In Appreciation of Drummers


I remember the drummer in my first band.  His drum set was a number of different sized overturned cardboard boxes and I’m pretty sure that I remember him using some sticks gathered from a tree in the back yard for drum sticks.  He didn’t have any formal training but then, he didn’t know my friend Cyndie.  Well, we didn’t have the internet either so that would have made a recent share from her pretty difficult.

However, a combination of her recommendation, this computer, and the internet shows how important a good drummer is – and how hard it is to keep the beat.

My guitar teacher always had a metronome at my lessons and one summer he encouraged learning a second instrument so I chose the drums.  Both really reinforced the need for a steady beat and, quite frankly, how I didn’t have it.  So Max Weinberg has nothing to fear from me.

If you want to test your drumming abilities, then you need to check out “Got Rhythm?“.

The premise is pretty simple but incredibly humbling if you think you have any musical abilities.  You start by clicking along with the program in your browser.  That’s the simple part.  Then the program sounds fade and you’re on your own to maintain the beat.  I tried – the best I could do –

Maybe I’m better suited as an airline pilot?

It’s very simple to get started and you’ll want to improve your score.  I think it’s an excellent example of how to gamify music.  Maybe it’s a way to identify the next drummer in your class?  At the least, your students will get a sense of how important rhythm is.

While you’re at the site, make sure that you check out all of the other musical applications on “The Sound Board“.  It’s a great deal of fun and very well crafted.  I really enjoyed “100 Years of Rock” and “The Capacity of an iPod Visualized as Vinyl“.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Things certainly have heated up in Ontario this week.  Weather-wise and blogging-wise.  Here’s some of the reading I enjoyed this past week.


The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum

The Diefenbunker was certainly something that we discussed in school.  It was part of Canada’s concern about the Cold War.  I did not know that it was a public museum where you could get a sense of the fear and paranoia that was a part of the day.  Andy Forgrave and son took a trip there and posted pictures and his reflections on the visit.  This is a very interesting read for me.


Why Children Misbehave —- Under Construction

You know, if you could bottle the answer to this question, you could sell millions to educators.  FlyOnTheClassroomWall (not her real name, of course, but she’s not public with it on the blog so I won’t mention it here) takes a look at a number of reasons from the book Theory and Practice with Adolescents and shares some of her insights.  Towards the end, she concludes with a list of accommodations…a good list.


Step 8 in Going Green: Remain Calm! Remember Al Gore: ‘Despair is not an option’!

Hill of Greens was a new blog discovery for me this week.  Written by Julie Johnson, this is a documentary of her work in “going green”.

At present, there are eight posts to the blog but they’re very personal and certainly has inspired this reader to reflect on my own habits.  I’ve followed Julie on Twitter for some time now, but didn’t know this blog existed.  I’m glad that I found it.


I Can’t Do This

This post is a wonderful poem written by Dr. Muriel Corbierre.

The content is a reminder that those faces in front of you all bring different skills to the classroom.  It’s also a reminder to students that not everything is as equally “easy” for everyone.

I’ll bet you can find a lot of uses for this poem.


Holistic approaches for Learning with Technology

This post, from Deborah McCallum was a refreshing break from some of the mindless posts about SAMR that you see so often these days.  She takes a reasoned approach about teaching in general.  It’s a reminder that analyzing the use of technology isolated from everything else really is a disservice.  Teaching and learning is a complicated eco system.  Big reminder here “Who owns the learning?”


Sunset Reflection

This is something that we all can do.  I can take sunset pictures from the end of the driveway any day that I want.  Sheila Stewart shares here thoughts, not only on the beauty of the sunsets that she enjoys in NorthWest Ontario but what they symbolize to her.

It’s a good reminder to us all that we need to take more pictures.


An Interview with Tom D’Amico

In case you missed it, I recently had the opportunity to interview Tom D’Amico, superintendent from the Ottawa Catholic School Board.  Tom actively models what I believe educational leaders should.  For me, it was a great chance to ask some questions that I had about what he does and why he does it.

Doug:  From my perspective, you’re “leading by leading” in this field and I really admire that.  Do you ever get questioned by colleagues for being so open about your learning and sharing?

In addition to the content that Tom generates and shares, he also shares many of the links to resources that he uses regularly.  There’s a great deal there for you and you might just want to pass the link along to your own leaders.  What more could they be doing to support the cause of learning?  Are they modelling the sort of thing that you need them to?


