Tag Archives: video

Projectile Motion Assessment Task

You are a game designer for Rovio Entertainment, the company that makes Angry Birds.  The human resources department wants your input. They are hiring several programmers to build the physics engine for Rovio’s newest game. Here are the demo videos from the top four applicants. Which applicant(s) would you recommend for hire?

Applicant A

Applicant B

Applicant C

Applicant D

Download the original video files for analysis in Logger Pro or Tracker.

These videos were not created by me. I found them online several years ago, but I can’t remember where. If anyone knows, please tell me so I can give the creator proper credit. Thanks!

A Demonstration of the Ineffectiveness of Traditional Instruction

First, answer this question:

A student in a lab holds a brick of weight in her outstretched horizontal palm and lifts the brick vertically upward at a constant speed. The force of the student’s hand on the brick is:
     A. constant in time and equal to zero.
     B. constant in time, greater than zero, but less than W.
     C. constant in time and equal to W.
     D. constant in time and greater than W.
     E. decreasing in time but always greater than W.

Now watch this video. Feel free to pause, rewind, and rewatch as needed.


Finally, answer this question again:

A student in a lab holds a brick of weight in her outstretched horizontal palm and lifts the brick vertically upward at a constant speed. The force of the student’s hand on the brick is:
     A. constant in time and equal to zero.
     B. constant in time, greater than zero, but less than W.
     C. constant in time and equal to W.
     D. constant in time and greater than W.
     E. decreasing in time but always greater than W.

Believe it or not, the concept needed to reach the correct answer is given in Khan’s video. Highlight below to reveal:
C. constant in time and W. Why? Since the brick moves at a constant velocity, the forces on the brick (you and gravity) must be balanced.

Newton’s 3rd Law (or How to Make Effective Use of Video for Instruction)

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:
Download the high-quality video clips for each collision.

Discuss.

Interview on NSTA’s Lab Out Loud Podcast

In which I talk with the hosts of Lab Out Loud, science teachers Dale Basler and Brian Bartel, about blogging, active student engagement, flipped classrooms, pseudoteaching, and the Khan Academy:

Episode 66 – But Are They Really Learning?

Same Planet, Different Worlds

What is the future of learning?

Vision #1: Doing Old Things in New Ways

Vision #2: Doing New Things in New Ways

(Thanks to David Smith of the Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science & Technology for bringing the Cyberlearning video to my attention)

Interview with MSNBC.com

A few weeks ago I was interviewed for MSNBC.com’s “Future of Technology” series for a story on Khan Academy and online lectures. I appear in these two videos:

View it on MSNBC.com: Khan Academy sparks education reform debate
(mobile friendly link)

View it on MSNBC.com: Teaching with technology: What works in class
(mobile friendly link)

I am grateful to the show’s producers, Matt Rivera and Wilson Rothman, for giving me the opportunity to share my work in the classroom and for staying true to my main criticisms. And extra kudos to Matt for what I fear is now commonplace in journalism: he was a one-man show — he brought and set up all the equipment (camera, lights, and sound) AND conducted the interview. Thanks!

Khan vs. Karplus: Elevator Edition

Exhibit A: Sal Khan on elevators


Exhibit B: My students on elevators
Framed around the Karplus learning cycle (Exploration, Invention, and Application) my students construct the conceptual and mathematical models themselves.

1. Exploration Phase:

2. Invention Phase: 

  • Draw a motion diagram for the object attached to the scale when the scale is stationary, then being pulled up and then stops.
  • Draw a force diagram for the object attached to the scale when the scale is stationary, then being pulled up and then stops. Decide whether the force diagram is consistent with the motion diagram. How is the force diagram related ot the reading of the scale?
  • Use the force diagram and the idea under test to make a prediction of the relative readings of the scale.
  • Observe the experiment and reconcile the outcome with your prediction.

(Video and questions for this phase taken from Eugenia Etkina’s awesome site Physics Teaching Technology Resource which has many more video experiments.)

3. Application Phase:

Instead of showing our students a better lecture, let’s get them doing something better than lecture.

UPDATE: Welcome New York Times readers! Other recommended posts:

Angry Birds in the Physics Classroom

I recently blogged that you can now play Angry Birds in your web browser. This opens up all sorts of video analysis possibilities for physics lessons and assessment. Students can easily make their own videos or you can pre-record your own. Videos can be recorded using Jing, Screencast-O-Matic, or Camtasia Studio. Analysis can be done in Logger Pro or Tracker.

Here are some possible investigations to carry out (shared by Michael Magnuson on the WNYPTA email list):

1. Make a reasonable estimate for the size of an angry bird, and determine the value of g in Angry Bird World. Why would the game designer want to have g be different than 9.8 m/s²?   Download Angry Birds video.

2. Does the blue angry bird conserve momentum during its split into three?  Download Red and Blue Birds video.

3. Does the white bird conserve momentum when it drops its bomb? Why would the game designer want the white bird to drop its bomb the way that it does?  Download White Bird video.

4. Describe in detail how the yellow bird changes velocity.  You will need to analyze more than one flight path to answer this question.  Download Yellow Birds video.

5. Shoot an angry bird so that it bounces off one of the blocks. Determine the coefficient of restitution and the mass of the angry bird.  Download Red Birds and Falling Block video.

You can download each video using the links above or get them all here.

Other posts with ideas about how to use Angry Birds in physics class:

How have you used (or will use) Angry Birds in the classroom?

UPDATE 12-28-2011: Our class has been featured on CUNY-TV’s “Science and U!” Jump to 10:25 in the video below:

Merry-Go-Round #anyqs

Upcoming Flipped Classroom Webinar

Thanks to my Khan Academy rants of late, I’ll be participating on the panel for a one-hour webinar on the “flipped classroom.” It’s hosted by Scott McLeod, an education professor at Iowa State University and Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). Here’s the info on the webinar, taken from McLeod’s blog:

WHAT: Webinar – The ‘flipped classroom’

Despite its now-famous Dan-Pink-sponsored affiliation with our esteemed colleague, Karl Fisch, is the ‘flipped classroom’ a true innovation or just a new label on the old stale wine of lectures? Is it something we should be encouraging or discouraging? If it has benefits, are they worth the accompanying drawbacks? Please join us for a lively, 1-hour online discussion about the ‘flipped classroom.’

WHEN: June 15, 2:00pm to 3:00pm Central Standard Time (Chicago). Yes, we’ll record it and put the link here for those who can’t attend.

WHERE: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/flippedclassroom [enter as a guest]

WHO: An all-star lineup of educators who have been writing and thinking about this topic lately!

Not familiar with the ‘flipped classroom’ concept? Read the Dan Pink link above and/or click on the names of the participants above. Anyone is welcome to contribute questions for discussion beforehand. It should be a lively discussion. Hope to see you there!

I’m honored to be taking part with these great teacher-thinkers. In particular, Karl Fisch, Jerrid Kruse, and Syliva Martinez have helped further my thinking about technology and inquiry in math and science. Go follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their blogs!

At the webinar, I’d like to address the intersection of flipping and inquiry. And so I ask you: What do you see as the pros/cons of flipping in an inquiry-centered (physics) classroom?