Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour This Weekend

Science teacher Amy Ludolph presented ideas about "Earth Hour" happening this weekend across the planet.
from the website:

"Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour."
Hour - Chile In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries/territories officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

Last year, on Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Showcasing Visualization Tools from Data For Change

ThinkQuarterly, Google's new online journal, has devoted its first issue to DATA: one section seems worthwhile for IGSS students to browse as they think about change in the world and how it can be facilitated using the latest information.


See trends shaping our world --everything from wealth and health to education and climate is rigorously analyzed and interpreted as dynamic graphs that represent life in every corner of the globe.

Development Seed

With a focus on international development, this tool makes complex datasets easy to understand using  easy-to-read visualisations or maps.


Free to download, StatPlanet is a browser-based application that creates customized maps, graphs and visualisations from several interlocking datasets.  Social Watch uses it to publish a constantly updated map that charts relative poverty and wellbeing across the world.


This online mapping tool aggregates information from disparate open data sources to offer a comprehensive view of the state of global health using sources such as the World Health Organization, Google News and the Wildlife Disease Information.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Global Incident Map Displaying Terrorist Acts, Terrorism News, Suspicious Activity

Not feeling depressed enough?  Then these maps may just do it for you!!

An amazing amount of information is gathered here. Just click on the button to get different info:  each mark on the maps (powered by Google) give a short description when you click and a web link to the recent story.

Amber-Alert Map

HAZMAT Situations Map

Forest Fires Map

Disease Outbreaks Map

Gang Activity Map

Border Security Issues

Presidential Threat Map

Terrorism Event Predictions

New - Quakes Map

Drug Interdictions Map

Non-Terror Aviation Incidents

NEW - Food/Medicine Incidents

NEW - Human Trafficking

Friday, March 18, 2011

Resources for Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

Resources gathered by Librarian Linda Straube:

Libguides regarding recent news and the Science related to events in Japan can be found here:

See also Lesson Plans and news from

Provided for parents and educators, these links (and their description) are taken directly from MindShift Blog -- add this blog to your reading list:

  • Tsunami Visualizations links to science sites about the Japanese earthquake, as well as photos and videos, interactive maps, and news stories [from Carleton College].
  • The British Red Cross pulled together an informative site about how to address the events with students, including the social and emotional effects of hearing about tragedies.
  • A collection of Tweets, posts, videos, and photos collected by one teacher using Storify.
  • Learning to Give is a website that offers classroom lessons about disaster relief organized by grade level.
AND more ideas on "Best Sites for Learning about the Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami" from Larry Ferlazzo - another blog to follow.

If you have some to add, post a comment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Interactive: A Visual Guide Inside Japan's Reactors

This was recently shared by librarian Deborah Lazar; Lazar's son is living in Japan and she has been following the Japan earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear reactor disaster.

NPR's interactive graphic and video are worth viewing.

Earlier this morning, Twitter published a blog post detailing ways you can help with the relief efforts. Not only have they updated Japan’s mobile website with the latest information on the disaster, but they have also published a list of hashtags to tweet and/or follow related to the crisis.
Here are some key hashtags to remember:
  • #Jishin: focuses around general earthquake information
  • #Anpi: a hashtag for the confirmation of the safety of individuals or places
  • #Hinan: Evacuation information
  • #311care: a hashtag regarding medical information for the victims
  • #PrayforJapan: A general hashtag for support and best wishes for victims of the crisis

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan: Amazing Before and After Earthquake Photos

Social studies teacher Spiro Bolos recently shared these aerial photos featured on ABC News. 

Be sure to hover and drag from the right over each satellite photo to view the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Awesome Storytelling with Digital Photos

A video shared to celebrate the unblocking of YouTube at New Trier on Monday, March 14:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Scenes from Libya

View scenes from Libya from the New York Times. This slideshow features the latest images from Libya, along with pictures going back to the beginning of the revolt.

View breaking news from Libya here. 
Recent highlights of the conflict between rebel forces and Gadhafi:  from CNN

  • Gadhafi's foes announce the formation of a body to represent Libya.
  • Opposition members shot down a military plane in the east.
  • Fight rages in Zawiya after a lull and almost 200,000 people have fled Libya.

A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn

Shared on Twitter by Social Studies teacher Spiro Bolos.  Be sure to bookmark this one.
Howard Zinn, a historian from Boston University, best known for his book 
People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, has been brought to YouTube. This video presents an animated version of Zinn’s essay, Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me about the American Empire. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crisis in Dairyland - Message for Teachers

Nobody says it better than Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Crisis in Dairyland - Message for Teachers

Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Is cyber-utopianism delusional?

Is the Internet making political revolution faster and more efficient or is it facilitating dicatators' agendas?

While many of us fluent with social media think that Twitter is the greatest thing since sliced bread, others react with fear and trepidation to the potential for abuse by corrupt dictators. What's at stake here is:

....the murky relationship between governments and technology companies, and the Internet’s dual role as a tool for the oppressed and for the oppressor. The shift in conversation dovetails nicely with the central arguments laid out in “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom,” written by Evgeny Morozov, a fellow at the New America Foundation and a blogger for Foreign Policy magazine.

I have been drinking the cyber-utopian kool-aid and it feels really good to consider the  Internet a powerful tool of political emancipation.  However,  Morozov convincingly argues that, in freedom’s name, the Internet more often than not constricts or even abolishes freedom.

On the other hand, I believe that so-called smart authoritarian governments cannot respond with the speed and daring of those who call for revolution. It's not only Facebook and Twitter that dictators need to worry about. There's a media literacy in general that matters.  Google Earth is not going away soon and neither is Al-Jazeera.

The big brother aspect which Morozov details is certainly worrisome. It's a title our library will definitely purchase and I will read. Perhaps I'll change my mind.
But for now, I'm betting on the speed of information against all comers.

New Trier Organic Garden