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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Go Skiing With 2010 Winter Olympians

Just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics Google has added some really neat Street View imagery. According to a post on the Google Lat Long Blog, Google strapped a camera to a snowmobile to record imagery of the downhill ski slopes at Whistler Mountain where the men's downhill skiing competition will be held. Check it out in the map below.

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Applications for Education
The Street View imagery of the ski mountains give students another good way to explore and learn about the 2010 Winter Olympics. You may want to couple these views with the 3D Olympic venue tours available in Google Earth.

If you would like some more resources for learning and teaching about the 2010 Winter Olympics, Larry Ferlazzo has started a good list.

Photo Essay - Earliest Gunpowder Weapons in History

As anyone that has taught a history class knows, one of the questions that a lot students (mostly male) ask is "when are we going to talk about wars?" Wars and weapons seem to get adolescent students excited about history. Environmental Graffiti has an interesting photo essay that may be of interest to that group of students that is intrigued by wars and weapons. The Earliest Gunpowder Weapons in History contains thirteen images (most in the public domain or Creative Commons licensed) with captions about the earliest gunpowder weapons.















Image credit Gary Lee Todd.

Applications for Education
The Earliest Gunpowder Weapons in History contains images that could spark the imagination of some of your history students and become the center of a conversation. As most of the images are in the public domain or Creative Commons licensed you could use them in a VoiceThread project with your students.

If you've never tried VoiceThread, you can find some tutorials here.

Glogster Announces Changes to Edu Accounts

Popular multimedia collage service Glogster has recently announced some changes to their free education accounts. Currently, the free version of Glogster Edu gives teachers the ability to create and manage up to 200 student accounts. Starting on March 1, 2010 Glogster will limit the free edu accounts to 100 student accounts. However, if you sign up by February 28, 2010 you can still get the version that gives you the ability to create and manage 200 student accounts. So if you've been considering using Glogster in your classroom, sign up now for a free account.

If you're not familiar with Glogster, here are some previous posts you may want to review:

Wikipedia in the Classroom, David Warlick's Comments

Yesterday, I published a post titled Textbooks, Wikipedia, and Primary Source Research. That post generated some responses that somewhat surprised me. A few readers told me that their schools either block Wikipedia or have policies that don't allow students to use Wikipedia. These comments and emails reminded me of a video of a David Warlick presentation from late 2008. In the video (embedded below) around the 45 minute mark, David was taking questions from the audience and one of the audience members asked about Wikipedia. The audience member brought up all of the common complaints about Wikipedia being unreliable and a bad resource for students. David convincingly responded to all of her questions. You can advance to the 45 minute mark to see the Wikipedia comments, but I encourage you to watch the whole presentation. If you've never seen David Warlick speak, this video is well worth the time it takes to watch it all.

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