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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This is Cool! Albert Einstein's Library Online

Through the Open Culture blog I just learned that more than 80,000 of Albert Einstein's documents and drawings are now available to view for free at Einstein Archives Online. The archives include not only his scientific work but also his images and documents from his travels and thoughts on the world in general.

Applications for Education
I haven't had much time to look at the Einstein Archives yet (I'm boarding a plane in two minutes), but I think that it has the potential to be a great resource for science, math, and history teachers who their students to research the development of Einstein's ideas over the course of his life. After I get more time to browse the archives, I'll update this post.

Google Earth Tour of James Cook's Exploration of Australia

Well-constructed Google Earth tours can be excellent multimedia alternatives to textbooks. One such example of this is a collection of Google Earth files about Captain James Cook's exploration of Australia and New Zealand. The files contain animations and audio explanations of Cook's explorations of the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. I learned about these files from the Google Earth Blog. You can read more about the construction of these files on the Google Earth Blog.

Download Cook's Exploration of Australia (warning, it's a very large file).
Download Cook's Circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Download Cook's Circumnavigation of South Island, New Zealand.

Applications for Education
These files could provide helpful audio and visual aids for teachers of history and world geography.

Try the TinEye Browser Extension for Quick Image Searches

TinEye is a reverse image search engine. What that means is that instead of searching for images by keyword like you would on Yahoo Images you search for images by uploading an image or linking to an image. For example, if I have a picture of my dog and want to find more pictures of dogs like him, I simply upload a picture of my dog to TinEye and TinEye will search for images like mine.

TinEye offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera. With the extension installed you can simply right click on any image and select "search image on TinEye" to quickly conduct an image search.

Applications for Education
TinEye's browser extensions could be very helpful for students to quickly locate images to use in presentations. As I wrote a couple of years ago, TinEye itself could be useful for teaching students to be aware of their digital footprints. You could use TinEye to show them that an image they upload to a social network could get reused in multiple places.

101 Questions - A New Math Questions Site from Dan Meyer

Dan Meyer has just launched a new site called 101 Questions on which he is sharing images and videos as prompts for developing math questions. Each image and video has a 140 character field in which you can enter your question. Questions are compiled and can be Tweeted. Take a look at the top 10 to get a feel for what you will find on 101 Questions. I've embedded one of the videos from 101 Questions below.

Incredible Shrinking Dollar from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.

I won't pretend to be able to explain the larger purpose of the site as well as Dan does, so I'll just encourage you to go read his blog post about it. And if you need more background on who Dan Meyer is, watch his TED Talk Math Class Needs a Makeover.

How to Cite a Tweet (MLA Style)

This has been bouncing all over the web for weeks now, but I first saw it Tweeted by Joyce Valenza so I'm going to credit her. If you've ever wondered how to cite a Tweet in your written work, the MLA now has guidelines for how to do it. You can read the guidelines here.

Applications for Education
If you're writing a paper for your own course work and need to include opinions from other educators in that paper, ask on Twitter and you might all of the opinions you need and then some. Now, thanks to the MLA, there is a defined way to cite those Tweets.

Alpha Munchies - A Fun Typing Game

Last week I published a list of 7 Good Resources for Developing Typing Skills. Here's another good resource to add to that list. ABCya's Alpha Munchies is a fun typing game for elementary school students. The game requires students to type letters or words, depending upon the level, to guard their lunches against "Alpha Critters."

Applications for Education
I played Alpha Munchies for a little while and could see how students would get sucked into playing it for a long time. The longer they play it, the better they should get at typing quickly and accurately. If you're going to have students use the game in your classroom, I recommend having them use headphones or turn off the sound as the music might drive you nuts after a while.

Disclosure: ABCya is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

Bundlenut - Bundle the Web and Send it to Friends

Bundlenut is a simple service for organizing a set of links and sharing them with others. To use the service just visit Bundlenut and start entering the links that you want to include in your bundle. You can include comments about each of the links. When you have added all of links that you want to include in your bundle, Bundlenut will assign a unique url to your bundle. Anyone with access to that url will be able to see all of your links and comments about those links.

You can use the service with or without registering. The advantage of registration is that you can go back and modify your bundle whenever you would like to.

Applications for Education
Bundlenut could be a useful service to use when you want students to read and evaluate a specific set of online resources like primary source documents. Students could also use the service when they are working on collaborative research assignments to share important and useful links with other group members.

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