Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Google SketchUp Model Your Town Competition

Google announced a new global competition today. The Model Your Town Competition challenges individuals and teams to use Google SketchUp to create 3D models of the buildings in their towns. Teams can have up to five members working to develop buildings. The winner(s) of the competition will receive $10,ooo for their local school district. Entries will be accepted until March 1, 2010. You can find all of the details about the competition here. The video below provides a sample of the things that can be done with SketchUp.

Applications for Education
The Google Model Your Town Competition could be a great way to get students to explore the things that they can create in SketchUp.

Vidque - Create a Library of Educational Videos

Vidque is a new service that aims to help users curate their own collections of the best videos available on the Internet. Vidque allows users to grab videos from YouTube,, TED, and Vimeo to put into their own collections that they can share with others. You could also think of it the way TechCrunch did in describing Vidque as video bookmarking.

What makes Vidque unique compared to other video collection services like VodPod is that Vidque uses the videos you grab to help you locate more videos. In other words, Vidque tracks your video preferences to help you find more videos you'll like. Vidque also allows users to follow other users, share videos, and place rankings on videos. Vidque uses that information to locate the best videos to feature in each channel on the homepage.

Watch the video below for an overview of Vidque.

Applications for Education
Vidque could be a great way to build a library of educational videos to share with your students. Vidque allows users to grab videos from multiple sources so even if YouTube is blocked, you still have some options from which you can grab videos. To get started using Vidque, you may want to check out the Vidque education channel.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
30+ Alternatives to YouTube
170+ Intelligent, Educational YouTube Videos
Can't Use YouTube? Try This

Welcome Great Schools Partnership Attendees!

A special welcome for the attendees of the Great Schools Partnership workshop. Thanks to Steve and Connie for directing you here.
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Lesson Plans About Rosa Parks

Today's document from the National Archives is a sketch of where Rosa Parks was seated on the day she refused to give-up her seat. Along with the sketch, the National Archives has posted a lesson plan using the sketch. The National Archives also posted lesson plans about Jackie Robinson and the Civil Rights Movement.

Learning to Give has a lesson plan about Rosa Parks that is appropriate for elementary school use.

Teaching Tolerance has lesson plans about Rosa Parks that are appropriate for middle school and high school students. has an interactive timeline of the Civil Rights Movement. In that timeline is a good section about Rosa Parks and the bus boycott.

Here is a short clip of an interview with Rosa Parks.

A Great Way to Find Great Education Bloggers

As I mentioned last week, nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 Edublog Awards. I posted my nominations here. The Edublogs Awards Blog has created a widget that you can use to track all of the nominations. Check out the widget for yourself and see who has been nominated for this year's awards. Looking at the nominations is a great way to discover education blogs with which you may not be familiar.

Rising Sea Levels - A Tale of Two Cities

The BBC has an excellent feature about global warming and sea level change. Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities compares the responses of two coastal cities to changes and future changes to sea levels. Rising Sea Levels compares Rotterdam and Maputo. In the feature, readers will learn about the causes of sea level change and unique challenges facing each city because of sea level change. In addition to text, the feature includes an "in pictures" section in which you can see sketches of Rotterdam's potential responses to rising sea levels.

Applications for Education
Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities could be useful for anyone that teaches lessons on environmental science and climate change. After having students explore Rising Sea Levels, you could have them locate other cities which could be affected by rising sea levels. Then have the students propose responses for those cities.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Breathing Earth - Interactive Map
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Endangered Places Multimedia Map