Monday, January 19, 2009

360 Cities - Embeddable Panoramic Images

360 Cities, a panoramic image collection that I've written about in the past, now publishes an embed code with each image. This is a great improvement to the service as it will allow students and teachers greater flexibility when building virtual tours. The imagery in 360 Cities, as you will see in the image below, is much better than that typically found in Google's Street View imagery.

view Panoramic photography of Günzburg Frauenkirche

Applications for Education
360 Cities offers high quality imagery that students and teachers can use in creating virtual tours. 360 Cities has a Google Earth layer that you can use to view and navigate through the image collections.

YouTube Introduces Download Options

Over the last few days a number of tech blogs, including Ars Technica, have run stories reporting that YouTube is introducing a download option on some videos. I haven't seen any official announcements from YouTube, but there are some videos on YouTube that now have a small download link located just below play menu. If YouTube makes an official announcement about download options, I wouldn't be surprised because last week Google announced a gradual shut-down to Google Video. Google Video did have a download option for some its content.

Applications for Education
The option to download videos directly from YouTube could be great for teachers that want to use YouTube clips in their classrooms but cannot due to filtering restrictions. A direct from YouTube download option would make it easier and faster to save videos at home for use in the classroom. Currently if YouTube is filtered, teachers need find a third-party conversion and download application to save videos at home to use
in school.

If you would like to learn more about converting and saving YouTube videos check out this blog entry.

If you would like to learn more about alternatives to YouTube, check out this blog entry or this blog post.

Inauguration Resources - Interactive Activities

I haven't been great at posting resources for the inauguration, but I did write a couple of posts last week about tomorrow's inauguration. The resources I shared last week were videos of past inaugural addresses, a short video history of all inauguration ceremonies, and 44 Presidents in 4 Minutes. If you are looking for extensive list of resources about tomorrow's inauguration ceremonies, I recommend checking out Larry Ferlazzo's collection of sites.

Jeffery Hill's English Blog also has some very good resources for learning about tomorrow's inauguration ceremonies. It was on Jeffery Hill's blog that I learned about this Interactive Parade Route Map from the New York Times.

RSS Feed - Email Delay

Over the weekend I had to move the RSS and email feed over to the Google RSS service because Google, who has owned FeedBurner (the service I use for RSS and email delivery) for over a year is shutting down FeedBurner services. Google has assured all FeedBurner users that subscribers shouldn't notice a difference. That said, I've noticed that feed delivery has slowed and in some cases stopped over the weekend. If you haven't received any updates from Free Technology for Teachers in the last 24-48 hours don't worry, everything should be back to normal in a couple of days. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech"

Last week I posted some resources for teaching about Martin Luther King, Jr. That blog post contained a short excerpt from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. I have embedded below a full length video of his speech. A copy of the transcript of that historic speech can be found here.