On the wire

Here are some more “on the wire” updates . This is a pretty general focus starting with some excellent professional learning materials

1. Seven things you should knowhttp://www.educause.edu/ELI7Things – This is an ongoing educationally focused series of reces that each month examine a different emerging technology or process. The latest two are 7 things you should know about…..

2. Project 2000 - http://www.tuaw.com/2010/09/09/found-footage-project-2000-from-1988-on-the-direction-of-comput/ – this is a 1998 video looking at  the year 2000 and computing. It features some well known players in the educational and futurist world including:

  • Apple’s Steve Wozniak
  • Alvin Toffler
  • Alan kay

Worth a look  – here is the Youtube URL – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEkX4ipKeas

3. Mappingworlds – Show World - http://show.mappingworlds.com/world/ This is a great visualisation site that mapps the world by taking the aspects being examined and increasing the size of the country to match the proportion of spending, expendature, level of conflict etc. Very Powerful and exciting. Information from a very wide array of sources.

4. MEdiaStormhttp://www.mediastorm.com/pub/projects.html – Mediastorm is one of my favourite video sites. They produce videos that are challenging, current and reflective but often uncomfortable. I am frequently stunned and moved by them. The latest “UNDESIRED” by Wlater Ashrada looks at the cultural pressure to have sons in India. Its 12 minutes long but… IT WILL MOVE YOU. http://mediastorm.com/publication/undesired

Another recent product from this group is the video Airsick – http://www.mediastorm.com/publication/airsick – which using 20,000 pictures looks at our addiction to fossil fuels.

and finally – http://sparklab.si.edu/spark-experiments.html this is a science resource site with a series of experiments and labs that students can investigate and explore. The students are challenged to:

  • Identify a problem or need (Think it)
  • Conduct research (Explore it)
  • Make sketches  (Sketch it)
  • Build prototypes (Create it)
  • Test the invention (Try it)
  • Refine it (Tweak it)
  • Market the invention (Sell it)

This is the process of invention.

On the wire – iPad and education

This “on the wire” update is focused on the iPad and education. Here is what I have come across as I wander about with the iPad.

1. Virtual Frog Dissection – http://kids.punflay.com/virtual-frog.html This is a useful simulation for the science and biology classes.

2. iChoose – http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/ichoose/id285881085?mt=8 This is an iphone/touch app that runs on the ipad. This application will do random dice rolls, randon yes and no, 1 or 2 dice and card choice. Nice for random numbers etc in mathematics

3. Adobe Photoshop Express – http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/adobe-photoshop-express/id331975235?mt=8 This is a free app available for the iphone and ipad. The tools available are actualy quite extensive (for the quick tweak on the iPad anyway). They include:

  • crop
  • straigten
  • rotate
  • flip
  • exposure
  • saturation
  • tint
  • Black & white
  • contrast
  • sketch
  • soften focus & sharpen focus

Not bad for a free application

4. History: Maps of the world -http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/history-maps-of-world/id303282377?mt=8 Again available for ipad and iphone this is a history and social studies application. Its not small – 72Mb but is free. Lots of historical maps included – specific companion map sets available at a small charge.

5. Science Glossary http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/science-glossary/id331657060?mt=8 This is a glossary of scientific terms. Produced by Vision learning, but this is a useful stand-alone application available in English and Spanish.

6. Adobe Ideas – http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/adobe-ideas-1-0-for-iphone/id365441166?mt=8 - This is a digital sketchpad for the ipad and iphone.  Produce vector based images simple and adaptable

7. Quick Voice Recorder – http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/quickvoice-recorder/id284675296?mt=8 Free voice recording application uses the ipad microphone – good tool for the auditory learner

8. Caster-free http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/caster-free/id354892441?mt=8 This is a free version of the podcast creation tool Caster. This version limits you to a three minute podcast. Not bad really all things considered. Nice feature set too.

On The Wire – Nagasaki, touch typing maths and more

Well the last couple of week have been rather hectic and I have been slack on the blogging. So here are some of the highlights that have come down on the wire.

1. Nagasaki Archive http://en_nagasaki.mapping.jp/p/nagasaki-archive.html

This is a GIS site that shows images, map etc immediately before and after the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and also layers in images from today. There are vignettes from people in Nagasaki at the time. A powerful and useful resource.

2. Touch typing - This is a number of sites that are focused on touch typing as a skill. Touch typing is a useful and increasingly essential skill for our students. Here are some of the sites:

Worth nchecking out while you are on the Tux typing site is Tux Maths and Tux paint

3. Bloom’s taxonomy according to the Pirates of the Caribbean - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjhKmhKjzsQ&feature=youtube_gdata This is a very good video clip using the popular Pirates of the Caribbean. Its using the original Bloom’s rather than the revised or Digital Blooms. But useful never the less.

