Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Google Earth Skills Quiz and Tutorials

This afternoon while trying to remember how to perform a small task in Google Earth I was forced to admit defeat and consult the Google Earth help page. While there I discovered something I hadn't seen before, I discovered Google Earth: Learn, Become an Explorer. Become an Explorer is a nine part series of tutorials, directions, and quizzes regarding Google Earth skills. The series takes users from the basics of navigation through advanced features of Google Earth. Perhaps the best way to describe Google Earth: Learn, Become an Explorer is as a guided scavenger hunt.

In case you need a reminder about why geography matters, watch this.

Applications for Education
Google Earth: Learn, Become an Explorer could be a great aid in teaching students how to navigate all of the great things available in Google Earth.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Across the Curriculum
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Using Maps in an Elementary School Math Lesson

YoLink - Search Refinement and Bookmarking

YoLink is a free service that helps students refine their web searches and easily bookmark their findings in Diigo and EasyBib. YoLink also integrates with Google Docs account so that users can quickly move the content you bookmark in YoLink into a document. YoLink is plug-in for Firefox and Chrome.

The video below shows you how YoLink integrates with Easy Bib.

The video below shows you how YoLink integrates with Google Docs.

Applications for Education
In the video below I talk with Ken Shelton about his use of YoLink with middle school students.

Talking Blogging With Sue Waters from Edublogs

Tomorrow at 12:30pm (Mountain Time) Sue Waters from Edublogs and I will be hosting an ISTE Unplugged session. The topic of the session is best practices for blogging. We intend the session to be primarily a question and answer session. The session will be streamed live via Elluminate. (Click here and scroll to the bottom to find the Elluminate link tomorrow, the Elluminate link isn't live yet). It does not cost anything to attend online. If you're here at ISTE 2010 please come on down and join us.

If you have questions for Sue and I about blogging, please join us in the Elluminate session. If you like, you can submit your questions ahead of time through the Google form embedded below.

Update: We already have questions coming in. So far the questions are mainly about student blogging, which is great. I just want to clarify that we're also more than willing to answer questions about general blogging issues such as comment moderation, post length, finding your voice, etc.

Large Collection of Word Games & Typing Games

Word Games is a provider of a large collection of online word games and typing games. The word games range from simple word searches and crosswords to games that require players to complete sentences and phrases. The typing games are a mix of simple sentence typing for speed and games that require accuracy to "defend" a character or move a character through a scene.

Some of the games featured on Word Games can be either downloaded to your computer, see Typing Defense, or can be embedded into your blog or website. Word Games does use interstitial ads on its site, which might annoy some visitors, but none of the ads I've seen on it were inappropriate in their content (most were for online schools, and tutoring services). The size of the Word Games collection makes up for the potential annoyance of interstitial ads.

Applications for Education
There is no shortage of word games and typing games on the market, but what I like about Word Games is that they've put a large collection of good games in one place. By having both word games and typing games at the same place you can have your whole class go to the same url at the beginning of a lesson, but then branch out to work at their own pace on different skill sets.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Starfall - Interactive Reading Lessons and Games
ChessKid - Online Chess Games and Lessons
Learning Chocolate - Activities for Learning English