Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ocean Biogeographic Information - Marine Species by Location

The Ocean Biogeographic Information System provides geographic context for the distribution of marine life throughout the world. Users can search for the distribution marine species by using a traditional search line or by searching via a Google Map on the OBIS homepage.

The map search option is the element, as a non-scientist, of OBIS that I liked best. Using the Google Maps search, users place a small red box anywhere on the map and OBIS will reveal all documented marine species in the area.

Applications for Education
OBIS is could be a valuable resource for biology teachers. The search results are published with each specie's Latin name and common name.
For the self-directed learner in your class, OBIS could be a good place for that student to explore which marine species are where in the world.

One Last Thanksgiving Resource

I haven't posted any Thanksgiving resources because so many others like Larry Ferlazzo created great lists. But, in case you're looking for something quick and easy to use tomorrow, the Talking Turkey segment in today's episode of CNN Student News might be for you. The Talking Turkey segment starts about 2/3 of the way through the video with the question, "what is a group of turkeys called?" Watch the video to find out the answer to that question and more.

(If you're reading this in a RSS reader, you may need to visit the blog directly to see the video).

A Great Twitter Resource for Writing Teachers

One of the reasons I'm hooked on Twitter as a professional learning tool is because of the conversations that take place there. Another reason that I'm hooked on Twitter is because of the great resources that people share on Twitter. What my affection for Twitter really can be attributed to is the people.

Today, through Bud the Teacher, I learned about a person on Twitter that is sharing daily writing prompts. You can follow Writing_Prompts on Twitter to receive writing prompts.

Applications for Education
If you're a writing instructor, particularly a fiction writing instructor, following Writing_Prompts on Twitter could be a good source of writing prompts to use in your classroom.

By the way, if you would like to follow me on Twitter, my user name is rmbyrne.

If you haven't tried Twitter yet, I encourage you to do so. If you have tried it once and didn't like it or get it, give it another shot. It took me a few tries before I started to understand the value of Twitter. And if you don't have any idea what Twitter is or how it works, watch this short video explanation from Common Craft.

Create a Free Website

Sauropol is a free platform for building and hosting your own website. Sauropol offers users the ability to make great looking websites without needing to have any coding ability. One feature that Sauropol offers that some similar services do not offer is the ability to use more than one template within your website. In other words, you're not locked into using one format for all of your content.

As with other free website platforms you select the first half of your url and the second half is comprised of the company's name. For example, the website I built on Sauropol is

Applications for Education
Sauropol, like other free website building and hosting platforms, is a free method for teachers to share information about their courses with parents and students. Sauropol looks great and has the capacity to host a calendar of important dates of which your students and parents need to be aware.

Sauropol is a also a free platform for students to develop and share content that they are creating for your course.

Here are some other free website building and hosting platforms worth taking looking at:
Free Webs
Snap Pages
Web Node

Wired Science Videos

This morning when I logged into my Twitter account I was reminded, by Guy Kawaski, of a video resource that I should have added to the list of educational alternatives to YouTube. Wired Science has hundreds of videos addressing a variety of science and technology topics. In addition to the library of videos, Wired Science, has great articles and lists of science resources like this list of ten amazing biology videos.

Applications for Education
Wired Science is a great resource for short educational videos as well as article and images. If you're looking to incorporate current news into your science curriculum or technology curriculum, Wired Science is a good place to start looking for material.