Thursday, May 9, 2013

Internet sites: time is the essence

Image above: Students exploring  some of the great sites on the Internet for the teaching of humanities.

Related links
Spatialworlds website
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Humsteach blog

GeogSplace blog
Geographical thinking
Spatial literacy
History and geography
Spatial Education and technology

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Where am I?? Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

So much, so little time!

I recently came across a listing of top sites for humanities educators from a site called GoEd

 I have edited the sites listed to be mainly relevant to geography teachers (but have included some sites which would be useful for teaching historical geography. All we need as teachers is the time to get familiar with each of these sites and we certainly would be having some creative teaching going on.

Web 2.0 Tools

Poll Everywhere
An inexpensive and quick alternative for clicker response systems. Create your first poll in 30 seconds without having to sign up. Your students simply text their answer to a predetermined number and, voila! Poll Anywhere is free if your class size is less than 40 students.

Use Animoto to easily create presentations and videos with your own images and music, or choose from a library of stock files. Teachers can apply for a free Animoto Plus account.

With a free option for K-12 teachers, Wikispaces is a great tool for making custom webpages that your students can edit together. You can manage privacy settings, create student accounts without email addresses, embed media and even customize the design of your Wiki pages.

Voicethread’s group conversations are stored and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world. It allows you to create multimedia slideshows with images, videos and documents. Others can view the slides and then leave text, audio or video comments.

Prezi is a really neat cloud-based presentation program that allows you to zoom in and out. If you don’t mind your slides being public, you can sign up for a free account with 100MB of storage.

Use IMDb, the internet movie database, to see if there are any movies that are relevant to the topic you’re teaching. If you find one, you can also check the rating to make sure it’s appropriate for your classroom.

As one of the largest and most popular flashcard creation websites around, Quizlet allows students and teachers to customize their own “sets” of flashcards. You can manage access to the flashcards you create and share them with your students.

SlideShare is one of the most popular ways to upload and share PowerPoint presentations and other documents. Again, this is a great tool for transferring documents between your home and school computer without having to carry around a flash drive.

ClassMarker is an online quiz and test creation website. As an educator, you get 100 free tests taken (and graded!) per month.

Informational Resources

CIA Factbook
The CIA World Factbook contains information on the communications, economy, geography, government, history, military, people, transnational issues and transportation for 267 world entities.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar is a simple search engine that specializes in scholarly literature. It allows you to search across many sources including articles, books, court opinions, online repositories, university libraries and more.

Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha is searchable database of information about government, historical events, political figures, important documents and more.

Current Events

Google News Archive

Time Magazine

New York Times

View today’s front page from more than 800 newspapers worldwide. Use this website to demonstrate how different cultures can perceive the same event.

A daily compilation of editorial cartoons from around the world that cover current issues and important figures.

Clay Bennett Cartoons Archive
Modern cartoons on a range of topics including individual liberties, global warming, lobby reform, congress and more.

Interactive Timelines

Search for pre-made, media-rich timelines or make your own using MP3 audio clips, YouTube videos and more.

X Timeline
Another website that makes it easy to create and share timelines with pictures and videos.

Time Toast
All you need is a valid email address to create interactive timelines that can be shared anywhere on the web.

Tiki Toki
Easily create stunning web-based, sharable timelines with images and video. Tiki Toki also has a group editing feature for collaboration.

With Dipity, you can find, create and embed interactive, customizable timelines.

Create your own sharable timeline with images, video, audio, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and PDF files.

Printable Maps and Mapping Tools

Easily draw on Google Maps and then share with your students or post to your teacher blog.

QuickMap’s slogan is “Doodle on Google!” It’s another free and easy way to draw on Google Maps.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
High-quality historic, thematic and topographic maps of the world including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Polar regions, Oceans and United States.

Printable World Maps
Free printable maps of the world’s countries. Each map is a blank outline.

Nat Geo Education: Mapping
Free, printable 1-page maps, printable large-format maps and an online interactive student map.

Mapping History
Animated socio and political maps of 18th and 19th century United States, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Animaps letting you create maps with markers that move, images and text that pop up on cue, and lines and shapes that change over time. Your finalized Animap appears like a video that can be played, paused, slowed down and sped up.

BBC Dimensions
This website takes important places and events, and overlays them onto a map. Just type in a zip code. Use it to show your students how large something like the Great Wall of China or the battle of Stalingrad really is/was!

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