Friday, May 7, 2010

Vietnam 35 Years Later in Pictures

Last Friday was the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam war. has assembled a 47 image photo essay about the Vietnam War and it's impact on both the Vietnamese and Americans. Because of the graphic nature of some of the images, I strongly recommend selecting images to share with students rather than directing them to the entire essay.

Applications for Education
For history teachers,'s photo essay about the Vietnam War could provide some good conversation starters and research project starters.

Larry Ferlazzo has assembled a list of resources about the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon that you may want to explore.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:

First-hand Accounts of Oil Spill's Impact

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an organization that has started to collect first-hand reports of the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The reports are submitted by visitors to the site, verified (it's not clear how the verification process works), and geolocated on an interactive map. Click on any placemark on the map to read a report. In some cases images are included in the report.

H/T to Mashable for the info about the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

Applications for Education
Twice this week I posted maps related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. What makes the map created by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade different from other maps is that it contains stories from people directly affected by the oil spill. Some of stories have a distinctly personal tone from people who are angry and or frustrated about the impact of the oil spill on their livelihoods.

A Cyber Hero's Best of the Web for Education

David Kapuler writes the blog Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero. David recently posted a SlideShare presentation titled Best of the Web - Excellent Sites for Schools. The slidedeck contains twenty-one websites that can be used in a lot K-12 settings. I had seen many of the sites before but I did come across a few new-to-me sites. Check out the slidedeck below and David's blog as well.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Free Guide - Making Videos on the Web
30+ Alternatives to YouTube
Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration

A Visual History of American Automobiles

Did you know that Ted Leonsis, the owner of the NHL's Washington Capitals and soon-to-be majority owner of the NBA's Washington Wizards, is a prolific blogger? I did and that's why, despite being a Bruins fan, a small part of me felt bad about watching his team lose in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Everyday, Mr. Leonsis writes posts about sports, technology, business, and new media. Today, one of his posts featured a neat website that is attempting to catalog the brochures of every American car manufacturer in the 20th Century.

American Car Brochures scans and displays the brochures that you would have found in automobile dealers' showrooms in the 20th Century. The brochures are organized by manufacturer and by year. The scans are of a very high quality which makes it easier to read the fine on some of the brochures. Below is an image of the brochure for the 1955 Packard Clipper.

Mr. Leonsis is also one of the major investors in Snag Films. I've written about Snag Films many times in the past, check out two of those posts here and here.

Applications for Education
A resource like American Car Brochures is an easily-accessed resource that could be used to in a history lesson about 20th Century US history. American Car Brochures could also be used as a historical reference in a graphic design or advertising design course.

More Apps Coming to Google Apps for Education

Changes to the search results page was not the only announcement Google made yesterday that could have an impact on teachers and students. Google also announced yesterday that beginning this summer administrators of Google Apps for Education and Google Apps for Enterprise will be able to incorporate Blogger, Picassa, iGoogle and other Google products into their existing roster of applications in Google Apps. Put another way; you will now be able to use Blogger within Google Apps for Education. Click here to read the full announcement from Google.

Applications for Education
One of the reasons that some teachers and administrators are sometimes hesitant to have students use Blogger for classroom blogging assignments is that they fear that they don't have enough administrative control. By having Blogger integrated into Google Apps for Education schools will have a little more administrative control over the use of Blogger by students. Incorporating Blogger will should also make it easier to start a new blog because you can use the same login credentials that you're already using for the other elements of Google Apps for Education like Docs and Gmail.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Tools Tutorials
Google for Teachers
Beyond Google - Improve Your Search Results

Comparing Taxes and Costs of Living

Graduation season is upon us once again and that means there will be a lot of recent high school and college graduates searching for jobs. Some graduates may be considering jobs in new cities and states. Before a graduate accepts or rejects one of those job offers, he or she should consider the cost of living in the area where the new job is located. Here are a couple of tools to help new graduates or anyone considering a move, to compare the costs of living in a new state or city to their current residence.

PayScale offers a cost of living calculator that allows users to make direct comparisons between cities. The calculator accounts for the costs of groceries, housing, health care, utilities, and transportation. If you choose to enter your current salary, PayScale's calculator will also tell you how much you would need to earn in another location to maintain your current lifestyle.

Taxes can differ wildly from state to state. This is especially true for gasoline and sales taxes. MSN Money has an interactive map that allows users to compare sales taxes and gasoline taxes by state. Please note, the map also compares cigarette and alcohol taxes so use your best judgement before sharing it with younger students. Bankrate also has an interactive map for comparing tax burdens by state. Bankrate's map accounts for sales taxes, property taxes, and estate taxes.

Applications for Education
In addition to being good resources for recent graduates and job-hunters, these tools could be used as part of an economics lesson plan. Have students use the comparison tools to compare states and then investigate why the cost of living and tax burdens vary from state to state.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Resources for Teaching and Learning Economics
Infographic for Understanding Credit Scores

Stories to Wrap-up Teacher Appreciation Week

I'm sharing today's episode of CNN Student News not because of the lessons that can be derived from it, but to provide teachers with some feel-good stories about our profession. In today's episode of CNN Student News contains a segment in which teachers share stories about who or what inspired them to become teachers.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Great Story About a Teacher Making a Difference
My Teacher, My Hero - Honoring Teachers