Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grapholite - Online Diagramming Tool

Grapholite is a new online service for creating diagrams. Grapholite features a drag and drop interface for creating flowcharts, organization charts, and more. You can create new diagrams from scratch or use the sample templates provided by Grapholite.

If you choose to create from a sample template you can edit the arrangement of elements, rename elements, and edit the colors of elements. To create a diagram from scratch choose "new" from the file menu then begin dragging elements onto your canvas from the menus provided. You can then label the elements of your chart, add colors, resize elements, connect elements, and arrange elements with a simple drag and drop system.

Applications for Education
Grapholite could be used by students to create cause and effect charts, story webs, or perhaps models of elements from the periodic table.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Simple Diagrams - Free Diagram Creation Tool
Cloud Canvas - Create and Edit Images Online
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps

News Map - Find World News by Location

A few weeks I shared the news mapping service Mapeas with you. Not long after that Mapeas hit a technical glitch, but I'm happy to report that it is fully functional again. Tonight, I'd like to share with you another service that helps you locate world news stories by location. News Map is a relatively simple mash-up of Google Maps and Yahoo News. To use News Map select a region from the tabbed menu then click on a country to see a list of current news stories. For some larger countries you can further refine your search by state, province, or city.

News Map was included in a Make Use Of list of news maps.

Applications for Education
News Map and resources like it can useful for providing students with a variety of perspectives on world news and a variety of stories. You could have students use News Map to compare the ways the same story is reported by media outlets in different parts of the world.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
AP Timeline Reader
Ten by Ten - Visual Links to World News
Science and Statistics Animations

Infographic - Coffee's Place in the Global Economy

Coffee, the breakfast beverage of choice for hundreds of millions around the globe, energizes people and businesses everyday. But how often do coffee addicts drinkers think about the economic impact of their daily coffees? The infographic below from illustrates where coffee comes from, who is consuming it, and what it means for the global economy.

After the graphic jump down to read and contribute to my idea for a research assignment I'm trying to develop for the World Studies course I'm teaching next semester.

Personal Finance Software -

H/T to Cool Infographics for the link.

Applications for Education
This infographic gave me the idea to design a research project in which students pick a product that is a part of their daily lives then trace the economic value of that product for all of the people involved in its production and consumption. I'm thinking that students could investigate the economic value of things like cotton, wheat, sugar, corn syrup (found in almost every soda and energy drink), and other products they use or consume everyday without thinking about where they came from.

As part of demonstrating what they find in their research, I'm thinking that students could create Google Maps with placemarks containing information about the economic impacts of their chosen product on various regions or countries. Again, I just got this idea today so if you have suggestions for it, please leave a comment.

New Google Docs Community Offers How-to Videos

Google Docs has many features that students and teachers can use to make writing, teaching, and learning better. Today, Google launched a new community on YouTube for Google Docs users to share tips and ideas for using Google Docs in education and other arenas. The community features how-to videos created by Google and by Google Docs users just like you. The video playlists cover everything from the very basics through advanced features of spreadsheets in Google Docs.

Applications for Education
Whether you're new to Google Docs, you're a Google Docs user who would like to take advantage of some of the advanced features in Google Docs, or you're trying to introduce others to Google Docs the new community probably has a how-to video to fit your needs.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Twenty Google Tools Tutorials for Teachers
Best of the EdTech Web 2010
47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom