Friday, February 26, 2010

Big, Huge, Free US Presidents Timeline Poster

C-Span Classroom is giving away a really neat gift to teachers who register for a free C-Span Classroom account. The gift is a six foot long poster that details the lives of every US president. The poster also details key historical events, Supreme Court cases, and technology milestones during each president's time in office. I ordered my poster this evening, it only took a minute to register for a C-Span Classroom account.

Thanks to Cheryl Davis for lead on this neat resource.

Forvo - All the Words in the World Pronounced

Forvo can best be described as an audio wiki for word pronunciations. One of the problems with learning to speak a language that is not phonetic is trying to figure out how to pronounce the words. Forvo hosts hundreds of recordings of word pronunciations by native speakers. Along with word pronunciations, Forvo provides some basic demographic information about each language. Forvo's content is user-supported and user-generated. New pronunciations are added on a regular basis.

Applications for Education
Forvo is a good complementary resource for foreign language teachers. Students can use Forvo as a study aid when they are away from the classroom. Forvo could also be a good complementary tool to use in independent study courses.

Explore More Street View Imagery than Ever Before

Today, on the Google LatLong Blog I learned about a feature of Google Maps Street View that I hadn't noticed before. In Street View you can view geolocated user-contributed pictures. This enables Google Maps users to view more street level imagery than ever before. As was pointed out on the LatLong Blog, user-contributed imagery makes it possible to view streets, buildings, and natural landmarks that Google was not able to capture with their Street View car-mounted cameras.

To access the user-contributed Street View imagery, access Street View as you normally would. Then whenever an image appears in the upper-right corner of the screen click on it to view the user-contributed images. Try it out in map below.

View Larger Map

Here's a video introduction to accessing user-contributed images in Street View.

Applications for Education
Navigating through user-contributed images in Street View is an improvement over standard Street View imagery. You can now take your students on a virtual tour of popular tourist destinations like Times Square, Mount Rushmore, or Old Faithful and show them geolocated imagery that they wouldn't see in the stock Google Maps imagery.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Across the Curriculum
Exploring Climate Change in Google Earth

Google Maps Labs - Try the Newest Options

Captains of Industry - Economics Simulation Game

Captains of Industry is an economics simulation activity that I used in my US History class this week. Original version of this activity was developed by my colleague Jason Long. What I'm sharing here is the activity as I've modified it for my classroom. My version is about 75% the same as Jason's original. The point of the activity is for students to experience and experiment with the tactics of American businessmen in the second half of the 19th century. Before trying the activity it is best for students to have some familiarity with the business practices of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan.

You can access the activity in a Google Doc here or view it in the embedded version below.

Captains of Industry - Economics Simulation

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Life on Minimum Wage - Economics Lesson
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons