Monday, December 16, 2013

1,000,000+ Public Domain Images Added to Flickr's The Commons

Flickr's massive collection of public domain images called The Commons grew by more than 1,000,000 images last week. Last week The British Library released more than 1,000,000 images to The Commons. The images from The British Library cover a wide range of topics from political satire to maps and diagrams to landscapes and portraits. You can find the images from The British Library here and the entire collection of The Commons here.

Applications for Education
The Commons was already a good place for students and teachers to find public domain images (mostly of a historical nature) and the addition of The British Library's images makes it even better. I've used images from The Commons in my history classes as prompts for discussion and my students have used them in short documentary videos they've made.

To go beyond visual artifacts you may want to explore The British Library's Sound Maps.

Over the weekend many blogs have covered this news from The British Library. I first saw the announcement from a Tweet from Jen Deyenberg

Rubrics for Blogging and Multimedia Projects

Assessment is one of the things that I'm often asked about in my blogging and website creation workshops. One of the assessment resources that I like to point out is this collection of rubrics from the University of Wisconsin, Stout. In the collection you will find rubrics for assessing student blogging, student wikis, podcasts, and video projects. Beyond the rubrics for digital projects there are rubrics for activities that aren't necessarily digital in nature. For example, you can find rubrics for writing, research, and oral presentations.

Applications for Education
These rubrics might not fit perfectly with the projects you're students are working on, but they could provide a good starting point for creating your own rubrics. Perhaps you could show the rubric you're considering to your students and ask them for their input as to what they think is important to be evaluated in their projects.

Try ArcGIS Explorer Online for Mapping Data and More

In my previous post I mentioned ArcGIS Explorer along with Google Earth. While I've written about Google Earth many times I've only mentioned ArcGIS once even though it is an excellent alternative to Google Earth.

ArcGIS Explorer Online allows users to create mash-ups of geographic data on a map. Users can add data layers to the whole map or to a section of the map. A dozen map base layers are available to build upon. To add data users can select the ArcGIS data base or upload their own data files. As you create in ArcGIS Explorer Online you can switch between "mapping" mode and "presentation" mode. Presentation mode allows you to create map-based slides like you can see in this interactive map of The Odyssey.

ArcGIS does offer free accounts to students. The free accounts are "public" accounts and have some limitations on the amount of information you can map.

Applications for Education
ArcGIS Explorer Online could be a good tool for geography teachers whose students cannot access Google Earth. And for some students ArcGIS Explorer Online might be easier to navigate than Google Earth. In either case ArcGIS Explorer Online provides a good tool that will get students analyzing data in a geographic context quickly.

An Interactive Map of The Odyssey

Google Lit Trips hosts an excellent example of using Google Earth to map story of Odysseus in The Odyssey. Today, through Open Culture, I learned about another interactive map of The Odyssey. Odysseus' Journey is a fourteen point map created with ArcGIS Explorer. You can click through the points on the map or click through the timeline view at the bottom of the map to learn more about each stop in the journey.

Applications for Education
Odysseus' Journey is a good model of using maps to illustrate a story. Your students could create similar maps about stories they read. ArcGIS Explorer, Google Maps, and Google Earth are all good options for creating mapped stories.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stoodle - Quickly Create Shared Online Whiteboards

Stoodle is an online whiteboard service supported in part by the CK-12 Foundation. Through Stoodle you can quickly create a collaborative whiteboard space. On your whiteboard you can type, draw, and upload images. You can connect Stoodle to your computer's microphone and talk your collaborators while drawing, typing, or sharing images.

Stoodle does not require you to create an account. To create a Stoodle whiteboard space just click "launch a classroom," name your room, and share the URL assigned to your room.

Applications for Education
Stoodle could be an excellent tool to use for impromptu peer tutoring sessions. Stoodle could also a great tool for hosting online brainstorming sessions.