Tag Archives: weather

Does Free Get Better Than This?… Award Winning Resources From The JASON Project

Welcome to one of the first in a series of summer posts. My plan is to bring to you some of the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan on sharing resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to these sights. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and to my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

JASON Project – Wow.. I am not sure if free gets any better then this!

I remember the JASON Project from close to 20 years ago being a source of some video field trips which were pretty cool for the era!  If you have not visited it lately, you are in store for one of the most amazing sources found on the internet! If you advocate for STEM, Project Based Learning, and Science then get your clicker ready. I am not sure if free gets any better than this!

The JASON Project connects students with great explorers and great events to inspire students in their learning. It truly is an award winning curricula. It includes embed cutting-edge research from NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Geographic Society and other leading organizations. JASON allow leading scientists to work side by side with JASON students. Best of all, it promotes 21st century skills by challenging students to apply their knowledge to the real-world scenarios.

The JASON curriculum is just one part of this massive web site.  It is designed to light the spark of inspiration in students, fit within school districts’ core 5th-8th grade curriculm,  adapt to higher and lower levels, align to state and national standards, cover at least five to nine weeks of material and include numerous research articles, hands-on lab activities, videos, games, and multimedia resources. It also includes suggested lesson plans, extensions, interdisciplinary connections, and teacher resources for alignment, assessment, and classroom management. It emphasizes the studies of  Energy: Operation Infinite Potential, Ecology: Operation Resilient Planet, and Weather: Operation Monster Storms. A new unit, one that I had the opportunity assist in some game development on will be available in 2010 and is called Geology: Operation Tectonic Fury. Note that the curriculum is supplied for free by PDF downloads or on-line web access. It can be purchased is a published book style format. (there is a 50% NEA discount).

Once you become a free member be sure to check out extended curriculum including Expeditions: Mysteries of Earth and Mars and Expedition: Disappearing Wetlands. All curriculum can be used, customized, lengthened, shortened, or even used in small sections as needed, to supplement current curriculum. You will be amazed at the multi media and interactive resources available. Be sure to check out these online demos. (must register for free)

Be sure to visit the JASON Mission Center. The (JMC) Web site is filled with curriculum, videos, games, tools and community possibilities. Simular to NASA’s Mission Control Center, the JMC is a hub for exploration. Learn about powerful storms, watch a video about sharks, see if you can design a thrilling roller coaster and tell others about it in the message boards. Students will even be able to ask JASON researchers questions. The JMC is like a web version of the curriculum… but contains so much more. The Online Curriculum becomes alive and engaging with videos, animations, vocabulary terms, and games, all embedded right in the text. Exciting  JASON Videos which are available on  curriculum DVD are also available for free viewing online! Immersive Games and Digital Labs allows  students to work with real, cutting-edge scientific research to explore lessons.  The Teacher Tools allow teachers to create a virtual classroom and give your students their own accounts. Design custom assessments online and ssign and review student journals. The Student Tools allow students to explore JASON at their own pace. Discussion boards, online science fairs, and high-score gaming competition; students have the world of JASON at their fingertips. The Live Events allow teachers and students to Interact and ask questions while getting feedback with JASON scientists and Argonauts. Last, Online Communities allow for teacher to teacher collaboration on  JMC Message Boards. Students can also visit the boards to discuss their explorations in a fully-moderated forum. Bes sure to check out this JMC tour video.

Available for free, from JASON , are the online games and digital labs that will capture your students’ attention and sustain their interest. JASON games and digital labs are written and designed with the practical realties of the classroom. Teachers can even  search for games and labs by state standards and  will also find worksheets and handouts. One game is Operation Resilient Planet, be sure to watch this preview. Another, which is one of my favorites, is Coaster Creator. Watch this informative video to learn more. Storm Tracker gives students a front row seat in learning about a hurricane as can be seen in this video preview. Last, you will find some great gaming and lab resources in the Mini Lab portion of the JMC.

Not to be forgotten is JASON Project’s comprehensive professional development program. It has been designed to increase teachers’ expertise in implementing inquiry-based science curricula in the classroom. Download this PDF brochure for more details. (must register for free)

In closing, The JASON Project has long been a winner of multiple awards. The energy curriculum most recently won three coveted CODiE Awards from the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). Operation Infinite Potential was named the nation’s best K-12 Instructional Solution, Best Online Instructional Solution and best Education Game or Simulation. The CODiE Awards are the industry’s sole peer-recognition awards program, designed to celebrate excellence and vision in educational technology, digital content, and software. “These awards validate our belief that JASON is an important contributor to 21st century learning and can have a significant impact on raising student achievement,” said Caleb M. Schutz, President of The JASON Project. “Our focus was on creating a multimedia curriculum that allows students and teachers to work and learn in an exciting and engaging online global community.”

