Ideas for Integrating Technology Education into Everyday Learning

By Jones, Krista | Technology and Children, March 2006 | Go to article overview

Ideas for Integrating Technology Education into Everyday Learning


Jones, Krista, Technology and Children


Location, location, location! The third rock from the sun ... Earth's magical combination of heat, minerals, atmosphere, and water make it the solar system's most prime piece of real estate. These activities will take your students on a guided tour of the technology we use to explore our dynamic, living planet.

Language Arts

* Cameras, videos, and satellites help us to identify, observe, and measure objects without coming into direct contact with them. These remote sensing technologies also provide unique perspectives through which we can collect, view, and interpret information. Aerial photos and the ability to see our Earth from space have had a profound effect on the whole world and have altered our view of our planet forever. Have your students explore remote sensing through an interactive, online story called Amelia The Pigeon, by Ginger Butcher and NASA. This story is read aloud and takes your students through adventures that explain and show the use of remote sensing. The hands-on activities that go along with the online adventures are easy to organize and fun. A higher level adventure called "Echo The Bat" is also available online.

* http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ amelia

* http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ amelia/teachersguide/index. html

* http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ echohome.html

* Read about the Earth's layers and rock formations in The Magic School Bus, Inside The Earth, by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. Become Rock Detectives--have your students bring in an interesting rock and then write a narrative describing the rock. Tape a small number to the bottom of each rock (students should know their own numbers but keep them secret). Students trade descriptions, are given magnifying lenses, and start their detective work. Discuss what technological tools and methods are used to identify and date rocks and minerals here on Earth. Review remote sensing as a common method for identifying minerals on other planets.

* www.rocksforkids.com/(rock collecting and identification)

* Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne is a classic; it makes us wonder what it might be like to travel to the center of our planet. Have your students develop a plan for such an exploration. Give the class a specific purpose or problem to solve for the trip. As a class or in teams, brainstorm technologies that you would need for travel, protection, scientific research, communication, and survival. Do we currently have the technology needed to make such a trip? Would it need to be improved, or would new technology need to be invented? What kind of problems would they encounter as the students moved through each of Earth's layers?

* http://education.usgs. gov/common/primary.htm (geological info)

Math

* Use satellite images and maps to learn about scale and distance. Measure specific geographic points. Go to: http://earth.google.com or http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov to download and zoom in on images from anywhere for free!

* Sort locally collected rocks according to physical properties. Group the rocks into igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Graph and interpret the results.

* www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/ identification.html (list of properties)

* Use thermometers to measure your local temperature at specific times. Record data for one week on an observation chart. Graph the results and look for patterns. …

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