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29 April 2012

"Where's my stuff?"

How many cloud storage services/platforms/companies are there? How do they compare? Which should I use? How many should I use?

First, a brief explanation of "Cloud Storage", in case you're new to the term.

Ars Technica has written a post about current cloud storage providers, Cloud storage: a pricing and feature guide for consumers and produced this comparison chart, and another comparing prices:
I urge you to click through to read their article, after you've had a look at the videos below.

UPDATE: App Advice has posted a clear comparison of on-line storage services, which includes reference to each service's privacy statement about who owns your data.  Be sure to read this post.

TEDxBozeman - Paul Andersen

Published on Apr 24, 2012 by 
Paul Andersen has been teaching science in Montana for the last eighteen years.  He explains how he is using elements of game design to improve learning in his AP Biology classroom.  Paul's science videos have been viewed millions of times by students around the world.  He was the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year and he is currently a science teacher at Bozeman High School.  For more information on Paul's work visit http://www.bozemanscience.com.

What do you think of the advice he gives at the end of the video?

Browse through the excellent videos on Paul Andersen's YouTube Channel.
This one is for the Middle Primary Class, which has started investigating how we share the planet.

23 April 2012

Caine's Arcade

This morning I read a post on ReadWriteWeb about this boy, and this video:

"Last year, Monroy was just another nine-year-old kid from East Los Angeles trying to figure out what to do with his summer, when one day he went to his dad's auto parts store. The store was largely devoid of customers, as Dad does most of his business online. Caine asked if he could play with the cardboard boxes that the parts came in, and before you could say "Zoltar," he had constructed his own cardboard replica of several arcade-style games, such as miniature pop-shot basketball and ring toss. He then proceeded to sit in the store and wait for customers to play at his arcade..."

Click through to read the whole post, and get the background story about the video, and links to other posts and stories about Caine's Arcade.  You'll want to explore the insightful Forbes story by TJ McCue, who "write(s) about makers and inventors and creators."

22 April 2012


The Middle Primary Class at ISOCS is about to investigate sharing the planet, with a particular look at animals,  I recommend the Zooborns blog as a fine way to receive gentle, daily doses of "birth announcements" from zoos and conservation societies around the world. For example, here's a screen shot, with  the latest post.

On the Zooborns page you can search for news about a particular animal, and download both the Android and an iPhone app to receive the latest photos and posts. Both apps are free.

Animating Rapunzel's hair

"The secret to animating hair? Physics. Kelly Ward, senior software engineer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, was responsible for bringing Rapunzel's locks to life in Disney's Tangled. The hair had to look realistic, but not too real -- otherwise Rapunzel would be dragging 80 pounds behind her. (Credits: Footage courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Kelly Ward) Viewed 31269 times. 
Kelly Ward, senior software engineer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, was tasked with bringing Rapunzel's locks to life in Disney's Tangled. The hair had to look realistic, but not too real — otherwise Rapunzel would be towing 80 pounds of hair behind her." (link)

Someone shared this video from Science Friday with me this weekend - I'm passing it on for those who wonder "how did they do that?"

18 April 2012


This morning PetaPixel pointed me to a video on Vimeo that I want to share for several reasons.

The first is that it puts you straight into India, to experience the Hindu festival Holi.  Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors, and you'll see why as you watch the video!  I first learned about Holi when I read the novel, A Suitable Boy, and asked an Indian friend about it.  This video describes so well what she told me!

Another reason to share it is the stunning use of still shots, Ken Burns effects, and slow motion video.  The video was shot at 2,500 frames per second.  Sometimes it's hard to know if we're looking at a very very slow Ken Burns, or video footage.  This is a technique Primary student video producers could easily use, to create visual impact with few images.

This video joins our collection  about "Seeing the un-seeable" - watch the colored powder fly through the air!

I urge you to click through to the Vimeo page, and watch the video in full screen HD - it is much better than this tiny embedded version.

Holi from Variable on Vimeo.
The world is fascinating. People and cultures inspire us. Sadly, the fast paced lifestyles of our generation result in many not taking the necessary step back to soak in the existing world around us. Our goal with this film is to help viewers further appreciate and take notice of the beauty in life & culture that lies within our world...

...so the next time you notice something that strikes you as interesting, stop for a second, start powering on your camera, think about why it's unique, and snap the shot before you miss it. Life is extraordinary. Embrace it.

13 April 2012

Making a child-friendly (and safe) iPad

Have you bought a new iPad? Passing on the "old" one to a child in your family? Watch this video, and read the show notes on this page for more tips, links, and a transcript of the 4 minute video.