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as the Jason Project this summer! Take some  time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search…. Far From Basic!

This is a continuing article in my series “The Googal In Google” This posting will focus on the art of searching using the basic Google search engine. I have tried to include the obvious and the not so obvious techniques. As you look through, I am almost certain you will learn something new.  Please share this article with other educators and students. Just understanding these ten concepts will assist anyone into being a more productive researcher.  As always, please feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will do the same.  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by email or RSS. I am always finding useful information to share! Let’s begin our search. – Mike

The Basic Search – The Google Basic Search is usually the first place most people begin a search and it is also the last place they end. Many times students just type in some words and get lost in millions of results trying to find an answer. Impressed by the number of hits they get, many times they forget that the art of searching is getting fewer results with relevant answers. I would like to share with you ten important concepts to think about in getting optimal searches from the Google  basic search engine.  Print this off and hand out to others. It really is the very basic in using Google. Please note that the last item includes over twenty basic commands that will really help you and your students be more productive.

Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search…. Far From Basic… The Googal In Google!

1. The word And is assumed… Example: red and white and blue is a search for  red white blue

2. Compound Words, Phrases, and Names; use a String (in other words put the words in quotes  “  “…   Example: “George Washington”“Fort Wayne” “to be or not to be” “United States of America” “Star Wars” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

3. Want to eliminate a word: use the Not Command which is a – (minus sign)… Example:  Looking for the country Turkey, but not the bird…  Turkey -bird

4. Capital Letters and articles of speech are ignored unless put  in quotes…  Example: United States of America is treated as united states america but “United States of America” is treated as United States of America

5. The root form of a word looks for all forms of the word… Example: walk = walks, walker, walking, walked

6. Use a tilde (~) to search with other word of similar meaning… Example ~happy searches for happy and synonyms of happy ~large planet (large could be: big, vast, giant, enormous

7. Putting a plus (+) in front of word to keep it exactly as is. This dismisses adding other options to root word… Example:  +walk (only walk: does not inlude walker, walks, walking, walked)

8. Wild Card (*) allows for missing words in a phrase (not missing letters). Forget a word in a title or quote, try a wildcard… Example: “Obama voted on the * on the * bill” Note this is mixed with the string concept.

9. The word OR (in caps) allows two ideas to be reported together… Example: “Indianapolis Colts” 2010 OR 2009

10. Get to know the Google Command Lines. These are useful for quick references in a Basic Google Search. Give them a try and experience the power in narrowing down a search. The list of over twenty starts with some real power suggestions and ends with some everyday useful ideas.

INTITLE – To narrow search by finding web sites that have key word in title you may type the words intitle: followed by word you are searching for (Note no spaces) … Example: intitle:ipad …  Return example

INTEXT – Same as above only it narrows search to only keywords found in text (Note no spaces)… Example intext:ipad … Return example

LINK – This command determines who is linking to a site. Great command to determine credibility and popularity of a site. To use the link command there are no spaces. Type word link: and follow with complete URL (Note if you remember to put no space after the colon you will get true account of active hyper-links, if you use a space you will get hyper-links and text mentions which will be a higher number)…Example link:www.apple.com … Return example

SITE – Found a great site, but you want to then just search in that site.  Perhaps you just want to search government sites or you want to see the Race For The Moon in perspective from Russia. Type in site and with no space follow with web address, domain, or country code. After the address, domain, or country code put in a space and the key word. Perhaps you want iPad information only from apple… Site Example: site:www.apple.com ipad … Return example … Domain Example: site:gov earthquake … Return Example …  County Example: site:ru “moon race… Return Example

FILETYPE – Looking for a great power point, pdf, or word doc. Perhaps a spreadsheet would be helpful. You may need to look up some suffixes to use. Type in the word filetype: and with no spaces put the suffix (in my example I used xls for excel), put in  space and follow with a search term. I have a list for suffixes linked here… Example: filetype:xls h1n1 … Return example

RELATED – Ever find a great site and you want to see if there is more like it. Just type in the word related: and follow with no space and then the web address. You will find an assortment of related pages… Example: related:www.apple.com … Return Example

INFO – Want more information about a site that you like. Interested in cached versions, links to the site, links from the site, other web pages that are simular to, and other places the web site is mentioned on the internet. A great tool for evaluating a web site. All you do is type in the word info: and then follow it with no space, and the web address of the site you wish to know more about… Example: info:www.ted.org … Return Example

CALCULATOR – To use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box. It even follows the order of operation… Example: 10+9*10 (It multiplies first the adds) … Return Example

SYNONYMS – As mentioned earlier, if you want to search  for your search term and  also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term (no space)… Example: ~city … Return example

DEFINITIONS – To see a definition for a word or phrase,  type the word “define” then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type “define:” followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase… Example: define: computer … Return example

SPELL – Google’s spell checking software automatically checks whether your submission uses the most common spelling of a given word. If Google  thinks you’re likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask “Did you mean: (more common spelling)?”. Click the suggested spelling to launch a Google search for that term. Example: pikture … Return example

MEASUREMENT – To use measurement converter put in the measurement you want to convert followed by word to, and then enter desired unit… Example: convert 5280 ft to mi … Return example.

