Thursday, February 5, 2009

Photo Peach - Quick and Easy Audio Slideshows

Photo Peach is a new service that allows you to quickly and easily create an audio slideshow, with captions, from images in your Flickr, Picassa, or Facebook account. You can also use images saved on your local hard drive to create your slideshow.

Photo Peach is similar to the very popular Animoto service although they do have some differences worth noting. Adding captions to each image is a little more intuitive on Photo Peach than it is on Animoto. To add captions to your Photo Peach slideshow simply type your desired text into the caption box that appears as each image is automatically displayed by Photo Peach. Changing the order of appearance for each image is also easier on Photo Peach than it is on Animoto. Changing the sequence of images in Photo Peach is a simple drag and drop procedure.

Compared to Animoto, Photo Peach does have some deficiencies. The transitions between images are much more varied in Animoto as compared to Photo Peach. The music options on Animoto are much greater than on Photo Peach.

Applications for Education
Photo Peach provides a quick and easy way for students to make an audio slideshow video. Many of the music options for Photo Peach are classical selections which could make a nice accompaniment to slideshow of art work.

Understanding the Water Cycle

Earlier today, in my search for elementary school resources about dinosaurs I stumbled upon some other interesting science resources for elementary school students and teachers. One of those resources is Morphie's Great Water Ride Adventure. In Morphie's Great Water Ride Adventure students follow the journey of a raindrop as it performs many tasks. Through the adventure students learn about the many ways that water is used and why it is important to conserve water.

Applications for Education
The lesson plans that accompany Morphie's Great Water Ride Adventure include hands-on activities that get students to look at all of the ways that water is used in their school and community.

The slideshow embedded below may be of use middle school and high school science teachers teaching about the cycle of water.

Fun Dinosaur Games and Lesson Plans

As an elementary school student I loved reading books about dinosaurs and I especially enjoyed a field trip to a local museum where we could look at fossils and touch fossil replicas. I also had a collection of plastic model dinosaurs. Recently, one of my friends mentioned in an email that his son is now into learning about dinosaurs. Reading that email prompted me to look for a few web-based games about Dinosaurs. Here are some of the better items that I found.

1. Discovery Channel's Dinosaur Central has games, quizzes, puzzles, and a virtual prehistoric zoo. Students can also go back in time to see, displayed on a map, the dinosaurs that walked in different places of the earth.

2. Kids Dinos is a part of the Kids Know It Network. Kids Dinos offers elementary school students an easy-to-navigate and easy-to-understand database of dinosaur information. Students can learn the names of various dinosaurs through a flashcard game. Kids Dinos also offers students fun activities like "make your own dinosaur," "dinosaur memory," "dinosaur hangman," or "dinosaur painter."

3. The Dinosphere is a website hosted by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. In the Dinosphere students can choose from five games and activities including building a virtual dinosaur.

4. Scholastic offers students a dinosaur tour, a dinosaur picture book, and a "digging for dinosaurs" fact hunt. Scholastic offers teachers some lesson plans and research projects about dinosaurs.

5. National Geographic Kids has a few dinosaur themed games and displays including this dinosaur brain teaser game. On National Geographic Xpeditions teachers will find a handful of lesson plans like How Do Scientists Find Dinosaur Fossils? that can be used for teaching about dinosaurs in elementary school classrooms.

On the topic of dinosaurs, Snag Films offers National Geographic's Dinosaur Hunters: Secrets of the Gobi Desert.

Faulkner on Sports

Once again the remarkable Open Culture blog provides us with a interesting resource with potential for classroom use. In 1955, Nobel Prize winning novelist William Faulkner wrote an article for Sports Illustrated about watching his first hockey game.

Applications for Education
This article presents another aspect of Faulkner's skill as a writer. His Sports Illustrated article from 1955 may be a fun way for some high school students to be introduced to William Faulkner.