Friday, May 12, 2017

More on Raspberry Pi

I have blogged before about Raspberry Pi - but one of our science teachers, Mr. Goering, is having some of his AP Physics students working on it now.  They have programmed it to take the temperature and record it multiple times throughout the day.  They have also figured out how to get it to print, email and many other commands by scripting it.  Here is what is going on "visually," which might not seem like a lot from the photos but OH THEY ARE LEARNING:)!!

Mr. Goering had to order a little weather pin - so track that - he also ordered the white breadboard as that makes connections SO much easier than trying to use the pins on the actual Raspberry Pi. 
 The simply connected the Raspberry Pi to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and then started scripting and figuring out different "Python" language to run it:)!! 
 Finally, this shows some of the coding they had to do to force and talk to the Raspberry Pi to get it to perform the desired outcomes.  In this case, they scripted it to check the temperature every so often, so when they go to this page and click run - it will push out the data for them - SUPER NEAT:)!!
The next step that he would like to do is use the Thing Speak website to create graphs from the data - that is the next phase for him and his students.  SUCCESS INDEED:)!!

Here are some OTHER ways to use the Raspberry Pi:

It also got us talking about next year and how he would still like to set up a weather station and use a green screen to do weather forecasting - exciting things going on here peeps!

Happy weekend all -
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Conrad Wolfram: Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers

Our math department went to the state math convention this past week, and Mr. Hermes share this TED talk with us.  I watched it and LOVED the concepts here!

Conrad Wolfram is the director of Wolfram Research, which is a company that is trying to understand and find new uses for Mathematics technology!  He believes that we are too focused on "hand calculating" and we need to start teaching MATH!  He says there are three reasons to teach math:

1. Technical Jobs
2. Everyday Living
3. Logical Thinking

Wolfram further questions, "What is Math?"  He again, comes up with four steps -

1. Pose the right question - what are we trying to figure out?
2. Real world - math formulas
3. Computation - answers
4. Math formulation - real world and then verification

He explained that why are we teaching and doing 80% of computation by HAND - Step 3 - when we have computers and technologies that can do it for us?!  Students should be focusing on Steps 1, 2 and 4 and let what we HAVE do step 3 for us!  It's not like it used to be - we used to NOT have devices and the technologies for this so we HAD to do it by hand - but now we don't.  We are teaching kids to do concepts and "step by step" work that when they are out working in the real world - a computer or calculator will do FOR them!!  He feels computers don't dumb down math - the problems we use are dumbed down problems.  Wolfram believes that we need more practical and more conceptual work with math - we need critical reform in the way we teach math - because exams are NOT the way to get kids to understand math - "there needs to be critical reform - that is computer based math."

He also has an amazing website to check out and APPS to consider also -

It's pretty amazing to think about.  In a world where MCA testing, Common Core and other state exams and tests are mandated - it makes one wonder why we DO NOT teach more "real world" skills to our kids - not just in math - but ALL areas!  There's definitely a TON of reform that needs to take place in Minnesota and the United States as a whole - we have SO many things wrong with the education system.

One more link to MAYBE check out that Mr. Hermes mentioned is Computer Based Math - it too talks about the benefits of  having kids do REAL WORLD, computer based mathematics.  Look into it - 

Some amazing think abouts - and his TED Talk is WORTH LISTENING TO:)!
Happy Wednesday all,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Windows New Surface Laptop

Windows recently came out with a NEW Surface Laptop that they are aiming for college kiddos.  At only 2.5 pounds and 14 hours of battery life - it's definitely something to look at!  This laptop runs Window 10 with good performance and security.  Here are a few things that I learned today on CNBC:

1. The Surface Laptop costs $999 and runs Windows 10S
2. Windows 10S is targeted at education and will be on a variety of laptops
3. The Surface Laptop can be upgraded to a full version of Windows 10 Pro
4. It's going to be appealing to everyone, not just students

 SO -  maybe something to check out for those jumping to college.  You still get all the benefits of Office 365 if you area  district that is using this - AND some of the "new" laptops come with Minecraft and coding programs on there - THAT is something ALL schools need to keep pursuing!!

Happy Tuesday all,
Mrs. I:)