Thanks, everyone for continuing to blog and lead the charge for Ontario Educators.  Please check out their blog posts at the links provided and the complete list of Ontario Edubloggers here.

Where Have You Been?


If you’ve ever watched an episode of Law and Order, you know the importance of cell phone pings to solve various crimes.  As a phone moves from location to location, it needs to connect to a service in order for the phone to work; that’s just how it works.

Now, Google has a similarish service called Timeline.  Clicking this link should take you to your timeline if you’re logged into your Google account and you have your location history enabled.  I gave it a shot.

The first map that was displayed sort of showed that I’m an Ontario-type of traveller with most of the travelling done along the 401, with a few sidetrips to the Niagara Falls area.  None of this was any big revelation; I know where I’ve gone and I always take my phone with me.  The little red dots that are displayed are cell phone location check-ins as I travelled.

There were a couple of outliers though and those were interesting to check in to.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog or a CSTA member, you know that I was the Program Chair of the recently concluded CSTA Conference in Grapevine, Texas.  That would explain the red dots in Texas!

Clicking a dot reveals the location underneath.

So, it was no surprise that I was at the airport, then there’s the hotel/conference centre, and then a couple of interesting location.  Fireside Pies.  I swear; I wasn’t there.  But, as we were driving around looking for a parking spot for the Mexican restaurant that we ate at, I remember seeing it!  And, the Bookstore at the University of Texas at Dallas wasn’t on our agenda but I remember seeing it as we went to the Computing Centre.  So, I guess close does count in this case!

Google assures us that only we can see the locations in the description of the service.  Of course, those of us who are foolish enough to blog about our trips have already revealed the locations to those who read the post anyway. 

Make it stop!  If this is a little freaky, then it’s probably time for you to check out your privacy settings.  This blog post explains how to do this and more.  In the meantime, on your location history timeline, you might be interested in seeing most visited places.

I seem to have a weakness for parks and ONRoutes.

In the classroom, this would be a very engaging and visual activity for students (they all have cell phones, right?) and a great launchpad to an awareness that there are things out there unseen.

In the meantime, if you’re going to commit a crime, make sure you turn off your phone so that you’re not leaving digital tracks!

An Interview with Tom D’Amico


This is a real treat for me.  I’ve been a follower and a fan of Tom D’Amico for a long time.  I have a real appreciation for those who scour the web, find, and then share the best of the resources.  Tom is a daily source for inspiration through sharing with his Twitter account @TDOttawa.  The best part is that his finds are archived in his Scoop.it! resource iGeneration – 21st Century Education.

Thank you for agreeing to the interview, Tom.  I’m really looking forward to your thoughts and insights.

Doug:  I always start with this for people that I’ve met in person – do you recall when we first met?

Tom:  I’m not certain but likely in the early 90’s at the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario conference (ECOO).  In the early 1990s I created a pilot Multimedia course and shared the resources at ECOO.

Doug:  What inspired you to get involved with Twitter?

Tom:  In January 2009 I changed from being a high school Principal, to Superintendent of Information Technologies.   I wanted to model professional learning and I also wanted to expand my own professional learning network.   Twitter was a natural location at the time to connect with others interested in leveraging technology for increased student achievement.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve always gone with the philosophy “Just Do It”, and I started my global professional learning network at that time.

Doug:  Of all the archive utilities that are available, what attracted you to Scoop.IT?

Tom:  This was really trial and error.  I had tried many edTools for archiving and curating.  I was using Delicious and Diigo for social bookmarking and a variety of other tools including Twitter.  Scoop.IT turned out to be my favourite tool since it automated my work flow.  It allowed me to quickly view other Scoop.IT postings, curate ones I found interesting, and I could also then share and schedule Tweets all on the same screen.  These features worked well for me and I’ve been an avid user of ScoopIT ever since.

Doug:  With all of the things that you could be doing, what intrigues you about finding and curating educational technology resources?

Tom:  As a teacher I saw first hand the impact of technology on both my students and on my teaching practice.  When I was teaching in the early 90s technology was a scarcity as was connectivity.  I was fortunate to have access to a computer lab and to multimedia computers so I was able to see how students were engaged when using technology and how the classroom discipline issues that took up so much of my time as a young teacher, were non-existent when students were using computers.  I’ve kept that passion and insight with me over my 25 years with the Ottawa Catholic School Board. 

