Thursday, February 26, 2009

Morgue File - Odd Name, Good Free Photos

Morgue File sounds like a website that would feature weird photos and images, but actually it's just an odd name for a good website that provides free photos. The Morgue File photo collection contains thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. The image collection can be searched by subject category, image size, color, or rating.

Morgue File is more than just a source for free images. The Morgue File also features a "classroom" where visitors can learn photography techniques and get tips about image editing.

Applications for Education
Finding free images that students can use in their digital presentations can be a time consuming and occasionally frustrating experience. Morgue File makes it easy to find good free images for students to use in their digital presentations.

News From the Google World

Google made two announcements today regarding Google Translate and Google Maps. Through the Official Google Blog it was announced that Google Translate has added seven more languages to its service. 41 languages are now accommodated by Google Translate.

On the Google LatLong Blog it was announced that Google Maps Streetview now includes user generated images of popular cities and tourist attractions. The images come from public collections on Panoramio. The video below offers a short overview of the new user generated images in Google Maps Streetview.

Applications for Education
The addition of user-generated photos in Google Streetview increases the utility of Google Maps for creating virtual tours and or web quests. No longer do you and your students have to rely on just the standard Google Streetview image, you can now access more views and perspectives.

On a related note, 360 Cities is a great source of imagery to complement imagery found in Google Maps Streetview.

Mrs. Critchell's Kindergarten - 36 Years of Ideas

Mrs. Critchell's Kindergarten is a website filled with great ideas for Kindergarten teachers and parents of Kindergarten students. According to the homepage, Mrs. Linda Cricthell was a teacher for 36 years with ten of those years spent in Kindergarten classrooms. Mrs. Critchell's Kindgarten is very well organized with activities and lesson ideas categorized by months and by major holidays.

In addition to resources for teachers, Mrs. Critchell's Kindergarten has great resources for parents of Kindergarten students. On the parent page are activities that students can do at home to develop fine motor skills as well as educational craft activities. The parent site also has a list of educational websites that Kindergarten students can use at home.

If I was a Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Critchell's Kindergarten would be a must read website for me.

A Monsters Morning

This morning, the students in my first class of the day were a little "grumpy" and "dragging." One of my students said something to the effect of, "hey why can't you guys be happy" which prompted my mind to think of the band REM performing "Furry Happy Monsters" on Sesame Street. So I jumped on YouTube and brought up a video of REM performing on Sesame Street and played it for my class. Some of them liked it and some were indifferent, but the end result was that the 3 minute video put enough kids in a better mood to make the class more enjoyable for everyone. The video is embedded below.