Monday, May 4, 2009

The Math Arcade on Fun Brain

The Math Arcade from Fun Brain is an online board game of mathematics challenges. To finish the game students have to successfully complete twenty-five mathematics challenges. The Math Arcade is designed for use by students in grades one through eight. At the start of the game students indicate their grade level so that the challenges in the Math Arcade are appropriately matched to their abilities.

Applications for Education
The Math Arcade is an activity that students can work on independently in a day or over a series of days. Students can create a password to save their progress and pick up where they left off until they have successfully completed all of the challenges in the Math Arcade.

Kido'z - A Kid-Safe Browser

Kido'z is a kid-safe web browser. Kido'z gives parents the power to select the websites that their children can view. After installing Kido'z, parents set an administrative password and begin specifying the websites that their children see. Unlike some browsers and filters that try to be kid-friendly, Kido'z blocks all links that appear inside the parent-approved websites. If parents are looking for new web content that their children can safely enjoy, Kido'z will offer suggestions based on the age, gender, and native language of the child.

The user interface of Kido'z is designed to be used by children as young as three. Children can navigate Kido'z using kid-friendly icons. Kido'z tries to make content easy to find by dividing it into three categories games, videos, and websites.

If you would like to learn about the technology and design behind Kido'z, TechCrunch has a post about it.

Applications for Education
Kido'z could be a good browser for pre-K through second grade students. Parents, teachers, and child care providers should give Kido'z a try.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ask Kids

Henry Hudson's Maps and Model Ships

This morning through the Google Lat Long Blog I learned about the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation's Google Map. This map has some great resources for history teachers and students. Through the map you can view routes of Hudson's voyages. What could really make the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation's map a good educational resource is the map collection of historical map overlays and stories about the first settlements in Manhattan.

The Google Earth Blog has a short write-up about the 3D models layer utilized in the map.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
History Channel's Guide to the States
Go Back in Time With Google Earth 5.0

Scribble Maps - Easily Type and Draw on Google Maps

Scribble Maps is a fun and useful application for drawing and typing on Google Maps. Using Scribble Maps anyone can draw and type on a map. All of the zoom options and most of the search options available on Google Maps are available when using Scribble Maps. You can zoom in on an area and then type text, draw a circle or a box around an area, you can even doodle stick figures or whatever you like on your map. In the map below you can see my handiwork.

Maps created by using Scribble Maps can be shared via email or embedded into your website as shown above.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the link to Scribble Maps.

Applications for Education
Scribble Maps could be a good resource for teachers of geography, history, or current events. Using Scribble Maps students could create a map on which they highlight various sites and include short text descriptions of those places. Scribble Maps could also be used to quickly draw a simple timeline on a map. For example, I might have US History students draw a timeline of westward expansion at the top of a map. The students would then draw lines connecting years to landmarks on the map.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Google Lit Trips
Placeopedia - Wikipedia and Google Maps

101 Ways to Teach Geography

Thanks to Noel Jenkins who writes the Digital Geography Blog for sharing this collaborative project started by Tony Cassidy of the Share Geography Blog. The idea of the project is to create a list of 101 ideas for teaching geography. In the slideshow below you will see the first twenty-six ideas. Visit the Share Geography blog to learn about contributing to the list.