Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interactive Comic - The Pit and the Pendulum

Edgar Allen Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum (click link for free copy) was one of my favorite required readings when I was a middle school student. My classmates and I read the story and watched a short film version of it afterward. Now there is a new way to experience the story. The Pit and the Pendulum is now available as an interactive comic book created by Poe in the Pit. View the comic book online and you can click symbols within it to open videos, additional images, and additional background and insight into Poe's work. If you choose to print the comic book you can us the QR codes embedded within it to access the videos, images, and additional info on your mobile device.

Here's one of the videos found within the comic book.

I was sick, sick unto death with that long agony... from Into ThePit on Vimeo.

H/T to Open Culture for the link.

Grammaropolis - Fun Grammar Games & Videos

Grammaropolis is website designed to help elementary school students learn the parts of speech. Grammaropolis features cartoon characters that represent nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech. Students can click on any of the characters to read that character's story. After going through the character stories students can watch videos about the parts of speech and play games about the parts of speech.

Here is one of the videos available on Grammaropolis.

Thanks to Kelly Tenkely for this neat resource. If you're an elementary school teacher, I highly recommend subscribing to Kelly's blog iLearn Technology.

Applications for Education
The games on Grammaropolis could provide a fun way for students to review their knowledge of the parts of speech. While I don't think it was intentionally designed for use on an interactive whiteboard, I do think that Word Sort on Grammaropolis could be a good IWB activity.

History of the U.S. Flag - Images and Video

This afternoon I found on Larry Ferlazzo's blog a neat little resource for US History teachers. US Flag: Its Meaning, Design, and History is an interactive image produced by the Sun Sentinel. Click on the interactive image to learn what the colors, stripes, and stars symbolize. Click on the stars to learn which star represent which state. Finally, click on the "flags" tab to see a timeline of all of the flags used by the United States since 1777.

Along the same lines, I found the following video overview of the history of US flags.

What We Pay For - Where Your Tax Dollars Go

In case you haven't seen the barrage of HR Block and Turbo Tax commercials on TV lately, tax season is upon us in the United States. For some of us it's a season full of stress and for others it brings relief in the form of a rebate. But just where does of all the collected tax revenue go? What We Pay For has some answers to that question.

What We Pay For uses publicly available tax data to show you how your tax money is appropriated. On the left side of the screen you will see the total revenue and appropriations for the entire United States. On the right side of the screen you can enter your filing status and pre-tax earnings for the year to see the approximate amount you will pay toward US budget items. You can enter your pre-tax earnings as an annual figure, monthly figure, weekly, daily, or hourly wage.

What We Pay For was featured on the Google Blog today as part of the announcement of a data visualization contest asks participants to develop interactive tax data displays.

Applications for Education
When high school students get their first paychecks from their first part-time jobs, they're often surprised to see that they didn't net as much as they anticipated. This leaves them wondering where their money went (as Rachel on Friends once said, "who the heck is this FICA guy?"). What We Pay For shows students where their tax money is going.