Friday, February 3, 2023

๐ŸšจNew Content:๐Ÿšจ Fate of the Plates

Look, we get it, teaching plate tectonics is hard. Your students have to mentally visualize a process that occurs below the Earth's surface and we only have indirect evidence to support how it works. You've tried everything...graham crackers and whipped cream, play dough, online videos, and more. We've done all those things too! 

Revolutionize the way you teach plate tectonics with Infiniscope's new digital lesson titled "Fate of the Plates," created for high school and higher ed students.

Fate of the Plates features a simulation that allows students to explore below the crust of Earth, choose from continental or oceanic crust, choose their direction of movement, and observe the features formed resulting in different plate boundaries. Along the way, the students collect cards that show the crustal features created at these boundaries and allows the student to track their progress toward completion of the lesson. This hands-on approach makes learning about plate tectonics more accessible by eliminating the mental model gymnastics and enables direct exploration of the variables involved.

The lesson also features a narrative-driven exploration where students work to help their AI friend, named Orby, answer the question of why the Earth's crust is younger than the crust of other terrestrial planets. Along the way, Orby provides feedback, creating an interactive and personalized experience.

Want to know our absolute favorite part? When we taught this topic in the classroom, it was difficult to find simulations that show more than 2 plates interacting, so, we made a section on 3 plate interactions! It's based on the S. American plate and it's ๐Ÿ”ฅFIRE๐Ÿ”ฅ ...errr ...molten? 

Finally, the product is designed to be easy for teachers to use, with full lesson plans and three different classroom delivery models, launch, enroll via LMS, or enroll without an LMS. If you're looking to take your plate tectonics lessons to the next level, this new digital product is an excellent choice. With its engaging narrative, AI friend, simulation, and tracking features, your students will be eager to learn more.


Plate Tectonics not part of your curriculum? No worries! Got testing days coming up in the spring? Spring break? Sub days? These lessons are a great way to provide high quality content without the muss and fuss of a full on lesson plan and still slap (that's what the kids say, right) when you just need to fill time. You can share the lesson with students directly, enroll them in our LMS-lite version, or deploy it via Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

๐ŸšจNew Content:๐Ÿšจ Solar System Formation

Diagram depicting the formation of a solar system starting with gases, moving to coalescing and rotation. The process of solar system formation...a topic we as teachers often teach using a diagram similar to the one on the left. We get the chance to talk about hot plasma (not giant balls of gas burning millions of miles away Pumba! ๐Ÿ—), primordial planets, coalescence of gas and dust, the process of nuclear fusion....we could go on and on! One thing for sure, this is a topic that combines a ton of the physical sciences your students have learned in the past and transcends grade levels. We've seen this topic in middle school, high school, and college courses. 

What if I told you (insert Morpheus gif here ๐Ÿ”ด ๐Ÿ”ต) that you could go beyond the diagram and have your students derive condensation temperatures and location of planets in our solar system and extrasolar planets using an interactive data collecting probe and graphing technique?  

What if I also told you this experience was imagined and directed by ASU's Dr. Molly Simon, an assistant professor interested in the learning differences between students that engage in digital explorations vs those using traditional pencil and paper methods? 

Now that we have your attention, some extra details on why YOU might want to keep this lab in your back pocket! ๐Ÿ“Œ
  1. Learners are presented with a test object (1) that they then drop into the solar system (2) and is plotted on the graph (3). (Figure 1) Here they learn how to use the simulation and read the graph. 

    Figure 1: Explore - Test object drops in solar system to graph temperature and distance from the Sun

  2. Learners choose the type of materials they wish to investigate. (Figure 2)
    Figure 2: Choose and Explore your materials

  3. Figure 3: Predict materials

    Learners then investigate where these materials will condense in the solar system using them as test objects and plotting them on the graph.

  4. From here, learners are tasked to predict the type of condensed materials that are present at each planet location (by AU) in our solar system (Figure 3), then test that prediction by placing the planets in their correct location in the solar system (Figure 4).

    Figure 4: Prediction testing

  5. Figure 5: Explain
    Learners are now asked to explain what they have learned about the condensation temperatures as a predictor of the early solar system (Figure 5).

  6. Finally learners are asked to elaborate and apply what they've learned to an exoplanetary system (Figure 6). 

Figure 6: Elaborate


Solar system formation not part of your curriculum? No worries! Got testing days coming up in the spring? Spring break? Sub days? These lessons are a great way to provide high quality content without the muss and fuss of a full on lesson plan and still slap (that's what the kids say, right) when you just need to fill time. You can share the lesson with students directly, enroll them in our LMS-lite version, or deploy it via Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle.

Get started today and check out Solar System Formation.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

No LMS? No Worries!

Infiniscope Presents: Enrollment 101

Welcome back! 

