Parabola here, parabola there

Some people see parabolas just on the blackboard or smartboards in the mathematical context. These people are obviously wrong, as parabolas are virtually everywhere, like, say, taxes or Starbucks. To give you a quick example: a goal kick in football, human-cannon shot or angry birds game as Tim Chartier writes in his blog post. They all involve a body (sometimes literally) moving in a parabolic motion.

At yTeach we prefer playing basketball to practice parabolas (more sweat and fun + no birds get hurt). And you can easily explain how they work in the context of a game with all math input right there on the same screen. Take your own parabola personal free shot here. Show it to your students and don’t forget to bring an actual ball of some kind into the class.

The science behind football

With Euro 2012 football (I mean soccer, of course) tournament well in progress, there is little else that would capture your football-loving pupils attention. One obvious thing it can be used for in the classroom is to introduce topic of probability. With 18 different sets of student activities, yTeach portal makes it easy to go about this not-that-obvious aspect of mathematics. You can click here to view the activities.

But not only math(s) is easier to explain by making a reference to football realities – how else can you explain all the different forces, acceleration, friction, movements and balance if not by taking your class out to the pitch or school yard, playing with them and discussing the science behind it? Naturally, you can also use yTeach resources – like this one – to introduce the subject or give your students the general idea and to review their knowledge when back from the pitch.

Not very common but quite successful in my opinion is the astronomy reference in football prepared for such occasions by our team – you can easily make your students get the big picture of the universe and grasp the dimensions by showing them this neat animation.

And Chemists – be sure to check this brilliant article on chemistryviews.org.

As you can see you can successfully utilize the Euro 2012 hype in your teaching and make your students enjoy learning from it.

When is a school ripe for technology?

Inspired by the latest A New Hope (?) post by Young Force and the K to 12 plan put to test article from inquirer news about K12 being introduced into educational system in the Philippines, I decided to ramble a bit about how school priorities should be set, especially when it comes to being ready for new technology solutions implementations.

Judging by the nature of business that my company is involved in – Educational eSolutions – you might expect me to say “Anytime is good for technology, look around you, you’re probably far behind other schools in this respect anyway”. Well, I’m even far from thinking this. As The Byrds put it in a song “To everything […] there is a season”.

The “not now, honey” of education

The blog post and article I mentioned made me wonder why DepEd (Department of Education) in the Philippines misunderstood school and educators clear shortages/needs and cares more about adjusting to foreign standards (K12, although successful in many countries and long due here, is not inherent to this country’s education tradition) in times of obvious structure and resource-based crisis. While educators continue to point out crucial problems like “lack of classrooms and overcrowding and, in some areas, learning the basics under a tree or in flooded schools”, the government answers with a blind-pick solution: a structure reform. And let’s assume it may even be implemented effectively and without major bureaucracy issues, but old problems will prevail leaving the kids even further behind compared to the rest of the world.

The truth is, although many politicians dealing with education have clear and noble intentions, sometimes their solutions turn out to be too complex or even impossible to deliver. Sometimes a crucial school decision, for example implementing new technology (like digital records, whiteboards or projectors) can be taken too early, which leaves the school with technology that’s not being used properly (or at all, in fact) and students who might benefit more from additional traditional classes but there’s no money left in the budget.

Season for change?

When talking about education one important fact seems to be missing far too often. It’s all about the kids, the students and their potential to be driven to maximum. If a school is ready for changes it should definitely change (for better, of course) but with a bulletproof strategy. And this means, among others, making sure that the learning conditions are decent – otherwise we might see bunch of K12 students cramped around a teacher with a laptop under a tree as well.

Insight on the planned reform – Smartparenting

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Free Resource of the week

WED’s celebrate!

It’s the World Environment Day tomorrow. And although, on average, people know less and less about the surrounding environment we, as animals, are still very dependent on it. Some species adapt to it like turtles, some alter it like termites. Humans do both – thanks to reasoning they can evaluate more or less precisely what would be more effective in any given situation.

“But we are humans. Don’t we know everything already?”

That’s something you are very likely to hear from some of students. And we need to tell them: “No, we don’t”. And learning about the ‘why’s and ‘how’s of the world around us is especially very important nowadays (when the young generation seems to be rather disconnected from the surrounding world) and can be more than reading about extinct species, their successors and features.

Free like in “off charges”?

Yep! To help you enrich your lessons we have made a whole class activity on yTeach completely free for you to access. It will be available for use until Sat, 9. It was designed for lower secondary level, years 14-16.

So take advantage of this great set in your teaching – watch the videos, do the simulations and exercises and then do a revision somewhere outdoors for the students to really grasp the omnipresence of relations in even the smallest environment (social and biological).

Simple as that!

1. Yteach portal creator and owner is Young Digital Planet (YDP, we call it) – a company with over 20 years of experience in supporting educational solution to schools. YDP has a multitude of products and services designed exclusively for schools, teachers and learners. You can learn about all about it on our website.
2. Yteach has been around for 5 years now, all of the resources were prepared by professional teachers (from UK) in cooperation with programmers. It was a  beta version first, tested in several schools in the UK and then made available to the world-wide teaching community.
3. There are actually two almost identical portals (yes, but quite different when it comes to the curriculum layout):
yteach.co.uk – for UK schools and schools with UK-based curriculum. Visit the portal.
yteach.com – for the schools around the world, with a flexible and adaptible curriculum structure. Visit the portal.
4. There are 30.000 resources available for science and math subjects on upper primary, lower- and upper-secondary level. All of them are interactive and highly engaging. Among them you will find lessons, whiteboard presentations, student activities and many more…
5. We are passionate about what we do (both professionally and personally). Our team are constantly trying to make the modern teaching experience better for you – educators. One of many examples is yTeach Academy project launched at the beginning of 2012. Learn more about it here.

Are you curious about anything else relating yteach?

Feel free to post any questions or comments below.

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Yet another blog?

Well?

You’ll say: “The best digital resource for teaching? It’s obvious! The one which aids education in a smart way.” And yes, you are right.  We believe we managed to have created one – yteach – teacher’s workspace and resources for modern teachers which makes it easy to use smart ICT solutions in any classroom.

So why this blog?

To share great stuff about our portal, resources and teaching in general. We hope it can become a platform for exchanging teaching ideas and experiences (not only those connected to yteach) with other teachers around the world (and we mean the world as our service is used in schools in over 50 countries worldwide now).

Why now?

It’s spring here, in Europe – the best time to start new things. And even better for great things like this blog.

What can I expect from this blog?

Quality materials about teaching math and science subjects (but not only!). We’ll have lesson of the week, polls, surveys, lesson plans and education-related news from around the globe. And quite soon we’re going to organize “Teacher of the Month” regular contest to award teachers who break their backs to motivate their students with diverse activities and still have time for leisure.