Thursday, November 14, 2013

Explore Venice in Street View and Learn How Venice Works

Google keeps expanding the amount of imagery we can explore in Street View. The latest expansion includes Venice. In the new Street View imagery of Venice you can virtually walk the sidewalks and cruise down canals. And after virtually touring modern Venice you can jump to the Google Cultural Institute and visit the Museo Correr to explore Venice's past.

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Applications for Education
After virtually touring Venice your students may wonder how the city works. Venice Backstage is a seventeen minute video that explains how the water is contained, how the buildings stay upright, and how residents of Venice travel about the city.

The website Venice Backstage offers additional articles and graphics to support the information presented in the video.

H/T to David Andrade for sharing the Street View news on Google+.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Google Unveils Google Play for Education

Back in May Google teased us with a preview of Google Play for Education. Today, Google Play for Education went live for K-12 schools in the United States. Google Play for Education features curated collections of apps, books, and videos appropriate for students. The collections can be searched by grade, subject, and Common Core standard.

Google Play for Education offers more than curated collections of apps, videos, and books. Google Play for Education will allow administrators to distribute apps to students' devices. Volume purchasing of apps including via purchase order is available through Google Play for Education.

Two of Google's Google Play for Education demo videos are embedded below.

The Android robot is reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Long-click to Find Definitions, Pictures, Videos, and More

Curiyo is a browser extension, available for Firefox and Chrome, that makes it easy to quickly find definitions, videos, pictures, and related reference materials for any word you select in your browser. When you're reading an article online and come across a word that you don't recognize or a word that you're just curious about, long-click on it and a pop-up box containing definitions, pictures, videos, and more will appear. The video embedded below provides a demonstration of Curiyo in action.

Applications for Education
Curiyo could be a good tool for students to have at their disposal while reading difficult passages online. The option to see pictures and videos to help students can a better understanding of new-to-them terms.

Otter - Create a Simple Page for Distributing and Collecting Assignments

Otter is a new service that makes it easy to create simple webpages on which you can distribute information and collect assignments from students. Otter provides four widgets that you can add to your page. Those widgets are announcements, calendar events, hosted documents, and homework uploads. The widgets appear in that order on your page. Hosted documents can be uploaded from your computer or imported from Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. Students can upload their assignment submissions through your Otter page.

Applications for Education
Otter doesn't allow you to change layouts or customize color schemes. It's just a no nonsense tool for quickly building pages through which you can distribute information and collect assignments. If a simple tool is what you need in order to develop a web presence for your course, give Otter a try.

Otter was developed by Scurry Labs who also developed a neat bookmarking tool called Sqworl

Try Knoema's World Data Finder to Fact-check Articles

Knoema is a service that offers a huge collection of data sets and maps for public use. Recently, Knoema introduced a Chrome extension called World Data Finder. World Data Finder will correlate information from Knoema's data sets and maps to articles that you read online. Here's how it works; when you're reading a news article, reference page, or opinion piece a World Data Finder icon will appear in your browser's address bar. When the World Data Finder icon appears, click it to open data sets, charts, and similar related reference sources. The screenshot below illustrates what the World Data Finder Chrome extension looks like in action.

Applications for Education
Knoema's World Data Finder Chrome extension could be a handy tool for students to use to fact-check articles and or to learn more about the information they're seeing in an article.