Simulation game: Fishbanks

overfishing_500Fishbanks – a Renewable Resource Management Game is a simulation program and management game from MIT. The game targets the dilemmas surrounding the exploitation of natural resources, such as fish, clean water, fresh air. These resources are not owned by anybody, yet can easily be depleted by some big industries. This is also know as The Tragedy of the Commons.

The game is about subject areas such as: economy, management, resource management, and environmental studies.

You can try out and viw part of the Fishbanks simulation program without registration. Educational institutes can use the simulation for free after registration (administrator).

Below a introductory video of the previous version of the game on The Tradegy of the Commons.

The game is suitable for higher education classes and possibly in grade 11 and 12.

 Purchase  Free for educational institutes
 Hardware  PC
 Requirements  browser

Concept Cartoons-3

Every month DiScoro writes about (digital) resources that can be used in schools. In addition you will find issues that may inspire you. See Services for workshops, training etc.

Two more concept cartoons that can be used in class. Use pictures of characters with the speech balloons that fit your situation . See also earlier posts Concept Cartoons and Concept Cartoons-2. Many Brainpower problems can also be introduced with the Concept Cartoon format.

I discussed the first problem with grade 5 and grade 6 pupils. The were perfectly able to reason what would happen, even though they we never instructed on Archimedes’ Law. You can also use the concept cartoon in grade 8 or 9 after students have learned about Archimedes’ Law. Do not be disappointed if the students are confused.

Problem: We take a glass basin and place a plastic net with marbles and korks in it. We make sure that the net with the marbles and korks floats in the water. There is nothing that sticks out above the water and the net does not toach the bottom of the basin.

You can also bring the materials in class and let pupils fill the net so that it floats in the water. Discuss and finally cut the net. The answer requires reasoning about why this happens, but there are so many factors that these should come from the students and do not fit into the speech clouds.

What will happen to the water level if we cut the net open?

concepts-cartoons-waterniveau

The second concept cartoon is suitable for a younger age group (grade 2 or 3).

How can you go down faster on your sledge?
sledge

During the discussion words and concepts like speed, acceleration, friction (both with the surface as well as air friction), weight, size may be used.

Museum of Modern Art

moma
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has several Apps. We present two of them: the Art Lab and the MoMA App. The MoMA website is also worth visiting but less intuitive if you wish to navigate through collections or artists than the MoMA App.

artlabappThe Art Lab App gives pupils a drawing platform where they can experiment with techniques related to trends in art, or artists. The limitations are a clever way of instruction when making art. The feeling remains that the same tasks will be much more interesting, practical, manual, and creative when performed with the actual materials instead of on a touchscreen. The Art Lab could be used as an introduction to the actual hands-on, dirty work.

momaappThe MoMA App provides Collections and Artists and a special Kids section with audio. The kids collection is an interesting selection of works of art which should provoke reactions and emotions with children. The audio clips lead you through the works of art and pose some questions. Yet, it would be much more interesting and instructive to wait with the audio clips and first let the kids observe, react and discuss what they see.

Below some examples of the paintings from the MoMA App. You could show them on a SmartBoard and discuss in class.

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 Purchase  Free 
 Hardware  Art Lab – iPad; MoMA App – iPad + iPhone
 Requirements  iOS, (the MoMA website in browser)

Long division

long-division-touchEvery month DiScoro writes about resources that can be used in schools and about inspirational issues. See Services in the Menu for workshops, training etc.

Long Divison Touch is a well programmed App. This is really an App that makes use of touch technology. The instruction for different tasks is very clear, for example division with remainder, division with decimal, division with decimal in divisor etc.

A discussion that is carefully being started:
Should we spend time on teaching the long division in school?
Who does need this procedure in the 21st Century? Do you as an adult ever use the long division procedure anywhere else than in school? Are there any skills in learning the procedure that are important later?

Division as a numeracy skill remains important, and definitely the ability to estimate whether the outcome to for example 125 : 4,5 = … is a little less than 3, than 30, or  than 300.

