Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Free Teaching Resources from Facing the Future

More free stuff! 

Facing the Future is offering free download of a teaching unit for high school classes on production and consumption.  Buy, Use, Toss? offers ten lessons, and is linked to National Standards for Social Studies and Science.  The unit comes with a downloadable twenty-minute video, The Story of Stuff. 

Studying production, consumption, and disposal a great way to open a discussion on culture and globalization.  Download the unit now, and work it into your plans for the year. 

As an introduction, take a look at these BBC videos on how people take out the trash in Italy, Belgium, South Korea, and the US. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Free Online Course for Teachers on East Asia

Flash from my good friends Bj√∂rn Hennings at the Carolina Center for Educational Excellence and Bogdan Leja of the NC Teaching Asia Network.    

Columbia University and Teachers College have put together an On-line, Asynchronous Mini-Course Series on East Asia as part of the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia. 

This is a wonderful opportunity for NC teachers to participate for free and upon completion of the course be eligible for a highly subsidized educational travel tour of East Asia.  

Wonderful opportunity is right.  For more information go here.  And hurry, because the course begins September 9th.  Participants may earn two CEUs for completing the course. 

If you have any questions, you can contact Bogdan Leja at lejaATemailDOTuncDOTedu  

ePals For the New School Year

One of the most exciting ways to include global connections in your teaching is literally to connect your class with a class in another world region. 

I"ve mentioned ePals in another posting, but it's well worth mentioning again, now that the new school year is underway.  If you're worried about how you're going to find another class on the other side of the world, you can select and one easily on ePals.  If you're worried about what project you might work on together, you can find one (dozens!) to choose from on ePals.  And, as I've mentioned before, it's free.

So there you go.  No more excuses.

If you still need convincing, listen to some young people talk about communicating globally.  These could be your students.  Click on the ePals site here and scroll down.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hurricanes Are Global

Updated 8/20/10

Just around this time every year, I start remembering Floyd.  You probably do, too, if you were a North Carolinian in 1999. 

Hurricane Floyd wreaked havoc, especially in the eastern part of our state, and it is (still) the greatest natural disaster North Carolina has ever experienced. 

No one can forget Floyd.  But I also remember his older sister Hurricane Fran.  The night Fran raged inland was wild and windy, with torrents of rain falling, at time, sideways.  I remember the streetlights blinking on and off, buffeted by the storm.  My neighbor recalled the scent of salt water and pine sawdust.  The ocean was passing over us, and it carried the aroma of the trees it had torn to shreds on the way. 

For those of you thinking about the hurricane season (and who among us isn't?), here's a link to WRAL's Storm Tracker.  Let's hope we don't have to consult it too often.

I love this interactive map, because it makes abundantly clear that the hurricanes that sometimes sweep over our coast (and inland, as well) are global weather phenomena.  "Our" hurricanes begin as storms off the coast of West Africa, and, if they last, make their way westward across the Atlantic. 

The WRAL map can show us these storms from quite a bit out there in the Atlantic, and tracks their path (and landfalls) along the eastern coast of the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the north coast of South America (Venezuela and Colombia).  So while we're planning locally (school closings?), we can also see globally.  Share with students during hurricane season to increase understanding of global weather patterns and reinforce geographic knowledge. 

Bonus:  Learn more about how we can study coastal flooding in this YouTube video on CI-FLOW.  Great images of Floyd's aftermath here, as well as commentary by former Governor Jim Hunt.  (Thanks to Terry Kirby Hathaway of NC Sea Grant for the link.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010