Thursday, May 7, 2009

CNN iReport - Are Your Schools All They Could Be?

iReport, CNN's video depot for citizen journalists, is looking for opinions about public schools. The iReport assignment reads "The Obama administration has pledged to reform the country’s school system and we want to know where you think they need to focus their attention. Are your schools all they should be? Show us what needs work."

Applications for Education
Creating a video response to the iReport class project could be a good way to get students to think about what they would do to improve schools. Some iReport videos are selected for use on CNN News. Knowing that a high quality video could be used by CNN may motivate students to put forth their best, thoughtful efforts.

Target Education Grants

In these tough economic times every school could use a little help. In an effort to provide that help, Target Stores offers grants for field trips, arts education, and early childhood reading programs. The arts education and early childhood reading grants range in value from $1000 to $3000. Applications for both programs are due by May 31. Field trip grants are worth up to $800. The applications for the field trip grant will be accepted in August 2009.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Find Money for Your School - Grant Gopher
Donors Choose - Teachers Ask, Students Learn
Class Wish - School Supply Help for Teachers

KML Factbook - 2D and 3D Mapped Data Displays

The KML Factbook is a great tool for creating mapped displays of all manner of demographic, economic, and political data. The data used in the KML Factbook comes from the CIA World Factbook. The KML Factbook allows users to to select datasets from the CIA World Factbook and display that data on a 2D or 3D map using Google Maps or the Google Earth browser plug-in. After creating your map you can download the file to use offline in Google Earth.

Creating a map is a simple matter of selecting a set data set or sets, choosing 2D or 3D map, and defining the colors and size of placemarks. After making your selections KML Factbook generates the map. If you would like to use your own datasets, you can upload them to the KML Factbook.

Applications for EducationThe KML Factbook could be a useful tool for students of geography, political science, and global economics. Data maps are good for providing students with a means to visually compare data sets. I can see the KML Factbook being a great resource for students to quickly compare development indicators of countries in a region or continent.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The BBC News Globe
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed

Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity is intended to educate readers about many aspects of food and obesity. Of interest to educators is the center's tool kits for school food service policy, tool kits for educating students and parents about obesity, and the section on food advertising targeted toward children. The Rudd Center also produces videos to educate viewers on food policy and obesity. These videos can be viewed online or you can order free DVD copies of the videos.

Applications for Education
The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity is a good resource for health teachers and school food service directors. History teachers may also have an interest in the Rudd Center's interactive timeline, the Evolution of Eating.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Get the Glass Promotes Healthy Choices
Learn to be Healthy - Free Lesson Plans
Sugar Stacks - How Much Sugar is in Your Snack?