WEATHER – To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type “weather” followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country… Example: weather “fort wayne” in or weather 46814 or weather “fort wayne” usa … Return Example

STOCKS – To see current market data for a given company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box. On the results page, you can click the link to see more data from Google Finance… Example: aapl … Return Example

TIME – To see the time in many cities around the world, type in “time” and the name of the city(Note also sunrise/sunset)… Example:  time “fort wayne” …  Return Example

SPORTS – To see scores and schedules for sports teams type the team name or league name into the search box. This is enabled for many leagues including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball… Example: national basketball association … Return Example

LOCAL – When  looking for a store, restaurant, or other local business search for the category of business and the location and Google will  return results right on that page, along with a map, reviews, and contact information. You may have to scroll down to find the local listings in the search returns… Example walmart … Return example

MOVIES – To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type “movies” or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you’ve already saved your location on previous search, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you’ve chosen, if not enter new location… Example: movie: “diary of a wimpy kid” … Return example

DISEASE  – To see information about a common disease or symptom, enter it into the search box and Google will return the beginning of an expert summary. Click through and read the entire article in Google Health… Example: measles … Return example

FLIGHTS – To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline (abrv work) and the flight number into the search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word “airport”… Example: austin airport … Return example

PATENTS To get information on patents – enter the word “patent” followed by the patent number into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button… Example: patent 1773980 … Return example

AREA CODE LOCATION – to see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button… Example 260 … Return example

In the future I will provide information you may want to know more about when using the advanced search. Please share with others and as always take a moment to reply, subscribe by email, or RSS. You are always welcome to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Thanks for taking a moment to learn more about “The Googal in Google”!  Have a great week. – Mike


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Free Games, Activities,Videos and Lessons from NOAA to Facilitate Science and Social Studies Standards

In this midweek posting I would like to highlight some of the outstanding resources available from NOAA. You will discover games, video, simulations, and problem based learning activities. The site  is rich in environmental education and will fulfill many science and geography standards. Again, thanks for taking a look and be sure to follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans), I will follow you back and we can learn from each other. Also join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Have a great week! – Mike

The NOAA Ocean service web site is a must see for teachers looking for rich multimedia resources, games, activities, and lessons. From the Professional Development page you will find links to links to material on Corals, Estuaries, Oceans/Weather/Climate, Living in Weather, Climate Resources, and Problem Based Learning (Including NOAA Waterways).  There are over twenty educational games available!  Check out this video trailer on Water Life : Where River Meets The Sea. There is even a Twitter Connection!  You may find the Estuaries Curriculum 101 something that could bring engagement to your class.

In 2009, NOAA joined hundreds of organizations and agencies in a national, year-long celebration of science to make science more accessible, personally meaningful, and locally relevant. To help celebrate, NOAA Education has produced the 2009 Year of Science Education Sampler DVD Web Site highlighting ocean, coastal, atmospheric, and climate science education resources available from the agency. The DVD and complimentary website provide interactive activities, lessons, media files and many other resources to help build understanding of the science of Earth’s systems and the stewardship of our planet.

Check out NOAA’s specific links that are rich in multi media material and provide great lessons. They have background and resources, along with great collection of multimedia links. Don’t miss NOAA’s great selection of informal activities that will engage students. There are also lesson plans in three levels including grades 3-5, and grades 5-8, plus grades 8-12 to assist in creating great units. Also available are curriculum for these same three levels. Grades 3-5 includes Ecology by Inquiry, Remote Sensing and Coral Reefs, Navigating Change, and Project Flow. Grades 5 – 8 includes these same units along with Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration. Grades 8 – 12 includes three units on Estuaries involving earth, life and physical science, a unit entitled, Harmful Algal Bloom : A Hunters Handbook, and the unit Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration. Finally check out this NOAA page that is entitled Cool Sites For Every One. You will find web pages that link to NOAA Safety Tips, NOAA General Interest and Information, Weather, Climate Change and Our Planet, Oceans and Coasts, and Satellites and Space. All of these are NOAA’s effort to promote science literacy. All content on the NOAA Web site is considered to be in the public domain and may be distributed freely. Please cite NOAA as the source.
This information and picture provided Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,

Thanks for another visit and be sure to reply. Any comments are always appreciated. Again, thanks for taking a look and be sure to follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans), I will follow you back and we can learn from each other. Also join me at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Have a great week! – Mike


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