Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Google Earth 5.1 - Faster is Better

The number educational uses of Google Earth is simply incredible. Almost every time I use Google Earth or visit the Google Earth Blog, I learn something new that could be applied to the classroom. Today, Google released Google Earth version 5.1. There are two key features of the new release. First, Google has improved the start-up speed of Google Earth. Second, now when PC users install Google Earth 5.1, the Google Earth browser plug-in will automatically be installed too. You can read more about Google Earth 5.1 here.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Great Google Maps/ Earth How-to Videos
What is Possible With Google Earth?
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed

Faroo - Real Time News, Real Time Search

As I've written a few times, real-time search engines are a great way to find the latest developments in a news story. Real-time search engines are also great for finding trending topics in a niche area. For example, I use real-time search engines to discover trending topics in educational technology.

is a new real-time search that offers a couple of options not found in other real-time search engines. Faroo allows you to sort your search results by current popularity or sort your results in a timeline format. Faroo also gives you the option to preview a link's content by hovering your cursor on the link without actually clicking the link. Finally, if you're following a topic, you can subscribe to the RSS feed for your search and be notified of new results as they appear.

Applications for Education
Real-time search engines are great resources to have when a story is breaking. These resources could be put to use by students in a current events course or in a journalism course. When I taught a current events course one of my favorite things to do was to have students analyze the reporting of one story from multiple sources. Real-time search brings in not only the stories from the major news outlets, but also brings in the "person on the street" perspective from social networks like Twitter and FriendFeed.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Real-Time Search Options

Ansel Adams Talks About His Work - Videos

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently wrapped-up an exhibit of works by Ansel Adams. But if you missed it, as I did, you can see some great Ansel Adams content on the museum's website. Ansel Adams at 100 is an interactive exploration of Adams's work. Click on any image in the display to learn about the process of capturing the image and sharing the image with the world. In many cases you can hear audio recordings of Adams talking about a particular photograph. Visitors to the SFMOMA site will also find six short videos of Adams talking about his work.

Thanks to Open Culture for the links.

Applications for Education
For anyone that teaches art, particularly photography, Ansel Adams at 100 and the videos of Ansel Adams could be great teaching resources.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Online Art Education - Smithsonian Art Museum
Blogs for Art Teachers
Kodak Lesson Plans

Video and Wordle of Obama's 9/8 Student Address

In case you weren't able to watch it yesterday or you want to show it to students today, I've embedded the video of President Obama's student address below.

Many people have made Wordles from the text of President Obama's student address, but I made one of my own which you can see below in black and white.

If you're looking for a good follow-up activity to viewing President Obama's student address, the US Department of Education has created the I Am What I Learn video contest.

Free Printable Year at a Glance Calendars

Scholastic provides a mix of free and paid content that is often quite useful for elementary and middle school teachers. Yesterday, I received an email from Scholastic offering a free Year at a Glance calendar. The calendar is available to anyone in PDF format. To get the calendar, simply click here, download and print.

Applications for Education
As Scholastic points out, the best use of this year at glance calendar is
"for uses such as student birthdays, field trips, guest speakers, assemblies, scheduled assessments, books to read aloud, and project time lines."

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Izzy Todo - Easy To Do List Builder
Three Student Planners/ Organization Tools