Thursday, November 8, 2012

Create Live Music on the Web With Your Friends

Jam With Chrome is a fun new Google web tool. On Jam With Chrome (only works if you use the Chrome browser) you can play nineteen virtual instruments. Jams can have four musicians playing together in real-time over the web. It's an application that I had a bit of fun playing with this evening. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a native recording application built into Jam With Chrome. You could use a screencasting tool like Jing or Screenr to record your jam session.

Applications for Education
Jam With Chrome could be a fun app for students to use to practice improvising jams in a music appreciation course.

Core of Education Vodcast

A few weeks ago I was a guest on Rod Berger's Core of Education podcast. It went so well that Rod proposed the idea of a bi-weekly(ish) vodcast or video series in which we spend ten minutes or so talking about apps and trends in educational technology. We recorded the first episode today. In the episode (embedded below) we hit on TedEd and its role in education, MOOCs, QR codes, augmented reality, and flipped classrooms.

Videos and Images Marking the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Tomorrow marks the 23rd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Google Cultural Institute has thirteen exhibitions related to The Fall of the Iron Curtain. These interactive exhibitions let you click through a timeline of events depicted in images, videos, and documents. Revolution in Berlin is the exhibition that depicts events leading up and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Fall of the Berlin Wall takes viewers through the four years immediately following the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Watching the fall of the Berlin Wall was one of the moments in my childhood when I realized that I really enjoyed learning about world events. I distinctly remember watching the ABC Nightly News that evening (on and old black and white T.V., we got a color T.V. for Christmas six weeks later). On YouTube I found some clips from that broadcast. I've embedded one of those clips below.

Applications for Education
The Google Cultural Institute's The Fall of the Iron Curtain exhibits are good examples of how online media is making textbooks obsolete. The content available in these exhibits has more depth than anything I've seen on same topic in any of the high school social studies textbooks I have seen. 

Free Copies of Dracula - And Google Books for Educators

Today's Google doodle remembers Bram Stoker's birthday. If you click through today's Google doodle you'll find a slew of links about Stoker and his most famous work, Dracula. On Google Books you can find free full-view copies of Dracula. I've embedded a copy below. If you haven't used Google Books to locate free full-view books, take a look at my simple guide to Google Books for Educators.

Applications for Education
If you have your students reading novels, short stories, and or primary source works that are in the public domain, Google Books is a great place to look for free copies of those works. You can embed the works directly into your course blog so that students can read them online in the same place that they find all of the other important information about your courses.

Get Kids Documenting Nature on Project Noah

As I mentioned in my previous post, this morning I gave a short presentation on mobile learning activities. One of the activities that I included in the presentation included the use of iNaturalist (previously reviewed here) and Project Noah to get your students outside and recording observations of nature.

Project Noah is a globally collaborative project to which anyone can contribute. On Project Noah you can share pictures and stories of the plants and the animals that you observe in your neighborhood. Project Noah has a section titled Missions in which you can find projects that you can contribute to. The Missions ask people to make contributions of images and observations about a specific animal, plant, or region. Check out the squirrel mission to get started.
Project Noah offers iOS and Android apps that you can use to record and share your observations on the go.

Applications for Education
Project Noah has a new Education section (still in beta) in which teachers can register their classrooms. Once registered teachers can assign Missions to their students and track their students' observations.