Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Spark your Climate Curiosity

This morning I was reading through some Tweets and came across one that had a link to a website that I had not seen before.

The website is WeatherSpark which when I went to it really blew me away at the amount of information that was available on it. When you go to the homepage for the site you just enter in the city you live in or one that you want to see the weather for and click Get Weather.

Once you do this you are taken to the Dashboard Tab which is partitioned with a Geographical Map on the left side of the screen which displays the previous six hours worth of weather data. At the bottom of this side of the screen there is a slider bar with a play button that allows you to see the satellite imagery as the weather is coming in. You also can see the current temperature within the last ten minutes. On the right side of the screen is a graph that shows the weather trends in a chart format across the day, week, month and year. On the chart you can follow along with the temperature, precipitation and cloud cover during the day. As well you can follow along with that same information over time too. Yes you have access to historical data, looking at the historical information it seems to be generated according to the location that you are searching. So some locations may seem to have more than others as you are looking at them. You can also compare different locations to see how the weather is in different parts of the world on the current date or a time in history.

So how does this apply to you and how you could use this in your classroom? This could be a great opportunity to showcase your Promethean, SMARTBoard, or LCD monitor in your classroom with your students. As a center your students could come up to the board and check the local weather and their favorite vacation spot. You could go back to the year your students were born to see what the weather was like on the day that they were born. During the school year when you are concentrating on weather you can use this site to demo and to gather data. This could function as cross-curricular due to the statistical and analytical components that you could develop around the site.

For teachers this could also factor into the new evaluation tool for Standard IV for integrating and utilizing technology in instruction and helping students to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. It can also encompass the new Common Core standards for using technology tools and skills to reinforce classroom concepts and activities. As well as using technology and other resources for the purpose of assessing, organizing, and sharing of information.

I have just scratched the surface as to the possibilities that you can develop around the WeatherSpark website. Take a look at the site, see what you think of it. After just a few minutes on the site I was hooked and started thinking about all the possibilities of uses that this site could have in the classroom. Thank you @willrich45 for sharing this resource.

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