# GoLabz

GoLabz project is an international platform for online science labs. It aims at promoting and encouraging inquiry learning and experimenting in science education. The large database with resources can be searched on subject area, age group, science topic etc. We selected the most interactive, online labs for age 8-14:

• Balancing Act – simulation, game about weight using a balance scale
• Density and Buoyancy – simulation, game about mass, volume and density (coming soon)
• GearSketch – drawing pad enabling you to draw gears and chains and learn about transmission
• Energy Skatepark – game with information about kinetic, potential and thermal energy
• Electrical Circuit Pad – easy to use drawing pad for simple electrical circuits

# Energy Skate Park

Energy Skate Park is a simulation from the GoLabz project. The simulation introduces the basics of energy conservation.

The program is one of many simulations by PHET, designed and developed by the University of Colorado.

We have given students age 10-12 some tasks while using this simulation. See below.

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Find out about a skate boarder and design a skate park on Energy Skate Park simulation.

Issues to investigate:

Intro

1. What is mass?
2. Does the weight of the skater influence his/her speed?If yes, how?
3. How does the size and weight of the skater influence the total energy?
4. What does the bar graph tell you about energy?
5. Use the bar graph to find out what is meant by kinetic energy and potential energy?
6. The skater continues endlessly? How is this possible? Is this realistic? Why/why not?

Friction

1. What does friction do?
2. What kind of energy is related to friction?
3. Does friction have (1) a larger,  (2) a smaller,  or (3) the same impact on a big skater than on a small skater?
4. Match the concepts in the first column with the correct sentences in the second column.
 1. speed A.  When the skater is at the top of the track ……  energy is highest. 2. friction B.  The skater’s weight does not influence the speed. 3. mass C.  When still moving the skater has …………  energy. 4. kinetic energy D.  The skater is moving faster in the beginning. 5. potential energy E.  On a smooth track the skater will go faster. 6. thermal energy F.   At the end of the skating tour all energy has been tranferred into heat.
###### For correct answers see bottom.

Playground

1. Design a skate track whereby the skater makes a salto and does not fall off the track.
2. Present the skate track to your classmates and explain what you have done to reach your goal.

# Digital Dementia

### Why is this important book not yet translated into English?

Prof. Manfred Spitzer writes about the dark side of the digital world. Spitzer is a well-known German scholar in the field of brain research and psychiatry. “In reality, using digital media in kindergarten or primary school is actually a way of getting children addicted.”

He does NOT claims that we should completely forbid the use of computers, but too much time spent on digital media makes us dumber instead of smarter. When children have access to a computer at home, there school results in language and mathematics drop. Intensive use of digital media by children actually damanges the brain. Children who spend a lot of their time on social media, have less friends in the real world than children who don’t spend a lot of time on social media. Spitzer recommends to limit the time spent on digital media for children of all ages.

Many people advocating ICT in education do not want to hear about Manfred Spitzers’ agruments at all. However, in particular those who work in this field should be informed about what thorough research shows, in order to be able to avoid the pitfalls and curb the disadvantages that come along with the use of ICT.

Digital Dementia is published in German, Dutch, Spanish and in Norwegian.

# Iceland

DiScoro was invited to Iceland as keynote speaker at a conference. The audience consisted of twenty researchers from seven different countries. They research mathematics textbooks and how teachers work with these resources. My speech was about:

How do publishing houses evolve from paper-based mathematics textbooks to digital books?
What are the options when you design digital media?
What are the possibilities when you use digitale media?
What are the demands that come up in: taskformat, hints and feedback?
What are the challenges for authors and researchers?

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# History

Digital History is a website about topics in American history. The entry of the website is visualised in pictures as well as on a time-line. The site offers a huge amount of information in text, pictures, films, historical documents etc. Additionally, it offers useful information for teachers. The content of the site is produced under the responsibility of the College of Education of Houston University (US).

The contents is possibly too elaborate to be widely used outside the US, but some topics will definitely be of interest and are worth studying for non-US students. The approach can also serve as an example to work on an historic project or topic nearer to the students.

Digital History (USA)

Digital History (USA)

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