Monday, March 5, 2012

Magzinr - Bookmark and Tweet at the Same Time

Magzinr is a new social bookmarking tool developed by Russel Tarr. Magzinr provides a platform through which you can create bookmarks, organize them, and Tweet them on one easy-to-use screen. To use Magzinr sign-in with your Twitter account, install the Magzinr bookmarklet, and start bookmarking. Anytime you click the Magzinr bookmarklet you have the option to tag your bookmark, write a description, and Tweet your bookmark. You don't have to Tweet your bookmark, but it is an option.

Magzinr provides the option to organize your bookmarks in a tree structure. Every tag that you use in your bookmarks has an RSS feed assigned to it. People can subscribe to your tags instead of subscribing to your entire account. You can also embed your set of bookmarks into a webpage through the Magzinr widget. Take a look at Russel's Magzinr page here or view my fledgling account as embedded in the widget below.

Magzinr can be used on an iPad if you follow the directions on the Magzinr homepage.

Applications for Education
One the great benefits of being on Twitter is learning from the plentiful links shared by other educators. A benefit of online bookmarking is that you can access your favorite bookmarks regardless of which computer you're using at the moment. Magzinr combines both of those benefits into one nice, handy package.

Dance Mat Typing - Typing Instruction and Practice

Dance Mat Typing is a nice little resource from the BBC. Young students (four to eight years old) can receive clear, informative typing instruction through Dance Mat Typing. There are four levels for students to work through. Within each level there are multiple lessons and practice activities. The very first lesson that students receive is placement of their hands on the keyboard. Each lesson and practice activity offers instant feedback in visual and audio form.

Applications for Education
Dance Mat Typing is simple and clear enough that most students should be able to use it on their own without much more than some initial instruction from a teacher or parent which makes it a good individual practice activity. One thing that readers in the US should note is that the letter "Z" is pronounced as "zed."

I can't remember where I learned about this resource, but I have a hunch that it was probably on Kevin Jarrett's blog

11 Ways to Find and View Panoramic Images

Thanks to developments in camera and web technology it has become quite easy to capture panoramic imagery. Panoramic imagery provides viewers of a better sense of the view one experiences when standing in a location. For example, a panorama of the Grand Canyon is more informative than a standard image view. Here are some great places where you can find panoramic imagery online.

AirPano offers dozens of spectacular 360 panoramas of famous landmarks and cities around the world. The AirPano panoramas can be set to auto-play with a music accompaniment or you can navigate the panoramas manually. To find a panorama on AirPano you can browse the listings, search by keyword, or view a Google Map of all of the places AirPano has capturedAirPano panoramas can be viewed in high or low resolution according to the speed of your Internet connection. The panoramas can be viewed on an iPad. You can also view the AirPano files in Google Earth.

Panoguide is a site on which users can browse through galleries geolocated on a Google Map. For students and teachers who would like to contribute panoramic images of their own to the gallery, Panoguide provides detailed directions on how to get started. Panoguide also provides user discussion forums through which you can learn even more about creating good panoramic images. is undertaking an ambitious project to capture and share 360 degree panoramas of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Currently, is up to 277 panoramic images of World Heritage sites. Visitors can rotate all of the images and some of the images allow you to zoom in and zoom out to look at the details of World Heritage sites. You can locate panoramas by browsing the world map or by searching for a site in the search box.

Tours from Above hosts panoramic aerial imagery of cities and landmarks around the world. In all there are 49 panoramic aerial views of places and landmarks including the Eifel Tower, Victoria Falls, and various sites throughout New York. You can locate imagery by choosing from a drop-down menu or by selecting placemarks on the Tours from Above Google Map.

Vista Zoo is a Google Map featuring 3D panoramic tours of more than 1400 locations around the globe. The Vista name comes from the 3DVista products used to construct the 3D panoramic images shown on the map. Click on any placemark on the map to be taken to a collection of 3D panoramic images of that location. In some cases there is sound to accompany the panoramas.

