Thursday, May 19, 2011

Search Team - Collaborative Web Search

Search Team is an interesting service that is best described as a collaborative search tool. The purpose of Search Team is to enable small teams to collaborate on finding the best information on the web.

Here's how it works: sign into Search Team and enter the topic you're searching for, this becomes known as the "search space." The search space is where you will enter your search terms, refine searches, and save the best results. When you share your search space with others they can see what you've saved and what you've eliminated.

Watch the videos below to learn more about Search Team.


Applications for Education
Search Team could be a great tool for students working on collaborative research projects. Search Team provides a format that can help students eliminate having duplicate resources in their reference materials.

Minyan Land - A Virtual World for Teaching Kids About Money

Minyan Land is a free virtual world environment designed to teach kids about budgeting their money. Each player starts out in Minyan Land with $50,000 cash and a condo valued at $50,000. In Minyan Land players can invest their money, spend their money, and complete tasks to earn more money.

Parents can get involved by assigning real-world chores to their children. The kids then earn virtual money by completing those chores. The spending opportunities in Minyan Land aren't limited to just buying things for personal use. Players are given opportunities to donate some of their virtual currency to various virtual causes.

Applications for Education
Minyan Land could be a good way for elementary and possibly middle school students to learn about managing personal finances. The option to give their children real chores to do to earn virtual money in Minyan Land could be a good way for parents to get involved in the learning process.

Definitions, Translations, and Searches in Google eBooks

The Google eBookstore is a great place to find free and paid ebooks to read on your computer, iPad, Nook, or Android device. Google just announced the addition of a new helpful feature to Google eBooks. Now when you're reading a Google eBook title on your computer you can highlight and right click on words to find definitions and translations of those words. When you select definition, you also have the option to hear your highlighted word pronounced. You can also highlight and right click to search the web for information about a word.
Applications for Education
The free titles available in the Google eBookstore provide teachers with access to a wind range of books that could potentially get students excited about reading. The new definition, pronunciation, translation, and search options could be very helpful for students reading on their own. If a student encounters a new word she can hear that word pronounced and get a definition without having to go find a dictionary.

Navigate the Moon on Your iPad or iPhone

NASA's Lunar Electric Rover Simulator is a free iOS app that lets you explore the moon. The app is really a game in which players perform tasks to support the activities of a lunar outpost. Players transport items from place to place and along the way encounter lunar challenges to overcome. The app also includes an interactive gallery of images. You can download the app for free from iTunes.

Applications for Education
The Lunar Electric Rover Simulator app appears to be similar in purpose to NASA's role playing game Moonbase Alpha. Like Moonbase Alpha the game could be a good way for students to pick up some knowledge about lunar exploration while having fun playing a game.

Forrest Gump and Videos on Ping Pong Diplomacy

This morning I eavesdropped on one of my US History students telling another that he had recently watched Forrest Gump on television. As both students were commenting on how unreal some of the scenarios in the film were I interjected with, "some of those scenarios are based on real events in US History." That's how we got on the topic of ping pong diplomacy. To give them a quick, unplanned, lesson about ping pong diplomacy I jumped on YouTube, did a search and quickly found this NBC Nightly News clip from the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing. You can watch that clip below.

The longer clip that is mentioned at the end of the one above can be found here and is embedded below.

On a related note, the American Experience movie about Nixon is available to view in its entirety through PBS Video. I've embedded the video below and you can also find it here.