Monday, September 29, 2008

Sail the Seven Seas

Lorraine from Classroom 2.0 has suggested an interesting web activity for students.

On the ninth of November, 30 skippers from seven different countries will embark on an epic singlehanded voyage around the world. Skipper Rich Wilson will be the only US sailor in this race. One of his primary purposes of his voyage will be to connect with students and teachers around the world to share this learning experience with them via his website where he will post blog entries, photos and videos I have followed Rich on 3 of his previous voyages with my students. The energy and excitement of coming 'on board' for the race has been an incredible learning experience for my students and me. Vincent Mespoulet has set up a Ning so that teachers can join and follow this voyage from across the planet. I invite you to join the Ning and share in the excitement of the Vendee Globe with our teacher at sea, and students and teachers across the globe.

This event would work nicely with Google Earth. Consider having students plot the skipper's course as he sails around the world!

Skipper Rich Wilson

Saturday, September 13, 2008

RWM Tops 10,000

As a person new to web publishing, I am excited and encouraged that the Real World Math website had 10,000+ hits over the summer. While this number may not seem large in relation to other sites, I am pleased that so many people have viewed it in its first four months. I hope a large portion of those visitors are now actually implementing the lessons in their classrooms. As always, any feedback on the website or lesson materials is greatly appreciated.

I am introducing RWM lessons to a new batch of students this year. So far, the students have reacted positively to any effort that takes them outside of their math textbooks. Unfortunately the first lessons normally turn out to be an exercise on synchronizing e-mail accounts. To anyone starting out there, I recommend having your students create a Gmail account specifically for the purpose of receiving and submitting school assignments. As mentioned in the previous post, I have taken the approach of teaching Google Earth skills as part of the first activities. The students have learned how to send Google Earth kmz files via e-mail, create and annotate folders, and draw paths. I am confident this preparation will help to eliminate problems in future lessons.

Good luck with the lessons and keep the hits coming!