A step forward could be to do the mathematical thinking, such as estimation, in class, and to use the App to challenge high-performers. It could also be a tool in Flipping-the-classroom.

Note: The format in which the long division is presented does match the way it is taught in schools in some countries, but in many countries the format used is different. It would be difficult to cater for all the different formats that are being used. The Germany, France, Norway all use a different formats. For students who already master the long dvision procedure it will be rather easy to figure out how this formats works.
Note: The App uses decimal comma, which may be an obstacle for countries where people work with decimal point.
Note: Students do not train multiplication and subtraction skills required in the ordinary long division.
 Purchase  Free intro/preview, Tasks for  0,99 
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad, tablet
 Requirements  iOS, Android

Climate change simulations

On October 4th 2016 the EU has signed the  global Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

Climate change and clean energy transition are complex challenges. The simulations of Climate Interactive enable you to simulate the many factors and see the result of policies. It is quite reveling and insightfull to see how much reducation in CO2 emmissions is required to minimize the temperature change to 2 degrees Celcius.
C-Learn simulation

C-Learn, C-Roads and EN-Roads are three simulations from Climate Interactive organization, based on systems dynamics modeling from MIT.

The simulations enable teachers, lecturers and students and people in general to see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address the biggest challenges we face: climate change and clean energy.

The simulations enable you to set up and compare many What if scenarios. The Climate Interactive website offers tutorial videos on how to use the tools.

  • C-Learn is the simple version of C-Roads and available online
  • C-Roads is the Climate simulation which has to be downloaded
  • EN-Roards is the simulation on Energy transition and climate goals

Target group: policy makers, lecturers, university students.
C-Learn can definitely be used at higher secondary level.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  iPad, PC
 Requirements  browser
Note: the downloads give security warnings.

Untangle

untangle-iconThe game we discuss here is (also) called Lazors, but a more suitable name could be Untangle or Network Points. This game is a typical example of a game that allows for ‘low floor – high ceiling’ activities. It is easy to start, yet very complex questions can be asked about the graphs.

Mathematical knowledge and skills that lie in the game are:

  1. spatial awareness
  2. geometry
  3. graph theory (topological characteristics of graphs).

The first task is to find out what the aim is. Don’t tell the students, but ask them to find it out and describe it. Perhaps write an instruction or guideline for a user.

After solving many levels students can think of new questions such as the ones below.

lazorsm5

 

How many different solutions are there?

 

 

 

lazorsm6

Is it possible to move all the triangles (and squares) to the outside so that no triangle lies within another triangle/square? When is this possible and when not?

Can you make a network that cannot be untangled in the way this game requires? If yes, how do you design such a network? What are it’s characteristics.

Can you predict whether a network can be untangled or not without trying it out. Evidence, proof!

The program GeoGebra can be used to draw the networks and discuss the reasoning and show the different options.

The game is suitable from primary school up to university level.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC, iPad, tablet
 Requirements  browser

Lazors game

lazors-iconLazors is an interesting App about principles in physics such as light beams and how they are reflected, bent, or broken by different materials. As a player you have discover for yourself what the aim is and how to reach it. There are many different levels.

Students can be asked to explain the game and about their reasoning in solving the problems. Thereby, the teacher can introduce vocabulary like: light wave, straight line, ray, beam, reflection of light, refraction of light (bending of light), breaking light, prism, angle of refraction, angle of reflection, mirror, glass, crystal.

A  pre-designed page on Smart Notebook can help to discuss the principles and reasoning.

Practical applications:

  • Stick a straw in a half filled glass of water and observe the refraction of light. This visual distortion occurs at the water-air boundary.
  • The same phenomenon protects fish from a hunter who is spearfishing from the shore. Due to this bending of the path of light, a fish appears to be at a location where it isn’t. The hunter launches the spear at the location where the fish is thought to be, but isn’t, and misses the fish.
  • How big needs a mirror be for you to be able to see yourself from top to toe (while standing)?

The game can be used from age 10 onwards.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  iPad, iPhone, (PC)
 Requirements  IOS, Android/Google Play