Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Egiate - College Search Aided By Google Earth

Egiate is a website designed to help students locate a college or graduate school that is right for them. Egiate provides a great set of search filters for helping students narrow their list of choices. Students can filter their searches by degree type, major field of study, location, campus setting, athletics, and special program offerings. On their own, the extensive list of search filters would make Egiate a good college search service, but Egiate takes it a step farther by incorporating Google Earth.

Egiate uses the Google Earth browser plug-in to show students the location of the colleges in which they're interested. For some colleges, Egiate offers the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the campus within the Google Earth browser plug-in. Students can also use the Yelp search box located at the bottom of the map to search for restaurants, businesses, and wireless hotspots around campus.

Thanks to the Google Earth Blog for the link to Egiate.

Applications for Education
I've explored nearly two dozen college search websites in the two years and Egiate is one of the best. If your high school's guidance department has a website, Egiate should be one of the links on it.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
College Crunch
Unigo - College Reviews by Students
EduPursuit - College Search by Location

TypePad Micro Offers an Easy Way to Start Blogging

TypePad has launched a new free blogging service. The name TypePad Micro implies that the service is designed for short messages, but you can do quite a bit more than post short updates. TypePad Micro allows you to embed videos, post pictures, write long-form posts, and generally do all of the things that you would want student bloggers to do. To make posting fast and easy, TypePad Micro allows users to post via email (much like Posterous) or to post using the TypePad Micro bookmarklet (also much like Posterous).

TypePad Micro offers some theme customization options including color choice and background images. You can see the theme I selected for my TypePad Micro blog here.

TechVi provides a nice little overview of TypePad Micro and some other microblogging options in the video below.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get students started on their blogging journies, TypePad Micro might be a good option to explore.

Life on Minimum Wage - Economics Lesson

Teaching economics is one of my favorite things to do each year. A big part of the reason that I enjoy teaching economics is that learning about money gets my students excited about class. Another reason that it's fun to teach is that economics easily lends itself to simulation activities that get kids actively engaged in learning. In the past I've used simulations created by the Buck Institute and simulations created by Biz Ed. While those simulations are good, I've always wanted something that students could personalize just little bit more. So today during my lesson planning time, I created the outline and materials for a simulation about living on minimum wage in the United States.

The purpose of Life on Minimum Wage is for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win (prize not determined yet) at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent.

All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one "business" slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also effected. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects of a business closing on a small town's economy.

I've published all of the rules of the game and needed "cards" as a Google Document which you can view here. I would love to hear feedback for improvement from anyone that has done a similar activity. Please note, that I designed this activity with a rural Maine population in mind. Therefore, some aspects of the activity might need alteration if you want to use the activity in your classroom. For example, if you're in Florida you might want to replace the goal of "buying a snowmobile" with "buying a jet ski."

Life on Minimum Wage - Lesson Plan -

Video - Making the Most of a Museum Field Trip

Through the Teaching Palette, I discovered this video from the Art Institute of Chicago. The video was created as a resource to help teachers and students get the most out of a trip to an art museum. The animated video tells the story of high school students going to an art museum. In the video the teacher explains how to behave at an art museum (don't touch the paintings). The teacher and students also model critiquing art. The video is subtitled in English and Spanish.

You can watch the video below.

By the way, if YouTube is blocked in your school, you may want to explore one of these options for viewing the video.

Applications for Education
Even if you're not able to take your students on a field trip to an art museum, this video still has value. The modeling of conversations about art could be used prior to having students look at art online or in books.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
ArtsEdge - Podcasts and Lesson Plans
Blogs for Art Teachers
Kodak Lesson Plans