Saturday, May 1, 2010

TED Talk - Creativity and Play

Here's a fun, engaging, and thought-provoking TED Talk that I recommend watching if you have 30 minutes this weekend. In this talk Tim Brown of IDEO, a design consultation firm, delivers some thought provoking comments about the role of play in developing creativity.

In his talk Brown discusses the importance of having a comfortable setting in developing creative ideas. Brown also shares ideas about why role-playing activities sometimes fail, but are important learning experiences none-the-less. Brown's talk is not specifically about education, but it certainly has applications for educators. The ideas about setting, has me rethinking the design of my classroom.

Aside from the ideas presented in the talk, Brown gives a good model for delivering an engaging keynote-style presentation. Watch the video below.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
15 TED Talks to Watch Before 2010
Put TED Talks on Your Desktop
Teaching With TED Talks

Google Earth and Maps Lesson Plans

The many uses of Google Earth and Google Maps never ceases to impress me. But a lot of people hear the words Google Earth or Google Maps and only think about locating places and not all of the other things that can be done with these great tools. Google's site for UK schools has some great lesson plans for using Google Earth and Google Maps with primary school and secondary school students. (The equivalent in the US is elementary school and middle school).

The lesson plans from Google for UK Schools are complete, downloadable lesson plans for teaching lessons about animal habitats, climate change, fair trade, history and more. In all there are eight lesson plans for primary grades and thirteen lesson plans for secondary grades.

Applications for Education
If you've thinking about trying to use Google Earth in your classroom, but you're not sure how to it will fit with your instructional goals, take a look at these lesson plans.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Across the Curriculum
Google Maps Labs - Try the Newest Options
Place Spotting - Challenging Geographic Riddles