Monthly Archives: September 2009

Exploring Math with a Partner

In Discovering Math Across Generations, students learn by teaching. Hands-on activities like active game playing, practical problem solving, and fun math experiments engage students in expanding their mathematical knowledge as they teach math concepts to a child. A student-centered approach facilitates the understanding and application of topics in algebra, geometry, number sense, estimation, logical thinking, probability and statistics as the student works with other family members and children.

Activities with the Math Exploration Partner (MEP) are divided according to the child’s age range, and each week students do several activities with their partner according to their grade level. For example, during week 3, one of the activities includes “Clean Your Plate.” Here students teach their partner how to count using a numerical manipulative, like dry beans. The child rolls a set of dice and pulls aside the corresponding amount of beans until there are no more beans on the plate. (See video below.)

Discovering Math Across Generations was developed under the Science and Math Project (SMP) funded by the Charitable Leadership Foundation. To learn more about the project visit ESC’s SMART Site.

Above: Lisa Snyder and her 3-year old daughter learn how to count using beans (Video: Betty Lawrence).

Energy: Interactive Chemical Bonds

glucose_jmolEnergy: The Issues and the Science is a course that includes a focus on chemical bond energy and how it is contained in various molecules or fuels. Jmol is a molecular visualization program that is widely used both in chemistry education and macromolecule research.

In this example, students can rotate and zoom in on the glucose molecule to illustrate how glucose is the building block from which cellulose is created. The concept of bond energy is also highlighted in the unit on biology, which discusses the role of glucose and cellulose in plants and how the energy in these molecules can be released for our use. Students simply right-click on the image to get the Jmol menu, which includes the commands needed to rotate and zoom these images.

The Physics of Energy: Virtual Circuits

virtual_circuitThis course uses interactive simulations from the Physics Education Technology program (PhET) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. These simulations were designed with a high degree of accuracy to replicate bench laboratory work. The simulations start with basic electrical concepts and increase in complexity and realism as the module progresses.

Students build a basic understanding of circuits using the PhET online materials. Discussion questions, which are designed to require synthesis and analysis, follow.

Advanced Nursing Physiology Image Map

The image map in Advanced Nursing Physiology provides non-linear, individualized navigation. Students are able to play to their strengths, interests, and scheduling needs by navigating uniquely within a large portion of the course.


A full body high quality image of an anatomical male was used for the image map.

Advanced Nursing Physiology

– A full-body, high quality, anatomical model serves as a portal (image map) to various body systems.

Child Development: Infants and Toddlers

Infant_toddlerThis Infant and Toddler Development course provides students with an overview of major theories in child development.  Students will also develop an understanding of research strategies and the impact of culture, biological and environmental influences on the development of the young child. Current research in the areas of prenatal development, physical, cognitive, language, social, emotional and early brain development will be examined.

As part of a course assignment, students are asked to look to their own local communities in order to observe and compare two infants between birth and three years of age in both fine and gross motor development.  Through observations and analysis, students interpret their results and then report their findings to the class.

Discovering Math: Across the Generations

Discovering Math Across Generations is a course designed to give adults an opportunity to expand mathematical understanding and problem solving capabilities using a learner-centered approach.  

This course asks students to work with a math partner age 6-12 years of age throughout the course term.  By teaching their partners, the student will be able to deeply process, understand and master math topics such as algebra, geometry, number sense, logical thinking, probability and statistics.

Students also rely on a learning style survey and participate in reflective journaling throughout the term.  The course offers constant choices from allowing students to select learning activities that meet their individual needs and interests to determining which online tutorials and resources should be explored to create their own learning path.  The survey:

1.  Allows each student to determine their dominant style of learning,
2.  Demonstrates which learning strategies should be employed to ensure success, and
3.  Highlights which study skills and problem solving skills should be embraced.

The  use of a social networking site,, provides an opportunity for each student to search, store, organize and share links related to their particular learning style and math-related needs for use during and beyond the course term.

Plant Ecology: Virtual Field Trips

Plant_ecologyAs part of the lab work component for the Plant Ecology course at CDL, students participate in ‘virtual field trips’ by visiting the websites of national parks and forests. The sites are representative of a number of different geographical areas selected to introduce students to ecologies different from those found in New York State.

Students complete their lab write-ups by participating in discussions designed to focus on the unique aspects of the ecology of the particular site. Taking several ‘virtual field trips’ serves to strengthen understanding of the course concepts and improve information literacy.

A Discussion Without Walls

In Women, Girls, and the Media, learners create their own Blogs (Web Logs) and share the blog’s location on the web (its URL, or web address) with the class.  Each week, everyone regularly post topics on their blogs about issues in the media and comment on each others’ posts. A custom feature, or widget, built into the course automates the collection of the most recent posts and they can all be viewed in on location. This way, staying current and commenting on each others work daily is quick and convenient.  Below features a similar RSS collecting widget that allows for instant updating of posted materials which is similar to the one in the course :

1&au=y&utf=y&html=y”>View RSS feed

The open nature of the blog opens the students’ posts to the public.  Their observations and discussions become an open discussion for the web community at-large.  This also allows learners to connect with other blogs and participate in related discussions with bloggers all over the world. This reciprocity inherently increases the number of the members active in the course discussions occuring on the learners blogs. It also empowers the learner by indirectly teaching current web technology and trends.

Multimedia Timeline

Fashion in US History explores the interrelation between fashion and historical events from approximately 1850 to the present. The interactive timeline (shown below) plots various moments in history as well as developments and trends in fashion, allowing students to interpret historical information and incorporate it into their discussions and course activities. The use of web links, video clips, images, and content pages encourages students to revisit the timeline as part of their course work.

Click on the boxes to expand and explore the links.

Human Resources Management: Interactive Course Catalog

This easy-to-use, interactive resource provides teaching and mentoring faculty with tools and ideas when advising students who may be interested in taking a specific human resource management study and want to know more about what may be covered. This interactive course catalog will help in the development of independent studies and/or specific HR competency degree plans.