Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cosmos no longer streams

As recently as this past August, you could stream Carl Sagan's 1980 Cosmos via Netflix Instant or Hulu. Netflix was nice because the stream ran commercial-free.

But the Netflix stream ran dry in September.

And the Hulu stream now appears to be dry, too.

I can resort to showing episodes in my classroom, but it was so much nicer being able to assign Cosmos-watching as homework.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pushing Things Around—A new PhET Activity

Seems like I've been out for a bit. Reconfiguring the Physics curriculum in the transition to NGSS leads to occasional jags of spontaneous development. Not nearly as exciting as that makes it sound. But it keeps me off the blog nonetheless.

Here's something I developed for instruction after Newton's First Law/Inertia and before our full-on Newton's Second Law lab.

It's intended to scaffold some existing knowledge and suggest a = F/m. It uses PhET's "Forces and Motion Basics" sim (not to be confused with the "Forces and Motion" sim—that's a different sim).

Here's the sim:

Forces and Motion: Basics
Click to Run

Here's the sim's page at PhET.

And here's my lab: Pushing Things Around.

I hope to get it set into my own PhET Tech Labs page sometime soon. Patience!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Dan Burns' awesome gravity demo goes viral

Watch this video before it the hit counter tops 1,000,000 views (if it hasn't already)! Apparently it's been topping Reddit (sorry; I'm not a Reddit aficionado) and it merited a Huffington Post.

Gravity Visualized

This is our own Dan Burns at a PTSOS session (PTSOS3, to be exact—hence the comment about returning to electricity and magnetism) from last year.

He's explaining the pedagogy and content of his spandex gravity model to new teachers. It's the kind of thing we've always done at PTSOS. And his little gem hit the Internet's viral funny bone (to mix metaphors). To which I say, "Huzzah!" And now I feel bad that I don't have a groupie shot with Dan.