Monday, July 20, 2009

View the Moon in Google Earth

Today, on the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, Google announced the addition of moon imagery to Google Earth. To view the moon imagery and to view tours of the moon in Google Earth simply select "moon" from the planet menu in the Google Earth toolbar.

Some of the coolest features of Google Earth moon are the layers based on different Apollo missions as well as the embedded video footage recorded at the moon. The best places to learn about all of the cool Google Earth moon options is on the Google Lat Long Blog, on the Google Earth Blog, and in the video embedded below.

Applications for Education
This might be the best enhancement to Google Earth since the launch of Google Earth 5.0. The imagery and tours of the moon will be great for students to explore in science classes.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Restored Videos of the First Moon Landing
Solar Eclipse Simulation in Google Earth
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed

US History Animated

History Animated is a great website that I learned about last week from the excellent blog Teaching the Civil War With Technology. If you're a teacher of US History you need to visit both History Animated and Teaching the Civil War With Technology.

History Animated
provides animations of the American Revolution, the US Civil War, and the US Pacific Campaign in WWII. In each of the three series of animations you will see the animated movement of armies displayed on a map. Each animation is accompanied by captions describing the strategies of the armies as well as the results and consequences of each battle.

All of the animations on History Animated are available for free viewing on the website. That said, if you would like a CD copy of the animations sent to you, you can obtain a copy for only $15.

Applications for Education
History Animated is a fantastic resource for teachers of US History. The animations will make great supplements to classroom instruction. The animations are a significant improvement over drawing or pointing to places on a map.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
American President - An Online Reference
From Washington to Obama in 4 Minutes With Dates
Bill of Rights Rap

(Free) Added More Design Features

Over the weekend it was pointed out to me that Webs (formerly Free Webs although still free, confusing, I know) has recently added some more design options. Now in addition to more than 300 design templates you can customize the background of the templates. As my girlfriend noted, "you can change the background to match the season." Webs now also allows you to add a social network element similar to that of Google's Friend Connect to your website. If you're trying to pick a platform on which to create a website for your classroom, Webs is definitely worth your consideration along with these other options.

Free EBooks of Classic Titles

The University of Adelaide in Australia has compiled a list of more than 100 classic titles that are available in electronic form. The list is arranged by author. Clicking on an author's name reveals biographical information and links to the author's work available in electronic form. Some of the authors that you will find in the list inlcude Yeats, Darwin, Voltaire, and Poe.

Applications for Education
One of the real benefits for educators of Creative Commons licensing and ebooks is the cost savings that those two things can represent. Free ebooks make available to teachers classic titles that they would otherwise have to purchase.

The Why Files - The Science Behind the News

The Why Files is a good website that I discovered in a Classroom 2.0 discussion. The Why Files is a resource designed for students to learn about the science of stories in the news. The Why Files doesn't cover every news story, just the stories that have clear connections to science concepts. For example, one of the stories on the front page over the weekend was about the start of Hurricane Season. The story goes on to explain in text, image, and video the science of hurricane formation.

Applications for Education
Most of the material on The Why Files is geared toward an elementary and middle school audience. The teachers' section of The Why Files offers pdf guides and quizzes that you can use to teach the science of the stories featured on the front page of The Why Files. The Why Files could also be a good resource for students to explore independently or with their parents.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Science Projects and Posters for Elementary Schools
Great Science Activities from Exploratorium
Earth Day Resources from Scholastic