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Google’s Me On the Web- keep track of your digital footprint

What it is: Me On the Web is a new tool from Google.  Announced just today, Me On the Web is part of the Google Dashboard that allows you to set up custom Google Alerts for your name in news articles.  This was always possible with Google Alerts but now those alerts are coupled with tips and resources for helping students manage their online identities.  Now everything can be tracked from one central location instead of scattered around in different places.  Me On the Web is easy to set up, just visit your Google Dashboard to get started. How to integrate Me on the Web into the classroom: There was a day when you could get away with not knowing and following your digital identity, that day is no more.  We all carry digital footprints, and now more than ever it is vital for us (and our students) to know how to manage those digital footprints.  Teaching students about their digital identity is the first step, Google’s Me on the Web takes that a step further by helping students manage their online identities through Google Alerts and helpful tips.  Students must have an account with Google to fully utilize the Me on the Web features.  After students have their account set up, they can create a set of Google Alerts related to them.  This could be their name, email address, a sports team that they play on, the name of the school they attend, etc.  Students will quickly see just how big a memory the Internet has and get a first hand look at their digital footprint and learn some strategies to take care of it. If you are working with younger students without Google accounts (and most likely with a smaller digital footprint) you can share the School’s digital footprint or if you are brave (and after you know what will come up), your own.  This gives even young students a good idea that their digital lives are not private and that what is shared their needs to be managed. Me On the Web is a great way to begin discussions about social media, character education and respecting yourself and others. Tips: Google even shares a section about how to remove content from a Google Search.  Here is a hint, it is not as easy as just managing your identity PRIOR to needing to remove it.  Good choices my friends, good choices.  Anthony Weiner could learn a thing or two- just sayin’. **By the way, if you haven’t seen the Google logo in honor of the lunar eclipse, it is definitely worth checking out- today only! Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Me On the Web  in your classroom!

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Moon Zoo: Contributing to science with lunar mapping

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 03-05-2011

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What it is: The Endeavour Shuttle launch has been delayed but don’t let that keep your students from exploring space, there are some incredible interactive sites that will make your students feel like they get to suit up as astronauts.  Moon Zoo gives students the chance to study the lunar surface while contributing to real science.  Students can get an up close and personal view of the moon viewing images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Moon Zoo’s mission is to provide detailed crater counts for as much of the moon’s surface as possible.  Your students can take part in actually helping to count and map out craters and features of the lunar surface.  Students can identify craters with boulders around the rim to help map the regolith across the surface of the moon.  To take part in Moon Zoo, students are shown an image of the lunar surface, the first task is identifying craters in the surface.  Students can click on the “Crater” button and click the center of each crater they see.  Next, students adjust the ellipse to stretch and move their marks so that they are the same size as the crater.  Students search for boulders around the craters, if there are any boulders students can note that by selecting “blocky crater” and marking the most appropriate description.  When finished, students can submit their work to the Moon Zoo database.

How to integrate Moon Zoo into the classroom: I love that Moon Zoo actually lets your students take part in science.  They are contributing to actual lunar research in real and meaningful ways while learning about the moon.  Moon Zoo would be a great activity to complete as a whole class in the elementary classroom.  Tell your students that they are going to be astronauts and complete a “launch” to the moon.  If you have time, students can create official astronaut badges to wear for the big launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by hunting for craters in Moon Zoo.  Help students mark craters, look for boulders and map the lunar surface.  Each student should have a chance to make a discovery.  While students wait for their turn, they can track the crater/boulder count on a table to create a graph.  Categories can be small, medium, and large craters found and number of boulders.

Older students can sign up for their own Moon Zoo account, each studying and identifying craters on their own images.  Older students can dig into the science behind mapping craters and learn about how craters can be used to date the moon.

Want to involve your students in more contributing science?  Check out Galaxy Zoo (the hunt for supernovas), Galaxy Zoo Hubble, Planet Hunters, or the Milky Way Project.  This is such a neat way for students to contribute to the scientific community while learning more about space and the universe.

Tips: Registration for Moon Zoo does require an email address.  If your students don’t have an email address of their own, they can use a mailinator or tempinbox address.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Moon Zoo in your classroom!

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