Friday, September 8, 2017

Weather Underground and Hurricane Irma

Snippet of Weather Underground Graph

As you have surmised by now, one thing I stress as an educator is cross-curricular learning and relevancy.  Current events have always been one of my favorite ways to do both.  This article, from Weather Underground, provides not just good analysis of the hurricane, but also provides some insightful information on the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 and the devastation that caused.  There are some interesting mini-lessons that students could do to tie in both science and engineering into a history lesson.  There's also some interesting potential to discuss the difficult decisions that have to be made when severe weather threatens an area.  The article briefly mentions the water pollution that will inevitably occur as a result of the Army Corps of Engineers decision to drain some of the lake water to prevent flooding.  There's some great material for a debate.

Friday, April 7, 2017


One of the things I always stressed in facilitating history instruction involved teaching students to think about how history helps us understand why things are the way they are today, and how it can continue to shape the future.  I always enjoyed helping kids make those connections between a series of past events leading into present day.

Since moving into evaluation, I've been finding that evaluators call this process 'logic modeling' - basically the process of mapping out the different possibilities that might happen given the introduction of a certain program, service, etc.

Enter Loopy.  I first saw this from a tweet from Edublogs, via Larry Ferlazzo.  As an open-source platform (you can access the code in GitHub), it's free to use and allows students to generate their own 'logic models': mapping out how one event might lead to another.  This sample, for example, looks at automation and what some of the outcomes might be.  It's a basic model, but would be something students could use to generate ideas on any number of historical scenarios.

Looks like it's part of a larger collaborative called Explorable Explanations - something I'll be exploring over the weeks to come.