Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Visual Dictionary from Merriam Webster

As Larry Ferlazzo already pointed out today, the Webby Award nominee list can be a good place to find websites appropriate for classroom use. One of the resources that I just learned about through the nominee list is Merriam Webster's Visual Dictionary. The Visual Dictionary is divided into fifteen thematic categories containing more than 6,000 words defined and accompanied by images. You can find words and definitions by browsing through the categorized images or by using the text search bar.

Applications for Education
The Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary could be a great resource for ESL/ EFL students and teachers. Even if your students are struggling to identify the correct words for things, as long as they select the right thematic category they can find the word by looking at the pictures.

For all students the images can help students understand difficult definitions.

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A Simple Google Search Tip

I was going to write a blog post about another little browser add-on designed to help people refine Google searches. Then I thought that with so many third party add-ons and other tools it's easy to overlook the tools that Google provides so let's look at one of those overlooked tools. Under every link summary in a Google search results page is a little link labeled "similar pages." Click the "similar pages" link to see related content that doesn't appear in the first page of search results.

Applications for Education
The "similar pages " link is a simple tool that doesn't require any extra effort, but can show your students links that they might otherwise miss.

Here are some related links that may be of interest to you:
Internet Search Strategies Explained
Cloudlet - Refine Google, Yahoo, and Twitter Searches
Ambiently - Find Related Content With One Click

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Virtual Submarine Tours in Google Earth

Through the Google Earth Blog I've learned about some virtual submarine tours created in Google Earth. Sea-Seek has created six virtual submarine tours of sites including the Mariana Trench and the Strait of Gibraltar. These tours operate in your browser using the Google Earth browser plug-in. To view the tours visit the Sea-Seek homepage where you will find the tours in the lower-right hand corner of the page.

If you don't have the Google Earth browser plug-in, you can get it here. After installing the Google Earth browser plug-in you can view some of Google's featured tours including a Mars exploration.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Tours and DIY Google Earth Tours
Google Earth and Google Maps Help
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed

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ARMAP - Arctic Research Mapping Application

ARMAP is a comprehensive resource of interactive, online maps of Arctic research. ARMAP's resources include files for use in Google Earth as well as ArcGIS explorer. You can also access 2D maps directly on the ARMAP website. ARMAP provides map layers and placemarks about a wide range of topics related to Arctic research.

Before opening the general ARMAP map, visit the map gallery for a primer on the type of resources that can found on ARMAP. You should also check out the links section of ARMAP to visit the sources of much of the ARMAP content.

Applications for Education
I initially thought that ARMAP would just be useful for finding information about climate change and Artic science research, but in my review of the site I found that there are resources related to the social and political aspects of living in the Arctic Circle.

The content on ARMAP is best suited to high school and college students who have experience using Google Earth and or ArcGIS.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Geography Links You Might Have Missed

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