Tonight the 2010 Winter Olympic Games will begin with the Opening Ceremony! I love the Olympics! Not just because I am an avid snowboarder or dream of someday marrying USA Olympian Seth Wescott (just kidding, but what isn’t attractive about the first in history to win the gold medal in Snowboarding Cross?), but because of the unity it brings between nations. What a beautiful thought it is that this evening at 7:30 est almost 90 nations around the world will sit down to watch their country parade through the stadium in Vancouver carrying their nation’s flag!
You maybe wondering what this has to do with technology and curriculum, but I hope you have already figured it out. What better way to capitalize on global connections then through the Olympic games?
Many teachers feel that integrating technology means using the newest most difficult tech tool out there, but that isn’t the case. Something as simple as having students access the NBC’s 2010 Olympic Games web site or the Official 2010 Olympic web site is great for tech integration as well as content connections!
Math teachers have students look at statistics, odds of winning, ratios of medals, distances traveled to get to Vancover, the cost of a trip to the Olympics now verse years past, etc.
Social Studies teachers…do I really have to go there? Beyond countries and geography, think of the effects during World War II and other pinnacle times throughout history. Who was out, who was in, and why?
Science teachers have you taught about forces and motion yet? How about momentum or speed?
Language Arts teachers what type of news coverage is going on? What articles could your students be reading and summarizing? Researching different Olympians, sports, or former Olympic venues.
Art teachers discuss the symbolism with the flags of countries and the Olympic icon of the rings.
P.E. teachers track the achievements and milestones of Olympic participants. How did they become the athletes they are today? They all were once sitting behind a desk in a classroom, what did their PE class do for them?
Music teacher explore the national anthems of the nations. What is behind the music and the lyrics?
Everyone – Question your students about the logic, strategy, and problem solving that goes behind competing in the Olympics.
Bring the world into your classroom. This is an opportunity that only comes around every four years. I urge you to find a way to integrate the Olympics into your classroom! Help your students become more global!