Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Trip on the Wild Side: From the Rainforest to the Desert

“Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

According to USGS, the earth’s surface is 71% water. What many students don’t know is that this doesn’t translate into an unlimited supply of drinking water, especially considering that 97% of it is ocean water.

Near Hoh River by Wsiegmund /
CC BY 2.5 
With all lifeforms dependent on water for survival, it’s important that our students understand the role of water and how it affects our present and our future. Bring this lesson to life for your students by joining Kari Vigerstol, senior hydrologist on +The Nature Conservancy's Global Water team, and science teacher Tyler DeWitt as they first visit Seattle’s unique watershed before zipping over to the Verde River, a vital water source for Arizona’s dry desert. During this live broadcast, one classroom will be chosen to participate live using Google Hangouts on Air.

Don't miss this great learning opportunity for your students! Event details are listed below:

“Wild Biomes: From America’s Rainforest to America’s Desert”
April 8, 2015 at 12 pm ET.
Register here for this unique event.

Classes that can watch the field trip live on The Nature Conservancy’s Google+ Channel or they can watch it as a live stream on YouTube at this link. Classes can also watch an archived copy or other Nature Works Everywhere productions by visiting The Nature Conservancy’s YouTube channel.

After watching the virtual field trip, students can continue the learning by using these fantastic supplemental materials:

This virtual field trip is the second in a series of future broadcasts that will examine the interconnectedness of people and nature. This program is designed for students in the third through eighth grade.

Through this program, students will gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the following key concepts:

  • Biomes (temperate rainforest, desert)
  • Water quality
  • Water quantity
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Urban watershed
  • Arizona desert
  • Verde River
  • Geography
  • Rainfall
  • How water affects people and how people affect water
  • Where does your water come from?

The Nature Conservancy is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the beauty of our natural world. That is why they created +Nature Works Everywhere “to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us -- and how we can help keep it running strong.”

The partnership between us and nature has never been as important as it is now. Do your students understand where we belong in this fragile relationship? Let’s bring this lesson to life for them and help them become our future changemakers!

This blog post is sponsored by We Are Teachers.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The 9 C's of Digital Literacy



Today, at my keynote for the California League of Schools Annual Conference North, I will be discussing what I perceive to be the 9 C's of Digital Literacy and how to integrate these skills in a Common Core classroom.

We all know that our digital natives are very at ease with technology. In fact, they’re in love with it, but does that automatically make them digital proficient?

When I originally pondered this question, I began to realize that the 5 C's often discussed in education today - communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenship - needed to be expanded to include these other areas as well: curation, copyright, character and connectedness. I believe that these digital literacy skills are essential for success in today's modern world. It’s more important than ever for educators to teach students how to become digitally literate so that they will be successful in their lives and careers.

To share the "9 C's of Digital Literacy" on Twitter, click here.