Space Oddity – “Here am I floating by my tin can” (2:11 E.R.T.)

So as I’ve said when I’m helping people redesign a class, I ask them to think 5 years in the future.  Well, Elon Musk is thinking five years into the future and it involves being on Mars.  This is his shorter 4 minute video on Space X getting to Mars rather than his longer press conference about it.  But as we’re thinking about presidential elections or helping to educate people this semester, he is thinking about electrics cars, solar panels and batteries for homes, and how to make man an interplanetary species.  He is either the Thomas Edison or P.T.Barnum of our day, or perhaps more aptly the Nikola Tesla and P.T. Barnum of our day.  But he makes me want to look forward to our future.

The next post is just a quick how to on clearing formating from text.  Yes it has applications if you’re going to be copying text for use in a class, so for that its applicable to many.  I will say the place I have used this most is in online classes getting rid of hidden codes in text for pasting into an LMS.  Sometimes those hidden fonts, or returns, or underlines can drive one batty.

The next link is to four useful apps for the classroom.  The random generator for picking people or grouping people could be useful in many classes.  The one link may be more focused on political science or history people teaching during an election year.  The one which may be the most useful is the link to help students make collages and display visual information for projects.

The last essay is about an award winning math instructor from Columbia, Missouri.  It sounds like she is very good at reaching students.  The part I found interesting was her video project.  She has students make videos about changing volumes of Starbucks cups or cookies as they flatten while cooking.  But taken larger this technique could be useful in lots of classes.  Certainly in a math or science class students could make videos about math or science in their daily lives.  They could make videos solving problems to help other students.  Or they could be making real connections between any class topic and the daily lives of students.  Student videos about gender bias for a women’s culture class or sociology?  Student videos about political candidates for speech class or political science?  Making the connection between your field and the daily lives of students, or their understanding of the material can be powerful.  And it can be done with a cell phone and various different types of free software online.


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