Thursday, June 2, 2011

Using Google Earth in Mathematics Lessons

Real World Math is a great resource for teachers who would like to explore uses of Google Earth in mathematics lessons. A few years ago I wrote a couple of blog posts about Real World Math. Since I wrote those posts more lessons and tutorials have been added to Real World Math.

Real World Math, designed by Thomas Petra, uses Google Earth as the centerpiece of mathematics lessons. Real World Math has the lesson plans divided into five categories; project-based learning, concept lessons, measurement lessons, exploratory lessons, and space lessons. The space lessons take advantage of the Moon, Mars, and Sky views in Google Earth. If you've never used Google Earth, Real World has a large collection of tutorial videos that you can view on the website or inside of Google Earth.

Creative Commons Licensing Comes to YouTube

Today, YouTube announced that they now offer video creators the option to label their works with Creative Commons licenses. If you choose to use Creative Commons licensing, people will be able to use parts of your videos and create remixes according to the Creative Commons rules. This means that people who want to create videos now have more remix options than they previously did.

The YouTube Video Editor now includes an option to search through the library of more than 10,000 Creative Commons licensed videos. To access the library just open the editor and click on the "CC" button to open the Creative Commons video library.

If you've never tried the YouTube Video Editor, it's quite simple to use. I have directions posted in the slides below.

If you're not sure what Creative Commons is, watch the following video in which Lawrence Lessig, one of the creators of the Creative Commons concept, explains it.

The Jackie Robinson Story Starring Jackie Robinson

The Internet Archive contains more than one thousand full-length feature films that you can view and download for free. These are primarily older films that were created as public domain works or have since been released into public domain. One of the feature films that I found today on the Internet Archive is The Jackie Robinson Story. The film was produced in 1950 with Jackie Robinson starring as himself. The film is embedded below. You can download the film here.

Applications for Education
One of my U.S. History classes is currently studying the issues of racial equality and civil rights in the 20th Century. Tomorrow, my students are going to read a short story about Jackie Robinson. I'm not going to show this entire video, but I will probably show a part or two of it to  provide students with a little bit more of Robinson's story.