Archive for the ‘ tech tip ’ Category

Meteorology and Astronomy in one video clip


What follows is a fantastic compilation video, edited by Michael König ( It’s a time-lapse view of Earth from The International Space Station, 350km above Earth’s surface. If you got creative, you could teach a lot of meteorology and astronomy, just from the phenomenon shown here.

I made an attempt of posing some questions, and posted it here:

In addition, I created a version of the video where I attempt to annotate features to which I want students pay attention. (It’s my first time, and I hope to get better)

Here are a few examples:

0:20: Fly over the Midwestern US at night. Using approximate distances between known US cities, estimate the depth of the atmosphere where aurora borealis can be seen, and discuss that phenomena, complete with observations of their relationship to the poles.

1:04: Observe and discuss the stars/constellations seen in the background. Discuss rotation of Earth on axis, and velocity/path needed for the ISS to maintain course.

1:35: Observe and explain cloud formations seen over land and water in this coastal region. Discuss sea level rise and the total estimates for population impacted near water as estimated by nighttime illumination. Discuss wildlife impact from such nighttime lighting, and why lights appear similar in color.

——and so on, and so forth——

Let me know what you think!




Using Google Reader to keep up with blogs and current events

Using Google Reader to keep up with blogs

Blogs are a great way to include more current events in class discussions. They have provided me with a way to get the news I want, and leave out all the topics that can really waste my time!

It took me a while to learn how to incorporate reading blogs into my daily routine. I stopped thinking of blogs as websites, and started using Google Reader to make them seem like emails to my inbox to be read. This really helped me get into the habit.

Here’s how I started doing it so it makes sense to me:

  1. In the internet browser of choice, open a new tab and click-drag it to the tab next to your email
  2. Visit Google Reader and create an account, if you don’t already have one
  3. Find a blog that you want to read (I love Wired Science)
  4. Copy the url for that blog
  5. In Reader, click “Subscribe”, paste in the url of the blog, and click ‘Add’

Now that you are subscribed to a blog, Reader will indicate when you have new content waiting for you. Check out the picture to see what I see now (I use the Chrome browser):

  1. Tab 1 is my email box, showing how many unread emails I have
  2. Tab 2 is my Reader feed, showing any unread blog posts

I leave these tabs open all day long. If you haven’t yet tied blogs into your routines, I hope this gives you something to try!

Best wishes to everyone,