I headed back to Foothills College this morning to start Week 2 of the fabulous Merit 2011 Institute. Here are some take-aways from today’s sessions:
- Geocaching with Diane Mein – Loved starting the morning roaming the beautiful Foothills campus in search of geocached sites. Diane provided basic background information to get us started, and then sent us on our way. Some of her geocaching resources included:
- An article she recently wrote about things you should know before getting started in geocaching
- Lots of resources on GPS, Geocaching, and Google Earth/Maps in Education
- GPS and Geocaching in Education at the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology (SDSU)
- GPS and Geocaching in Education (a book from ISTE by Burt Lo)
A big take-away from Diane’s session was the discussion around the value and importance of getting students outdoors – and saving them from what Richard Louv refers to as “nature deficit disorder.” John Medina’s research on Brain Rules indicates that the brain works best when we’re outside moving around – senses working together heightens intelligence. Kids can think better if you take them outdoors for a bit – seeing green helps diminish stress. And it doesn’t cost anything to weave more outside time into the school day:-).
- Rushton’s afternoon nuggets:
- Tag Galaxy – Very cool, very visual way to view information. Checkout the iLearn Technology post on Tag Galaxy for an idea of the possibilities of this free tool. Love how you can place all images in a hyperlinked globe image.
- Cool Iris – Besides the globe display of Tag Galaxy, you also have the option of a stunning visual word wall with the free Cool Iris browser plug-in.
- UJam – This create-your-own music freebie is a triple-wow – even for the musically challenged! I recommend watching the video below for a window into this amazing,so-simple-to-use tool:
Will be back tomorrow with more Merit gems.