Friday, October 22, 2010

Get Yourself Some Free PD This Weekend

Has your school cut the budget for conferences and professional development? Would you like some excellent free professional development that you can access at your leisure? If you answered yes, check out the newest presentations to go live as part of the K12 Online Conference. You can find the full schedule of presentations here. I'm looking forward to having some time to take-in all of Rodd Lucier's presentation about Creative Commons that went live earlier this week.

More Historical Imagery Available in Google Earth

Back in February Google released historical imagery in Google Earth of 35 European cities as they looked during WWII. Today, Google announced that they have added to Google Earth even more historical imagery of London and Paris. This imagery like the imagery in the previous release is aerial imagery that can be accessed by opening the time slider in Google Earth. If you don't know how to open the time slider, see the image below.

Applications for Education
Many times I've had students comment to me that exploring Google Earth and Google Maps has been very helpful for them in recalling information about our history lessons. The historical imagery can be useful for providing students with geolocated imagery to aid in recall of information about historical events.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
How to Make Placemarks and Tours in Google Earth
Google Earth Across the Curriculum

Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers

Voki for Classrooms

Through a Tweet by Vicki Davis I have learned that Voki is offering an ad-free version for educators. Voki is a service that allows users to create animated audio avatars that they can embed into their wikis, blogs, and websites. The details on the Voki site aren't entirely clear as to whether or not the ad-free version will be free, but it appears to be. You can register for Voki for Classrooms here.

Applications for Education
Normally I would write something of my own in this section. Instead, I will direct you to a guest post on Free Technology for Teachers that Shelly Terrell wrote in February about using Voki with students.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Making Videos on the Web - A Free Guide
11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year
Six Easy Ways for Students to Create Videos Online

Infographic - Who Wants to Be President?

Who Wants to be President? is an infographic containing the names and salaries of the presidents of twenty-one countries. The infographic also contains the GDP per capita of each country and the average cost of housing in each of the twenty-one countries. The countries are arranged on the infographic in order from lowest paid president to highest paid president.
Click the image to enlarge
Who wants to be president
Source: Fixr
Applications for Education
This infographic presents an opportunity to create a lesson combining elements of mathematics and social studies. You could have students rearrange the order of the presidents according to the gaps between their salaries and the GDP per capita in their country. You could also have students determine which countries have the highest housing prices relative to GDP per capita.

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

Fat World - A Video Game About Nutrition

Fat World is an educational video game funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The game isn't designed to tell students what they should or shouldn't eat rather it is designed to get students thinking about the results of food choices. In the game students explore the socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural factors that influence the nutrition choices people make. Students will also explore the roles of the government and interest groups in the marketing of foods.

Fat World is available as a free download for Windows and Mac users.

Applications for Education
I like games that require students to use some analytical thinking while they are playing and aren't just "drill and kill" activities. Fat World fits that criteria as it asks students to account for many variables as they move through the game. Fat World could obviously be used in a health class, but could also be used in a civics or economics class. 

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Food Play - Resources About Food and Diet
Sugar Stacks - How Much Sugar is in Your Snack?

Cool Food Kidz Teaches Kids About Diet & Fitness