Today was the first of what I call a "Friday Forum." I told students they can ask me any tech related question and I'd do my best to answer. Questions like "When was the first ... " I just had them go to Wikipedia for the answer (shhh, don't tell the Social Studies teachers).
I loved the questions about how Youtubers make money. A few students asked about how much math is required to be a programmer. The most popular question of the day was, "What is bitcoin?" I did my best to answer. I explained how all currencies are agreed upon values and mediums of exchange, then went on to explain if you have $10,000 in cash and it burns partially up you can send to to Fed for a replacement or if it's stolen, your bank account is FDIC insured. If your bitcoin hard drive is corrupted, you are simply out the money. I talked a little about how even powerful home computers barely cross the break even point in mining vs. electricity costs.
To end the day I opened an old computer, explained what the important parts were, and had the students practice installing RAM. Most had never seen the inside of any computer.
Today Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, and Vladimir Guerrero were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. Congrats to them.
My Twitter feed is full of arguments for Omar Vizquel and Edgar Martinez. Being from southern Indiana, one guy even vouched for Scott Rolen. I was out to prove that Scott Rolen was just average - I was wrong.
For hitters I measured the amount of WAR (Wins Above Replacement) generated per 162 games (full season). For pitchers I measured the amount of WAR generated per 200 IP (full season).
The results are below. I had no idea Larry Walker was that good. I thought Sosa would be higher as well. You could make an argument for or against any of these players, but the prevailing stat the BBWAA seems to use is how long was your career. Scott Rolen generated more WAR than Jim Thome in 505 fewer innings. Nothing against Thome, but maybe they should both be in and Thome shouldn't get a leg up for playing an extra 505 innings.
Time for students to check-in with their Pong game. Survey here
6th Grade wrapped up their SCRATCH Cards today.
7th and 8th grade created paddles for their Pong game. We talked about the coordinate plane and degrees in a circle. These basic math concepts help with smooth motion and collision detection in SCRATCH. Students were pumped to create user controlled paddles, there was a lot of excitement and frustration.
6th Grade recorded their first typing score. Some students are at 8 words per minute, some are at 30. Wow. They also signed up for SCRATCH. In a fit of genius I had them submit their usernames to me via a Google Form.
7th & 8th Grade will begin brainstorming for their Pong game. I like to have class guided rubrics on what is required and what is bonus for each project. Students will start by playing Pong to gain familiarity with the game. They will break into small groups to brainstorm ideas for the game. Then as a class we will determine what is required and what is extra. Their ideas, the process, and rubric can be found here.