Friday, January 27, 2012

How to Find Longitude and Latitude in Google Maps

A conversation started earlier today where one of my co-workers asked about resources to help students find and figure out how to determine Latitude and Longitude.  It made me think back about some conversations that I had with some Kindergarten teachers regarding Google Earth and it dawned on me.  You can set Google Maps to show your Latitude and Longitude with just a few simple clicks on the screen.

I had forgotten all about the ability for Google Maps to display this information and it is very simple to do.  Once you have opened up a Map and moved into the location that you would like to find the Latitude and Longitude for you will Right Mouse click to see the menu.  In the Menu Click on What's Here?  When you do this you will see a Green Arrow pop up on the Map.  When you hover over the green arrow the Latitude and Longitude will display for the location.  You then can perform any of the normal options that Google Maps offers you users.

Here is a quick video that shows you how to determine the Latitude and Longitude on the Map.

video created using Google Maps and
ActivInspire Recorder tool

Thursday, January 12, 2012

You Have Their Attention When This Happens...

The other day I was having a training session with middle school teachers who are moving into their new building in a couple of days on the equipment they now have access to in their classrooms.  We were talking about all of the new interactive tools they have in their classrooms that they can use with their students when I had a teacher speak up and say what is that?  I was not sure what they were referring to so I asked them to show me what they were talking about by using the Interactive Tablet to click on the Icon in question.

We were looking at ActivOffice, which is an add-on productivity pack for MS PowerPoint 2007, when the teacher noticed in the floating toolbox an Icon that said READ.  I said for them to go ahead and click on it to see what it would do.  The Icon opened up the Ticker Tape Tool which started the scrolling text across the top of the page.  I looked back at the teachers in the room and more than half of them were looking up intently at the tool they had discovered and were all asking questions about how it worked.  So in the midst of one training we went turned in a completely different direction to what a co-worker calls a "Teachable Moment."

I went into a quick discussion on how the Ticker Tape can be used in conjunction with ActivOffice and a PowerPoint to share even more information with the students.  The teachers can setup the ticker tape with any type of information from Science terms, Social Studies dates and places to Math and English terms.  The Art teacher spoke up with a "What about me?"  I responded with enthusiasm that all kind of information can be shared from the names of different artists, sculptors and painters to go along with the images of their works displayed on the PowerPoint.  Music teachers can also benefit from the use of the ticker tape with Lyrics to songs, famous musicians and terminology.  All which can be shared with the students right over the current displayed information.

We even got into a discussion on how they could put their Subject area Essential Questions, morning work, homework assignments, upcoming school information, project information and a myriad of other general announcements.  All which could then be used over and over again because they have the ability to save those ticker tapes to their local drives, staff share, media or even personal thumb or external hard drives for future use.

All of the teachers were talking and whispering of different ways they could use the Ticker Tape and even though we had gone in a different direction from the planned training I felt that they had gotten more out of that 5 minutes and would be able to use that information immediately to share information with their students on the first day in their new classrooms.

As a final thought don't forget that if you have ActivInspire and an ActivBoard you can also use the Ticker Tape tool to share information with your students as well.

A New Way to Study Geography

I was looking through Promethean Planet recently and discovered that they have now joined forces with a new Partner resource called The Royal Geographical Society(RGS).  "This group was established in the early 1800's to help support education, research and fieldwork in the study of world geography." 

The Royal Geographical Society offers a wide range of resources to help students in the classroom to learn about the different aspects of world geography through online resources and fieldwork studies for Elementary through Post-Secondary education.  A recent fieldwork study was their work on the production of resources for the study the Continent of Antarctica.  As you read more about the Partner Resources on Promethean Planet from the RGS  you will have access to their documents and resource packs on the geography of Antarctica.Plus they have a really nice flipchart that you can download and use in your classroom.

You can also visit their parent site to see even more research and resources available for the classroom.  They have separated their site into resources for Teachers, Students and even Parents so that the information is available to all participants who are using their site.  There are many more resources available on their website to mention here.  Take a look for yourself to see how RGS can help your students gain a better understanding of World Geography.