Useful links

Educational Postcard:  ”Students learn b by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Earth view – new imagery from Google maps

Google has just released Earth view – new imagery for Google Maps. The new view, available to all those that have installed Google Earth browser plugin, enables you to view Google Earth 3D imagery and more in Google Maps. To use Earth View in Google Maps simply click the “Earth” button next to the map, statellite, et buttons in the upper-right corner of Google Maps.

Basically Google Maps now supports a multi-dimensional exploration of the world in a similar way to Google Earth and you can also share the Google Maps Earth views just as you would share any other view in Google Maps. Likewise you can create placemarks whilst using the Earth View.

There are 36 places showcased. You can view them by clicking the “More places” link. Some of the 3D views that you can look at include the Reichstag,
the Taj Mahal, the Sydney Opera House,  the Leaning tower of Pisa, the Matterhorn, Table Mountain and an underwater, 3D view of the wreckage of the Titanic.

This might be useful for those students using Google maps as they will be able to view locations in 3D as well as use 3D imagery in any Google Maps tours.

It is worth playing around with Earth View for yourself to really get a feel for it or you can choose to watch the video below to learn more about it.

Using Yudu

Whilst looking at more ways for students to share their information with others, I have been investigating Yudu.

It is a free service and it allows the user to upload documents in various formats (Word, Excel, Powerpoint or PDF) to create a more dynamic, magazine style presentation. This way of presenting information looks much more interesting and professional than the static versions and can be embedded into websites or blogs. You can see range of various documents here.

It is very easy to use and there are 3 simple rules clearly indicated:

  1. no adult content
  2. no copyright abuse
  3. no offensive material

To create your publication:

  • Upload your document
  • Create a title
  • Indicate a publication type (book, magazines, brochure, catalogue, newspaper, portfolio,report and other)
  • They then send a link to your email address when your document is ready
  • lastly you can chose to keep it private or public

The teachers have been using DeskTop Author at school to create documents with the page turning etc. but these require a (free) reader to be downloaded and are not able to be embedded into blogs/websites. For the exercise we have planned, if the document can be viewed online with a click rather than having to find something via a link (provided you have the reader) it is a much better option.

Click to launch the full edition in a new window.

Visual Blooms

As a discussion starter Mike Fisher, an instructional coach and education consultant, has created a great one. In a wiki called Visual Blooms he is trying to puts web2.0 resources into the Bloom’s Taxonomy structure. The resources are placed into the well-known categories of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.

Visual Blooms

BloomsVisual-remeberingFor example, Delicious, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Diigo and Google are placed on the Remembering page. He has started some discussion on the Creating page.  Tools such as Google Docs, when used to allow us to collaboratively create documents and/or presentations and VoiceThreadare placed in the Creating category. Wikis, used so that many can collaborate to synthesize the combined knowledge of about a topic on a shared website.
He then begins to discuss other tools eg. Picnik, which allows us to modify photos in many creative ways and the as well as YouTube as a creative tool.

There are many pages/places to fill in and you can do so by joining the wiki and adding you houghts. It certainly make you think about each of the tools. The Visual Bloomscould be an excellent resource for teachers to start to think about how they could best use the many tools available. We are a notebook school. We want our students to learn many different skills. A wiki like this, one that encourages discussion and collaboration, can help us find the most appropriate tool/s for our needs. When I look  at web resources I can see that many can be used in more than way and so don’t necessarily fit into just one of the categories in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

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Flip(ing) video cameras – we have some for use

We just purchased some flip cameras for the library. In the past I have had to beg and borrow digital video cameras from other faculties (not steal!) Finally I got one just before our semester holidays and I found it such a neat little device. I wanted something that was simple and easy to use in a classroom situation. It is not meant to be for the more complex videos  that the media students produce,just something that our junior students can pick up and use.

Flip Cameras

Our Flip Ultra is a pocket-sized video camera. In this case Flip is the name of the name of the company that produced the camera. There are other similar such cameras around produced by a variety of companies. I played around with it over the holidays and it was great.
What are the good points to the pocket video camera?

  • The size means that you can literally fit it in your pocket, and it is easy to hold and record with a non-slip coating. It is light so that the weight doesn’t causes you to tire or of a size that can get knocked and buffeted by the wind if you are ouside. 
  • The  simplicity is wonderful with a big red “record” button and a few other basic features, including a small zoom feature. This made it very easy to use without having to read a large manual.
  • The video file format is very useful as it records videos in a format that is ready to be posted online, uploaded to YouTube  or edited with software.
  • There are no leads or cords need to transfer the files across to your computer. It has a built in USB port that you plug directly into your computer and away you go. This is especially useful in schools as cords regularly go missing.

Thanks to Clif Mims post Video Cameras in the Classroom. I found a GoogleDocs presentation by Tom Barrett  on Thirty-Nine Interesting Ways* to use your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom. These tips and  is not a definitive list nor are some of the ideas totally new but they do provide a range strategies for effectively integrating video cameras with teaching and learning. Many of the strategies also offer links to examples from classes using the cameras.

Already I know our PE department is very keen to use them in a number of their classes to help students evaluate their performance. I want more book trailer videos and I also want to use video as a way of students reflecting about learning tasks. I also have in mind to do some video “how-Tos” and think that the students could help.

Anyway we will only be limited by our own imaginations. I am excited by the new learning opportunities we will be able to offer.