Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Star Light, Star Bright...

...How many stars can you see tonight?
There's still time to take part in the Great Worldwide Star Count, continuing until Nov. 3. This is an opportunity for your students (and their families) to contribute their night sky observations to a global database. By adding their findings, citizens scientists from around the world are helping scientists understand the effects of light pollution. Check out the Great Worldwide Star Count web site for details, along with more information you can use for further investigations of astronomy, geography, mythology, and more.
Photo by Ben McLeod, Creative Commons

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

School of Everything

From "active retired people, to teenage whiz kids, to hobbyists in their garden sheds", the UK's School of Everything imagines removing the space between those who know and those who want to know.

"At School of Everything, we believe that learning is personal, and starts not with what you 'should' learn but with what you're interested in. So we're building a tool to help anyone in the world learn what they want, when, where and in a way which suits them. Putting people in touch with each other, not with institutions. Our goal is to do for education what YouTube has done for television, or what eBay did for retail: to open up a huge and fertile space between the professional and the amateur. A space where people teach what they know and learn what they don't."

The School of Everything launched in September. It is the work of the Young Foundation, a charitable trust which carries on the work of Michael Young, founder of Which Magazine and the Open University. Imagine how this might play out!

I think I'll seek a tatting coach.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Project Resources to Chew On

Looking for a project idea that integrates math, science, and global awareness with the added benefit of real-world service learning? Consider focusing a project on hunger, an issue with local as well as global implications. In the U.S., one in 10 families faces food shortages. Around the world, hunger kills every 3.6 seconds. What can kids do about this big problem? Plenty. This recent Spiral Notebook post pulls together a list of classroom resources for tackling hunger. Comments from teachers offer more ideas. A teacher in Washington, D.C., for instance, describes how her seventh-graders responded when they took on hunger as a policy issue: "It exposes my students to the idea that they can communicate with officials and the media and that their ideas and opinions matter." Seems like a lesson worth repeating.
Photo by Michael Glasgow, Creative Commons