Tuesday, April 5, 2011

History Buff - Narrated Panoramas of Historic Sites and More

History Buff is a neat website that teachers of US History should spend some time exploring. One of the best features of History Buff is a set of fifteen narrated panoramic tours of interesting and significant historic sites. Some of the panoramas you will find in the collection include Davy Crockett's childhood home, Appomattox Courthouse, Thomas Edison's birthplace, and Valley Forge.

Another good feature of History Buff is their online newspaper archive. The archive is organized by year and event. The earliest newspapers in the archive were published in 1707. The newspapers can be viewed in great detail through the zoom tool accompanying each newspaper.

Applications for Education
I like to use virtual tours like the ones hosted by History Buff to provide my students with better visual references than what they find in a textbook or through simple Google Image searches. I've found that the visuals in virtual tours often prompt students to ask questions that lead to good conversations about events and themes in US History.

Anatomy Arcade - Anatomy Games

Anatomy Arcade is a collection of games about human body systems. The collection is categorized by both body system and game type. The games most frequently appearing in the Anatomy Arcade are jigsaw puzzles, matching games, and crossword puzzles. There are also a few interactive games. The Anatomy Arcade was developed by a science and physical education teacher in Melbourne, Australia.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for some simple activities your students can use to review anatomy vocabulary, Anatomy Arcade might have what you're looking for. The jigsaw puzzles could be a fun way for students to practice identifying muscle groups, bones, and other body systems.

Venice Backstage - How Venice Works

Venice Backstage is an interesting seventeen minute video about how the city of Venice works. The video, produced by the municipality of Venice, shows viewers how the water is contained, how the buildings stay upright, and how residents of Venice travel about the city. The website Venice Backstage offers additional articles and graphics to support the information presented in the video. Watch the video below.

Venice Backstage. How does Venice work? from Insula spa on Vimeo.

H/T to Open Culture.

VoiceThread Universal Increases VoiceThread Accessibility

The very popular digital media discussion service VoiceThread has just launched a new accessibility option called VoiceThread Universal. VoiceThread Universal is designed for use by people who use screen-readers to access online media. Rather than being an add-on to the existing VoiceThread platform, VoiceThread Universal is a version of VoiceThread designed for compatibility with screen-readers. VoiceThread Universal removes extraneous visual and text elements and focus on providing clear and concise information. Learn more about the new service here.

Applications for Education
VoiceThread has become popular with educators because it allows students to have conversations about media and it allows teachers to deliver virtual instruction. VoiceThread Universal will make it possible for more students and more teachers to participate in online conversations about media.

7 Good Sources of Mathematics Videos

When I was a high school student own of the most frustrating things about doing mathematics homework was getting home and not remembering one step that would make all of the difference between having the right or wrong answer. Today's high school students don't have that problem if they have Internet access at home. A student today can jump on the web and find some tutorials to refresh his or her memory. Here are some good places that students can find mathematics tutorial videos on the web.

Math TV provides an extensive collection of high quality mathematics tutorials. Math TV's video lessons cover basic mathematics and Algebra. Math TV videos are not easily embedded in other websites, but they are free and you can create your own individualized playlists.
Brightstorm is a provider of online study materials for mathematics as well as ACT and SAT preparation. The ACT and SAT preparation materials are not free, but the mathematics tutorials are free. The mathematics tutorials are videos featuring mathematics teachers explaining and demonstrating how to solve mathematics problems. There are tutorial videos covering Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus. The videos can be viewed on the Brightstorm site or you can embed them into your blog or wiki.

Mathtrain.TV is the product of students taught by Mr. Marcos at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, California. The site features videos in which students explain how to solve mathematics problems commonly attempted by middle school students. Mathtrain.TV also has videos made by teachers. Many of the videos are subtitled.

Teacher Zone is a new free service being offered by the mathematics tutorial service Ten Marks. Teacher Zone is a compilation of more than 1,000 mathematics tutorials videos created by Ten Marks tutors. The videos cover everything from basic elementary school mathematics skills through high school Algebra and Geometry skills. The videos in the Teacher Zone collection are all hosted on YouTube but you can only be access the categorized collection by registering for a free Teacher Zone account. Theoretically you could find the videos on YouTube on your own, but that would probably be a lot more time consuming than registering with Teacher Zone. The other advantage of registering for a free Teacher Zone account is that if YouTube is blocked in your school, Teacher Zone makes the video available in a secondary format that is less likely to be blocked by school filters.

The Khan Academy is a great place for teachers, students, and parents to find high quality online instruction in math, science, and social science topics. If you like the Khan Academy's excellent videos and online lessons then  you're probably going to like the Khan App. The Khan App is a free app for the iPhone, the iPad, and Android-powered devices. The Khan App provides access to the same videos and lessons you can find on the Khan Academy website. The Khan App is available through education section of the Open App Marketplace.

Not Math Specific, But Good Hosts of Educational Videos.
Watch Know is a collection of thousands of educational videos from across the Internet. Watch Know has broken down the collection into an easy-to-browse catalog. You can also use a standard search box to find videos. While many videos are hosted by YouTube there are over 4,000 videos available through WatchKnow that are not served by YouTube. Click the "classroom accessible" button to search for videos that are not hosted by YouTube.

Next Vista is a non-profit organization dedicated to hosting and sharing original, educational videos. There are three main video classifications that Next Vista uses. The Light Bulbs category is for videos that teach you how to do something and or provides an explanation of a topic. The Global Views video category contains videos created to promote understanding of cultures around the world. The Seeing Service video category highlights the work of people who are working to make a difference in the lives of others. Next Vista is designed for classroom use so all videos are screened for inappropriate and inaccurate content. Next Vista videos can be downloaded directly from the site.