Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ideas and Directions for Using Google Maps & Earth Across the Curriculum

This morning at the NCTIES conference I facilitated a workshop about using Google Maps and Google Earth in social studies, science, language arts, and mathematics. Below you can see a list of resources we looked at and directions for creating placemarks in Google Maps Engine Lite, directions for using Classic Google Maps, directions for creating tours in Google Tour Builder and in Google Earth.

U.S. Watersheds (complete directions for working with watersheds)

English/ Language Arts


Social Studies

Arthur Family Health Teaches Kids and Adults About Taking Care of Themselves

Arthur Family Health is a new resource from PBS Kids. Arthur Family Health is designed to help parents, teachers, and students learn about common health challenges children face. Through videos, games (online and offline), and data sheets visitors to Arthur Family Health can learn about asthma, allergies, nutrition, fitness, and resilience (dealing with tragedies).

Applications for Education
In the games and activities sections Arthur Family Health teachers will find activities that will help all students in their classrooms understand the considerations that need to be made for peanut allergies and asthma.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Find Educational Maps In the Google Maps Gallery

Google Maps is a versatile tool that I love to show to students and teachers. Over the years I've seen great uses of Google Maps in mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies. The Google World Wonders project provides a great place to find Street View imagery of famous natural and man-made landmarks, but it is limited to Street View. The new Google Maps Gallery offers a fantastic collection of maps depicting all kinds of data.

In the Google Maps Gallery you can find mapped displays of data sets on topics in science, society, history, politics, and much more. Unlike the World Wonders Project, the Google Maps Gallery is focused on visualizations of data sets.

Applications for Education
The maps in the Google Maps Gallery could provide the spark for research students' research projects. After looking at a particular map or set of maps, have your students investigate the causes linked to the data collected and displayed in a map. For example, I might have students look at this map of worldwide Internet use then investigate the causes of the patterns.

A Comparison of 11 Mobile Video Creation Apps

Tomorrow at the NCTIES 2014 conference I am facilitating a workshop on creating videos with mobile apps. I designed the workshop to accommodate users of iOS and Android devices. In preparation for the workshop I created this chart that compares the features and costs of eleven mobile video creation apps. The chart can be viewed as embedded below or you can grab a copy through Google Drive (click "File" the "make copy" to save a copy for yourself).

This is by no means a comprehensive chart of all the mobile apps that your students could use. Rather this list is based on the recommendations that I will be making during my workshop at NCTIES 2014.

Lucid Chart Adds Interactive Tables and Notations to Mind Maps

Lucidchart is a great tool for creating flowcharts, mindmaps, and graphic organizers. This week Lucid Chart added the option to include interactive tables and notations to your charts. Now you can right-click on any shape in your mind map to write and add a note about it. The new tables option allows you to add spreadsheets to your Lucid Chart flowcharts.

Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams. Google Chrome users can use Lucidchart offline through the Lucidchart Chrome app.

Applications for Education
Lucidchart charges business customers, but makes all of their tools free for teachers and students. Lucidchart is a good tool for students to use to create charts that explain processes in science or to simply show the connections between key concepts in a course.

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