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Thursday, March 15, 2012

NCAA Geography Game

This is an idea that I got from listening to the Dan Patrick Show today (I love radio on the Internet). Today on the show the host (wasn't Dan today) quizzed the producers on their knowledge of where some of the schools in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament are located. Quick, where is Murray State? Where is Lehigh? As I listened to this I thought that it could be turned into a quick, fun classroom geography activity. Ask your students to find out where some of the lesser-known schools are located (city and state). Take it a step further and ask your students to research a few important facts about that school. If you need a list of all of the school participating in this year's tournament, Team Rankings has a free printable bracket (PDF). After the classroom activity is completed you can show students this Google Map of all of the schools.


View 2012 College Basketball Tournament in a larger map

Here's an NCAA math activity that I proposed last year.

Here's a TED Talk from the greatest men's college basketball coach ever, John Wooden. (Apologies to fans of Dean Smith, Bobby Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, and Jim Calhoun).

AudioViator - Free Audio Tours of Cities and Landmarks

AudioViator is an excellent collection of audio tours of cities and landmarks all over the globe. All of the tours that I previewed are Creative Commons licensed and available to download for free. You can search for audio tours by keyword or use the map to browse for free audio tours. I used the map to find audio tours of Boston's Freedom Trail and Mount Rushmore.

Applications for Education
If you're taking your students on a field trip, take a look at AudioViator to find an audio tour that your students can use while on that field trip or in preparation for it. You could also use the audio tour files as part of a Google Earth tour. For example, you could take the Mount Rushmore audio file then have students create a visual tour in Google Earth to match the audio tour.

Google Earth Gallery Now Available on iPads & Android Tablets

Yesterday the Google announced some nice updates to the Google Earth app for iOS and Android. For schools using iPads or Android tablets in their classrooms, the most significant update is access to the Google Earth Gallery. Along with access to the Google Earth Gallery came support for viewing KML files on your iPad or Android device. Now you can browse the gallery of public KML files and open them on your favorite iOS or Android device.

Android users will now be able to capture a screenshot of the Google Earth map you're viewing and share it via Google+, Gmail, and other social networks.

Applications for Education
As mentioned above, for schools using such devices, being able to browse and open KML files on iPads and Android tablets is a great enhancement to the Google Earth mobile app. The screenshot option on Android devices could also be a great feature for teachers who want to share a specific view with all of their students.

H/T to the Google Earth Blog

All of My Blogging Advice in One Place

Earlier this morning on Twitter William Blackledge asked me for some advice about starting a blog. It's hard to make all my advice fit into 140 characters so I compiled this list of blog posts about blogging that I've written in the past. Hence the title All of My Blogging Advice in One Place.

What I've Learned from 5,000 Blog Posts
11 Things You Should Know About Blogging
So You Want to Reuse a Blog Post?
So Your Content Got Stolen, Now What?
How Do You Keep Up With All of This?
About Accepting Advertising as an Ed Tech Blogger (or as a blogger in general)

From Sue Waters, What You Want to Know About Blogging

SideVibe Eliminates Premium Plans

Last fall I wrote about SideVibe, a service designed to help you build lesson plans around web content. At the time that I wrote my review, SideVibe was offering a "premium" version for $5.99/ month that allowed teachers and students to converse about the content in closed feedback loops. Last week I received an email informing me that SideVibe is no longer charging for that service.

Embedded below is an overview of SideVibe.


Applications for Education
SideVibe could be a helpful tool when teaching students to evaluate the validity of information found on websites. By using SideVibe you could take a fake website like DHMO.org and build an evaluation lesson around it.

Inversion Invasion - iPad App to Teach Students About Chords

Inversion Invasion is an iPad app that teaches students about keyboard chords in an arcade-style game. To "defend" various scenes like city centers students have to play the correct notes and chords while "aliens" "invade." The app comes from Jambots who produces other music education apps like Lo-Fi Folk Arranger and Pedal to the Steel.

The video below provides a demonstration of Inversion Invasion.


Applications for Education
Music educators looking for an engaging way for students to practice chords when they don't have access to pianos or keyboards, Inversion Invasion could be a helpful app.

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