Technology Education Know-How

Helping Teachers Teach with Technology

Archive for the ‘Web Search’ Category

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Here is an awesome collection of pictures from Time Life. http://images.google.com/hosted/life
These pictures capture some of the forgotten moments in our History. There are millions of images dating as far back as 1750 that you and your students have access to. These are images that LIFE took but never published, yet they capture such rich snippets of history.

As an automobile enthusiast this picture of the first Rolls Royce car from 1903 sure captured my eye.

The first Rolls Royce from 1903

The First Rolls Royce in 1903

I sure could have used this when I was a student and writing those papers about cars. What about that student that you have that just lives for sports? Here is a picture of Muhammad Ali raising his gloves victoriously after knocking out Oscar Bonavena in 1971.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali in 1971

This resource can be used for many lessons in history, writing, math and even science as you look at how technology has changed over time. Technology should not just be about computers but all innovations.

You can use these images as writing prompts as they compare and contrast the there and then to the here and now or they can write about what it must have been like during those days working on the big oil derricks and no A/C to come home to.

Oil in 1943

Oil in 1943

Often our students hear about walking to school in the snow, uphill and barefooted. Now they can see the picture.

Snow at School

Snow at School

OK, so they were not barefooted but most people that tell that story never went barefooted either. 😉

The ways you can use photography, images and historical photos is endless. The good part is that they can be used in every subject area. Leave a comment letting me and others know how you used the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.

Plagiarism Checker

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

This week I was scouring my Diigo Online Bookmarking for things that I may have missed from my network due to my being so busy this month. I ran across this online “Plagiarism Checker” app. http://www.dustball.com/cs/plagiarism.checker/ You can copy/past or type in the text of your students report or essay. It scours the web while checking the paper. It compares the text and lets you know where there may be plagiarism. It gives you a link to click to check the resource that may be the text’s plagiarism source. You can then confirm or establish that it is or is not plagiarism.
I tested it out and it seems to be very effective. I hope you enjoy and find it helpful. I’ll be posting more tools in the near future. Sorry for the cutback on posts. It has been busy this school year.

Flickr and the Library of Congress

Monday, February 9th, 2009

As a photographer I’m always on one the lookout for great photography. As an educator I’m always on the lookout for photography that captures a piece of history with great relevance that teachers can use in education. This week the Library of Congress added a Photostream Set of Abraham Lincoln. These are truly great photographs! You’ll find the entire Library of Congress’ Flickr Sets of over 5,000 pictures here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/ I’ve included the photo stream in my post below but I’m sure you’ll enjoy perusing the complete collection. You can subscribe in your RSS reader and get updates any time they add to their collection. Thanks Library of Congress, this is a great tool for education!!!

You can also find other great collections from the Worlds Public Photography Archives in the Flickr Commons at http://www.flickr.com/commons. There you’ll find collections from the Smithsonian, Imperial War Museum, and the New York Public Library along with several others.

Be very careful here History Buffs, you can end up spending a lot of time here. I hope you find this resource useful for your classroom and instruction. Please, leave a comment letting me and others know how you’ve used this resource in your classroom. We can all learn from your experiences!

Plan a Vacation to Teach Math Skills

Monday, May 5th, 2008

This week I was talking to a friend about going on their vacation this summer.  As a teacher I had two things going in my head.  One was, “I need a vacation.”  The other thought was, “How can I turn this into a real world learning experience for our students?”

Of course, http://www.priceline.com/ came to my mind, but there are other sites as well that can be used. 

Have your students create a dream vacation.  They will need to plan for travel to and from the departing location, the plane fair, cruise, activities, hotel or condo, transportation while on location, food etc.  You can make this activity as extensive as you’d like.  This activity will help them review the math skills that you have already given them while applying them to real world situations. 

To expand the learning experience I would have my students:

1.       Budget  (money, charts and graphs)

2.       Plan an Itinerary Schedule (time line development, elapsed time, scheduling, and critical thinking)

3.       Map out events (maps)

4.       Use checklists to make sure they have thought of everything for their trip. (Google, travel checklist and you’ll get tons of them.)

5.       Have them write about their trip planning learning experience.

To extend their learning experiences have them break into travel groups and plan their entire vacation on a wiki! 

Enjoy and leave a comment letting me know how you plan to use this in your classroom. 

3 Classroom Lessons for Using Gas Prices to Teach Math, Writing, Social Studies, and Technology

Monday, April 28th, 2008

This morning on Yahoo! News another headline reads “Gas.”   Later this morning as the headlines rotated out another one read “Gas.”  Yes, we are facing “Gas” issues like never before.  So, why not turn this into a learning activity for our students.  Our children will face things that we have never faced before, and our job is to prepare them.  So, this Tech Tip will incorporate Math, Writing, Current Events, Maps and Technology.    

