Saturday, November 19, 2011

Map Fast - Find Books About Places via Google Maps

mapFAST is a great use of Google Maps for finding texts about places all over the world. Visit mapFAST, type in a location and mapFAST will generate a list of texts about that location. You can specify how close you to the actual location you want your texts to be by setting a radius parameter. For example, when I entered "Portland, Maine" I set the radius at 30km so any texts about places within 30km of Portland would show up in my results. The book lists generated by mapFAST come from Google Books and WorldCat. Through Google Books you may be able to read and print some titles for free.

Applications for Education
mapFAST could be a great tool for students doing research on a place or region. If you want students to look at books that are available for free viewing online, have them filter the Google Books list generated by mapFAST  to "full view only" books.

H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Vizlingo - A Fun Little Vocabulary Exercise

Vizlingo is an interesting little service for creating and sending short video messages. Here's what it does; you type in a short phrase like "hello world" and Vizlingo will generate a list of short video clips that can be used to demonstrate each word. You can select which clips you want to use then send your video message to your friends via email, social networks, or YouTube.

Applications for Education
Vizlingo might be a fun little way for students to practice recognizing some vocabulary context clues. Not all of the video clips I went through on Vizlingo really matched the words I had typed so I had to sort through to find appropriate clips to match my words. Got Brainy is a service that does a similar sort of activity with images instead of video clips.

Free Music from Moby for Amateur Filmmakers

I don't particularly care for Moby's music (hear a sample here), but if you or your students like Moby, he's got a present for you. Through Moby Gratis you can download more than one hundred songs and sounds for use in your video creation projects. The music is available to amateur filmmakers as long as you adhere to the simple use guidelines. To access the music you do have to register for a free account on Moby Gratis.

Applications for Education
Finding free music and sounds that are appropriate for a video project can be a challenge sometimes. Moby Gratis is a source of music that you can add to your list along with the sources in this list and this list that I've previously published.

H/T to Open Culture

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine. I hope this weekend affords all of you some time for rest and relaxation. And if you work in one of the schools that takes all of next week off for American Thanksgiving, enjoy your vacation.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Simple Science Videos
2. Science Video Portal and Interactives
3. The Wild Classroom - Science Videos and More
4. KinderTown - Find Apps for Pre-K Students
5. Enter the Intel Wired to Learn Contest - Win Tech for Your School
6. Playing With Pearltrees - A Great Way to Organize the Web
7. What's Obvious to You Is Amazing to Someone Else

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
LearnBoost provides a free online gradebook service for teachers.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
TenMarks offers a free online mathematics program to supplement in-classroom instruction.
Edublogs provides blog hosting for teachers and students. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
Intel offers the AppUp Center of educational PC games and more.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Kerbal Space Program - Create Your Own Space Program

Kerbal Space Program is a neat new program (still in beta) for Mac and Windows that allows students to create and manage their own virtual space travel programs. One of the highlights of Kerbal is that through the software students can develop and test rockets. In the testing phase students get instant feedback on the speed and potential orbiting path of the rockets that they virtually launch. Watch the video below for a complete overview of the Kerbal Space Program.

For clarification, the beta version of the software is free. The developers do plan to start charging $7 to download the software in the future though so get it while it's still free.

Thanks to my friend and colleague Mike Morrel for sharing this one on Facebook.