Published on Apr 12, 2012 by 
Macworld's Chris Breen shows you how to set up a kid-safe iPad using iOS 5's restrictions controls.

11 April 2012

How animals see

For the Middle Primary Class, which is about to inquire into who we share the planet with.

The Mezzmer Eye-Ware company has posted this info-graphic on their blog.  How will this help us to understand what an animal needs in its environment in order to survive?

06 April 2012

Seeing the Earth

Two more interesting ways of "seeing  the un-seeable" have come to my attention in the last few days.

One is a web page where you can see the force of the wind blowing, in real time, (but only blowing across the USA).  Here is a screen shot of how things look as I write this post:

Screen shot of http://hint.fm/wind/

You can click on the map to zoom into an area, and use the table on its left to determine the windspeed you're looking at.
Screen shot of http://hint.fm/wind/
It's even more interesting if you open another browser window with the geographical map of the area you're looking at, so that you can see the mountains, bodies of water, etc., around which these winds are blowing.

Here's the Google Maps section of roughly the same area.  The marker pin is for Fort Collins, Colorado.

The second view is a new video from NASA,  Perpetual Ocean:
"This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decmeber 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience."

04 April 2012

Adding on at the Google Art Project

Last night, 4 new videos from the Google Art Project dropped into my email. (You remember the launch of Google Art Project last year? We wrote about it here.)
"The original Art Project counted 17 museums in nine countries and 1,000 images, almost all paintings from Western masters. Today, the Art Project includes more than30,000 high-resolution artworks, with Street View images for 46 museums, with more on the way. In other words, the Art Project is no longer just about the Indian student wanting to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is now also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. " (link)

This Behind the Scenes video highlights the new additions to the Project, and very fast views of how the pictures were taken for it... Street View for art works.

This is a short video about how to use the Art Project web site:

Which Swiss museums are involved in the Project?
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne is the first Swiss museum to join the Google Art Project, adding 104 art works by 33 artists to the Project. Access its page in the Project is here.  The Olympic Museum itself is closed until the end of 2013 for renovations, but has a few virtual tours of its own on its website.  This summer you'll be able to see part of its collection on the Helvétie, moored at Ouchy.

If you want to look at something else besides art, consider the other projects available on Google:
"The Art Project is part of our efforts to bringing culture online and making it accessible the widest possible audience. Under the auspices of the Google Cultural Institute, we’re presenting high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, and creating 3D models of18th century French cities. " (link)


This is for the Junior Primary Class, which recently looked at systems and maps.  But it's fascinating for anyone!

If you've been to London, you're familiar with the Underground maps designed by Harry Beck in 1931 - a schematic map that does not represent geographic reality, but rather the system's reality.

Here's the Human Body Systems in the same design mode, by Sam Loman (who lives in The Hague, Netherlands)  Click through to the Visual.ly page to see the image full size.

Browse more data visualizations.

01 April 2012

Voice Search

I learned about the video, Cheryl and Morgan: Learning Independence  from several sources this week.

The teacher featured is Cheryl Oaks, a longtime "web friend" of mine, who I first "met" through Seedlings, a podcast by a trio of Maine educators. (This story is the most recent of several "Search Stories", which you'll find on this page.)

The feature discussed in this video is Voice Search
Screen shot
You can find out about using Voice Search at these links:  on a computer, and on mobile devices-

The Official Google Blog wrote about the video, and linked out to a few pages I had never seen before.
One is the Inside Search Blog, Another is a page titled, simply, Features "Here is where you can explore a wide range of Google Search features. You can find different categories, such as Research or Fast Facts, to find new ways to search for information and get answers".  

There have always been ways to narrow a search in the side bar of the standard Googel search results page (Images, Maps, Videos, News, Shopping, Books, Places, Blogs, Flights, Discussions, Recipes, Applications, Patents, 6 time frames to within which to limit the search, language, site, reading level, file type and usage rights) which is only about 21 choices.  On the Features page I count about 49 choices.

Some of these are "tricks" for finding  "fast facts", by entering search terms in the URL bar.  For example. putting define: in front of any word will bring up all the definitions on the Internet for that word. Entering a number, its unit of measure and "to" whatever unit you like to have it converted to gives you and instant conversion.  For example "132 miles to km" returns the information as the first search result.

132 miles = 212.433408 kilometers

It's well worth your time to explore all the hints and helps, and to install or enable Voice Search

Cross-posted at Triple A Learning Blogs