everyone must check this out. stellarium is open source, that means free, software that can turn your computer, and therefore your classroom into a full-fledged planetarium showing real time star and planet movement from the location you choose. you may also plot constellations, overlay with constellation art, zoom in and out to get close-ups of things like the pleaides nebula, moon, and mars, toggle atmosphere, and a whole lot more. obviously this software can be extremely helpful in an astronomy class but its applications for teaching are endless. connect your computer to a projector, turn the lights off, pick a star, or constellation, or some other heavenly body, and look it up on wikipedia, or another online encyclopedia, and suddenly you have a way for students to travel the universe, learning ancient folklore, etymology, culture, language, history, technology, you name it. trust me your students will be captivated by a lesson that starts out this way. best of all, the program is lightweight, downloads quickly, installs easily on most common platforms, and is super easy to use. you mostly move around your mouse to navigate the known universe. install on your laptop and you have a real-time star map to use studying the night sky. coolest thing since google earth. here is the link:
here is a quick one for all you moodlers out there. there is a module called poll block that allows teachers to poll their students. this is perfect for getting opinions on issues that come up without having to wait for institutionalized surveys. accreditors will also appreciate the data gathering.
here it is
here it is