Posts Tagged ‘Innovids’

I have touched on the idea of using Poetry in Physics on my blog post My top five list of features in Office 2007!, but this looks at the issue in more depth and it was a must to write it just one day before the National Poetry Day.

October the 7th will be the National Poetry Day and people across the UK will celebrate poetry. What better way to celebrate than getting your students to engage in Poetry in ways and areas they might have never thought possible?

Last year I used the Math Add-in for Word 2007 to create graphs of the Photoelectric Effect and then asked, in the same worksheet, my pupils to put in rhymes what the graph meant and how it explained the Photoelectric Effect. Obviously, it would have been unfair to ask them to do Poetry and coward away from it myself, so I created the instructions for their task as a poem too (a pretty bad, but maybe not so bad for an Italian with English as a second language). The results were quite remarkable and I was pleasantly surprised to see such good Physics in their explanations and such nice rhymes too.

Here is the task I set for my students:

Equation and graph created with Math Add-in

The red line was added by one of the students in response to the second part of my rhymed instructions, see below.

If this is the Photoelectric equation,

Name its parts with some persuasion!

Kinetic energy, Planck’s constant and even work function

Which symbols and Greek letters go in conjunction?

At this point they had to list the symbols associated to the Photoelectric Effect equation. Then the task carried on:

Ok, you know your symbols and letters in Greek,

Another challenge lies ahead for you Geek!

The metal is swapped with one of work function much higher,

In red the new graph draw, if this knowledge you want to acquire!

Now, about this can you rhyme?

Don’t rush it and take your time

To have some fun and give it a go

And make your explanation flow.

And it doesn’t end there, because one of the best poems came from a student who was supposed to be Dyslexic! His poem is below.

The photoelectric effect is easy

UV light hits the metal causing it to become a little queasy

The metal releases a photoelectron without a fight

More electrons are released when the intensity is increased of the light

As long as the threshold frequency is met

The electrons would be emitted I bet

The threshold frequency for a given object

Is the minimum frequency needed for photoelectric emissions to collect

To escape the potential well

The electron must do a certain amount of work to excel

The work function can be defined

As the minimum work needed to remove an electron blind

That is all you need to know

about the photoelectric effect and potential well

When u hear of this effect

Just think how it could be in your subject

The students went on to merge the best parts of each poem created to form a rap that they then sang and recorded using SongSmith, which can be downloaded free of charge from all teachers on the Partners In Learning Network.

If you want to know more about the Math Add-in and how you could use it with your classes have a look at the Innovid I made below!

No. 1 – I found a pearl in Excel 2007, or the Share Workbook feature

You can share a workbook with multiple users over a network! Just go to the “Review” Ribbon and click on “Share Workbook” and tick the “Allow changes…” box. It’s as easy as that!

Sharing in Excel

I have used it to create real time polls in my classes and for other collaborative projects. To see the changes made by other users the individual user has to save the work repeatedly, which is not as good as spreadsheets in Google Docs. You also have the disadvantage, unlike Google Docs, that you cannot share the workbook over the Internet, but just on a local network. However,  for schools this feature is just AWESOME, because it lets you share a workbook with entire classes and you retain all the really amazing features of Excel 2007, features like Smart Arts and the new graphing tools that make look Google Docs spreadsheets like primitive cave drawings in comparison!

No. 2 – Triggers in PowerPoint

Triggers in PowerPoint allow you to start animation effects of objects on your slides at the click of other objects, so you can get things to move, change, appear and disappear by clicking on existing objects, or even “invisible” buttons that you have created. The possibilities are limitless. I have seen Blockbuster games designed with triggers and I have made multiple teams games, where from the same slide two teams can play and affect changes on the side of their team. I have also created drop down menus to navigate around your presentation (this is very effective and looks very professional) and spelling and Numeracy games. Have fun with triggers, you will find them in the Timing tool for each animation you create in PowerPoint!

The Timing tool in PPT

The Timing tool in PPT

Download my Innovid on Triggers here.

No. 3 – Ink for Office 2007

Ink has actually been around for a long time in PowerPoint, but Office 2007 has extended it to Word and Excel too, which is a great asset, if you are using an interactive whiteboard, or a Tablet PC. Well the name says it all, with Ink you can use your interactive pen to hand write directly on you PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and even Excel workbooks. I will produce an Innovid on Ink very soon, so I’ll let you know when you can access this one! Meanwhile, if you want to have a go at inking, you’ll find this tool in the Review ribbons. Have fun with it!

Ink

No. 4 – PowerPoint Plex

PPTplex is an amazing plug-in for PowerPoint 2007 that allows you to display all your slides as if they were on a canvas! You can then zoom in and out of each section of your canvas and enjoy the looks of amazement of your audience. You can also look at the PPTplex blog to get your Wiimote to act as the mouse and control your presentation using a Nintento Wii remote control. This is quite amazing!

In Education you can use PPTplex to create amazing mind maps with your classes and to create timelines that really come to life in History, etc…

Have a look at my Innovid on the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Network

No. 5 – Maths Add-in for Word 2007

The Maths Add-in enhances the already very good Equation Editor in Word 2007 and lets you solve simple and simultaneous equations. You can also plot 2-D and 3-D graphs directly in Word and trace the curve, or rotate around the axis of your choice!

This is very useful and if you this Maths is the only thing you can use it for think again, because I used it (under suggestion of Stuart Ball, Microsoft) to get my Yr 12 pupils to create a Poem to describe the Photoelectric Effect

Math Add-in

I have made an Innovid about this Add-in, so take a look at it and have fun with it!

Well, these are my top five features in Office 2007. What are yours? Please comment!!!