“Why Is Europe Warmer than Canada? The Gulf Stream vs. Atmospheric Winds” with Martin Visbeck (Jan 2002)

by | Jul 27, 2023 | Ocean and Atmospheric Physics

Introduction by Dr. Michael J. Passow

PowerPoint | HTML

Earth Science Content

Dr. Visbeck will share his investigations about the North Atlantic air-sea interactions to explain why western Europe has a milder climate than eastern Canada. The technology integration piece will include using Excel and other mind tools (Inspiration and Table Top) to help students visualize data and their own thinking processes.

PowerPoint | HTML

Integrating Educational Technologies 

Software as Mind Tools:

When dealing with a large quantity of data, the students may get confused or lost in dealing with so many numbers. There are several software available to help them not only organize the data, but have to make decisions about how to organize the data. The software will show the results of these decisions, and help students analyze why it worked or not.

This type of software that help children visualize their own thinking process are called “Mind Tools” by some authors. They are very useful in helping children learn how to deal with their thinking process and improve upon it.

We will be examining some of these software below. One of the characteristics of these software is that they are not tied to content, and can be used in almost any lesson.

First we will examine the Inspiration Software. If you are already familiar with this software, help those around you who have not used it before. Share with us how you’ve used it in your classroom and how it worked for you.

Go to http://www.inspiration.com

Choose Download Free Trial. There is a complete online tutorial available to teach you how to use the software each step of the way. This website also contains different examples of how it can be used in the classroom.

Next, we’ll take a look at another interesting software called Table Top. (http://www.terc.edu/TEMPLATE/Products/item.cfm?ProductID=39). It is a great tool to help students understand how data can be organized and classified.

Another excellent tool to help students look at their own reasoning is none other than Excel, commonly found in all Windows machines! Once students get to the point of finding the right formulas to analyze a data set, and create graphs (having to choose the best type of graph to represent their data), you will have taken your students to the highest levels of critical thinking.

Have fun. Explore the possibilities. Choose one of these and try it out with your students. You may be amazed with the results!


Links from Dr. Passow’s PowerPoint Presentation




Technology Resources

Inspiration: http://www.inspiration.com

Table Top: http://www.terc.edu/TEMPLATE/Products/item.cfm?ProductID=39