Thursday, January 3, 2013

Take an Automatically Guided Google Street View Trip

Over the short vacation that I took last week the Google Maps Streetview Player received high marks in reviews by Larry Ferlazzo and Keir Clarke so I had to try it for myself. The Google Maps Streetview Player was developed by Brian Folts. The purpose of the player is to allow you to plan a route on Google Maps and watch it carried out in Street View without having to click along the route. To use the Google Maps Streetview Player just enter a starting point and an ending point then press play. When you press play the Streetview Player will take you along the route. You can pause, rewind, and fast-forward at any time. There is also an experimental option to download a video of the route as it is played out.

Applications for Education
Use your school as the starting point and ask your students to pick interesting destinations. Then have your students guess which landmarks might be spotted along a route that you choose as a class. To see if their guesses were correct or not play the tour in the Google Maps Streetview Player. This could be a review activity in an elementary school or middle school geography lesson.

The Google Maps Streetview Player could also be helpful to students who may have difficulty clicking through a Street View route using a mouse.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

17 Cartoon Videos Explaining the Internet and Internet Safety to Kids

Planet Nutshell produces short animated videos to explain products, services, and concepts. One of their series of videos is all about the Internet and Internet safety for K-12 students. The series is called NetSafe and it has 17 episodes that were produced for the Utah Education Network. The videos are labeled with grade levels so that students in high school don't watch videos designed for K-3 students. The first video in the series is an explanation of what the Internet is in terms that K-3 students can understand.

NetSafe Episode 1: What is the Internet? (Grades K-3) from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

Episode 11 explains to 7-12 students how they can protect their personal information online.

NetSafe Episode 11: Protect Your Personal Information (Grades 7-12) from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

125 Years of Exploration in Pictures

The National Geographic Society turns 125 years old later this month. One of the things they've done to mark the occasion is publish galleries of landmark images of exploration over the last 125 years. My favorite of the galleries is Flashback Firsts which, as the name implies, features "firsts" of exploration that were published in the National Geographic magazine. Flashback Firsts includes images of Manchu Pichu, Mount Everest, and under sea explorations. Set your browser to full screen and click the information link within each image for the best viewing experience.

Applications for Education
For years National Geographic images have inspired children and adults alike to explore and learn more about the world. Flashback Firsts shows us where we've been and hopefully inspires some students to explore the world further.

Wikipedia Remembers 2012 hosts a huge gallery of infographics developed and shared by designers. One of the featured infographics currently featured on is Wikipedia Remembers 2012. Wikipedia Remembers 2012 features 100 famous people who passed away in 2012. The infographic is arranged according to the number of words written about each person. You can click through the infographic to read the Wikipedia entries about each person.

Applications for Education
Wikipedia Remembers 2012 could be used in a social studies class as part of a review activity about politicians, scientists, and figures from popular culture that passed away in 2012. Ask your students what contributions these famous people made to world that so much was written about them.

Wikipedia Remembers 2012
Browse more data visualization.

How Do You Play - Learn How to Play Ice-breaker Games and More

How Do You Play? is a free site that offers directions on how to play ice-breaker games, team building games, board games, card games, and many other in-person multiple player games. You can browse the games featured on the homepage or search through eight game categories for the game that you need the directions to.

Applications for Education
How Do You Play? is a good reference for those times when you need to come up with a quick activity that will help your students introduce themselves to new classmates or to encourage team work in your classroom.