I spend time locating and sharing resources as one of my ways of staying connected to the classroom.  As an administrator I looked for resources that could help teachers and other administrators save time by automating work flows, and as a result they would have more time to develop professional relationships with their students. 

Although I advocate the use of technology in the classroom, the greatest impact a teacher or administrator can have on their students is by getting to know them and focusing on positive relationships that leave all students with a feeling of hope and knowing that the teacher or administrator really cares about them as a person, not just as a student taking a particular subject.

Doug:  Before you became the Associate Director with the Ottawa Catholic School Board, you were a superintendent in charge of Learning Technologies.  How did you get the inspiration for innovation in that role?

Tom:  In 2009 when I became the superintendent of information technologies I worked collectively with many talented educators to come up with a vision of how we would integrate technology with pedagogy to innovate teaching practices in our Board. 

One of the first things we did was change the title of the department from Information Technology, to Learning Technologies.  I changed my title from Superintendent of Information Technology to Superintendent of Student Success – Learning Technologies.  This subtle change, set the focus on Learning. 

We moved from a Board that was focused on a culture of caution and fear of technology, to one that focused on curiosity and innovation.  We shared a white paper “A BluePrint for Change – Towards 2020 Connecting with our Students” and this set the direction for the many changes that we implemented in the last 5 years including adding the 4Cs to our Board Priorities and embracing social media and Google Apps for Education as tools to lead the change.

Doug:  What initiatives are you particularly proud of from that portfolio?

Tom:  I’m proud of many changes that took place as part of the vision for our District.   We moved to enterprise wireless, we added LCD/SmartBoards to every classroom so that teachers could access digital resources, we provided all teachers with laptops, we created a social media policy and encouraged teachers to be online where their students were, we converted our libraries to learning commons, we moved to blended learning, we promoted BYOD, and we had extensive PD opportunities and focused on the proper pedagogy to ensure that the technology was being used to do more than just digitize static learning activities.  We also began investing strategically in devices for students, from iPads to Chromebooks, and we began to address the digital divide that existed for some of our families and their access to technology.

Doug:  How big is online learning through eLearningOntario within the OCSB?

Tom:  Traditional eLearning has not been a focus for the majority of our students, but rather blended learning has been the priority.  We do have a small number of students who benefit from online courses, and we have about 18 online courses offered every year to students across our 15 high schools.  

When we had focus groups with students one of the key messages they shared was that they did not want to lose the social aspect of going to school everyday, they liked to use technology, but the majority were not looking to complete courses online.  We did introduce a game based blended learning grade 10 course in Careers/Civics to ensure that all of our graduates will have taken at least one course delivered via a platform such as BlackBoard or Desire2Learn.

Doug:  According to Twitter, you’re approaching 10,000 followers.  Obviously, I’m not the only one who appreciates your efforts!  How many of these followers would you estimate are from OCSB?

Tom:  I’ve never tracked the number directly from our Board.  The majority of our 83 schools have Twitter accounts and we have many staff who actively share and learn via twitter.  We hired a full time social media community engagement specialist in our communications department to help develop this skill set in our employees and to engage with our community. 

I do know from analytics that approximately 50% of my network is from the U.S.A., 30% from Canada, and 20% from other regions of the world.

Doug:  Does it matter to you where they come from?  Why or why not?

Tom:  One of best features of social media is that it breaks down barriers so we can all learn from one another in a global context.  Gone are the days that learning only happened in the school or at the district.

Doug:  Do you ever find that ideas you’ve shared end up in your district’s classrooms?

Tom:  Yes, I often hear from administrators or from other staff that they are using an edTool that I had recommended, or they signed up for a free service or are connecting with other educators around the world.  This is rewarding feedback that helps me to validate the time that I put into reading and sharing resources.

Doug:  From my perspective, you’re “leading by leading” in this field and I really admire that.  Do you ever get questioned by colleagues for being so open about your learning and sharing?

Tom:  No, I’ve never been questioned about being open with sharing.  I have had questions about the level of online engagement and how to manage the large number of interactions when you move beyond your Board.  Time management is always a key for all educators and setting limits and recognizing that you can’t be on all social learning networks an important framework.

Doug:  I know the resources that I use for my daily inspiration and your readings do seem to cross at times but you always seem to find even more interesting things.  Care to share your work flow?