4. Simple Diagramshttp://www.simplediagrams.com/free.html This is an adobe air application that draw simple but very useful diagrams. Its appeal is its clean and simple interface and fun chalk style clip art.

5. n-rich maths resources - http://nrich.maths.org/6840?setlocale=en_US – Mathematics posters and resources  – useful

and finally a look at the history of Television – http://www.sterlingsatellite.com/info/how-much-has-tv-changed-since-1926-a-lot.html

On the wire -infographics, simulations, visualisations and more

This update is coming out of St Louis. Here is what I have found on my travels so far.

1. HTML 5 Infographic – http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixer/4681732186/sizes/o/ This is a great infographic for IT & computer science classes about HTML 5. Worth a look.

2. Many Eyes http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/ This IBM Sponsored and supported lab is producing interesting visualisations. I love this one on how teens view computers impacting on writing – http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/visualizations/teen-views-on-how-computers-impact

3. Atlas of the Biosphere – http://www.sage.wisc.edu/atlas/maps.php This site lets you examine the human impacts, land use, ecosystems and water resources of the biosphere. A useful site for biologist, science students and geography.

4. Virtual Tour of the Grand Canyon – http://grandcanyongigaview.tumblr.com/page/2 This is a google earth plugin required site that takes you on a private rafting trip down the Colorado River – Here is what they say about the trip

“This immersive experience is designed to take you on a private rafting trip down the Colorado River. 360° GigaPan images embedded in Google Earth allow you to explore America’s premier natural attraction like never before online.”

And finally from the University of Colorado – http://phet.colorado.edu/index.php – Physics Interactive simulations

On the wire

1. PBS Shakespeare - http://www.pbs.org/teachers/activitypacks/reading/shakespeare/ This is one of a huge range of interesting and varied resources produced by the PBS. A great starting point is the page on K-12 teacher resources – http://www.pbs.org/teachers/ This is even better if you can access the PBS tv shows

2. For the history educators – this site is looking at “the man behind Hitler” Joesph Gobbels – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goebbels/ and some of the propaganda he produced – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goebbels/gallery/index.html

3. From History on the Net http://www.historyonthenet.com/Nazi_Germany/nazigermanymain.htm This site looks at Nazi Germany

4. Open Chemistry - http://openchemistry.co.uk/ this is an open chemistry site producing free resources availzable to all. Another good one for chemistry is http://periodictable.com/ and also http://www.periodicvideos.com/

5. Crime mapper - http://maps.police.uk/ this is a UK police tool that mashes data from various sources with maps to produce interesting results – searchable by area. This is a great tool for Humanities and information technology.

6. Commoncraft show – Cloud computing in plain english http://commoncraft.com/cloud-computing-video This is another BRILLIANT resource from Lee LeFever and the guys at Commoncraft. This is a very useful professional development resource and resource for teaching computing and computers.

7. Firefox turns 5http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ULDH90H530&feature=player_embedded This is a video celebrating 5 years of Mozilla’s firefox browser. The video is fun and raises some interesting questions from its unique perspective. This is another great resource for teaching computing and professional development.

8. Darwin, a naturalists voyage -http://www.cnrs.fr/cw/dossiers/dosdarwinE/darwin.html This science, biology and history themed site provides an interesting insight into the Journey of Charles Darwin. Click on the link and watch the animation and listen to the sound track.

9 And finally from a blog I subscribe to – Information is beautiful – http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009/interesting-easy-beautiful-true/

On the wire

In this weeks catch from the net we have Mathematics and data sources, infographic maps, web 2.0 tools and more.

1. The Maths Apprentice - http://www.mathapprentice.com/Activity/explore.html – this is a fun primary and middle years site for mathematics. Directed at the younger audience. Worth considering using with an IWB.

2. Kids online – me and mymaths - http://www.kidsolr.com/math/math.html – again for the yiounger middle years audience, but a useful amth site with potential for IWB use too.

3. Dan’s Maths - http://www.dansmath.com/ – this sit is directed at the more senior school audience but is still applicable to midle school students

4. Maths helpAtube - http://www.mathatube.com/ – Video tutorialsa dn resources for mathematics – this is a great site well worth a forage. While not directly associated but worth investigating is teachertube – http://www.teachertube.com

5. US Government Data - http://www.data.gov/ this is a great source of accurate information and statistics. Applicable to mathematics, humanities and many other subject areas. This is a great resource.

