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Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Resources for Geography Teachers

My Wonderful World is an excellent resource for geography teachers and geography students. My Wonderful World provides a host of great ideas, lesson plans, games, videos, and visual aids for teaching and learning geography. Some of the items on My Wonderful World that immediately stand out are great links to resources about geocaching and earthcaching activities, preparation materials for the National Geography Bee, and free classroom maps for teachers. My Wonderful World also has a Youtube channel where teachers will find educational geography videos.

Applications for Education
My Wonderful World has a list of the top ten reasons for teaching and learning geography. In each of the items on the list are links to great teaching and learning materials. One of the best items on the list is #6, "make it extracurricular." My Wonderful World suggests making geocaching or Earthcaching an extracurricular activity to get parents and community members involved in Geography education. This is a great idea because geocaching gets students outside while providing a hands-on learning experience.

A Simple Explanation of Geocaching

Geocaching can be a fun and educational outdoor activity. The video below from Geocaching.com explains in simple terms what geocaching is and how you can get started. There's clearly a plug at the end for Geocaching.com's subscription service (they also have a free service) but otherwise it's a good introduction to geocaching.



Applications for Education
Having students participate in geocaching activities can be a good way to move geography lessons out of the classroom.

Math in Outdoor Recreation

The Math of Rock Climbing is a video that I discovered through the Open Culture blog. I have done some rock climbing so I was interested just by the title. As I watched the video I realized that there is an opportunity to incorporate a mathematics lesson into a physical education class. My school has a ropes course that the students use during physical education classes. If your school has the same or there is a rock climbing gym in your area that you can take students to, you have an opportunity to have students physically experience mathematics. Watch the video below.


Cloud Canvas - Edit and Create Images Online

Cloud Canvas is a free online image editing and image creation tool. Cloud Canvas fits in a niche somewhere between a simple drawing tool and a full-blown image editor like Aviary. If all you need is a tool for drawing simple pictures and diagrams, Cloud Canvas has you covered. If you need to do some basic work with vectors and layers, Cloud Canvas can help you there too. If you have photos or drawings that you want to edit, you can do that with Cloud Canvas.

Cloud Canvas uses HTML5 instead of Flash so you should be able to use it on the iPad. Cloud Canvas integrates with your Google Docs account so that when you save an image edited in Cloud Canvas it is saved and accessible in your Google Docs account. You can also export your images as PNG files.

Applications for Education
One sure way to make sure that your students don't violate anyone's copyright when using images for multimedia projects is to have them create their own images. Cloud Canvas is a free tool that your students could use to create images for their multimedia projects.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
7 Resources for Creating Cartoons & Comics
Five Online Drawing Tools
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps

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