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Monday, January 20, 2014

GE Teach Version 5 - A Good Resource for Teaching With Google Earth

A couple of years ago I introduced some of you to GE Teach developed by Josh Williams. Recently, GE Teach was updated again. The latest version provides some helpful options for changing views while retaining the original intent of the site. GE Teach is built around the Google Earth browser plug-in. The purpose of the site is to help teachers develop lessons in which students explore spatial distributions. Watch the video below for a tour of the new GE Teach features.

Applications for Education
Visitors to GE Teach can select from a variety of physical geography and human geography layers to display and explore. A fantastic feature of GE Teach is the option use the "two Earths" mode to show two maps side-by-side. For example, you could use the two maps option to view a map of climate regions on one side of the screen and compare it to a view of population density on the other side of the screen.

Read Write Think Timeline - A Timeline Tool for Almost All Devices

Read Write Think offers a bunch of great web, iOS, and Android applications for students. One of those that I recently learned about from David Kapuler is Read Write Think's Timeline creator. RWT Timline is available as a web app (Flash required), as an Android app, and as an iPad app. All three versions make it easy for students to create timelines for any series of events.

To create a timeline with RWT Timeline students first tap or click along a blank line to add an event. Events can include dates in any format. Each event has room for a brief description and an image. Longer descriptions can be written but they won't appear on the timeline, they'll only appear in the printed notes about the timeline. Students can drag and drop events on their timelines to create appropriate spacing between each event.

Applications for Education
The Android and iPad versions of RWT Timeline support multiple user profiles making it a great choice for classrooms that have more students than tablets. The web version of RWT Timeline also supports multiple users.

The aspect of RWT Timeline that I appreciate the most is the flexibility of date formats. In fact, if you look at the following screenshot of my sample timeline you'll see that I didn't use specific dates at all. The use of RWT Timeline doesn't have to be limited to history courses. Students could use RWT Timeline to create timelines of the plot of a story they've read. Or they could use it to plan the plot line of a story they're planning to write.

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