The new school year is upon us and based on our quick poll in the Facebook Hivespace, we see some of you are feeling a bit ho-hum about it. Not to worry! We are here to support you. Today's topic is all about the Enrollment feature on Infiniscope. Not just ANY enrollment feature, but the one you can use even if you DON'T have an LMS like Canvas, Moodle, or Blackboard. 
Jack Sparrow representing Teachers and running away from people titled Back to School reminders

We built something called LMS-free, specifically for educators without an LMS. We want to show you how it all works, so make sure you bookmark this page for quick reference!

Below you will find a series of steps, a few ๐Ÿ”ฅHOT TIPS๐Ÿ”ฅ to help you out and maybe a couple of subtle (not so subtle?) jokes. Before we dive in, we admittedly are making a couple of assumptions, such as

    1. you already have an Infiniscope account
    2. you know how to login
    3. you know how to find a lesson page through the view educator resources button

If you are missing any of this know-how, check back soon for other blog posts on these topics. 

To begin your LMS-free enrollment journey, select a lesson and open the lesson resources page. Once on the lesson resource landing page, scroll to the bottom to find these 3 ways to teach:

1. Choose "Enroll to get started".

2. Choose the first button "I don't have an LMS or I use Google Classroom."


3. Set up your course section by adding a TitleStart date and End date.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

It's NSTA time! Stop by to say Hi!

NSTA is finally here and we are excited to see you all! We're hanging out in the NASA booth with all our favorite NASA funded education projects like GLOBE Mission Earth, GLOBE Observer and NASA Astromaterials. We are so blessed to have such an amazing community, seeking us out when they know we are together at events like this. What an amazing day catching up with old friends and long time members and IN-PERSON! 
(Looking at you Denise Wright and Melissa Sleeper ๐Ÿ‘€) 

Today was the big opening day and we are officially launching our new website, tools, and opportunities to the entire world while we are here at NSTA. For those of you following us all along, you know how far we've come in the last 2 years and what a relief to be able to share the awesome vision and resources you've all come to know and love the last 6 years. 

The big winners of the day have been Phases of the Moon, the fancy schmancy Moon Phases card game deck, and the Tour It tool with teacher created examples! Teachers have also been fascinated by the red die with QR codes all over it that Sina created. Nope...its not a Merge Cube, but it is a FREE QR code block even you can create to share resources with your students.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with 2 days to go. See us at two different Share-a-thons, the NASA Booth, and the NASA Hyperwall. You can even pop in like Bruce Boehne did to give a live ๐ŸŽค testimonial during a Hyperwall talk. 

Hope to see a few more of you while you're in town! 

Jess ๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

New and Improved!

Greetings Hivespace! ๐Ÿ

Welcome to the new and improved Infiniscope Website Experience! 

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." 

Walter Bagehot

Sina and I continue to be your guides on this adventure as we bring you a new website and team members to support you and your ever-changing classrooms. 

I'll create a separate post to introduce you to new team members and reintroduce you to Sina and myself shortly. Today's post is all about the excitement we share with you about the website! It's been a long slog since January of 2020 when we received the news that Smart Sparrow sold their platform. 

I'm not going to lie, the news was first. How would we continue to support YOU?! You are the MVPs and we needed to keep going for you!

But you see, we have amazing leadership here in ETX, the home of Infiniscope. Leaders that have vision and gut instinct. Our Director, Dr. Ariel Anbar insisted we could build a new platform from the ground up. One that was better, more powerful, open-source, and more intuitive. Over the last two years, we have partnered with Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative (OLI) and Unicon inc. to envision and implement this new platform, and enlisted the help of a new technology service provider, Argos Education to deliver these products to educators and learners. All of these technologies mean a new delivery mechanism...the new and improved Infiniscope website! Huge shout-out to Daydream Software for building the site of our dreams!

With the launch of this new website, you receive 
  • an all access pass to this powerful new authoring platform hosted by Argos Education called Torus. Torus is non-proprietary, so we and you no longer need to worry about the sale of our technology tool in the future. It includes a feature called "Core Authoring" that allows educators to quickly and easily create their own lessons and an adaptive page to create more advanced lessons like those previously built in Smart Sparrow.

  • tools that enable enrollment, whether you have an LMS or not. No LMS? Just click and go! Have an LMS, connect with your administrator to connect Argos Education. Once Argos is connected to your school's LMS, you or any teacher can enroll students in a lesson at any time!

  • search functions! We have created tagging and search features that allow you to quickly find the content you are looking for and we even allow you to suggest tags. Is a piece of content aligned to a specific state standard for you? Tag it! Then others from your state can find the same content.

  • quick access to all the Hivespaces with more ways to connect to educators in the network using the platforms you enjoy most. Have a preference for Facebook over Slack? We have a group for you to connect with!

  • so much more! Get in there and start playing around to find all the features that your membership provides for free. 
We know it has been a long wait and we are so excited to have you along for the next phase of Infiniscope. Stay tuned for more blog posts as we feature team members, hive members, and "how-to" vignettes. There's SO MUCH MORE to share! 

Follow us to stay up to date!

Have a great week all!

Jess Swann - The Queen ๐Ÿ‘‘  Bee ๐Ÿ