Friday, April 4, 2014

Exploring History, Art, and World Wonders Online

The Google Cultural Institute is one of my favorite sites for students in history, geography, and art courses. The online exhibitions in the Google Cultural Institute feature art, videos, audio, and text about significant historical and cultural people, places, museums, and events. Some of the exhibitions like the Eiffel Tower Exhibition incorporate the use of Google Maps Street View imagery too.

The Google Cultural Institute is divided into three main categories; World Wonders, Historic Moments, and Art Project. In all three categories you can compare items using the built-in comparison tools that allow you to select items throughout a collection to view them side-by-side. You can also build galleries of favorite images. (A Google Account is required in order to do those things).

Applications for Education
The Google Cultural Institute is a great site to have students explore to view artwork, find answers to questions, and have new questions and curiosities sparked in their minds.

A fun extension to browsing the Google Art Project is found in Hangout Quest on Google+. Hangout Quest is a game that allows you to go on a virtual scavenger hunt inside the Palace of Versailles. The object of the scavenger hunt is to find artwork and other objects in the palace. If you invite others to your Hangout you can compete against them in a race to find the objects first. Hangout Quest uses the Street View imagery of Google Maps to bring you inside the Palace of Versailles. Another cool piece of technology added to Hangout Quest is facial tracking. The facial tracking technology allows you to move around in the Palace of Versailles by just moving your head instead of clicking around with your mouse.