Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Heganoo - Another Nice Tool for Creating Mapped Stories

Thanks to Google Maps Mania I learned about another new tool for creating mapped stories. Heganoo is a tool that allows you to build multimedia placemarks on a map. Your completed map can be displayed in a variety of formats including a slide-by-slide format that allows viewers to see placemark information as slides while viewing the map in the background. Placemarks in your map can include pictures, videos, and text. Check out the sample American Revolution map embedded below.

Applications for Education
Heganoo, like tools similar to it, could be a good tool for students to use to create stories about historical events and current events that involve multiple locations. As I learned years ago with one of my special education students, the visual connection between location and information can be a great asset to students in recalling that information later.

The Evolution and Disappearance of Languages

This morning through Open Culture I learned about a neat TED-Ed lesson on the evolution of languages. Through the lesson students can learn about the difference between a dialect and a language, causes of linguistic divergence, and the types of words that are likely to be borrowed between languages. The video of the lesson is embedded below.

The TED-Ed lesson above reminded me of a couple of maps about the distribution and disappearance of languages around the world. National Geographic's Vanishing Voices is a languages hotspots map. The languages hotspots map is a heatmap of regions in which there are languages in danger of vanishing. You can click on the map to learn about the languages in danger in those regions.

The Endangered Languages Project map contains references to more than 3000 endangered languages. Click on the placemarks to find the names of languages, information about who speaks those languages, and the risk of those languages becoming extinct. The Endangered Languages Project is a collaborative project that invites contributions of language documentation in text and video form.

GE Teach - A Good Tool for Teaching With Maps

A few years ago I introduced some of you to GE Teach developed by Josh Williams. Recently, Josh updated GE Teach to use the latest Google Maps API. The latest version provides some helpful options for changing views while retaining the original intent of the site. The purpose of the site is to help teachers develop lessons in which students explore spatial distributions. Watch the video below to see how the latest version of GE Teach works.

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 maps" mode to show two maps side-by-side for the purpose of information comparison. Adds Support for Importing Word Lists is a free service that is designed to help its users learn a new language while browsing the web. The web app gives you the option add words from reading suggestions or manually enter words to study. The web app contains a game aspect that features weekly leader boards and points for different behaviors. Users can earn points for things like for looking up a word from a reading suggestions and for successful practice completion.

The latest update to allows you to import a word or list of words that you are studying. The web app will then search for articles that contain the words you are studying. The purpose of is to help you see words in the context of everyday articles and this update will help you do that.

Applications for Education
Teachers can use the latest feature to enter vocabulary lists and then generate updated content suggestions from all over the web that contain those words. Teachers can further sort the articles by categories to find the most relevant articles for their students.