Tom:  I subscribe to over 1000 different sites/blogs/newsletters.  I use Unroll.me to package the newsletters into a single email that I receive each day with about 75-100 posts.  I quickly scan this single email to determine which articles are relevant and that I may wish to review.   I also use Feedly.com as my RSS feeder to review articles with a basis on EdTech.   I use Scoop.IT as a source of recommended articles based on topics I have setup including:  EdTech, Leadership, and Pedagogy.

I spend about 10 hours per week, usually first thing in the morning and then about an hour every evening reading articles online and then curating the most interesting ones via Scoop.It and scheduling tweets within Scoop.IT to go out the next day.  Using ScoopIT I am able to schedule by the hour and also include a photo in the tweet and relevant hashtags.  I make sure that I also use appropriate keyword tags in Scoop.IT so that I can find resources later when I need them.

I use TweetDeck to review and respond to mentions on Twitter.  I try to do this at least every two days.

Some people enjoy watching T.V., I enjoy reading and learning via the Internet.  Substitute 1-2 hours of evening T.V. watching, and there is time to curate resources on topics of interest.

Where possible, I filter what I’m reading by following others who curate great content such as:  Edutopia, Edudemic, MakeUseof.com, Free Technology for Teachers, Education Technology and Mobile Learning, and several Paper.li accounts including yours – The Best of Ontario Education Daily

There are many other favourites that would be wrapped up in my Unroll.me each day such as:  Nine Connections, Diigo weekly summaries on various topics, SmartBrief on EdTech, ASCD Express, EdWeb.net, TechCrunch, eWeek, Daily Genius Edtech updates, Education Dive:K12, Brook Top 5 tweets, and summaries from TCEA and ISTE… to name a few.

Doug:  How often do you go back and use the resources that you’ve tucked away?

Tom:  I use my Scoop.IT archive on a regular basis.  If someone asks if I can recommend a good tool for a particular need (such as a BackChannel), I can do a keyword search in my Scoop.IT account and quickly provide them with current resources on the topic.  Whenever I deliver a presentation I always update the content by reviewing resources that I’ve “scooped” on that topic over the last year.

Doug:  How important is a social media presence in the OCSB?  Are schools encouraged to have Twitter / Facebook / Google + / etc. accounts?

Tom:  Yes – we are an extremely active Board when it comes to social media.  Just about all of our schools have Twitter accounts and we have hundreds of staff sharing via their personal or their class Twitter accounts.  Many of our schools have Facebook accounts.  We have very active Google + communities based on shared interests, such as French teachers, Kindergarten teachers, etc.  

Social media has opened up the sharing of resources between educators and schools across our district.

Doug:  What advice do you provide the learners/leaders within your system about the use of social media?  Do you have a routine to be followed if something goes wrong?

Tom:  I would suggest that they begin by working with a trusted colleague who is on social media.   We will send our social media community staff member to work with them or one of our education technology integrators to help them out.  We have staff resource booklets available online to take them step by step on how to create accounts using tools such as Twitter and how to effectively use the tools. 

If something goes wrong, staff contact our learning technologies department and they work with the provider such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google, to work out a solution.  We ensure that all of our staff are aware of our social media policy that was created to encourage staff use of social media in a responsible manner.

Doug:  Speaking of leaders, there are very few superintendents/directors that have significant contributions to the collective learning like you do.  What can be done to encourage more to jump in and start sharing their learning?

Tom:  Across the province we are sharing with one another how we are using social media in our administrator roles.   Within our Board we have many administrators who are very active and they present on a regular basis and share with their associations how social learning and social networking is having an impact on student achievement.

Staff can easily become overwhelmed with the number of edTools available and the amount of time that can be invested in online professional learning networks.  My advice is to not try to do it all, find one or two tools that meet the goals that they are trying to achieve and work with those.  There is no need to be on every possible social network or to know every latest social media tool.

Doug:  How is digital citizenship and responsibility addressed with students in the OCSB?

Tom:  As we opened up our schools to BYOD and to online resources and we encouraged the use of social media, we also wanted to ensure that digital citizenship became part of the yearly curriculum.  In the early years of our plan we had many guest speakers and presentations.  Although we still have presentations for students and for parents, we created curriculum that is taught to all students every year to focus on the responsible use of social media and technology.  

We now have bilingual resources linked to the curriculum covering all grades from kindergarten to grade 12.  We call our resource, “Samaritans on the Digital Road” and it is instructed and sequenced on a yearly basis to help students participate in a digital world in a proactive, responsible, and compassionate manner.   Our resources are freely shared via this Google site.

