Tech Tidbit {April 7} & Interactive Earth Day Lessons

Updates: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & Learnist

  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt– You may have received an email regarding “Important Operating System and Web Browser Information for HMH Customers.”  The take away from this communication is to use the updated version of Google Chrome (or Firefox) to access ThinkCentral or Trophies.
  • Learnist on iPads– Currently, the Learnist app on the iPads is not working. This problem will be rectified during the next round of iPad updates (which will be this summer). Learnist can still be accessed via web browser, so please let me know if you would like to use this tool in the meantime and I’d be happy to help!

Reminder: Take your iPad up to IT!

If you have a Stone Ridge issued iPad, you need to bring your iPad to the IT office for a mandatory update to the device management system. To help IT along, please do the following before dropping off your iPad:

  1. Backup your iPad using either iCloud or iTunes on your computer.
  2. Install the latest iOS version available for your iPad by visiting Settings->Software Update.
  3. Turn off Find My iPad in Settings->iCloud. (It can be reenabled once you get your iPad back).
  4. Disable your Passcode. (You can enable it again once you get your iPad back).
The first two steps from above are the most time consuming part of this process so your cooperation will greatly speed up the process. If you need help with any of the steps above or if you have any questions, feel free to contact IT for assistance.


Interactive Earth Day Lessons from PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia* is a vast collection of content that brings lessons to life across all curricular areas. Fortuitously, they just so happen to have a collection of interactive lessons for Earth Day. I have highlighted 5 lessons appropriate for younger students below. See the full list of 22 lessons curated by Mindshift.

Orange Juice | Video | Grades 1-4
In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a boy named Ben is asked whether fresh squeezed orange juice or bottled juice is better for the environment. After initially choosing bottled juice, Ben learns the story behind it: oranges are grown in Florida and trucked to a plant in Kansas where they are squeezed, pasteurized, and filtered. The juice is bottled at another plant and then finally shipped to stores. The bottles, if not recycled, pile up in landfills. Ben then learns about the simpler life cycle of fresh squeezed orange juice, and recognizes that it generates less waste.

A Sick Planet | Video | Grades K-12
Use this video to help students understand how rapid climate change is threatening Earth’s ecosystem and recognize the impact of individual action in making a difference.

Effects of Environmental Change | Lesson Plan | Grades 3-5
With this lesson and accompanying media students investigate what might happen to plants and animals if their environment changes. Student will understand the interrelationship between organisms and their environment; that when environmental conditions change, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, while others die or move to new locations; observe ways in which changes in environmental conditions affect the organisms living in that environment.

Healing Mother Earth for Future Generations | Video | Grades 3-12
In this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College, listen as Native Americans share their concerns about climate change. See photographs from the past and hear one woman describe how tribal people were the first environmentalists. In addition, learn how people are noticing that they are losing sacred plants and are concerned for the future. Finally, hear about the importance of education to help future generations live in harmony with Mother Earth.

The Dirt on Dirt | Video | Grades Pre K-1
Using this resource group, students learn about what materials make up dirt. Sid and his friends discover that dirt is really important to the Earth because it helps things grow, and it’s also filled with tiny rocks, pieces of leaves, and even living things like bugs and worms! The resource group includes eight video segments, including a live action segment, as well as an associated activity.

*About PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a free media-on-demand service available to educators nationwide. It brings together the best of public media and delivers research-based, classroom-ready rich media experiences that engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with National and Common Core State Standards. Drawing from critically acclaimed PBS programs such as NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, and PBS KIDS programs like Sid The Science Kid, as well as content from organizations including The National Archives Smithsonian, NPR and NASA, the free service offers teachers access to more than 30,000 videos, images and articles to enrich classroom instruction. – 2013 press release

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