Sound Seeker Google Maps Mashups
Sound Seeker is a project of The New York Society of Acoustic Ecology. They are geo-caching sounds from all over the city. Imagine doing the same with your students. Using Google Maps API you could have a collection of sounds captured in your city, district, or the neighborhoods your students live in around your school. This exciting activity could be a lesson in GPS caching, a sociological experiment, a creative writing prompt, or a lesson in biology (capture the calls of animals or birds). Tom is borderline manic about the potential of Google Maps in the classroom. Tom, I give you more fuel for your fire!
Grand Reportagem magazine (can’t find a link- it’s from Portugal) has an interesting series of info graphics (you can see them here) that illustrating fairly disturbing facts about countries- using the flags of the countries. Interesting idea- using symbols of pride to criticize/inform. You could also do something similar with many logos (companies, sports, universities). If you wanted to go fairly abstract there’s also book/video/cd covers or even caricatures. Here a quick mock up with an old Apple logo- Stat Source – please excuse gross visual misrepresentation of the stats but I don’t have the time/willingness to actually work it out. This would make a really interesting co-curricular project between a math and history/sociology type of class (throw in art as well if you’d like). The math required to calculate the proper area to factually represent the statistics would be fairly decent (especially with more complex shapes and area calculations) and figuring out which statistics about the country/company/person to contrast would require quite a bit of research and processing. I think it’s hook a number of students and in the end you’re teaching them far more than stats or facts. You’re teaching them how to think and how to convey that thinking in a way that’s visually compelling. All the great ideas in the world mean nothing if you can’t […]
Clarence Fisher of Remote Access has been kind enough to work through some thoughts on creating a classroom studio on his blog. I find his insights and questions helpful as I try to more fully realize my goal of making my classroom more construtivist and less legalistic. I can’t help but pine for what he is attempting as I look ahead toward two major standardized assessments this year. While I wish for more freedom to give my students space to explore their interests and see the power of language, my time is being chipped away to make standard-based assessments, test and quizzes that mirror the state assessments, and lessons that teach a narrow set of concepts that every eighth grade student must have minimal mastery (lord, is that an oxymoron or what?!). Sometimes I feel like Moses as I look at all the amazing potential technology has to frame real learning (skills and desire as opposed to lists of concepts, etc.). Moses asked god to let him see the promise land even though he knew he would never step foot in it. I look at the “put out the fire” mentality of education today and get impatient and frustrated. A quick pedagogical revolution (another oxymoron) could unleash a time of learning not seen since The Enlightenment, yet I sit on […]
OK. We had an interesting conversation at NECC about creating a standardized system of tagging so we can all actually find the things other people have made or found already. BUT the issue is in coming up with an effective way of tagging that everyone can use across all the school districts, states etc. Teaching Generation Z added an extra level of complexity by reminding me that there’s more to the world than the U.S. Dang. Forgot about that. 🙂 SO . . initially I figured you’d have to make a choice. You’d either have to go pretty broad and lose a lot of individual usefulness (state standards for one which I feel is really the key to getting a larger sphere of involvement and usage) or you’d end up with way too many tags. So rather than being a negative jerk I started thinking about how it’d be possible to keep the regional detail needed and still create something that was useful internationally. A POSSIBLE ANSWER— What if we set up tagging standards based on smaller groups (state standards in the US and whatever is a comparable level internationally). Then we create correlations between the standards. (That would be the real work). After that when you tag it with the VA standards it will automatically pull in the relevant […]