Natural Disasters
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Scootle

Scootle | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it

http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L5826/index.html

Khai Vo's insight:

The ‘Tectonics Investigator (Earth’s Structure)’ is an interactive animation that depicts various processes relating to plate tectonics. This resource is useful as students are given animations and questions, which gradually build up to larger concepts. This multimedia resource employs aspects of the scientific method as students are able to make a hypothesis and analyse given data to make the correct interpretation of the Earth’s structure. Whilst this resource addresses some Stage 4 content (i.e. identification of the Earth’s layers), this can be used as a revision and extension activity to prompt students to reactivate their prior knowledge. The resource also covers introduces the tectonic plate theory and how these plates interact with one another, which is a component of Earth and Space in Stage 5. This could be done on a smart board so that students can move the plates and work in groups to reason and vote for the answers in the following questions. This activity would be appropriate if placed after a video and question that captures the students’ interest such as a video of an earthquake and posing the question of how it is caused.

 

In terms of multimedia design, the resource is effective in achieving its aims. Through the use of conversational language, the resource applies the personalisation principle, which enables the learner to feel as if he or she is a participant and not simply an observer.  The spatial coherence principle is also applied in this resource where text is placed alongside the visual elements and thus within reasonable access to the learner. The user interface is also student-friendly as it has large text, clear navigational controls and has an appropriate colour scheme to ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing to the students. Despite this, sections cannot be skipped and thus teachers cannot customise the learning experience flexibly to cater for their students’ needs.

 

Overall, ‘Tectonics Investigator (Earth’s Structure)’ is a useful resource which utilises good multimedia design in order to engage and introduce students with the content.

 

Rating: 8.5/10

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17_Seismo.swf

Khai Vo's insight:

The online seismograph animation is a resource that can be used to illustrate an example of the detection technologies available for earthquakes. This is appropriate for Stage 5 and relates to the Earth and Space content area. This is particularly helpful for students as it is often difficult for them to visualise how things work without a concrete example. This is an example of a model and thus can be explained/facilitated by the teacher in order to explore how a seismograph works. Despite this, this model cannot be altered as the earthquake used every time is the same and is a limitation in analysing how different earthquakes may produce different seismograph readings. The model also fails to demonstrate how the data collected is transferred to a computer and therefore, this knowledge may need to be provided by the teacher to fill in various gaps of the model. Therefore, it would be recommended to use this as part of a class activity where the smart board or a projector is used.

 

In terms of multimedia design, the animation uses a simple user interface that uses common icons and has the option of removing labels. Whilst the removal of the labels may not be desirable when showing this to students for the first time as it helps explain the animation. The use of the spatial contiguity principle also helps students as the on-screen text is placed close to the animation and thus reduces the cognitive load needed to process the information. The presence of teacher facilitation would also help students make sense of the information as the use of effective narration and animation would be better than using impersonal on-screen text and animation.

 

Overall, the resource can be useful, however teacher facilitation is needed to fill in conceptual gaps that have not been addressed well by the animation. 

 

Rating: 5/10

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Forces of Nature -- National Geographic

Forces of Nature -- National Geographic | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
Learn how tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes work.
Khai Vo's insight:

‘Forces of Nature’ by National Geographic is a resource that covers various aspects relating to natural disasters. It is appropriate for a Stage 5 audience.

 

This resource allows students to learn about various natural disasters through small presentations and simulate natural disasters through the changing of certain variables. This is particularly useful to students who may not have experienced or seen the impacts of natural disasters and provides some context for their learning. Despite this, the examples are primarily located in the USA, which does not provide a relatable local context for students. This could be used in as a means of understanding the impacts of various natural disasters. For example, a student may simulate the impact of different magnitudes on the Richter scale on a building. Whilst this is useful in grasping the content (e.g. understanding what the natural disaster is and how it may be formed), its visualisation of the potential impact of these natural disasters should be used only as a supplementary tool. An example of this is using ‘Forces of Nature’ in conjunction with a problem-based learning assessment. In this situation, students form an emergency action plan response and strategies in the event of a natural disaster in a particular community.

 

In terms of multimedia design, the resource has both strong and weak points. Firstly, the resource provides a clear user interface where students are able to modify variables in order to simulate a natural disaster, which provides them with both immediate visual and written feedback on their set variables. Despite these strengths, the text and interface are small and thus may be difficult to read. This may be remedied by making changes to accessibility options. Also, since the resource will load every time a new section is selected, it may be slow depending on the speed of the Internet connection. Therefore, this resource should only be used when there is a high-speed Internet connection. 

 

Overall, this resource can be useful, however limitations in terms of technology and accessibility may need to be considered depending on the students within the classroom and the availability of ICT within the school.

 

Rating: 7/10

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Tectonic boundaries: convergent - (TLF L5832 v6.0.0)

Tectonic boundaries: convergent - (TLF L5832 v6.0.0) | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
Khai Vo's insight:

The ‘Tectonic Boundaries’ interactive animation demonstrates the types of plate and crustal interactions at convergent boundaries. Through this, it demonstrates how various geological formations are formed such as mountains and volcanoes as well as deducing the reasoning behind why earthquakes and tsunamis occur. This resource aligns with the content in the Stage 5 Earth and Space section and also addresses aspects of the Working Scientifically aspects of the syllabus. This interactive animation allows the students to explore several possibilities based on their choices and provides numerous examples and questions that reinforce ideas which are common to all scenarios and emphasise the differences. This may be used as a class activity or done in pairs depending on computer availability and the ability of the class. ‘Tectonic Boundaries’ should be used after the idea of plate tectonics and the subsequent interactions have been introduced in order to reinforce and clarify the content. Students should be encouraged to seek help from the teacher if any conceptual difficulties arise.

 

From a multimedia perspective, the resource appropriately uses colour and sound to reinforce ideas and has a clean user interface. The navigational tools are also well designed and allow students to backtrack where necessary. This is particularly important if teachers want facilitate students in making various connections between the content. Also, conversational language is employed in order to help the student feel like a participant in the learning process and thus improves student engagement. The spatial contiguity principle is also obeyed in this resource as the text is arranged appropriately close to the animation, particularly when feedback is given for the students’ answer.

 

In conclusion, this resource is highly useful and can be used in different ways depending on the needs of the students. It is well designed and thus lends itself well for classrooms which have access to computers and the Internet.

 

Rating: 9/10

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Catalyst: Knowing the enemy - ABC TV Science

Catalyst: Knowing the enemy - ABC TV Science | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
What does make a bushfire so destructive and how we can engineer our homes for a better chance of survival? Mark Horstman examines the essence of flame itself to find out
Khai Vo's insight:

The ‘Knowing the enemy’ video by Catalyst can be used as a stimulus video within the classroom as a means of analysing the impact of bushfires on humans and dwellings in bushfire-prone areas. This video goes through some factors that have allowed for certain houses to survive bushfires. ‘Knowing the enemy’ provides the students with some ideas, which can be reiterated by the teacher through a quick mindmap activity. The mindmap created by the students will be used as a stating point to research ways in which buildings can be constructed, use certain materials and be prepared for in the event of a bushfire. By doing this, the teacher will be able to start the students to think about the reasons that drive research for the production of new materials and be able to potentially lead to the students to create a house that is safer in bushfire season and any relevant accompanying strategies as part of a problem-based learning project. This would be particularly relevant in the context of the current bushfires that are affecting the Australian landscape.

 

From a multimedia perspective, the video is relatively short and utilises the modality principle as onscreen text is excluded in preference to narration. This helps reduce the cognitive load required to process the resource, however, may disadvantage those who have hearing difficulties or have difficulties with the English language. Therefore, whilst it may violate the redundancy principle, it may be necessary to show captions or have a transcript present in order to ensure that all learners have equal access to the learning material.

 

Overall, the video is short, engaging and can be used to develop the context needed to set a problem-based learning project where students are seeking solutions to real concerns which affect many Australians. This also helps students understand that scientific research is directed by the needs and/or desires of people and the governments and thus understand the nature of Science.

 

Rating: 6.5/10

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