Thursday, February 12, 2009

Explore the British Library Online Gallery

The British Library's Online Galleries have more than 30,000 digital artifacts for students and educators. I spent quite a bit of time exploring the online offerings and I feel like I only scratched the surface of what the British Library has to offer. The main page of the online gallery is divided into eight categories including music, art, maps, and documents.

Applications for Education
The British Library's Online Gallery is a good source of reference materials for students in European history courses. The gallery also offers materials that could be of interest to art history students.

Tour 3D Ship Models in Google Earth Ocean Layer

The new Google Earth 5.0 has so many great features that I read about new uses every day. Today, through the Google LatLong blog, I learned about a 3D tour of ships and other underwater structures. The tour includes models of the Titanic and the Bismark. To view the tour open Google Earth 5.0 and have the 3D buildings layer turned on. You can get the tour file here. If you don't have Google Earth 5.0 you can download it here.

Applications for Education
The Google Earth 3D ocean models tour is a good companion to the rest of the new Google Earth 5.0 ocean layers. The ocean layers are useful for oceanography and geography courses.

If your course includes a study of the Titanic the 3D tour is a good tool for providing students with some geographic context of the story.

Congress for Kids at the Dirksen Center

Earlier today my department head, one of the nicest technophobes I know, forwarded to me an email about the Dirksen Congressional Center. The Dirksen Center offers students a number of online activities and resources for learning about the functions of US government. Congress for Kids is a part of the Dirksen Center's suite of online resources. On Congress for Kids students can take a tour of the federal government then test their knowledge in online quizzes.

The Dirksen Center's Editorial Cartoon Collection offers sixty editorial cartoons and eighteen lesson plans based on editorial cartoons. The Dirksen Center also hosts a half-dozen webquests designed for middle school and high school use.

Applications for Education
The Dirksen Congressional Center's activities and lesson plans seem to be best suited for middle school and high school use.

When Satellites Collide - View It In Google Earth

The number of uses for Google Earth never ceases to impress me. Today, through someone in my Twitter network (I'm sorry I can't recall who posted it) I learned of this Google Earth file that shows the tracks of the two satellites that collided over Siberia. You can also find the file and the story about the creation of the file here.

The BBC and CNN have a few articles about the collision and possible debris from the collision. You can find those articles here and here.

Applications for Education
This Google Earth file could be used in junction with news stories about the collision of the satellites. The Google Earth demonstration and the news stories could be used for discussion in science, geography, and current events courses.

Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library

Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library is a collection of Abraham Lincoln's papers and a collection of sheet music about Lincoln, the Civil War, and emancipation. The collection of sheet music is what caught my attention as talking about music is a good way to start classroom discussions about culture and public opinion during the Civil War.

To find more documents about Lincoln, visit the Presidents page on

Lincoln Turns 200 - And College Visit Tips

Today's episode of CNN Student News features a segment about Lincoln's 200th birthday and a segment about getting the most out of a college campus visit. The Lincoln segment appears first and the college campus visitation segment appears around the 7:30 mark.

Applications for Education
As always, CNN provides a quick ten question quiz about the video. The quiz provides a quick means of checking for understanding.
The segment on visiting college campuses is good viewing material for high school juniors and seniors.