Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The National Geography Bee Winner is Eric Yang

This year's National Geographic Geography Bee winner is Eric Yang, congratulations Eric. According to The Official Google Blog, Eric is a seventh grade student in Texas who has already scored 2200 on the SAT. If your students weren't able to participate in the geography bee or didn't quite make it to the finals they may want to practice for next year by playing the GeoBee Challenge on the National Geographic website. Every day the GeoBee Challenge offers ten new questions so your students can come back and practice every day.

Watch some clips from the final round of the Geography Bee in the video below.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Find Country - Improve Your Geography Knowledge
A Fun Way to "Study" Geography
Stop Disasters - Disaster Simulation Game

Booklet Creator - Turn Any PDF Into a Booklet

Booklet Creator is a simple tool that allows you to take any pdf that you have and turn it into a printable booklet format. Using Booklet Creator is easy. To use Booklet Creator just upload any pdf under 20mb, select the number of pages per booklet, and select your page size. After completing those steps Booklet Creator quickly converts your pdf into booklet form.

Applications for Education
Booklet Creator could be a handy little tool for PTAs and student organizations wishing to create booklet for distribution at meetings and public functions.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
My eBook
Yudu Freedom

NCES Kids' Zone

The National Center for Education Statistics hosts a collection of games and tools for students. On the NCES Kids' Zone students will find information about public and private schools as well information designed to help them choose a college.

The Kids' Zone's real value lies in the games, quizzes, and learning tutorials featured on the site. Dare to Compare is a quiz section of Kids' Zone where students can test their knowledge of civics, economics, history, geography, mathematics, and science. After taking each quiz the students are shown the correct answers. Dare to Compare also allows students to see the national and international average rate of correct answers.

I was prompted to write about Kids' Zone by a Tweet from Larry Linebaugh about the Create a Graph tool on Kids' Zone. Create a Graph provides students with five graphing tools and tutorials. The tutorials can be viewed online or downloaded in pdf format for printing.

Applications for Education
The NCES Kids' Zone is a good place to find quizzes and activities that students can use for independent study and practice. Create a Graph can be used to create simple graphs for most content areas. If you're looking for some educational time-fillers for those times when you finish your lesson plan early and have a few spare minutes, check out the Kids' Zone Grab Bag for brain teasers.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The Math Arcade on Fun Brain
Brain Bashers - Puzzles and Brain Teasers
Play the Cash Cab Quizzes

Blog Carnival of Education

The Carnival of Education is up at The Education Wonks. There are some great links there that you really should explore. One of my favorite contributions to this week's carnival is Scott McLeod's It's Not the Tests, It's Us.

I haven't participated in Carnival of Education in the past, but after reading this one, I plan to start contributing next week.

Quikmaps - Quickly Customize a Google Map

Quikmaps is a nice map creation tool that allows you to quickly draw, type, and insert icons on a Google Map. Quikmaps is similar to Scribble Maps which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Quikmaps does offer one extra tool that Scribble Maps does not and that is the option to select from a huge gallery of icons to use on your map. Placing these icons is a simple matter of dragging and dropping elements. As you will see in the map I've embedded below, I placed a camera icon on Yellowstone National Park and wrote above it, "this is a good place to take pictures."

Applications for Education
Quikmaps could be a good tool for students to create mapped tours of sites with descriptions. Quikmaps might also be used by history teachers to have students map the expansions and contractions of country borders over time.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Scribble Maps - Easily Type and Draw on Maps
101 Ways to Teach Geography
Google Earth and Google Maps Help