Wednesday, September 2, 2009

From Snag Films - Ambassador: Inside the Embassy

Snag Films, a service that offers more than 800 free documentary films, hosts a lot of National Geographic films. Earlier this week on Snag Films, I came across Ambassador: Inside the Embassy which was produced by National Geographic in 2002. The hour-long video takes viewers behind the scenes at US Embassies around the world. Viewers will learn about the various functions that US Ambassadors and US Embassies perform around the world. I found the film engaging and I learned a couple of new things while watching.
The film is embedded below. If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video.

Applications for Education
This film could be interesting to use in any social studies class that is studying foreign relations.
Snag Films itself is a great source of high-quality documentary films that you can view for free and embed in your classroom blog or website for free.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Afghanistan Revealed - National Geographic Film
Snag Films Solves Two Problems for Me

See Animal Ranges on Encyclopedia of Life Maps

The Encyclopedia of Life is using Google Maps to display the geographic range of various animals, plants, and other organisms. To view the maps simply select an animal, plant, or other organism from the collection of information and click on the "map" tab on the reference page. The maps are not available for every organism, but there are a lot of maps.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the information about EOL's maps.

Applications for Education
The Encyclopedia of Life's maps could be very useful for biology students to see the climate and range of the organisms they are learning about in their courses.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Scribble Maps - Easily Type and Draw on Google Maps
KML Factbook - 2D and 3D Mapped Data Displays
Great Google Maps/ Earth How-to Videos

Teacher's Guide to Web 2.0 at School

Sacha Chua has once again created an awesome slide presentation. In this presentation, A Teacher's Guide to Web 2.0 at School, Sacha does a great job of addressing the "yeah buts" and "what if" opposition statements that some administrators and teachers make in regards to using Web 2.o in schools.

The slideshow is embedded below. If you're reading this in RSS you may need to click through to view the slideshow.

Here are some other great slide presentations created by Sacha Chua that I've highlighted in the past:
The Shy Connector - Networking Tips for Shy Folks
Web 2.0 in the Workplace

TokBox & EtherPad Offer Real-time Collaboration

TokBox recently partnered with EtherPad to offer collaborative document creation accompanied by video conferencing. TokBox provides free video conferencing that can accomodate multiple users in each conference. EtherPad offers real-time document collaboration. Through the integration of EtherPad into TokBox users can talk about changes to a document while enacting those changes at the same time. This is a distinct improvement over document collaboration environments where users can only change a document, but cannot discuss the rationale for changes to a document.

To learn more about using TokBox and EtherPad together, watch the short video embedded below.

Applications for Education
The combined services of TokBox and EtherPad make it possible to edit documents and discuss those edits at the same time. This could be every useful for anyone that teaches online as teachers can explain to students the reasons for changes in a document. The TokBox and EtherPad combination could also be useful for students who are developing reports collaboratively.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
Zoho Notebook for Web Research Organization
Teambox - A Collaborative Team Workspace

Bring Foreign Radio Stations Into Your Classroom

Radio Locator, formerly the MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet, is a search engine that helps you locate radio stations that are broadcasting the Internet. You can find radio stations by US zip code, by radio genre, or by country.

Applications for Education
Radio Locator can help foreign language teachers find radio broadcasts that they can use in their classrooms for student listening exercises. Radio Locator could also be useful for social studies teachers who would like to bring the sounds of other cultures into their classrooms.