Thursday, June 5, 2008

Two Unique and Interesting Science Videos

On the awesome blog, Open Culture, I found two really unique and interesting science videos. Both videos give visual depictions of scientific concepts that you don't typically see demonstrated visually.

This first video is called The Geometry of Sound. In this video you will see grains of sand transformed into various shapes and patterns as the sounds change. Warning, if you're sensitive to high-pitched sounds, you will want to turn your volume down a little bit.

This second video is called the Magnetic Movie. This video was created in a lab at NASA. The video demonstrates and explains how magnetic fields exist and move in our environment.

Applications for Education
Both of these videos are great for visually demonstrating scientific concepts. Not only could the Geometry of Sound be used in science classes, it would also fit well in a music course.

280 Slides - Wow! Is That Key Note?

280 Slides is another new entry into the cloud computing market. 280 Slides is a free presentation creation tool. 280 Slides operates inside of your web browser where it looks and operates as if it was installed on your computer. In fact, my colleague just looked at 280 Slides and said, "is that Key Note?" One of the features that makes 280 Slides really unique is the image and video search and insert options. Rather than closing the 280 Slides window you're working on, you can find images and videos using a built in search box on 280 Slides. Using the search box on 280 Slides users find Youtube and Vimeo videos as well as images from Flickr. The screen shot below shows the video and image search.

Slide shows created on 280 Slides can be shared through email, embedded into a blog, or downloaded to save on your local computer. The option to store your slide show on your local computer provides a nice back-up in case you need to access your slide show, but cannot find an Internet connection.

Applications for Education
280 Slides combines the best of cloud computing with the best of local computing. The ability to create and host presentations online means that you can avoid the cost of proprietary software. The option to download your presentations locally allows you to access them in instances of not having an Internet connection. These features make 280 Slides appealing to schools with large networks or network reliability problems. The cost savings of not using proprietary software makes 280 Slides very appealing as well.

The fact that 280 Slides looks so similar to Key Note means that students will have little trouble adjusting to using a web-based product. The built-in video and pictorial and search is a nice time saving option for students. The video and image search is also useful from a classroom management/ monitoring standpoint. With the search menu built-in students never need leave the 280 Slides website.

Endangered Places Multimedia Map

US News and World Report has a feature this week on global warming. On their website visitors can find all of the content from the magazine as well as additional features on the topic of climate change. One of the really neat features that I couldn't resist exploring is a multimedia map of places endangered by climate change. The Endangered Places map features text, images, and videos about twelve places, around the world, threatened by climate change.

Applications for Education
The Endangered Places map is a simple, yet useful resource for students to explore information about climate change. The text, audio, and video will engage a variety of learning styles and is presented in a manner that students in grades 5 through 12 could benefit from the map. An extension activity for students after exploring the Endangered Places map is to have students evaluate their local environment for signs or climate change or impacts of climate change. Students could use Google Earth or Free Earth to share their findings.

Click the image below to visit the Endangered Places map.