Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MDG Maps - Millenium Development Goal Maps

Millenium Development Goal Maps (MDG Maps) is a free tool for generating maps displaying development data about the world. The data comes from Millenium Development Goals data sets at the World Bank Data Set website. To use MDG Maps select a goal and then a development indicator from the menu provided. MDG Maps then produces a color-coded map representing the data set. You can place your cursor over any country on the map to view specific data. MDG Maps can be download as PDFs.
H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Applications for Education 
MDG Maps could be a useful tool for students of geography, political science, and global economics. Data maps are good for providing students with a means to visually compare data sets. I can see MDG Maps being a resource for students to quickly compare development indicators of countries in a region or continent. Use the comparisons students make as the jumping-off point for research into the causes and solutions of development inequalities between countries.

Brainshark Offers a Free iPhone & iPad App

A few months ago I shared with you a great online presentation tool called My Brainshark. My Brainshark allows you to easily create a voice recording to accompany your slideshows. (Learn more about how to use it here).

Today, I learned that Brainshark has a free iPhone and iPad app that you can use to view your Brainshark presentations. Using the app you can view your own presentations and presentations that people have sent you the link to.

Applications for Education
My Brainshark is a good tool for creating lecturecasts to post on your course website. The free Brainshark app will provide your students with just another way to access those lecturecasts. 

Check Out the Reform Symposium Archives

The Reform Symposium, an online conference that I had the honoring of giving a keynote for last summer, recently held a "New Teacher" Reform Symposium. While certainly not limited to new teachers only, it was organized with them in mind. The recordings of all of the New Teacher Reform Symposium presentations are now available online. The archives are arranged in the order in which the presentations were scheduled. Simply find a presentation title that appeals to you, click on the title, and scroll down to the recording link. The recordings must be viewed using Elluminate.

On a related note, the recordings from this past summer's Reform Symposium are now available in iTunes.

Applications for Education
Free online events like the Reform Symposium can be great places find some excellent information for your professional development. It's best to view the presentations live because you can interact with the presenters and other participants, but if you can't attend live the archived sessions still provide a wealth of information.

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 - A Scientific Calculator

Microsoft has released a new scientific calculator that you can download for free (Windows only). Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 is a graphing calculator that plots in 2D and 3D. Of course, the calculator does many other functions such as solving inequalities, converting units of measure, and performing matrix and vector operations.

H/T to Center Networks.

Applications for Education
If you're in a Windows 1:1 environment Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 could be a good alternative to purchasing expensive graphing calculators that you have to keep track of (I've previously mentioned the problem my school has with TI-83's disappearing).

A Fun Calendar App for Your Blog

This is more of a "fun" post than a serious ed tech post, but I know some readers will like it. Yesterday, I noticed a neat calendar app on Steven Anderson's blog. The app is called the Human Calendar. The Human Calendar is a widget that you can place in your blog or website to display the date using images of people holding up signs displaying the day of the week, the month, and the year.

Installing the Human Calendar is a simple matter of copying the embed code provided and placing it where you want in your blog or website. You can also add the Human Calendar to your Google Homepage. Check it out below.

Applications for Education
There are not many (any?) specific uses for the Human Calendar in education other than providing a neat way to display the date to visitors to your course blog or website.