Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hot Apps for Hot Weather?

It's Hot, Hot, Hot!It's official!  We have beaten the record of 69 days in a row of 100 degree or better weather in Austin, Texas. It looks like we will have no problem adding on more days through this weekend to the current streak.

So, how can we take advantage of this authentic learning experience?  One easy way is to use the new All-in-one desktop computers (Manda Pro or 'that really wide black computer) that most campuses received last year.  Each computer comes with a new EXOPC user interface that looks like a bunch of circles on the screen. The user can click the + sign at the top left to add new apps from the AISD EXO app store.

There are many apps already in the store waiting for you to download them.  Today, you can click in the Search box and type 'weather'.  Two apps will show up, one for the Weather Underground and a children's app called Whats the Weather.  Simply click on one and then click the Download button to install.

The Weather Underground site (also found at ,) has forecasts for almost every inch of the United States and many international sites.  What kind of activities can you do with a live weather site?
  • A class can compare our 104 degree weather today with the weather in a desert town or mountain top town.
  • Use the Local Weather tab to find a link for historical data. Using today's weather as a base, predict what the weather would be like on another day of the year, January 22nd12001  for example.
  • Look at the Resources tab and use the Climate Change link to find information geared to an older student.  How are they graphing temperature anomalies on the map? What do the symbols represent?
  • Pull down data that you can put into a spreadsheet that shows 'change in weather'.  Create a quick graph that shows a historical perspective on rainfall in Central Texas. Can the class make inferences based on the charts?
The district has some training videos available inside the district about the new Manda Pro desktops.  Watch the video "Add Desktop Applications..." to see how easy it is to add apps from the EXO Apps store.

How can you bring the heat into your instruction while we are still breaking records? Do you have a favorite weather app or website?

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