Thursday, August 20, 2009

New York Then and Now - Interactive Map & Images

For me, the day that the new issue of National Geographic arrives at my house is one of the best days of every month. This month's cover story takes a look at how Manhattan Island would have appeared to Henry Hudson in 1609 compared to how it looks today. As always, National Geographic has created some online resources to complement the print magazine.

National Geographic has created an interactive map of Manhattan Island. On the map you can compare views of Manhattan today with views of Manhattan in 1782. Scroll through the navigation tools to compare the views. On each map you will find yellow "hot spots." Click on the "hot spot" icon to see a side-by-side past and present views of an area of Manhattan.

After exploring the before and after map, you may want to take a look at the image gallery that accompanies the article. The gallery includes images of New York today and artists' renditions of how Henry Hudson may have seen New York in 1609.

Applications for Education
National Geographic's interactive map and image galleries could be good resources for anyone teaching US History. You may want to use these resources in conjunction with the Henry Hudson Foundation's historical maps.

Chernobyl Then and Now - Photo Essay

Environmental Graffiti posts interesting photo essays every day. Most of the photo essays are images of unique and stunning photography, but sometimes they venture into other topics. Today, Environmental Graffiti posted a collection of before and after images from Chernobyl. Each image is accompanied by an informative caption.

Applications for Education
This photo essay from Environmental Graffiti could be a good supplement to a lesson on nuclear energy and or a lesson on 20th century history.

Three Student Planners/ Organization Tools

Soshiku is a free personal planner designed for high school and college students. Soshiku lets students organize their assignments by course, add assignments, and receive text message and or email reminders before each assignment is due. Students can add assignments to their calendars directly on the Soshiku website or via text message. Registering and getting started with Soshiku is quick and the user interface is very intuitive and easy to learn.

Deadline is a very simple, yet potentially powerful personal organizer. One feature that really stands out about Deadline is its very user friendly interface. To use Deadline simply sign up with an email account and start using it. When entering task reminders you can time in a day of the week or date in just about any format and Deadline will recognize what you mean. For example, if I entered a reminder for myself to post grades on September 7, Deadline will recognize that as both the date and day of the week. Likewise if I just typed in a deadline of this Sunday, Deadline would recognize the date. Just like any good online personal planner, you can receive email and or mobile reminders of your Deadlines.

Track Class offers all of the features that we have come to expect in online student organizers. Through Track Class students can keep a schedule of courses, track assignment dates, write and save notes, and maintain a calendar of events. Inside Track Class students can also save files like essays they've written and slideshow presentations they've created. Track Class now offers an iPhone App too.

An Open Course for Educators & Administrators

Dr. Alec Couros is teaching a graduate course this fall titled Social Media & Open Education. Anyone can participate in the course online. On his blog Alec outlines the various ways that you can participate. You can learn more about the course here. You may also want to watch the trailer developed for the course. (The video is short and entertaining).

Applications for Education
This course could be an excellent professional development resource for anyone that is interested in the roles of social media in education. This may be a course that teachers would want to participate in along with their building administrators. By participating together, administrators and teachers could discuss how social media can be used within the context of their schools.

SignApp Now - Quickly Create Sign-up Forms

SignApp Now is a very simple tool for creating online sign-up forms. To use it all you need to do is enter a title and description of your event, set a sign-up deadline, enter a contact email address, and press "create." SignApp Now creates a unique url that you can then share with others that may be interested in signing-up for your event. Creating a sign-up form with SignApp Now is much faster and easier than trying to create a spreadsheet or other sign-up form.

To see just how easy it is to use SignApp Now, watch the video embedded below.
If you're viewing this in RSS, you may need to click through to view the video.

Applications for Education
If you're hosting an open-house for your classroom, creating a SignApp Now sheet could be a great way to get a preliminary idea of how many parents to expect. You could also use SignApp Now if you're running an extracurricular club and want to get an idea of how many students you should expect on any given day.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Zoho Challenge - Conduct Tests Online
Obsurvey - Create Custom Surveys
ProProfs - Polls, Quizzes, and Flashcards

Yale Open Course - Introduction to Psychology

I saw this posted on Open Culture and immediately knew that I had to share it with readers of this blog who may be teaching Psychology this fall. The video below, This is Your Brain, is a part of a twenty lecture series offered by Yale for free viewing on the web. If you're interested in all of the course materials visit the Yale open course website. If you're only interested in the lecture videos, you can access them through YouTube.

Applications for Education
The availability of high-quality educational materials on the web increases every day. The open course offerings of institutes like Yale and MIT make it possible for anyone interested in a particular topic to access material that previously was "guarded" behind a wall of admissions standards and high price tags. Open course offerings can be fantastic resources to supplement the classroom instruction of a high school teacher.

The Shy Connector - Networking Tips for Shy Folks

Sacha Chua, whose work I've highlighted in the past, has created another excellent presentation. In her latest slideshow Sacha shares that she is an introvert and offers advice to other shy people on how to network. The advice she shares could be used by high school and college students that struggle with shyness preventing them from making connections at work and school. The advice is equally good for shy adults. The slideshow is embedded below.

If you're reading this in RSS, you may need to click through to view the slideshow.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Web 2.0 in the Workplace