Friday, March 11, 2011

Images and Videos of Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan

All of the news this morning is about the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan. I haven't had a lot of time to gather resources this morning, but here are some of the better ones I've found that are accessible to students.

First up, the BBC has a short video featuring seismologist Dr. Roger Musson explaining how the tsunami was triggered.

CNN has a good graphic that shows how long it would take tsunami waves to reach various points in the Pacific ocean.

Both Reuters and CNN have slideshows that are still being updated with new images from the earthquake and tsunami.

CNN among many other places has dramatic video footage of the tsunami. Below is one of many videos that show the power of a tsunami.

Update: Thanks to Ian Chia for sharing the link to this live stream from Yokoso News. The stream is in English.

Update #2: has a set of 43 powerful images of the earthquake, tsunami, and their effects.
The video below from Reuters shows how powerful tsunami waves are.

Update #3: Larry Ferlazzo has a good list of resources going that you should also check out.
If you are interested in financially supporting relief efforts the Red Cross has set-up a text donation plan, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 or click here to read about other ways to donate.

Topsy - Real-time Search of the Social Web

Topsy is a search engine that scours the Internet for the most recent and most talked about links, images, and Tweets on the web.

To use Topsy just enter a search term like you would with any other search engine. The difference with Topsy is that your results are ranked according to how much a link or image has been discussed or shared on the web. The more something has been shared or discussed, the higher it ranks in results. You can sort your results by links, images, Tweets, or "experts." Experts in Topsy's rankings are people and organizations that are linked to most frequently compared to other sources. You can also narrow your search results according to time of posting on the web. For example, you can narrow your results to just links that have appeared in the last hour.

Applications for Education
Topsy and other real-time search engines are quite useful for finding up to the minute resources during major events worldwide. This morning I used a different real-time search engine called Mashpedia to find some videos, images, and news stories about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to share with my students. I could have just as easily used Topsy for the same purpose.

Who is Mark Twain? - An Animated Explanation

Currently, a lot of the eleventh grade students in my school are reading Huckleberry Finn in their Language Arts courses. This morning the Open Culture blog had a nice short video featuring John Lithgow reading Mark Twain's explanation of his review process before publishing a book. The video is animated by Flash Rosenburg.

Smithsonian Wild - 200,000 Images of Wild Animals

Smithsonian Wild is a new Smithsonian website that houses more than 200,000 images of animals in the wild. The pictures on the site were captured using camera traps. Camera traps are cameras, both still image and video, that are attached to a tree or otherwise positioned in a natural habitat. When an animal approaches the camera an infrared sensor triggers the camera to start capturing images and videos. Smithsonian Wild is the result of camera traps around the world. Learn more about camera traps in the video below.

Applications for Education
The images and videos in the Smithsonian Wild galleries are of varying quality because of the variances in camera quality and lighting conditions at the camera traps. That said, these galleries are great for showing animals in their natural habitats without knowledge of human presence.

H/T to Open Culture

3 Good Earthquake & Tsunami Lesson Resources

This morning's earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan provides an opportunity to incorporate current world news into a science lesson. Here are some resources for teaching about earthquakes and tsunamis.

IRIS, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, has compiled some good resources for teaching about the science of the earthquake in Japan and earthquakes in general. Included in their lists are videos, slideshows, animations, and links to lesson plans. Here is one animation that illustrates how the DART tsunami warning system works. The videos are animated and narrated explanations of the science of earthquakes.

The USGS produces a good assortment of resources for teaching and learning about earthquakes. The USGS has resources for teachers and for students on every grade level from elementary school through college. Not included in the teachers resource section, but including in the general education page, are these flash animations of earthquakes and seismic activities. For Google Earth users the USGS produces Google Earth files for viewing earthquakes. One set of Google Earth files that the USGS produces allows you to view seismic activity in near-real time (the file refreshes every five minutes).

Stop Disasters is a game designed for students to learn about natural disasters, disaster prevention, and city design. There are five game scenarios that students can play. Students can plan to prepare for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis. The scenarios are set in geographically accurate contexts of Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean.