Monday, June 17, 2013

Get Healthy With Google

Last week the Official Google Blog ran a blog post about how many Google apps and services can be used to support and promote healthy lifestyle choices. The suggestions include using some of these Chrome apps to track what you eat, record your exercise habits, and to find healthy foods. If you don't want to use an app, you could create a Google Form for recording your eating and exercising habits. I use Forms on my Android phone quite a bit.

Applications for Education
Reading Google's post about using their services to help you get healthy prompted me to think about using Google Apps in health and physical education courses. Challenge your students to see how many miles or kilometers they can cumulatively walk as a class in one week. A shared Google Form is a great place to log that information.

Ask your students to try healthy snacks in lieu of junk food and record those changes in a Google Form. Use the Google Search tools for food data to compare the calories and carbohydrate content of the junk snacks with the healthy snacks. Then at the end of the week tally up the data in the shared Google Form to see the cumulative effects of making healthy snack choices. If you're looking for a tool that will encourage students try healthy snacks, check out Chew or Die that I reviewed last week on iPad Apps for School.

128 Maps of Regional Dialect Differences

Joshua Katz at North Carolina State University has produced 128 heat maps (the maps take a while to load) highlighting the differences in regional dialects in the continental United States. The maps are based on the responses to 128 questions. The questions ask things like, "do you pronounce cot and caught the same way?" The regional difference that I experience a lot is the different names for soda pop. Katz has a produced a map for that too.

Applications for Education
Browsing through the dialect survey maps could be a good way for students to learn a little about regional differences in the United States. You might ask your students to think about how and why these differences in dialects developed. Then ask your students if television and radio media has any influence on how people speak.

H/T to Open Culture.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

25,000 Images of Art That You Can Re-use for Free

The U.S. National Gallery of Art hosts more than 25,000 images of famous and not-so-famous works of art. Nearly all of the images can be downloaded and re-used for free. NGA Images also allows you to register and create online collections of images. The collections are called lightboxes.

When you find an image in NGA Images click on the magnifying glass icon to enlarge it and learn more about it. Clicking the magnifying glass icon launches a pop-up box that contains an enlargement of the image, information about the artist who created the artwork, and an option to search for related images.

Applications for Education
Using the related images search option in NGA Images could be a good way for students to discover lesser-known artists who produced art similar to that of their more famous contemporaries. Of course, being able to download the images means that your students could use them in slide presentations and videos about artists and styles of art.

H/T to Open Culture.

My Study Life - A Student Planner On the Web and Windows 8

There are plenty of online, Android, and iOS planners for students. So far there aren't many that have been built with Windows 8 in mind. My Study Life is an exception to that pattern. My Study Life is a free student planner available online and as a Windows 8 app.

My Study Life allows students to organize tasks according to their course schedules. When students start using the app they have to enter their courses. After entering their courses into My Study Life students can start to enter tasks into each course. Each task is assigned a due date. Students' My Study Life homepage shows them the tasks that have due dates approaching.

Applications for Education
Whether or not a planner helps a student is usually determined by whether or not the student gets in the habit of using it. My Study Life could be an excellent service for students to get into the habit of using to keep track of their assignments.

180 Years of The Spectator Viewable Online

The U.K. publication The Spectator recently announced that you can now browse through 180 years of their archives online. The Spectator Archives can be searched by date, topic, location, and keyword. The archives homepage has a few featured issues, but beyond those it's up to you to search and browse the archives.

Applications for Education
As a history geek, when I saw the news about these archives coming online, I immediately thought about how The Spectator archives could be a good place for students to research opinions of world events as they were written at the time.

H/T to The Next Web.