web page.

This page, from  Arend Schwab, has many more links, videos, and a history of his research into bike stability. He explains his ideas in this video:

(There's a full text transcript of the video's sound track on the YouTube page.)

You can follow Science Friday on Twitter

18 April 2011

Finding Typographic Characters

Do you need to use a specialized character in your writing, and you don't know where it is on the keyboard?
You could open the Special Characters Map* in your word processor, or memorize key combinations to produce the sign you want.

Or you could go to http://copypastecharacter.com/, select the character you need, copy it, and paste it into your document.  (There's also an iPhone app for that http://copypastecharacter.com/iphone/)
Screen shot copypastecharacter.com
The site describes itself: "Use Copy Paste Character to insert proper typographic characters, such as “quotation marks” and the interrobang ‽, or simply use it to spice up your e-mail messages, tweets, or text messages with h☺ppy faces, sn☃wmen or → arrows ←.
The character is copied to your clipboard immediately when touched, so you can easily launch the application, touch the character you want, exit and paste your clipboard into any application! ✌"

Drop a link to the site in your bookmark bar, to make it simple to find.

*To use Windows Character Map Tool  (in Windows 7),
1. From the Start menu,
2. In the Open: textbox, type charmap
3. Click OK.
This little window will open -
Click on the character you need, then Select, then Copy, and paste it where you want to use it.


If that's too easy, you could memorize all the keyboard codes.  You can find them here.

15 April 2011

This video is for the Middle Primary Class, who has had some experience with line drawing, and doodle art.

The Middies will understand how the first part of this animation could have been created using pen and paper. But how did Mr. Curcovkc do the end? How did he really make the video?

He introduces the video in a blog post is here, but explains how he made it with Adobe Illustrator and iMovie,  in this post.  It took 120 photos, 2 hours, and an acute sense of rhythm to complete - but then, he's an art teacher!

11 April 2011

Japan's Tsunami: How It Happened

This video is for our Senior Primary Class, who have been studying The Changing Earth.

Text from the YouTube page:
"On Friday 11 March 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale triggered a tsunami that devastated parts of coastal Japan. Japan's Tsunami: How It Happened investigates the science behind the earthquake and tsunami. The programme follows Professor of Geological Sciences Roger Bilham - who arrived in Japan days after the earthquake." This 47 minute program was produced by NOVA, and explains with maps, simulations, amazing eye-witness video, and interviews how the Earth changed.

10 April 2011

10 Picture Tour

Carl Birk, writing in his blog The Learning Nation, invited educators to take 10 pictures of their schools, so that "we will learn a little bit about what your learning environment looks like."  I did a little link following, and found several other blog posts which picked up the idea. Click on the links below (and/or search #10pixtr on Twitter, to discover many other schools in 10 pictures.  You'll find very thoughtful blog posts, and a world of different learning environments.

Here is the 10 Picture Tour of ISOCS

ISOCS is on the ground floor of this building in Cham, Switzerland

Stairs lead from the parking area up to the school level

Every noon-time the whole schools walks a short distance through a nature area, to Teuflibach, where we have lunch

Enjoying a hot, home-cooked meal at mid-day
One of the classroom wall displays for a unit of inquiry
Two Middle Primary students investigating the challenges of filtering water

Students sharing their learning with each other in our library area
Junior Primary students in their classroom
Middle Primary students demonstrating their art skills for the Senior Primary students
Senior Primary students presenting to other classes
There are more photos on our Gallery, and in our Flickr pages

09 April 2011

San Francisco to Paris in Two Minutes

I found this video through a Mashable post.  All the text below the video is part of it's description on Vimeo, and shows here as part of the embedded video, hence, no quotation marks.

SF to Paris in Two Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.
I shot a photo roughly every two miles between take-off in San Francisco and landing in Paris CDG to make this airplane time lapse. More of these wacky time lapses at http://beepshow.com

Shot with a 5d2, a time-lapse controller, and a 16mm - 35mm, mixed with some iPhone shots. The music is a modified demo track "Gain" by DETUNE ltd. denkitribe http://soundcloud.com/denkitribe/gain on the Korg iMS20 iPad App. I'm pretty sure the track is copyrighted but it's My First Synthesizer score so I'm hoping denkitribe is cool with it. Edits and pans in After Effects CS5 and iMovie.

The photos during take-off and landing are all computer models and totally rendered because I would never use an electronic device when the FAA prohibits them. I did get lucky and have a whole row to myself to setup the tripod and gear.

Thanks to my neighbors for not minding an SLR click every 2 to 30 seconds for 11 hours, and thanks to the whole Air France flight crew for being insanely friendly and allowing me to shoot. Thanks to @ztaylor for showing me the Korg iMS20 iPad App. Thanks to @jayzombie and the #nerdbird on the way to SXSW this year for helping me come up with the idea. Thanks to @somnabulent for the idea of live scoring. Thanks to you for actually reading this far. You are a champion.

07 April 2011

Nature by Numbers

The Middle Primary Class has been doing some intense exploration of numbers, multiplication, and patters. This video is for them:

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

The text for the Vimeo page:
Go to etereaestudios.com if you are looking for more information: the theory behind the movie (Fibonacci, Golden Ratio, Delaunay, Voronoi…), stills and screenshots showing the work in progress. There are lots of free training materials and 3D workshops, too ;-)"