Friday, January 29, 2010

TYPES OF STRESS--Free Download of SMART Notebook lesson on Plate Tectonics

This is a free download of an Earth Science lesson on the Types of Stress--this leads nicely into a lesson on earthquakes and includes a link to a Discovery Education video called "Earthquakes-Our Restless Planet".

Friday, January 22, 2010

NEW!! Updated Plate Boundaries Lesson with Google Earth file SMART Notebook Lesson FREE Download!

This lesson is a SMART Notebook lesson on the three basic types of Tectonic Plate Boundaries. It includes an attached .kmz file (with an embedded link) for a plate tectonics "sightseeing tour" in GoogleEarth. You need to have version 10 of the SMART Notebook software in order to use it.

Here's the link to the page that contains the lesson:

click on the file labeled "Plate Boundaries.notebook" to download it.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tectonics of the Earthquake in Haiti

A colleague was kind enough to forward the following link to me:

"A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti this evening, causing extensive damage to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and probably causing many casualties. The map below shows where the main shock occurred (red), as well as the epicentres of the numerous aftershocks (orange) that occurred in the following 5 or 6 hours (and continue even as I write)...."


Plate Tectonics Animations

You'll need flash player for these .swf files, but I cannot say enough about these elegant, simple and easy to use animations for the teaching of plate tectonics. They have large buttons that are easy to use on a SMARTboard or tablet PC. You cannot use them within Notebook, but you can easily insert the link into your Notebook and then use the camera capture feature to capture a screenshot of each basic plate boundary (divergent, convergent and transform) to your Notebook file.
To access the full list of the geology animations, click this link:


Friday, January 15, 2010

Interactive Mitosis/Meiosis Animations and More!

This site has excellent animations that are especially well-suited for use on an interactive whiteboard. My personal favorites on this site are the mitosis/meiosis animations, which happen to be the first ones that he published. They are beautifully designed, uncluttered, elegant animations that can be translated into 6 languages (just click the "lips" icon on the upper right-hand side of the page).


Monday, January 11, 2010

Superb DNA "Wrapping" Animation

Aha! It is really hard to explain to young students new to the concept of genetics precisely how DNA relates to reproduction and chromosomes. This well-narrated video shows in sequence how DNA is "wrapped" in coil upon coil using just a few advanced vocabulary words:

  • histones
  • chromatin
  • solenoid
  • chromosomes
Above all, the last few moments are my favorite, when the 3-D digital animation, "zooms out" to an SEM sequence animation (like a flip-book) of the chromosomes as they become part of a cell in the midst of mitosis! Phenomenal!

I found this animation after reading about the Cold Spring Harbor Digital Biology Animations by the Dolan Digital DNA Learning Center on the blog Free Technology for Teachers!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Using SMART Notebook without a SMART board--and posting your slides to Google Sites!

I had a technology breakthrough today. Just a creative spark that is saving me and my students lots of headaches. Here's the story:

****I do NOT have a SMART board in my room, but my district owns many SMART boards, so we have a site license for the software. I am a SMART board trainer, so I use the software all the time with my tablet.

1. Next week is the Midterm Performance Assessment for 8th Grade in my school, so today was the day where we reviewed the principles of experimental design in class.

2. My students offered their input on what makes a "fair test" and I served as a scribe. I wrote all of these notes in Notebook 10 on my tablet PC.

3. Many students were absent today, so I posted the notes to my class blog:

4. Then, I emailed the notes as a PDF to all of the special education teachers that work with my students.

Here is how I did it:
1. Make slides in Notebook.
2. Save the file.
3. Click File>>Export>>Powerpoint
4. Save the powerpoint file to your computer.
5. Upload the powerpoint file to your Google Docs account.
6. Open the Presentation in Google Docs.
7. Click Share (upper right)>>Publish/embed
8. Go to your Google Sites Dashboard page
9. Open the page editor (sign in to Google Sites first)
10. Click Edit>>Insert>>Presentation
11. Select the presentation that you just uploaded to Google Docs.
12. Click "Save"

Voila! Anyone can now view the slideshow of the notes from your class!

DIRECTIONS on how to email pdf's of your slides to a colleague without opening any other program:
1. Keep the Notebook file open and save it.
2. Click File>>Send to>>Mail Recipient (as PDF)
3. Give it a few seconds to convert the Notebook file to an Adobe PDF.
4. An email message, with the PDF as an attachment should open up.
5. Enter any addresses you wish to send it to.
6. Click SEND.
Tada! No copies, no papers...


Friday, January 1, 2010

Tech Support for New Year's Resolutions!!!

I love this one! It's like free tech support for keeping track of progress with New Year's Resolutions combined with social networking with people who made the same resolutions that you did. That last part is my favorite part. The New York Times, the LA Times and so many national papers in-between have reviewed this interesting new online phenomenon. How timely.

Whether it’s one thing or 43, do you need some reliable support in making change in your life? 43 Things is a free online goal-setting community where you can make a list of all the things you want to do, connect with others who have the same goals, sign up for periodic e-mail reminders, track your progress, and share reflections.
Get started at