Monday, November 23, 2009

Earth Pulse 2010 - Vital Statistics Interactive Map

National Geographic recently released their Earth Pulse State of the Earth 2010 features. Earth Pulse is comprised of essays, photo galleries, links to additional resources, and an interactive vital statistics map. The Vital Statistics Map allows users to view mapped displays twenty different sets of statistics. The data sets cover topics including population change, population migrations, and resource consumption. Users can select two data sets to compare on one map.

Applications for Education
The Earth Pulse 2010 Vital Statistics Interactive Map could be useful for lessons in environmental science as well as geography. Data sets displayed on the map could be the jumping-off point for student exploration into the reasons for the things they see on the map. For example, students could investigate why mutton and goat are consumed at a higher rate in North Africa and Australia compared to North America.

NASA Images - Embed Galleries of Images & Videos

The Internet Archive has created a comprehensive collection of images, videos, and audio recordings from NASA. The collection is divided into five parts; Aeronautics, Astronauts, Earth, Solar System, and Universe. Select any of the five categories to reveal a menu of sub-collections. The space flight timeline found at the bottom of NASA Images reveals collections of images, videos, and audio recordings aligned to each NASA flight into space beginning in 1958.

Most of the collections found on NASA Images can be embedded as a widget into your blog or website. Below I've embedded items from the Earth gallery.

Thanks to Open Culture for their post about NASA Images.

Applications for Education
Although you will want to double check before using them, most of the content in the NASA Images collections are in the public domain. The timeline of space flight could be a good way for students to explore the history of NASA's missions into space.

Time Lapse Videos from Common Craft

If you've ever wondered what goes into the making of Common Craft's awesome In Plain English videos, check out these two time lapse videos from their blog.

I think the videos speak for themselves.

Check out some of these great videos from Common Craft:
Computer Hardware in Plain English
The World Wide Web in Plain English
Lesson Plans for Teaching Web Search Strategies

Mugurdy - Visual Search Engine

Mugurdy is a visual search that I learned about late last week from Larry Ferlazzo (seriously, you should subscribe to his blog if you aren't already subscribed). Mugurdy's homepage doesn't look like much, but enter a search term and Mugurdy comes to life. Mugurdy displays search results as a grid of screenshots of each page in the search results. Place your cursor over one of the screenshots to see an enlarged image of each screenshot.

Applications for Education
Visual search engines can save students time by allowing them to preview the contents of a webpage without having to actually open it in a new tab or window.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Search Cube - Six Sided Visual Search
Spezify - Visual Search Engine
Beyond Google - Improve Your Search Results

CNN Student News - The Health Care Debate

If your students are anything like most Americans, they probably have plenty of questions and confusion about the on-going health care reform debate in Congress. Today's episode of CNN Student News tries to offer students some clarity about the debate. CNN's discussion guide could be helpful with this episode. The episode is embedded below.