Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wild Sanctuary - Hear the Sounds of Nature

Wild Sanctuary has a great resource that allows users to listen to the "sounds of nature" as recorded around the world. Wild Sanctuary uses FreeEarth and Google Maps to set placemarks with audio recordings on a map of the world. Each placemark features a recording of the sounds of nature (birds, waves, rivers, mammals, etc.) made at that location. The FreeEarth version of the Wild Sanctuary map is a 3D model. The Google Maps version of Wild Sanctuary is a flat 2D model, but has some additional placemark tools including Google Maps' "explore this area" feature which will show more information about the area associated with each placemark.

Applications for Education
Wild Sanctuary's "sounds of nature" maps are great examples of how Google Maps or FreeEarth can be used in a science class. In the lower grades Wild Sanctuary's maps are good resources for students to explore on their own. In the upper grades Wild Sanctuary's maps are a good model for students to use in creating their own maps. A fun project that would get students outside of the classroom and get them using technology would be to have students make recordings of their local environment and include those recordings on placemarks on their own maps.

Mudd Math Fun Facts - Enriching Mathematics Lessons

The math department of Harvey Mudd College has a webpage full of fun math facts. Mudd Math Fun Facts has an easy to search database of math facts designed to stimulate thought and make students look at mathematics in a different light. Each fun fact is accompanied by a problem, diagram, and short explanation of a fun mathematics concept.

Applications for Education
Mudd Math Fun Facts is designed for use with introductory college math courses, but it could also be a great website for some high school mathematics classes. The math fun facts can be used to expose college-bound students to some higher order mathematics concepts and spark some curiosity about mathematics. If you have a class website or blog you can link to Mudd Math Fun Facts and provide students with a fun fact of the day that they can explore on their own.