Friday, May 05, 2006

MDE/COATT Workshop

I don't tend to do traditional handouts when I give presentations. My handouts are typically digital. Here is the list of ideas and links I talked about at the May 5th workshop.

Porbeware - Allows you to collect actual data in real time. This often allows for experiments that would not be possible otherwise and allows for a greater deal of precision than previous methods would have allowed.
  • Vernier - Lab Pro: One of the Standards. They produce high quality products and have a wide variety of sensor available. The Lab Pro sensors are compatible with the CBL and CBL2
  • iSicence Project - HOBO: Offers a small, relatively inexpensive data logger for collecting environmental data. iScience project offers the chance to borrow HOBOs for classroom use and evaluation, There are also numerous opportunities to win free HOBOs.
  • Make Your Own: I've begun investigating other cheap/free probeware ideas. The focus around two free programs: Audacity and Visual Analyzer. These programs can be used with a microphone or solar cell to teach many concepts in sound, light, gravity, and periodic motion. I'm in the process of fully developing this idea. Once I do I'll make it widely available. For now you can look at previous blog entries on the subject: Sound, more sound, speed of sound, using a solar cell, solar cell part 2.
Video Analysis
  • Doane Physics Videos - A great source of physics videos in quick time format. The site also allows for the collection of position and time data from the movies using Flash.
  • Data Point - Data Point allows for collection of position-time data. These data are put in a text file that can be opened in Excel (or other spread sheet) to be graphed or manipulated. Works with *.avi files only.
  • LoggerPro - If you have Vernier Probeware you have this program already. You need at least version 3 in order to do video analysis. If you have a previous version of you can buy an upgrade for $50. If you are buying it new it is $159. The price includes the Site License which allows you to install it on every computer your school owns and every computer your students own! With LoggerPro you can analyze avi, mov, or mpeg movies. It will graph position and/or velocity. You can easily plot the slope of a line to see acceleration. You can show velocity vectors in the movie (need the free upgrade to ver. 3.4). It's really easy. An average freshman whose never seen the program will be up and running in under 10 min.
Digital Story Telling - Not just for Social Studies or English. Great way to create multimedia presentations to get out of the Power Point hole. You can do this with iMovie if you're lucky enough to work in a building that uses Macintosh computers. If you're like me you're stuck in Windows and iMovie is not an option.There are commercial solutions in Windows, but I'm going to talk about the free ones. You need WinXP (sorry)
  • Windows Movie Maker: Easy to use, drag and drop video clips and transitions. Will capture video from a camera if you have Firewire (IEEE 1394) or USB with some cameras.
  • Windows Photo Story: Great program for doing slide shows. I've had students use this for solar system and universe presentations. If I taught biology I could see using this to show change in biological systems over time (growth of a plant or emergence of leaves and flowers in the spring for example). It is easy, allows for voice over narration and a music track. You can also zoom in or pan across pictures. For some more info and links to tutorials check out my post from a couple weeks ago.
Out of this World Freeware - Check Back in a couple of days for links, I've run out of time.

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