Doug:  Are there any specific initiatives for the upcoming school year from Ottawa Catholic that we should keep an eye on?

Tom:  We continue to look at transitioning away from traditional textbooks to more paperless resources.   We have recently licensed Hapara for our teacher’s use and we are focusing on automated workflows for teachers/students so that both rely less on traditional print based workflows and move more into ePortfolios.

We are part of the global New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning initiative that focuses heavily on leveraging technology for improved student achievement.  We will continue to expand our involvement in this global initiative.

More and more of our schools and learning commons are initiating MakerSpaces and have embraced the Maker movement.   I’m looking forward to seeing how our talented staff help our students become more creative through the use of these transformed spaces.

Doug:  The upcoming school year could be a challenge.  Do you see any way that a collective agreement could be in place with teachers and school districts before September?

Tom:  The negotiations currently are at the central provincial table and I’m not directly involved with the provincial negotiations.  I’m hopeful that a resolution can be found to ensure that all students across Ontario continue to benefit from Ontario’s strong educational system. 

If agreements are not reached prior to the start of the year, it will likely be a challenging time for staff and students.  The important thing to remember is that work to rule or strike or lockouts eventually do end, so everyone needs to keep positive relations through the challenging time so that we can continue to progress and innovate as a system when agreements are reached.

Doug:  Tom, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us.  I know that I look forward to your daily shares and now I know even more about the person behind the Twitter handle.  Thank you so much.

You can follow Tom on Twitter at @TDOttawa and his Scoop.it! page is located at:  http://www.scoop.it/t/igeneration-21st-century-education.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s great to see that summer has finally arrived.  The rain has stopped and things are warm.  Does it get any better than that?

Yep, read some great thinking from Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of what I caught this past while.


Ronin

This is a classic post from Tim King from a year or so ago.  It came to mind from an online Facebook discussion among a few of us about the new HP laptop and ensuing discussion about teacher certification and the concerns about putting all of your eggs in one basket.  I was able to reshare Tim’s post which I think absolutely nails it.

In the rush to provide digital experiences for students, school districts often focus on just one set of tools or software package.  We all understand that education is about teaching concepts but complete immersion in one eco-system can put blinders on creativity.  Are we so sure that there is only one solution?


Magic: The Gathering and World of Warcraft TCG with Standard Playing Cards

So, what do creative people do in the summer time?

Become even more creative.

Brandon Grasley, gathering inspiration from his son takes a shot at a new card game using imagination and a standard pack of playing cards.

I’d never heard the expression “French Deck” before.


Can There Be Many Ways?

Teachers spend all their summer hours on glorious trips and sunny beaches, right?

Wrong.

Check out this post by Aviva Dunsiger where she and a bunch of friends got into a long discussion about self-regulation.  Fortunately, she captured it all in a Storify document for safe keeping so that we can relive the conversation.

In typical Aviva fashion, she quickly turns the blog post into one of reflection and then lots of questions.

I would suggest that these questions are good for all for a reality/possibility check.


Hard Questions and Second Chances

Diana Maliszewski had me hooked with her first question “How do you measure wetness?”

My first thought was “you don’t”.  However, any parent knows that you ask and answer that question a million times in a number of different scenarios.  (Let your imagination go here…)

The rest of the post deals with a very interesting inquiry set of questions/activities surrounding water.

While Diana may not be able to do the activity directly, she’s laid it out nicely so that any classroom looking for an inquiry along these lines certainly could.

Thank her!


Now I know how it feels

Wow, this is such a powerful post from Jennifer Casa-Todd.  It sends a strong message to me about juggling the theoretical with the practical.

 

Haven’t we all been there – banging our head trying to get wrapped around some theory or digging into quantitative research where the dots are just not connecting.  In the blog post, she shares some of the riveting page turning research she’s reading and positions it against some practical professional learning activities.  I feel for her since the weather has turned so nice and I’m sure it does require an immense amount of self-regulation to meet deadlines.


Tech tools I want to try.

Summer’s here and the time is right for …

… planning to use some new tools for the fall!

Olivia Skibinski has laid out some personal goals in terms of software to try for the fall.  Making her list are:  Edmettle, noredink, and OneNote.  Check out the post as she’s tried to explain the why she’s focused on these products.  The rationale is there and the implementation isn’t going to be small.  

What’s interesting, in additional to her descriptors, is the response from other educators who have used the software.  

