Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Media at my House

New Media at my House

 Permanent linkcross-posted at cheryloakes.com 
In October, with my son Nathan’s prompting, I posted about new ways to view media and new ways to communicate. This update is an additional post about the new media added in our home. Thanks to Vicki Davis’ tweet about her use of Roku, I have added some new technology to our home theater unit.

One of my criteria for adding a new technology module was that it needed to be a plug and play unit, which the Roku is. Also, since I use Netflix already, this unit was compatible with my Netflix account, something I am already familiar with. (It is also compatible with Amazon Video.)

Why add a Roku? We do not have any TV station reception and no cable TV. The Roku is an alternative that offers several options to a media hungry family. You must have internet access in your home in order for this to work. It even works with a wireless internet modem. Our internet comes into our home through the telephone service, TDS . ( I know you are thinking that this cannot possibly be fast enough to stream Netflix,  stream archived news, stream radio, etc! There are disbelievers in my family too. But not anymore.)

In about 1 hour, I was able to plug in the Roku, register for an account on my laptop, then begin adding FREE channels to my account. The first show we watched through the paid Netflix account was Mystery Theater 3000, Santa Claus. I did add the Hulu Plus subscription account which has allowed us to watch Law and Order, Three Stooges, MediaFly, Face the Nation and more. Shortly after, my son added Pandora to the list of channels and now we are streaming personalized music. Life is Good.

The Roku is a plug and play unit. It did enhance the media offerings for my family. It is very easy to follow the prompts during set up. Be sure to order the additional plugs/cords so you have everything you need to set the Roku up without another trip to the store or waiting for a package to arrive from your online shopping center.

CoolCatTeacher  http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/


Saturday, December 11, 2010

One Person, One Gift

This is the last post in the blog challenge from Melanie Holtsman and I am not looking forward to it. How can I choose just one gift, never mind one person? Can I choose a group of people to give one gift?
While at first this challenge appeared easy and I let it go at that, now that I am putting the words in a post, it is impossible!
Here goes. If I am able to give one gift to my students I would give the love of life long learning. Similar to the give someone a fish and you feed them for that meal, teach them to fish and you will feed them for life. My gift would be specific in the introduction, yet have far reaching appeal and long lasting effects.

Recipe for Life Long Learning

Huge bowl
A Personal Learning Network
Connection to the Internet
More Questions

All the time in the world

Serve up and share with the planet

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My life as a Scientist

The Blog Challenge this week fits me to a tee! What is your life as a scientist like? What kind of observations do you find yourself making? Do you have a wondering? Have you ever tried to find the answers?

As a life long learner I hope to model what we should all be experimenting with!
I am curious about Vernal Pools. Someday my friend Charlene and I will write a children's book explaining how important Vernal Pools are to all. I take trips to Vernal Pools, I photograph Vernal Pools, I practically live in a Vernal Pool.

I am co-teaching science classes at our High School. The science teacher is highly qualified in science, I am highly qualified in special education, we are a team. I have always wanted to use the Farmer's Almanac with a science class as one of the textbooks. We started out the project this past week. So far, so good. I want to thank the Farmer's Almanac for setting up an educational price for this project. We will have more about this in the upcoming months. There will be teacher materials, templates and student responses about our journey with the Farmer's Almanac. The Farmer's Almanac is a perfect science notebook. There is something for everyone, inventions, predictions, improvements, it sounds like the Scientific Method Live!

 snowflake from 2010-12-04 coakes photo, iphone
But, my favorite topic to study is snow! I have a snowflake lesson which incorporates symmetry, ice crystals, weather and history. My hero is Snowflake Bentley, and there is a terrific children's book about Snowflake Bentley you should read if you are interested in the history of snowflakes. I go out and ski in the snow, I shovel snow, I take photos of snow, I make movies about snow, I make snow ice cream and yes, I even get stuck in the snow.

Lastly, one of these winters I will take a trip to Mount Washington Weather Observatory for a Winter Edutrip! This is a trip to the extreme weather on our planet. Mount Washington has a great summit conditions page which I check every day in the winter and weekly during the other seasons. The reason I check the summit conditions is that I want to know what I will be skiing in for temperatures, wind and snow conditions. I am working on a spreadsheet to collect data so I can predict the weather at my favorite ski mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain. So far, I have not been really successful, it is a work in progress.

I can't wait to read the other science blogger challenges. You can check them out here.