Monday, February 1, 2010

Month in Review - January's Most Popular Items

At the end of every month I like to post a list of ten most popular items from that month. I do this for two reasons. First, it's an opportunity for people to catch up on resources that they might have missed during the course of the month. Second, as a blogger it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the type of posts that readers find most valuable.

Here are the ten most popular posts in the month of January:
1. Seven Places to Find Free eBooks
2. Google Earth Layer About the Earthquake in Haiti
3. Audio Owl - Hundreds of Free Audio Books
4. Creating Podcasts from Soup to Nuts
5. More than 2000 Free Mathematics Tutorials
6. Five Platforms for a Classroom Back-channel Chat
7. More Than 100 Editorial Cartoon Lesson Plans
8. Youblisher - Publish PDFs as Online Magazines
9. Two Lesser Known Google Docs Options
10. Prezi Announces New Free Education Licenses

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Walking in Holden's Footsteps - Interactive Map

It appears that some folks at The New York Times have gotten a hold of Jerome Burg's Google Lit Trips concept and applied it to create an interactive map based on The Catcher in the Rye. Walking in Holden's Footsteps is based on Holden Caulfield's travels around Manhattan. The map contains twenty points. Click on any of the points to read an excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye that references that point on the map of Manhattan.

Hat tip to Open Culture for the link.

Applications for Education
As mentioned above, Walking in Holden's Footsteps uses the same concept as Google Lit Trips in that it gives geographic context to the events in a story. Creating interactive maps of storylines is a new twist on the book report concept. Maps made using Google Earth or Google Maps can include video clips, images, and text based on the books students read.

The Museum of Animal Perspectives - Videos

The Museum of Animal Perspectives is a neat mash-up of Google Maps and videos. The Museum of Animal Perspectives displays videos of animals in their (mostly) natural states. The videos are geolocated on a Google Map according to where they are typically found in the world. Most of the videos are from YouTube, but some are also available in QuickTime format. Below is a video of a lobster burrow that I found by clicking on a placemark on the New England region of the Google Map.

I learned about the Museum of Animal Perspectives from Google Maps Mania which is a great source of information about Google Maps.

Applications for Education
The Museum of Animal Perspectives could be a handy resource for elementary school and middle school science teachers who would like to provide their students with videos, in geographic context, of animals their students are learning about. The Museum of Animal Perspectives is also a good model of using Google Maps to document research. You could have your students create their own Google Maps animal maps using the model of placing placemarks on the map where the animals can be found in nature. Your students placemarks can include videos, but they could also include images and text documentation.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Interactive Periodic Table
Medical Animation Library
Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion

Explore the History of the World Through Objects

The BBC and the British Museum have partnered to create an excellent interactive timeline called A History of the World. A History of the World presents images of artifacts from various eras in world history. The objects are displayed in rings arranged to match each era. Click on any object in the ring to see a larger image and to read about the significance of each artifact. You can browse the collection by clicking through the rings of images or you can browse by location, by historical theme, or by dates.

Applications for Education
A History of the World could be used as the jumping-off point for student research projects on eras in world history. You could have students select an object, read the accompanying blurb, and then search for more information related to that object and or the civilization associated with the object.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
European Virtual Museum - 3D Interactive Artifacts
The Bayeux Tapestry Animated
Timelines TV - British and American History Videos

Memonic - Capture and Organize Your Web Findings

Memonic is a relatively new tool for curating collections of information from the web. Memonic's key function is to give users the power to clip sections of websites and build them into a personal collection. Along with the clipping of information, users can add commentary to each item they place into their personal accounts. For example, if I clipped a paragraph from iLearnTechnology I could also add some notes for myself about that paragraph.

There are a couple of ways to add content to the folders within a Memonic account. The easiest way add content to a Memonic account is to use the Memonic bookmarklet for Firefox. After the bookmarklet is installed, users can click it at anytime while they're browsing the web to add content to their Memonic folders. Alternatively, users can add content by typing the url of a desired page into the Memonic "web clipper" that is present within every Memonic user's account page. Either way the following directions show you what do after arriving at a website from which you want to cull information.

Here is a video overview of the Memonic concept.

Applications for Education
Memonic could be a good resource for helping students organize the findings of their web research. The ability to add commentary along with the url could help students remember why they clipped something.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Wet Mount Helps You Organize Web Research
Lumifi - Enlighten Your Research
iCyte - Highlight and Currate Web Research