Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Explore 5,400 New Artifacts In the Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute is one of my favorite sites for students in history, geography, and art courses. The online exhibitions in the Google Cultural Institute feature images, videos, audio, and text about significant historical and cultural people, places, and events. Some of the exhibitions like the Eiffel Tower Exhibition incorporate the use of Google Maps Street View imagery too.

Last week Google announced the addition of 5,400 new artifacts to the Cultural Institute. There is a strong emphasis on art and fashion in the new content added to the Cultural Institute. Some of the new content includes quilts from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, kimonos from Japan, children's art from Norway, and interior tours of art museums in China.

Applications for Education
The Google Cultural Institute is a great site to have students explore to view artwork, find answers to questions, and have new questions and curiosities sparked in their minds.

Mashpedia - A Real-time Encyclopedia

Mashpedia is an interesting service that matches reference articles from Wikipedia to materials from YouTube and news websites. The purpose of drawing materials from multiple sources is to provide users with a comprehensive view of news stories and reference topics. Mashpedia also presents Amazon lists of books related to your chosen topic.

Applications for Education
Mashpedia could be a great resource for a current events class. By offering video and image results, Mashpedia provides materials that can be accessed by almost all students regardless of reading level. By listing links from multiple sources students can quickly compare news stories to what real people are saying about a story.

The Science of Autumn Colors in Google Earth

In September I shared two lists (here and here) of resources for teaching and learning about the causes of leaves changing colors in autumn. Today, through the Google Earth Blog I learned about another excellent resource for learning about the changing leaves of autumn. ExploreAsheville.com has produced a great set of videos, slides, and a Google Earth file that show leaves changing colors over time. The Google Earth files shows the correlation between elevation and the timing of leaves changing colors. A video of the Google Earth tour and a time-lapse video are embedded below.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Classroom 2.0 - A Good Place to Get Opinions

Earlier today I received an email from a reader who was looking for information about learning management systems (LMS) in particular Haiku compared to Schoology. I don't have much hands-on experience with Haiku. My recommendation was to take a look at Classroom 2.0 to see if other teachers and administrators have opinions to share. I did a quick search on Classroom 2.0 and discovered an entire discussion group dedicated to Haiku users.

Applications for Education
One of the things that I often stress about online personal learning networks is that they don't have to be limited to the fast pace of Twitter. Networks that use discussion boards like Classroom 2.0 can be a great for people who prefer longer form interactions.

How to Embed Files from Box.com Into Blogger Posts

In a post in August I explained why I occasionally use Box instead of Google Drive or Scribd to host my large files. There are three reasons why I will choose Box over Google Drive or Scribd. First, the Box.com document viewer looks and functions much better than Google Drive does when it comes to large PDFs. In fact, A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School is a such a large file that Google Drive won't display a preview of it, it just displays a download link. The second reason that I chose to use Box is that Box will email me a weekly update about the usage of my shared files. I can also log-in whenever I want to see the current usage statistics about my shared files. Finally, I have learned that many schools block Scribd.

Earlier today I received an email from a reader who was looking for directions on how to use the embed tool on Box.com. In the video below I demonstrate how to use Box.com's embed option.