A Teachable Moment

Back in February of 1990? my 6th grade daughter came home from school with science homework on earthquakes.

That was extremely upsetting to me!


Because that was the year of the San Francisco earthquake in October of 1989 during the World Series. It is known as the World Series Earthquake and the Quake of ’89. Everyone was talking about it, it was on the news, in the newspapers, in magazines, and there were many news specials on it.

Why didn’t my daughter’s science teacher take that opportunity, the perfect “teachable moment,” to study about earthquakes?

Right now we have another teachable moment due to the earthquake in Japan and the resulting Tsunami.

And for us techies, a chance to show other teachers all the resources that we have today for instant information in addition to those in 1989.

And most of those new resources are due to the Internet.

One of them is Twitter. We were getting information from people in Japan via Twitter while we were asked to keep from making phone calls to keep the phone lines open.

And some teachers were immediately taking advantage of the “teachable moment” and also letting us know about it via Twitter: from @surreallyno: Changing my lesson plans for today : kids blogging and writing messages for Japanese kids

Most of the resources below were culled from Twitter:

An animation of the tsunami that rippled across the globe http://j.mp/h9kySz

Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami

Map of Damage From the Japanese Earthquake (the New York Times)

The Best Sites For Learning About The Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Sites

Another new resource since 1989 is podcasts – here is information from the CNN Student News podcast, made available through iTunes:

Special edition of CNN Student News reports on devastating earthquake that struck Japan over the weekend. http://tinyurl.com/6e6lqzh

CNN Student News resources to go along with special edition of CNN Student News about Japanese earthquake – http://www.cnn.com/studentnews/

How Tsunamis Work

Tsunami Ripples Across Globe: Animated Video

And of course there is YouTube:

“Japan Earthquake: before and after” http://bit.ly/eLSuoQ via ABC News