Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Photl - Free Stock Photo Images

Finding free high-quality images can be difficult and confusing at times. Fortunately, everything you find on Photl is free to use in just about any manner that a teacher or student could think of. The only prohibited use that I read was that you cannot sell the images themselves, otherwise you can use them however you see fit. To find images you can search by keyword or browse through the tag cloud.

Applications for Education
Photl is a great collection of images that students can use in their digital presentations. The best part of having students use Photl is that you don't have to worry about copyright infringement.

KidRex - Kid Safe Search

KidRex is a new kid-safe search engine powered by Google custom search. KidRex uses a combination of Google's safe search mode and their own database of filtered keywords, phrases, and websites. In the event that a questionable website does get past the filters, KidRex has a site removal request form.

Applications for Education
When parents ask about web filters or express concern about their children finding inappropriate websites, KidRex may be a resource to recommend to them. Likewise, you may also want to recommend these safe computing tips from Tekzilla.

Virtual Tours of the Louvre

Learning about the Louvre is one of the few things that I remember from my one year of middle school French. (That's more a reflection on me than on my teacher). That year my teacher showed us slides of art work from the Louvre as well as the building itself. Eighteen years later, students don't have to watch old slideshows of art from the Louvre, they can now go on their choice of eleven different virtual Louvre tours.

Applications for Education
The virtual tours of the Louvre could be used in art courses as well as European history courses.

Doodle 4 Google

For the second consecutive year Google is hosting a drawing competition for K-12 students in the United States. Just like last year, students have to submit entries through their schools which must register for the competition by March 17. Again this year Google is offering a $15,000 scholarship to the national winner. New this year is a school district participation award of $10,000 for the district that "most encourages high-quality participation from its schools."

The theme of this year's Doodle 4 Google competition is "What I wish for the world." Students drawings should center around their vision for the world. Google provides doodle templates to help students get started.

Here is a video overview of the Doodle 4 Google competition.

Applications for Education
Having students create drawings for the Doodle 4 Google competition could be a good way to get them to start thinking about ways to improve the world. The drawings could be the start of discussion of visions for the world's future. The drawings may also be the warm-up to a writing assignment on the theme "What I wish for the world."