Friday, November 7, 2008

Five for Friday - The Week's Most Popular Content

It's Friday afternoon here in Maine and as I've done every Friday afternoon for the last month, I'll share this week's most read content. Stay tuned over the weekend for a new podcast episode and new additions to the resource lists.

The week's most read content.
1. Picasso Animated
2. Give an Old Lesson New Tricks
3. Five Great Grammar Resources
4. Math + Egyptian History = Good Learning Activity
5. Grading Student Blogging

Free Technology for Teachers now has more than 960 subscribers. If you're one of those subscribers thank you. Thank you for subscribing and for sharing the content with others. I'm always amazed at where the content from Free Technology for Teachers shows up on the Web.

If you're not subscribed to Free Technology for Teachers, please consider subscribing in your favorite RSS reader or via email. Subscribing just takes a minute yet it can save you time throughout the week. Subscribing in an RSS reader or via email is like having the newspaper delivered to your doorstep instead of going to the newsstand everyday.

Create a National Parks Virtual Tour

For years National Geographic has fueled my wanderlust. The images and stories in National Geographic still set my imagination on fire today just as they did 25 years ago. On the National Geographic Adventure website there is a feature titled "Best of the National Parks." This feature features images of national parks in the US along with the GPS coordinates for where each photograph was taken.

The Best of the National Parks photographs and GPS coordinates sparked an idea for a geography/ social studies project using Google Maps. Students could look through the Best of the National Parks images then use the GPS coordinates to locate each national park on a Google Map. To extend the project students could search for images and videos to add to each placemark on their maps. To complete the project students could connect their placemarks and plan a route to travel to see the national parks. Here is a sample of national parks connected on a Google Map.

To learn more about US National Parks visit the National Park Service website.

Applications for Education
Obviously this lesson idea could be used in a social studies classroom. The lesson could be extended to a science class by having the students study the effects of environmental change on the US National Parks. The melting of glaciers in Glacier National Park would be a good topic to use to include science in this project.

An Interesting Look at the Way We Search

I'm not sure what the greater implications of this video are for education, but it is interesting. In this video the red dots and red lines represent the eye movements of the average Internet user when looking through the results of a Google search. The video is part of a study conducted by Google to gain insight into the habits of searchers. Google has redesigned parts of their advanced search page based on the study. You can read more about the study on the Official Google Blog.

The Tell Tale Heart Narrated by James Mason

Yesterday, I shared two videos based on the short story The Most Dangerous Game. Today, I found a good video based on Edgar Allen Poe's work The Tell Tale Heart.

Applications for Education
Anyone that teaches short story literature as a part of their curriculum should be aware of the plethora of videos about those stories available on sites like YouTube and Teacher Tube.

On a related note, if YouTube is blocked at your school you may want to try one of these methods for using online video in your classroom.

The Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy

The Avalon Project is a free resource that my honors level US History students have been taking advantage of for last couple of weeks. The Avalon Project, produced by Yale University, provides digital copies of hundreds of original documents from a myriad of topics in US History.

Applications for Education
The Avalon Project is a good resource for students that need to find digital copies of original documents. For example, all of The Federalist Papers are available on the Avalon Project website.