The goal here is that we tap into the higher order thinking skills of every student and allow them an opportunity to problem solve a real world event. 

Note: Teachers should not use this to promote any political agenda; you can find yourself in hot water over that.  This is just an exercise for learning.

Note: If you are reading this and are in another city, state or country there are alternative sites that you can use to gather the same data for your location. 

Exercise 1:

This web site http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_history.html  produces a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet with a price history of gas prices by region, state, or even some cities.  From these spreadsheets you can create charts and graphs showing changes, have students calculate differences between time periods and even calculate percentages in change over time. 

You can have your students present his/her findings to the class in a power point, video, printed graphs and a written report. 

            The teacher can discuss issues as they come up.  (No Political Agendas!)

Exercise 2:

Now that students can know the importance of and can physically see from the above presentations that the price of Gas is a real issue, have them do a little problem solving.  Have the students go to http://www.autobytel.com/content/research/top10/index.cfm/action/mileage/vehicleclass/all/listtype/3  to make an automobile selection based on their newly found information.  Encourage your students to select cars that would be suitable or comparable for their current families.  (ie. If their mom drives a van now have the select a type of van.  If they drive a truck have them select a type of truck.) 

Their goal is to select a vehicle that would save them money as well as suit their needs.  Have them research the different car types, gas mileage, and feasibility.  They can sort the cars by all, compact, convertibles, luxury, passenger, pickups, sport utility, sports, vans and wagons.  (I think I want the Honda Civic, does it have enough room for my kids?)

Have the students report back with their selection.  They should make a presentation of their top 3 choices with a conclusion as to why they selected their top choice.  How will this car impact gas prices?  How much money will they save by getting this car?  Does the price of the car off set the price of gas?

If you want to make this an extra challenge  give them a car price budget and a weekly gas budget.  They should have a select number of miles that they have to calculate to get to and from work(school).

ie: Less than $20,000 for a car.  Weekly gas allotment is $40.  They must drive 20miles one way to work.  You’ll need to give them a list of web sites from local dealers to get the prices on the cars.

 

Exercise 3:  The Big Challenge

 Using Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps along with http://www.austingasprices.com/  or http://www.gasbuddy.com/ for those not in the Austin area, to calculate mileage to determine if it would be worth it to drive out of your way to the cheapest gas prices locations. 

Students will need to know:

1.      gas mileage of car (from exercise 2)

2.      price of gas (exercise 3 links)

3.      mileage to lowest priced gas station (Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps)

4.      price of gas at the gas station near your school (you’ll need to provide this)

5.      location (mileage and map) of home and school (work) (Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps)

Have the students report as to whether or not it’s worth the extra drive.  Will they save money or not?

Closing:

As always, these activities can be extended, shortened or changed.  You are only limited by your imagination as to how this can be used in your classroom.  For higher grade levels you can turn them loose with the idea and see what they come up with.  I think we would all be shocked! 

My generation kinda grew up not being very concerned with the environment or economy at all, but today’s generation seems to be more involved with trying to solve issues than we ever where. 

If you use these ideas leave a comment and let me know how it went, or if you have other ideas please share!

 

 

NetTrekker

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This weeks Tech Tip is NetTrekker.  NetTrekker is a resource that our district provides for our teachers, staff and students.  We use NetTrekker because it is a safe way to insure that our students get good, reliable and safe information.  With NetTrekker, if you login through your schools library web page, your searches will be filtered through the state TEKS Standards.  Meaning – your search results will have true academic purposefulness. 

Here is a blurb from their web page, “Each resource is carefully selected by educators to ensure it is safe, age-appropriate and 100% academically relevant.”

I did a search on “Vitamins” and I learned something myself.  Did you know that lots of vitamin D can cause you to lose weight?  Here’s the catch, you lose the wait because too much Vitamin D can cause you to vomit.  Not the right way to loses wait!!  Anyway, I digress, so back on track.

Take the time to introduce NetTrekker to your students this week.  It is a resource that our district provides for you to keep your kids safe and on the right track with their research.  It’s an awesome tool!  The listings of uses of NetTrekker are too many to list here.  Take a look for yourself!

You can get to NetTrekker from your school’s library web page.  If you’re reading this post and you are not a part of RoundRock ISD schools, you can try NetTrekker free at http://www.nettrekker.com/

Keep up the good teaching with technology!!!

Side Note: Most web pages have links to other web pages.  These other web pages may or may not be safe, so I suggest you still do active monitoring during your computer times.  Leaving your students un-attended during computer time is not a safe practice anytime!