Tag Archives: java

Free STEM Programs For Probe Ware, PBL, And Computer Simulations

Last summer I had the opportunity to attend an awesome workshop presented by the Concord Consortium located in Concord, Massachusetts. Available through its ITSI Portal, you will find a collection of amazing free software that will allow classroom learning to come alive with a wide range of probe ware activities. It doesn’t stop there, because you will discover free ways  to connect probe ware and harness computer simulations  to facilitate content and skill application in science, math, computers, and engineering. There is even a project that allows students to build their own inexpensive probe ware!  Before you get the details, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS to this Blog and  follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Have a wonderful week! – Mike

Time to learn about an outstanding organization serving up first class resources! The people at the Concord Consortium have developed a program that goes beyond the ordinary use of probe ware. It is an adventure that includes a perfect mix of technology and 21st century skills. You will find a true opportunity to engage students, allowing them to cross the disciplines and experience real world applications. These activities also allow students to work in a collaborative effort as they problem solve, analyze, and hypothesize. While the Concord Consortium does not supply the probe ware, they do provide free interface software support for all brands of probe ware. This includes facilitation for both Mac and Windows platform. If you don’t have any probe ware, no problem!  They even have an inexpensive soution on how to make your own. Yes, it’s true, they recommend a process of creating your own probe ware as an engaging student project.

The Concord Consortium has created over 100 activities that incorporate probes and models for middle school physical science, earth science, and life science. Included in these 100 activites are also lessons in High School biology, chemistry, and physics. These are outstanding, well thought out units, that give the teacher all the needed resources to facilitate real student learning. The lessons incorporate both on-line models and the java interface for probe ware. All lessons are made up of models, probe activities, or a combination along with supporting documents and on-line activities. Students will be engaged in designing inquiry based STEM activities that use computational models and real time data. Probes facilitate activities involving voltage, light, relative humidity, motion, pressure, and force.  The do-it-yourself probe ware kits allow students to build simple, inexpensive circuits that measure more than 14 different parameters. Models include activities such as atomic scale, global warming, circuits, and seismic eruptions. The included portal provides an area for teacher account set up, and for class and student log in. The ingenious interface allows for teachers to monitor student progress online as they work individually and in collaborative groups. Best of all, it is free and has been made possible by the people at the Concord Consortium and the National Science Foundation. Take a look at the links below, providing you access to the immense amount of resources available. You will be impressed with this outstanding program that supports probe ware, models, and true 21st century learning through STEM education.

I recommend the following: Watch this introduction video Next, look over this page devoted to the activities preview. Are you ready to sign up for an account? After you do, you will discover even more activities and resources. Visit this link to register. Be sure to check out this getting started page with videos on many topics. Last, here is a link that provides build it yourself information that really won’t bust the budget!

Thanks for joining me on this adventure in 21st Century Education! As always please check out the resources and share this post with others!  I look forward to you subscribing by RSS or email. I am also on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will follow back!  Take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki that includes hundreds of free resources to expand your 21st century collection! I have some great info coming your way on 21st Century Learning, Google advanced searching, and cool collaborative applications in the near future! Please enjoy and share! -Mike


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A Free Paperless Tool That Can Aid Student Research As It Saves Trees

Welcome to another mid week posting where I try to introduce a  free resource that will assist you in the 21st Century classroom. This week I will highlight a tool that I believe will assist students in online research, save money in the paper budget, and contribute to the needed green movement. It is a valuable resource that every school classroom and library should be aware of and take advantage of. Enjoy the post and you are invited to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. As always, please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with the latest free resources geared toward 21st Century education! Have a great week – Mike

Update from author – Please note that I tested with with Chrome and Firefox. It has been reported by some that this web site is not totally compatible with Internet Explorer. Any feedback would be appreciated.

If you are like me you have visited a printer spewing out countless papers from a student requested internet page filled with pictures, ads, and text that was not needed for the required research topic. The result ends up being an inflated paper budget, unnecessary information that students must later sift through, and a few less trees in all of our futures. Introducing  The Awesome Highlighter, a free web resource that allows students to save only the text needed, keep it in a digital format, archive the resource it came from, and print only the information necessary!

The site is valuable because it allows use by both registered and unregistered users. An unregistered user is able to perform most tasks with the exception of saving in the Awesome Highlighter Archive. Upon entering the site, the user is asked to enter the desired web address to be highlighted. Once entered, the user is able to highlight up to 2000 characters at once. The highlighted text is then saved to a new web link and an option is given to highlight more text, copy unique URL for an online archive, post in a social network or blog, copy to clipboard, or email for later reading. Options also exist to post notes on the highlighted web page, and share the highlighted page and notes with others using its unique URL. Since it also saves the highlighted text  in an area that can be emailed, copied and pasted to a document or web page, shared via a blog or social network site, or accessed later (for registered users), the need for paper is immaterial. Best of all, students have started the process of filtering through necessary information rather than trying to sift through stacks of printed web pages and resources later. The archive also allows users to save web pics, and videos along with the desired texts. All archived items can be searched by date saved, media type, web domain accessed from, and tags that can be attached to media. The short link web pages with all highlights and notes can be revisited and shared at any time along with the original web link. This comes in handy for creating necessary reference citations.

Users of Firefox can add a bookmarklet to their browser. “A bookmarklet is an applet, a small computer application, stored as the URL of a bookmark in a  browser.” It looks like a normal bookmark. In the case  of Highlighter the bookmarklet allows the user to highlight any page on-the-fly without having to copy & paste the page URL to www.awesomehighlighter.com. The user simply clicks on the bookmark  and the highlighter toolbar appears. Whether is is used from the web site or the browser, Awesome Highlighter is a great tool facilitating student research while keeping down paper and printing costs, and even saving a few trees here and there! It is definitely a highlight you do not want to miss!

Thanks for joining me in the middle of the week! Be sure to return and even subscribe to the feed via RSS or email. you are invited to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. As always, please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with the latest free resources geared toward 21st Century education! Have a great week – Mike


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