Monday, October 6, 2014

Use LOC Subject Headings In Google Books Searches

Google Books is one of the under-utilized search tools that I like to share with teachers and students. I offer an overview of how to use it here. Last week I read Daniel Russell's search challenge of the week and learned to use Library of Congress subject headings in my Google Books searches.

In his post Dr. Russell explains that by using LOC subject headings in your Google Books searches you can use fairly generic terms and get results in the context of the subject heading. He gave the example of using the subject heading "World War, 1939-1945" in his search for book content addressing armor in World War II. Once you have your Google Books search results you can use the built-in search refinement tools to identify content published during a range of dates and to find content that is freely available online (not everything returned in a Google Books search is freely available online). Click here for Dr. Russell's full explanation and visuals of the ins and outs of using LOC subject headings in Google Books searches.

If you visit his post, you will see that Dr. Russell also demonstrates the method with BISAC subject headings. I chose to focus on just the LOC headings for this post because I think that more teachers and students will feel comfortable with the Library of Congress than with the Book Industry Study Group

Applications for Education
Using LOC subject headings in Google Books searches is a bit of an advanced strategy, but one that high school students could add to their search strategies toolboxes. The hardest part of this strategy for many students will be locating the LOC subject headings that are appropriate for their searches. They can search for subject headings here.

My example of using an LOC subject heading in a Google Books search.

Tips and Resources for Finding Free Images for Your Projects

Tony Vincent is a great person to turn to for advice on multimedia projects. Tony is particularly good when you need advice on elementary school projects involving iPads and Android tablets. Tony recently published the 29th episode of his Learning in Hand video series. In this episode Tony reviews three good places for finding free images to use in multimedia projects. Further, he shares some good tips image search tips to try when you're not finding exactly the right image for your project. Watch the video below or click here to read the transcript on Tony's website.

How to Insert Special Characters Into Google Documents

I recently received a question from a reader who was asking how her students can insert special characters into their Google Documents. My suggestion is to use the "special characters" menu in Google Documents. Using that menu eliminates the need for remembering quirky keyboard combinations. I demonstrate the process in the video below.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Learn About the Science of Sound on Sound Uncovered

In my previous post I shared a video explanation of how we hear our voices compared to how others hear our voices. Writing that post reminded of me a nice iPad app from Exploratorium. Sound Uncovered is a free iPad app all about sound. In Sound Uncovered students can explore a series of interactive activities to learn about how sound travels and what makes us perceive sounds in the ways that we do.

Some of the highlights of the Sound Uncovered app are Find the Highest Note in which students play a series of notes to determine if there is a highest note (spoiler alert: there isn't, but your ears will tell you otherwise). How Old Are Your Ears? is an interactive that explains why we lose hearing as we age. The Beat Goes On. And Off, And On... is an interactive in which students play a couple of different notes and learn how those notes are used my musicians to tune instruments.

Applications for Education
Sound Uncovered could be a great application to use to help students understand what they are hearing in an introductory music lesson. The app also offers opportunities for science lessons.

Why Your Voice Sounds Different to You Than It Does to Others

"Do I really sound like that?" That is the question that you will hear many students ask the first they hear themselves on an audio recording. It takes time to get accustomed to hearing your own voice on a recording because it sounds different to you than it does when you're simply hearing yourself talk. A recent episode of SciShow explained why our voices sound different to us than they do to others.

Applications for Education
The next time you have students recording a podcast through a service like AudioBoom and they ask, "do I really sound like that?" tell them yes and create a little science lesson out of the SciShow video.

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