Arounder is a free site that offers 3D views of famous places in European cities, North American locations, and the Moon. The imagery is very clear and detailed. Visitors can explore 360 degrees of each image using the simple navigation tools that appear at the bottom of every image. When you're on the Arounder homepage click on a city to see a map of that city. Then click on the red(ish) placemark icons to explore the imagery.

360 Cities provides extremely clear panoramic imagery of places around the world. The bulk of the images are of places in Europe, but there is also some great imagery from North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. The panoramic imagery of 360 Cities is so clear and transitions so smoothly that I almost made myself dizzy while playing around with imagery of Atlanta, Georgia. Images on 360 Cities can be explored online using the Google Map provided on the 360 Cities website or you can view the imagery in the 360 Cities Google Earth layer. 360 Cities imagery can also be embedded into your blog or website.

View At provides panoramic views of dozens of notable places from around the world. The panoramic views can be viewed on the View At website or viewed in Google Earth. Although they offer different views, in many ways View At is similar to 360 Cities. hosts dozens of interactive panoramas from around the world. The panorama that must have been the most difficult to capture is this view from the peak of Mount Everest. The list of interactive panoramas includes views of cultural festivals and tourist attractions. The database of US panoramic views includes the Grand Canyon, the Jefferson Memorial, and two dozen other panoramas.

Bing Maps Streetside Views for desktop browsers contains street level panoramic images. The Streetside Views offer panoramic views of city streets and landmarks. In Streetside Views you can slide through the panoramas to virtually tour streets in major U.S. cities. The Streetside View includes an overlay of business names and street names when available. Here's a landmark in Streetside View for all of my fellow Red Sox fans.

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.

Pinnion - Targeted Audience Polling Through Mobile Devices and Your Website

One of last week's most popular posts was this list of 11 web-based polling services. Pinnion is another good service to add to that list. Pinnion is a tool that you can use to survey your audience through your website, blog, or through mobile devices.

Using Pinnion you can create multiple surveys using multiple question formats. Your survey can be distributed to a specific audience through Pinnion's channel service (you create the channels) or you can cast a wide net and gather responses from anyone who visits your website or blog. Pinnion offers Android and iPhone apps for gathering feeback. A sample Pinnion poll is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Our students carry a variety of mobile devices that we can use to gather feedback from them. Pinnion makes it easy to gather that feedback from students using Android and iOS devices. And if they have neither OS on their mobile devices, the web version of Pinnion surveys is quite mobile friendly.

Old Maps Online - Find Historical Maps for Your Area

Old Maps Online is a good use of Google Maps that I recently learned about through Google Maps Mania. Old Maps Online is designed to help you find historical maps of where you live or any other location that you enter into the search function. By default Old Maps Online searches for maps near your location. You can refine your search to a specific time using the timeline slider on Old Maps Online.

Old Maps Online doesn't host the maps that you find through their search box. Old Maps Online refers you to the host of the maps. One of the frequently used hosts is the David Rumsey Historical Map collection.

Applications for Education
There are other ways to find historical maps online, but Old Maps Online makes it very easy to do. The maps that you and your students find could be used as overlays in the Google Earth layers. You might also use the maps for a local history comparison activity by comparing your students' current vision of where they live with what it looked like in the past.

Guides to the Global Economy for Students

The Global is a nice resource developed for high school and undergraduate students by Georgia State University Economics Professor Neven Valev. The purpose of is to provide guides to understanding the economies of individual countries and the global economy in aggregate.

To accomplish the goal of helping students understand global economics, offers a database of articles about the economies of individual countries. You can select any country from the list of more than 200 to find basic economic indicators about that country. The country profiles include not just the data associated with economic indicators, but also explanations of the indicators, and graphs of the data in comparison with other countries.

To enable quick, visual comparisons of economic indicator data provides an easy-to-use comparison tool. On the comparison page you can select a set of data and the countries that you want to compare. The comparison is then shown in the form of a graph.

Applications for Education could be a great reference tool for high school and undergraduate students studying economics. According to the site's developer, it is intended to students who are not majoring in economics or politics, it is intended to be a primer or introductory reference.