Tuesday, May 8, 2012

View Historical Shoreline Imagery in Google Earth

NOAA recently released a collection of more than 7,000 historical U.S. shoreline topographic images for viewing in Google Earth. The NOAA Historical Shoreline Survey Viewer has thousands of layers that you use to see what the U.S. shoreline looked like going back as far as 1841. The layers can be viewed alone or your can overlay them on top of current imagery. You can launch the KMZ file for this imagery by clicking here or you can read about how to navigate this imagery on the NOAA page. I recommend reading NOAA's information before launching the KMZ file.

Applications for Education
NOAA's Historical Shoreline Survey Viewer could be used to show students how coastlines have changed over time. I found it quite interesting to compare the past shoreline imagery with current imagery of famous fishing towns like Gloucester, Massachusetts. As they view the past and present imagery, ask students to try to explain why the coastlines have changed.

H/T to the Google Earth Blog.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ten Common Challenges

These are the slides from my talk this morning in New Brunswick.

Google Drive and Docs for Teachers - Free eBook

Last month I published a free ebook titled Google Documents for Teachers. Just two weeks later Google released Google Drive and made Google Documents a part of Google Drive. Therefore, I had to update my ebook. I present to you now, Google Drive and Documents for Teachers. The document is hosted on Box.com. You can download it from there as a PDF Update: I have stopped allowing downloads of this document because too many people were not honoring Creative Commons licensing. After seeing my documents downloaded and used by people for profit, I decided to stop giving away the downloads.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Virtually Cycle the Alps

Last week while exploring the Google Chrome Web Store I came across a great site called Cycling the Alps. Cycling the Alps offers dozens of virtual tours of the Alps just as you would see them if you were on a bicycle tour of the Alps. Additionally, you can play games in which you are the rider and you have to navigate your way through courses in the Alps. The video below provides a short overview of some of features of Cycling the Alps.

Applications for Education
Playing the games on Cycling the Alps could be a fun way for students to explore the geography of the Alps. Cycling the Alps includes a profile of the elevation gains and losses throughout each tour. Many of the tours include 3D views of buildings along the way so students can see a bit of the architecture of towns during their tours of the Alps.

Present.me - Sync Audio and Video to Your Slideshows

Present.me is a handy service for recording video and or audio to accompany your slides. Present.me allows you to sync your recorded audio and video to your slides then publish everything as one complete package. Here's how it works; upload a set of slides to your Present.me account, then use your webcam to record a video of yourself talking about those slides. Your video and slides will appear side-by-side when you have finished recording. If you don't want to record a video, you can simply record audio only.

Present.me accepts a large variety of presentation file types. And if you sign-in with your Google account, you can import presentations to Present.me from your Google Drive account.

Present.me allows you to have three presentations for free before you have to either delete an old presentation or upgrade your account.

Applications for Education
Present.me could be a great tool for teachers trying out the flipped classroom model. Aside from the flipped classroom model, using Present.me to record a presentation and posting it online could be helpful for students who are absent on the day that you give a short lecture. Recording a presentation and posting it online with Present.me could also be helpful for students who need some accessible review materials.