Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weather Spark - Interactive Weather Charts

Weather Spark is a new site that offers weather data from more than 4,000 weather stations around the world. Not only is there data from more than 4,000 stations, there is also data going back more than fifty years. All of this data can be used to create comparisons of current weather conditions around the world, comparisons of current and past weather conditions, and to view global climate trends.

Applications for Education
Weather Spark could be a great resource for anyone teaching lessons on meteorology. Students can work on recognizing patterns by creating charts of historical weather data. You could also have students create and investigate questions based on the data available. For example, have them try to figure out why Mumbai, India has a temperature pattern that dips in the summer.

Magisto Makes Your Videos Better

Have you ever recorded a video of a little league baseball game, field trip, or  a pep rally and ended up with a lot of shaky, noisy, unusable footage? If so, Magisto wants to help you make that footage usable. Magisto is a new service (only available by invitation right now) for easily adding transitions and sound overlays to your raw footage. You can see an example of a Magisto video below.

Top of the world - after from magisto on Vimeo.

Instablogg - Write a Blog Post in an Instant

Instablogg is a free service that allows anyone to start writing a blog post instantly. As soon as you land at you can start writing a blog post. You don't have to register or enter any personal information in order to write your post. Once you've finished writing your blog post Instablogg assigns it a url that you can make private or public. Instablogg also gives you the choice of enabling or disabling comments. Just as with any other blog platform Instablogg posts can contain images, videos, and audio files.

Applications for Education
Instablogg could be a good platform for having students publish their hyperlinked writing online. Instablogg doesn't require any personally identifying information so it is ideal for use with students under the age of 13. The one drawback to Instablogg is that the format is geared toward one-time uses rather than for creating an online portfolio. But if you're just looking to have students quickly publish their ideas and get feedback in the form of comments, Instablogg could be a very good option.

Register for a Free Live Webinar from the White House

This is short notice, but I hope some of you can make room in your schedule tomorrow for a great free learning opportunity courtesy of the White House and Discovery Education. Tomorrow at 1pm (ET) Discovery Education will stream a live webinar about Osama Bin Laden. The webinar will feature a Q&A session with Ben Rhodes, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting (wow! that's a long title). You can register for the webinar here. If you cannot make the live session, you should still register on the site to be notified when the archived session is made available.