Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Climate Change Tours in Google Earth

Today, Google released three new tours in its Explore Climate Change series. The new tours explore the actions of organizations to prevent or adapt to climate change in different parts of the world. These tours include the World Wildlife Foundation's efforts in the peatland swamps of Borneo, Greenpeace's actions to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, and Conservation International's efforts to reduce deforestation in Madagascar. The tours can be viewed three ways, in Google Earth, in the Google Browser plug-in, or through YouTube. The tour of Borneo's peatland swamps is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Google Earth's tour recording options are increasingly being used to tell stories. These new tours from Google are good examples of how Google Earth could be used in an integrated science, social studies, and writing course. Students could script their stories to account for data and facts then demonstrate the information through various Google Earth layers.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Great Google Maps/ Earth How-to Videos
A Narrated Google Earth Tour of Afghanistan
Videos for Learning About Google Earth

CNN Student News - Review of Global Headlines

One of the reasons that I enjoy being a social studies teacher is that most of the time when I turn on the news (most of my news comes via Internet these days) I find a story that I can connect to my curriculum. CNN Student News is perfect for folks like me who believe that curriculum should be relevant to our students' lives and to our society. Each day CNN Student News serves up succinct summaries of important happenings in US and World news. Today's episode is no exception to that pattern as they review three stories spanning the globe from Washington, DC to India. In addition to the video, you may also want to utilize the maps that accompany the transcript of the video.

Palm Breeze Cafe Reviews Free Technology for Teachers

Palm Breeze Cafe is a web video show hosted by Lee Kolbert, Lee Keller, Kim Cavanaugh, and Jamey Akien. The show is a very high quality production. In each episode the hosts review and discuss educational technology tools and practices. You can find and subscribe to the show on numerous video hosting sites including YouTube, Blip, and HowCast. Recently, they were kind enough to tape an eight minute segment about this blog. I am completely flattered by the review. Thanks Lee, Lee, Kim, and Jamey.
The segment is embedded below in form. (If you're viewing this in RSS you will need to click through to view the video).

One thing to note, at the beginning they mention that I'm in New Jersey. While my mother is from New Jersey, I live in Maine.

Holiday and Current Events ESL Lesson Plans

I recently came across two large collections of lesson plans for ESL teachers, ESL Holiday Lessons and Breaking News English. ESL Holiday Lessons is a comprehensive collection of lesson plans for every major holiday in the United States. The collection also includes many lesson plans for minor holidays.

Breaking News English is written by and hosted by the creator of ESL Holiday Lessons. Breaking News English uses current events articles as the basis for ESL lesson plans.

Applications for Education
ESL Holiday Lessons and Breaking News English both use the same lesson plan format. The lesson plans emphasize development of vocabulary.

As always, the premiere place to find ESL resources is Larry Ferlazzo's website.