6. Infographic Mapshttp://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/10/30-superb-examples-of-infographic-maps/ Web designer depot is a blog I subscribe to and it provide a wide range of interesting sites and resources. This one has some excellent examples of inforgraphics that are well worth looking at.

7. Ofcom report on Children and Mediahttp://www.ofcom.org.uk/consumer/2009/10/more-children-have-broadband-in-the-bedroom/ OfCom is the Office of Communication in the UK. This offering is a report on Media and children. Here is one statistic worth considering “35 per cent of 12-15s and 16 per cent of 8-11s now have web access in their bedrooms“. Worth also visiting is the mashable post on net usage http://mashable.com/2009/10/14/net-usage-nielsen/

8. Online comic creation tool – Howtoons – http://www.howtoons.com/ – A nice online cartoon/comic tool which allows you to export as a PDF file. Free

9. How to give a lousy presentationhttp://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/aug2009/sb20090825_379576.htm This is one of those time to refelct articles. As you read through this post do you cringle a little?

As always these sites are also posted on my Delicious account - http://del.icio.us/achurches

On The wire

The one problem with attending a conference is catching up after. ULearn has been no exception, I have spent this week in catch up mode.

Here is my weekly catch from the net.

1. Alternative to – http://alternativeto.net/desktop this website is present you with alternative application to common or popular software and web based tools. This is an excellent tool for those of us with limited budgets.

2.Science visualisations – http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/visualizations/all/1# This is a wired science sumamtion of the best visualisation videos of 2009. This is an excellent resource for science teachers and can add variety into your teaching program. This opbviously appeals to the visual learner

3. How are maps made up from aerial and satellite images – http://qanda.encyclopedia.com/question/topographic-maps-created-aerial-and-satellite-photographs-78979.html – this is an article I found recently which explained how topo maps use images. very interesting and useful for the humanities students and particulalry the geographers.

4. What browser – http://www.whatbrowser.org/ this is a useful resource site for IT classes and also for explaining about a web browser. This site looks at trhe web btrowser youa re using and provides you with some insights into it. For those who are interested it also links to a time line for web browsers - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_web_browsers#Graphical_Timeline

5. e-Glossary http://www.glencoe.com/apps/eGlossary612/grade.php this site produced by McGraw-Hill provides a useful and age specific glossary of mathematical terms. A useful learning aid for teachers and students alike.

Hope these are useful – As always I ave posted these to my Del.icio.us account - http://delicious.com/achurches

North Head Visit

North Head is an amazing Auckland Icon. A former  military base guarding the entry to Auckland harbour, riddled with tunnels and if you believe the stories – secret bricked in storage areas waiting to be pillaged by any lucky enough to find there way into them.

Google maps – North Head

However North Head for us was a great family trip, as the Kids, T and I donned head lamps and explored the tunnels, many carved out of the bedrock. Here are some of the pictures.

looking up the stairs

As we approach ANZAC day it is well worth considering the efforts our forefathers put in to protect us. This site, while never used in anger, was built without the advantages of our modern machinery, to protect us from a very real threat. The conditions that the servicemen lived and worked in here were better than many abroad but were not by any stretch of the imagination luxury.

We are here today because of there service and sacrifice. It is fitting that more and more of our youth are attending ANZAC day services. I know mine are.

Starter Sheet – Google earth

Tool or technology:GIS or Geographical Information System. Google Earth – Downloaded and installed client, internet connection required

Curriculum area:



This starter sheet looks at the power of Google Earth. While it only looks at one aspect of the tool, the Global Awareness Layers, particularly the Crisis in Darfur, this tool has a range of other uses in a wide variety of subject areas especially science with the Google sky feature, the Global volcanism projects and alike.

Link: http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Starter+Sheets

Tactile Google Earth

Mel of Moodle Girl Fame posted this link on her blog as she reflected on the recent uLearn08 Conference.

Essentially this is a tactile approach to Google earth. Watch the video here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLconRxEyzc

Tactile Google Earth

I like google earth, its a great tool that suits visual learner well. This approach makes it a very good tool for our kinesthetic learners too. I suspect that a smartboard with google earth would also yield similar results too. Particularly since the smartboard is touch sensitive rather than requiring a pen.

Increasingly we are seeing the need for the tactile interface in many situations. I feel that this is the more natural of interfaces, it is certainly one of the primary method exploration we have all used since our earliest years. The use of gestures to manipulate objects is also very natural. Too enlarge an object grab it and stretch, to close it push it aside.

Developments like these will make integrating technologies much easier as the speed of uptake will be quicker and the move from being literate to fluent faster.

The company that produced this video is  – http://www.ubiqwindow.jp/ENG/english.htm

Nice Find Mel, thanks for posting it.