The really nice thing about participating in a network of like minded learners is that she shouldn’t have to look too hard for any assistance should it be needed.


I can’t help but be amazed with the diversity and wonder of the blogging activity happening with great Ontario Educators. Take a moment and visit the entire posts to enjoy their genius.

Have you started a blog of your own?

Please consider adding it here so that we can all enjoy it.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I’ve decided that happiness is a dust-free keyboard.  This insight happened this week when I took my PC to the CSTA Conference instead of my Mac.  The difference between the two?  My Mac is truly portable.  My PC is more of a desktop replacement.  I have it elevated on this desk with a separate keyboard and mouse for daily use (like blogging that I’m doing right now).  The mouse and keyboard didn’t make the trip; I just used the built-in keyboard that took a day’s worth of key travel before the keys all worked properly.  I guess my keyboard will be on the vacuuming list for the future.  My once a day Swiffer job doesn’t seem to do a good enough job.

Fortunately, you don’t need a complete keyboard so I was still able to enjoy some reading while on the road.  Here’s some of what I caught from excellent Ontario Edubloggers.


Which platform to teach with?

I like the comment that Alan Rickels uses to close the post as his final thought and call to action.

In the post, he shares some of the resources that he uses with his students and his own work.  Choosing the one perfect tool and using only it in this day and age is incredibly short-sighted.  It’s like going to the race track and putting your entire savings account on Horse #3.  You’d better be right or you’re in big trouble.  More and more, the correct answer appears to be “web” but there’s a big risk in focussing on just one web service.


Ontario Education: Room to Negotiate

Stephen Hurley offers a different look at what might make negotiations in Ontario work better.

I’ve been on a negotiating team and Stephen’s image rings pretty true to what I recall.  The only difference was that both teams had private rooms to go to when discussing the current proposals or modifications on the table.  Of course, lots of coffee, as Stephen notes is crucial.

Maybe the answer to an expedited solution is to increase the amount of coffee and NOBODY leaves the room for a washroom break until an agreement is reached.  I mean, they’ve tried everything else, haven’t they?


Learning while Presenting

I love the title of this post from Amy Bowker.  I would just add “but only if you’re doing it right”.

Read the entire post to catch the essence of her presentation at the ETFO summer institute and, at the very bottom, there’s a nice collection of online resources.  Learning on the fly, she was able to add them to her post as evidence of her learning.


ENG 3U Lesson: Creating An Instructional Media Product for the School Drone

If you are looking for inspiration to return to school and pick up the Grade 11 English course that you struggled with, this post by Helena Mesich might be it.

Talk about the need for purposeful reading and production of media…


Interaction Design student teams up to take home second hack-a-thon award

The world needs more hack-a-thons.  It’s here where you take your assigned learning and go way beyond the box to create something new, inspired, and innovative.

I found this very intriguing.  We’ve seen the traditional approach to this and it’s proven to not be 100% effective so this hackathon offering offers another approach.  Follow through to their website at Think Twice for Change.


After writing this post, I’m so impressed with the range of thinking and ideas happening with great educational bloggers.  Please take a moment to click through and share their resources with your colleagues.  And, of course, check out all of the Ontario Edubloggers collected here.  And, if you’re blogging but not on the list, add yourself with the Google Form and you will be as soon as I can get you added.

Things in Space


I really love this.  It’s a virtualization of “Stuff in Space” that are just soaring over us.

It’s probably a good idea that we need a visualization like this to get a sense of it!

But, if you want to be mesmerized for a while, load the page and just watch it rotate.  Move your mouse around the screen and you can get the identity of the object appearing in the right side of the screen.  

Double click to zoom in on any particular part of the world.

The implications to science should be immediately obvious.  But, what a wonderful launchpad for other discussions.

  • As a society, how can we justify putting our stuff “up there”?
  • How many mistakes are “up there”?
  • What happens when a satellite is no longer of use to society?
  • What are the implications of having so much stuff there?
  • Do they ever collide?
  • How are they managed?
  • What things that we’re so accustomed to in every day society rely on satellite technology?
  • Pick any object and get the details from the right side of your screen.  Use that as a starting point for research and be prepared to discuss its importance.  Can you find an image of it before it launched?  What a great class blogging assignment – have groups of students do their research.

It will be out of this world.

The source code is also available on Github for those who like to do a little programming research.  https://github.com/jeyoder/ThingsInSpace