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Additional Social Network article:
By Stephanie Manes, Research Assistant & Social Networking Junkie
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational. Sounds like a great
name for a band, right? It also happens to be a great Facebook page
(tinyurl.com/82gvz4d). It’s one of the many dedicated to sharing ideas
on how to make the classroom a more fun place to learn. On this page,
you’ll find classroom activity ideas covering a variety of subjects and
age groups, and you might just learn a few things. For example, did
you know that there is a nautical flag for every letter of the alphabet?
Visit the page to see a lesson designed around this. Another recent post
features a science experiment centered on dollar bills and magnets and
the creation of magnetic ink.
One great site to check out on Facebook is Calculus (tinyurl.com/7c5u35u). With more than 98,000 fans and posts averaging
hundreds of likes and comments, it’s a very active page. Now, I have
to admit, math is a weak area of mine, so I don’t understand a lot of
the content posted on this page. But for those who get it, it seems
to be a very upbeat site with a lot of educational fun. The creator
is frequently posting math jokes such as “If Jacobi were a wrestler,
I’m sure his nickname would be ‘The Determinant.’” Thanks to my
good friend Wikipedia, I was able to look up this reference and learn
that “in matrix calculus, Jacobi’s formula expresses the derivative of
the determinant of a Matrix A in terms of the adjugate of A and the
derivative A.” This could actually be a really great way to motivate
your students to learn math. If they’re anything like me, they’ll
have to look up every reference to get the joke. And who wants to
be that person who doesn’t get the punch line of a joke? Another
idea is to hold a contest. The first person to explain the joke and the
formula or mathematics behind it wins.
Another Facebook page with useful educational content is
Useless Facts (www.facebook.com/uselessfacts). Although the
name would lead you to believe the page does not have a lot of
worth, it is a great place to pick up offbeat science or math facts.
In browsing the site, I learned that if you shout for eight years,
seven months, and six days, you would produce enough energy
to warm a cup of coffee. You’re not likely to find that in a
textbook (though I would be very interested in the calculation!).
In closing, I will leave you with this quote from the Calculus page: “I will derive!” If you laughed, the calculus page is definitely the
one for you. Feel free to drop me an e-mail and explain the jokes so I can laugh too.