Friday, August 13, 2010

How Hot Air Balloons Work

One of the blogs that I enjoy reading outside of the edtech sphere is The Adventure Blog written by Kraig Becker. Recently, Kraig ran a post that included a video filmed through a glass-bottom hot air balloon. That got me thinking about how hot air balloons work. I did a quick search of YouTube for an explanation and found the video below from How Stuff Works.

Applications for Education
Hot air balloons demonstrate some basic principles of science. This video does a nice job of explaining how hot air balloons work.

Radio Diaries - Teen Reporter Handbook

Radio Diaries is a non-profit organization that records interviews with people from all walks of life for radio documentaries on National Public Radio. In addition to the broadcasts on NPR, Radio Diaries makes many of their projects available on the web. The stories on Radio Diaries cover political and cultural topics and range from light-hearted feel-good stories to powerful, gripping, emotional stories. See a list of stories here.

Watch a video overview of Radio Diaries and some stories below.

Applications for Education
Radio Diaries offers a free guide (available as a PDF or web version) for students interested in recording their own interviews. The guide covers interview principles and techniques as well as technical tips for students. Creating audio documentaries could be a great activity for history students and journalism students. After conducting interviews, students could turn their recordings into podcasts. Learn how to make a podcast in my new guide How To Do 11 Techy Things In the New School Year.

GooReader - Read Google Books On Your Desktop

Google Books is a great resource for locating books and periodical articles that you can read online for free. You can even put those books and articles into your blog or website. (Get directions here). As great as Google Books is for locating materials, it's visual appeal could use some work. That's where GooReader comes into the picture.

GooReader is a desktop application for locating, reading, and saving materials from Google Books. The visual interface of GooReader is much nicer and should be easier on the eyes for many people. If you choose to upgrade to a paid plan, GooReader will allow you to print titles. But if you don't upgrade, remember that you can print directly from Google Books for free. GooReader is currently only available for Windows. A Mac version is in development.

Watch a video overview of GooReader below.

Applications for Education
GooReader could be a good resource for reading and literature teachers who need access more titles than they or their students can find in local libraries.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Seven Places to Find Free eBooks

Google Books Adds Shelving Options
Embedding Books Into Your Blogger Blog or Google Site

Where Will Kids Put the Internet in the World?

Read Write Web and Latitude recently conducted a survey of children in which they asked the kids to share the things they think computers and the Internet should do. As you might expect some of the responses were very imaginative. I look at the results of the survey as a preview of what computers and the Internet will do in the next decade or two. If you don't want to read the reports here and here, at least watch the video below summarizing some of the students' responses.

Latitude 42 Study Findings: Where Else Will Kids Think to Put the Web in the World? from latddotcom on Vimeo.