Thursday, May 28, 2009

WebNotes - Highlight, Annotate, Organize the Web

Webnotes is a service that makes it easy to highlight, annotate, and organize your web research. WebNotes has free and paid versions of its service. The free version allows you to highlight, annotate, and organize the information that you find on websites. The paid version allows you to highlight, annotate, and organize information from PDFs as well as websites. There are two options for installing WebNotes. WebNotes can be installed by downloading the full toolbar. The option for installing WebNotes is to use the install bookmarklet that when clicked displays the toolbar on the webpage that you're viewing.

The video below provides a nice overview of WebNotes.

WebNotes Screencast from Alex King on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
WebNotes is a handy little toolbar that could be a great aid to students that struggle to organize the information that they find on the Internet.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Worio Search - Discover More Search Results
Internet Search Strategies Explained
UberNote - A Great Replacement for Google Notebook

Picturing the Century - Lesson Plans and Worksheets

Picturing the Century is an online photo exhibit created by and hosted by the National Archives and Records Administration. The exhibit contains six galleries of images from 20th Century life in the United States. NARA provides teachers with six lesson plans including a printable worksheet for using the Picturing the Century images in their classrooms.

Applications for Education
The lesson plans provided by NARA to accompany Picturing the Century are written in a manner that they can be adapted for use in classrooms from elementary school through high school.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Lesson Plans and More for US History Teachers
Lesson Plans from the US Department of State
The Farm Letters - Stories of Great Depression Life

Navify - Wikipedia With Images and Videos

Navify is a new mashup of Wikipedia, Flickr, and YouTube. Like Nibipedia and Visual Wikipedia, Navify attempts to match videos and images to Wikipedia articles. To use Navify, simply enter a search term just as you would on Wikipedia. The results of your search will be shown in a three tab display of Wikipedia article, related images, and related videos. The screenshot below shows the results page for my search for WWII.

Applications for Education
What I like about this type of Wikipedia and video mashup is that it provides a second or third option for students to get engaged in learning. A student that struggles as a reader can still get engaged in an article through the corresponding videos and images.

Visual Wikipedia is still my favorite mash-up of Wikipedia and videos because of its web-style of information discovery. That said, Navify is a very good resource for finding visual aids to complement the topics that your students are studying.

Mashable and Larry Ferlazzo also have good things to say about Navify.

StatPlot - Graphs for Sports

I have to thank the awesome people in my Twitter network for help with this blog post, all of those who offered suggestions are listed at the end of this post. If you're looking for smart people to add to your Twitter network, check the list at the end of this post.

StatPlot is a new service that allows users to create charts and graphs of statistics from the NBA, NCAA Basketball, the NFL, NCAA Football, and NASCAR. Users select the data sets that they would like to compare and StatPlot creates a chart of that data. In the screenshot below you will see a chart I made comparing the Boston Celtics' 3 point attempts to 3 point shots made.

Applications for Education
This is the part where I had to get suggestions from the people in my Twitter network that have better math minds than mine. Here are the suggestions.
Carol @cllecr suggested this use of StatPlot, "stat plot looks like a nice INQUIRY tool.. Answer their own question... Ie is there a home court advantage? Homerun/alt relationship?"
John @johnfaig offered this suggestion, "use as an intro the graph; kids create accurate graph and a misleading version; other kids try and figure which is which."
Cassie @cbanka shared this idea with me, "Stat Plot may work with this lesson plan I found a couple weeks back."

Expedition Africa - New TV Show and Online Game

Expedition Africa is a new television show starting this weekend on the History Channel. The basic premise of the show is four adventurers traveling across 970 miles of African bush in Tanzania. According to the trailers, the show is not a contest as the four adventurers are working together without any sort of prize at the end. The four adventurers include a wildlife expert, a navigator, a survivalist, and a journalist.

The Expedition Africa website has a game in which players try to travel 970 miles of African bush. Throughout the game players encounter natural obstacles and have to make decisions regarding course of travel and use of resources. In general the game could be described as Oregon Trail meets African bush.

Applications for Education
The Expedition Africa game could be a fun way for students to learn about the natural dangers of backcountry travel in Africa.

Here is a related resource that may be of interest to you:
Wild Earth TV - Live from the African Bush