ps4_virtual_reality-1366x768 thumbnail

The Future is Here Pt. 1 of 3: Virtual Reality, The Beginning or the End of Society as We Know It?

 

matrix_slide_01-36ss-virtual-reality-100413967-orig_thumb800

“Whoa!” That was the famous word Keanu Reeves said when he discovered the alternate reality of The Matrix back in 1999. Of course, as we learned in the movie, Keanu was stuck in a false reality. His senses were tricked into believing he was on Earth, when in reality an alien planet was living off his body and sending false signals to his brain through some creepy cord connected to his head. It was an apocalyptic, futuristic take on virtual reality, a concept that has been featured in many science fiction films.

The origins of virtual reality date back to 1968 when Ivan Sutherland created a wearable headset  to simulate being in a wireframe polygon room at the University of Utah. Starting in 1966, Thomas Furness spent over two decades at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base developing the virtual reality environments for pilots to train in. In the 1990s, movies like Lawnmower Man and Disclosure, made Virtual Reality look like it was about to enter the mainstream. By the mid-1990s gaming companies Sega, Atari and Nintendo had all invested heavily in Virtual Reality focused games, but the Virtual Reality hype quickly fizzled when all of their prototypes failed. Nintendo managed to get two of its products in the marketplace, the Power Glove and Virtual Boy, but they had awful sales and caused a virtual reality bust.

NES-Power-Glove
Virtual-Boy-wController

The possibilities of virtual reality have only reemerged recently with Oculus Rift, a VR headset company that Facebook bought for $2 billion in 2014. LucasFilms is currently marketing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a Google Cardboard virtual reality experience called Jakku Spy and even the New York Times is embracing it. But what is it? How does it ‘trick’ our brains? How can it be used for social good? In this lesson make your own VR headset and get in on the ground floor in figuring out how VR can change the world.

The Art of Storytelling

The objective of this lesson plan is to engage students in the art of storytelling and improve their public speaking skills.

The Art of Storytelling

The objective of this lesson plan is to engage students in the art of storytelling and improve their public speaking skills.

lebron vs bird 2 thumbnail

Matchup of Legends: LeBron James vs. Larry Bird

 

Many longtime NBA fans are amazed that LeBron James is already playing in his 13th season. At first glance, that number might not seem particularly important, but consider this — Larry Bird played only 13 total seasons in his career.

lebron vs bird 2

Bird, who is frequently referred to as the best small forward in history, was forced into retirement by back problems after the 1991-92 season. James, meanwhile, remains one of the best players in the NBA even though he has already played in considerably more regular season games than Bird.

As a player, James shares many qualities with Bird. Both men were terrific all-around players who filled up stat sheets in almost all statistical categories. Like Bird, James has tremendous court vision and passing skills. While Bird might have been a better long-range shooter than James, LeBron has made up for that difference with his incredible efficiency in finishing plays close to the basket.

Because he came along two decades after Bird, James has benefited from better nutrition, weight training, and travel accommodations. He also had the benefit of entering the NBA straight out of high school, whereas Bird played a full college career first. However, LeBron’s supporters also argue that he is a better athlete than Bird ever was, meaning that he was built for longevity in a way that Bird wasn’t.

lebron training

james tire

The site Land of Basketball shows that Bird and James are almost neck-and-neck in career accomplishments, with Bird holding the edge in championships and rebounds per game and LeBron carrying an advantage in MVP Awards and points per game.

Both James and Bird are among the 10 best NBA players ever, but only LeBron has a chance to add to his legacy. Even before James finishes out his career, LeBron vs. Larry is already one of the best debates in NBA history.

Eminem Vs. Shakespeare: A Poetry Lesson Part 1

The goal of this lesson is for students to engage with Shakespeare’s poetry by comparing it to the lyrics of Hip-Hop artist Eminem. Teachers can also introduce or review literary devices, rhyme scheme, meter, and poetic structure within the context of this lesson.

Vampires: Is There Truth to Their Legend?

In this lesson, students learn operations of real number exponents by using the current population to prove the existence or non-existence of vampires.

Students apply critical thinking and mathematical reasoning skills to develop their fluency in exponential growth (Grades 6-12 should be able to complete every step of the procedure. Some assessment items are more appropriate for high school only. See the listed standards for appropriate leveling).

The Truth Behind Global Climate Change

This lesson helps students understand how the movie The Day After Tomorrow inaccurately depicts global climate change and explores the real effects this global shift can have.