Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How a computer game glitch could help to fight off global pandemic

Another way game theory continues to develop our modeling abilities and improve opportunities for success in preventing pandemics. First, economics and now medicine...thanks to the game theorists.
revealed in next month’s issue of The Lancet Infectious
Diseases journal

Researchers have now made an unlikely breakthrough, thanks to a glitch in a
fantasy computer game
World of Warcraft, an
unexpected error
provided a ready-made laboratory for
studying the effects of an epidemic.
using these games as an untapped experimental framework, we may be able to
gain deeper insight into the incredible complexity of infectious disease
epidemiology in social groups,” wrote the authors, Eric Lofgren, of Rutgers
University, New Jersey, and Nina Fefferman, of Tufts University, Boston.
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Set Your Event Alarm for Lunar Eclipse

This lunar eclipse will be visible for many in the United States. I can't wait to see it.
clipped from www.space.com

On Aug. 28, skywatchers across much of North America can
watch as the Moon crosses into the Earth's shadow and will undergo its second
total eclipse in 2007.

West Coast
viewers will get the best show.

Lunar eclipses
occur when Earth gets between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow. The view
is different
from each location on the planet. Along the West Coast of Canada
and the United States and in Alaska, the entire eclipse will be visible from
start to finish before moonset
in the early morning hours of that Tuesday. Hawaiians will see totality – when the moon is
completely in Earth's shadow – high in their sky around midnight.

In eastern
Asia and Australia, the event will occur on the same date but in the evening,
since for this part of the world it will coincide with moonrise.

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Preparing for long term human life in space

I am always glad when the researchers look into the smallest of living organisms to see how bacteria will cope and can humans survive in space over the long term, as the immune system becomes suppressed over time.
clipped from www.space.com

researchers rocketed six refrigerated vials of bacteria into orbit, then
had the space
shuttle crew
warm them up so that they could grow. After 15 hours and 30
minutes, the bacteria were chilled to -139 degrees Fahrenheit (-95 Celsius).

locked the bacteria at whatever stage they were at ... so we get a picture of
what they were like in space at that time, which is the cool part," Niesel said. While the bacteria grew in space, Niesel and his team performed the same experiment on
the ground for comparison.

should be able to see the differences that result when the bacteria see this
unique space environment," Niesel said of the two perfectly synced
experiments. "We think it will provide important information for
understanding the adaptation of bacteria to unique environments and begin to
answer the question of whether this species is a cause for concern for
long-duration space travelers."

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beginning Uses for del.icio.us - Collaboration

Here are some suggestions for teachers or cohorts beginning to develop their online skills for themselves and in their teaching.

A great place to start in the process of learning to collaborate online is through the use of del.icio.us, a simple, yet powerful bookmarking addon. Teachers don't have a great amount of free time and they don't have secretaries, so I believe that any technology they use must be effective, easy to use, and not get in the way of the work they want to accomplish. It seems to me that del.icio.us meets those criteria.

If you decide to use del.icio.us, I would like to suggest that eventually each teacher may want to make one login name for school and one for home or personal use. This is very easy to do because of the way del.icio.us works.

There are several other great reasons to use this web based system:
1. This is not just for bookmarking. People can write a blurb about the webpage, Some teachers will remember this as the hotlist.

2. You have a network as large as ALL of del.icio.us, or as small as you want. For instance, when you tag some site on del.icio.us, you can see the comments of others.
a) If you want, you can follow that person.'s tags If you both have looked at each others hotlists, bookmarks, tagged sites, whatever you want to call them....then you make a MUTUAL connection....these people are your fans and you are their fan.
b) this networking capability will allow teachers to send tags to their colleagues or their own personal login through their fan list without having to log in and out under different names. IT SAVES TIME and it's easy to do. You just click on the names that are listed in your network, and the tag is sent to every other person or login you marked.

3. Any tag can be marked NOT SHARED, then no one but you can see it.

4. Del.icio.us is very straightforward and has been around for quite some time, so there are more resources to collect than with other sites of its category.

5. You can easily install addons with small icons for del.icio.us on both Firefox and IE7.

6. One of the very best functions of del.icio.us is the ability to receive tags from anyone in your network. Even though I may not bookmark every item sent to me, I appreciate the conviviality and collaborative context of this function. I think it is really cool, to open your del.icio.us page and see that someone has sent you some tags. **This could really be of practical benefit to you as the tech integration mentor....you can send tags to the teachers in your collaborative group.

While I use several similar software addons like del.icio.us, I believe it meets your criteria for ease of introduction, clean visual space that prevents confusion, and flexibilty for use among your group of teachers. I believe it is the best addon environment where beginners and experienced, first adopters can collaborate.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Integrated Curricula and PBL opportunity

  • Want to integrate your curricula?
  • Want to start a simple PBL opportunity?
  • Want exciting, educational afterschool PBL extensions?
  • Want your PBL experience to be successful?
Leni Dolan, a colleague at the TappedIn campus, and an experienced teacher-leader, can collaborate with you to meet these goals with Postcard Geography. Leni creates and moderates online projects, including Westward Ho!
Teachers can sign up to participate in the 2007-2008 Postcard Geography project anytime before September 23, 2007. While there is no cost to register, your school would need to invest in the postage necessary to send the class postcard packet, but that is a nominal expense.

I believe that Postcard Geography will provide any teacher an excellent opportunity to make the greatest impact for student learning and achievement through PBL. The Postcard Geography project is a part of the Cyberbee group and is recognized as a Blue Web'n Site. The project is respectful of teachers' need to protect the privacy of students, so the only information you place in the project database is your name, address, and the number of students that will join you in the Postcard Geography project.

Leni explains the design and process of the Postcard Geography project in an easily understood format. I believe teachers appreciate her attention to detail, especially the resource guidance she provides to help you determine where this PBL will fit with your students, curricula and classes.

The Postcard Geography project is arranged into three age categories: Elementary, Middle, and High school levels. If you are a middle or high school teacher looking for a educational service project, your older students could work with younger students in afterschool programs or as helpers for elementary teachers working with the Postcard Geography project.

Leni's directions are simple, yet effective. Here is a sample instruction from the Postcard Geography website:

"The teacher blog provides a place for participants to share ideas and ask questions. The discussion blog also allows the project moderator to inform participants of address changes and other developments as the project progresses. While you may not wish to post messages, we expect everyone to read them. Active use of the discussion blog is crucial to accomplishing the goal of the project – making sure ALL participants receive postcards!"

If you want your students to participate in an effective, educational, and fun PBL, join the Postcard Geography project.

Monday, August 20, 2007

n2teaching online

n2teaching online represents a omnibus approach to educational thinking, always supporting what is effective in education and developing new ideas about how technology enhances that vision.