Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Map of the Cables Connecting the World

TeleGeography has produced a couple of interesting maps of the telecommunication cables that cross under oceans and seas. The interactive Submarine Cable map allows you to click on various points and lines to see the locations that they connect. The map also shows you who owns the lines depicted.

A poster (infographic) version of the Submarine Cable map is available too. The poster version includes a timeline of cables connected between 1997 and 2012.

Applications for Education
Students today grow up just assuming that the Internet connects everyone, but they probably don't think about how that actually happens. These maps could be a nice way to show students how much cable it takes to connect us. An extension of this would be to have students try to calculate or research how many miles of cable are under an ocean or sea.

H/T to Cool Infographics.

Add Prezi Presentations to Your Knowmia Lesson Library

Knowmia is a free service that offers a huge library of videos and presentations for flipped lessons. The library is generated by the contributions of teachers. Users of Knowmia's free Knowmia Teach iPad app can create their own flipped lesson videos and submit them to the Knowmia library. I recently learned that you can also submit your Prezi presentations to the Knowmia library.

To submit a Prezi presentation to the Knowmia library all that you need to do is copy the URL of your Prezi and paste it into the "import lesson" field in the myKnowmia tab in Knowmia. Screenshots of the process are available here.

Multiplication.com - Games and More for Practicing Multiplication

When I was in elementary school one of my teachers would play records (yes, vinyl records) of people singing multiplication tables to use. These records were played during our morning line-up times and other breaks during the day. Today, there are many more ways for children to learn and practice multiplication facts. Multiplication.com is one such example of that.

Applications for Education
On Multiplication.com students can choose from dozens of games to play to practice their multiplication skills. Students can play single-player and multi-player games. Before they play the games students can refresh their memories by working through the "fact" and "quiz" navigators that provide visual explanations of multiplication facts.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Create an Audio Slideshow With Narrable

Narrable is a neat service for creating short narrated slideshows. Wes Fryer wrote a glowing review of Narrable and when Wes gives a service high marks I know that I have to try it out. My initial impression of Narrable is that it is kind of like VoiceThread mashed with Animoto.

To create an audio slideshow on Narrable start by uploading some pictures that you either want to talk about or have music played behind. After the pictures are uploaded you can record a narration for each picture through your computer's microphone or by calling into your Narrable's access phone number. You can also upload an audio recording that is stored on your computer. Narrable projects can be shared via email, Facebook, or by embedding them into a blog.

Applications for Education
Narrable could be a good way to get students to tell a short story by adding narration to pictures that they have taken or found online. Have students search for some Creative Commons licensed images arranged around topics that they're studying then record a short slideshow about them. 

Narrable allows you to have five projects for free. After that you can "earn" more free projects by sharing your projects on Facebook.

BrainyBox - Present Slides and More in a Cubed Format

BrainyBox is a new offering from Russel Tarr. Russel shared it with me last week and I finally had some time to try it this evening. I think that it might be a neat way for students to build and share multimedia slides on their tablets (including iPads) and computers.

BrainyBox provides six blank screens in which students can build slides that include text, videos (via embed codes), images, and hyperlinks. I also discovered that I could embed SoundCloud recordings and Google Maps into my screens. The finished product displays my slides as a cube that can embedded into a blog post or shared by directing people to the unique URL assigned to my project. All projects can be edited by their owners at any time.

Applications for Education
There are a couple of things that I like about BrainyBox for student use. First, students are limited to six slides so they have to be concise in telling their stories. Second, BrainyBox supports a lot of media formats so students have a variety of ways that they can tell their stories in those six slides.