Google Art Project: Explore World Museums

As the end of the year approaches, teachers are often looking for engaging activities to keep their energetic students on task. Perhaps you might want to consider taking your students on a virtual field trip to explore art museums from around the world.

Google Art Project is an interactive website that uses the same street view technology you’ve probably seen in Google Maps to allows visitors to virtually explore museums and view hundreds of pieces of art. Even better, visitors can view them at incredible zoom levels to get even closer than you could if you were actually standing in front of the original painting. Visitors can even create and share their own collection of masterpieces.

A Few Ideas for Classroom Use

I have collected some interesting suggestions for classroom use and used Kwout to publish the screenshots and attribution you see below. Clicking on the link under each excerpt will take you to the full blog articles referenced, and in most cases lead you to more ideas for integration. Have some good ideas of your own? Please consider sharing them here through a comment.

Explore at

The Flipped Classroom

As an instructional tech facilitator my goal is to help teachers progress through the stages of technology adoption to get to the point at which they are using technology as a tool for learning, rather than using it as an add on to supplement traditional learning activities. To do that successfully, teachers must adjust their roles, moving from traditional teacher to learning coach or facilitator. Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are a couple of innovative teachers who have developed an approach to teaching and learning known as The Flipped Classroom, which certainly supports the idea of teachers as learning coaches. 

At it’s most basic level, The Flipped Classroom approach means front loading the learning and assigning the  prep work as homework in order for students to come to class prepared to use it. This means the classroom  becomes a place for collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication where the teacher serves as a facilitator who interacts with students, assesses them, and spontaneously pulls together groups for reteaching and challenge. The Flipped Classroom is a place where students are actively engaged in applying the learning and it is noisy and unpredictable. Worksheets as homework become obsolete and students no longer sit in the classroom listening to lectures. Essentially, The Flipped Classroom is a place where “the teachable moment” comes alive.

If you want to learn more about The Flipped Classroom, please watch the video below and also check out The Flipped Classroom Network, a social network where Flipped Teachers share their experiences and learn from each other. As for me, I am excited to Flip the professional development classes I’m teaching this summer.

Edublogs Free Tools Challenge

The Free Tools Challenge is a great online professional development opportunity for busy teachers provided by Edublogs. Designed to help participants learn to use free Web 2.0 tools, this 30 day challenge encourages us all to try one new tool each week through challenge activities created by by guest bloggers. I got the opportunity to be a guest blogger for the challenge and the activitiy  I created,  Free Tools Challenge #25: Using Jog the Web in the 24/7 Classroom, was published earlier this week.

Each of the Free Tools posts featured on the blog are complete with directions, suggestions for use in the classroom and opportunities for discussion. In my opinion the challenge is certainly worth taking.

If you are interested in learning innovative ways to use free Web 2.0 tools and also expanding your PLN at the same time, please check out the Edublogs Free Tools Challenge.  You can find links to all the previous challenges in the sidebar on the left of the blog.
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JogTheWeb for Guided Student Learning

One of the best ways to use JogTheWeb is as a tool to create flexible, guided activities to help all students learn. It’s easy to design a Jog for success if you set a goal of providing students with multiple ways to access and acquire information. Design your lessons to include video,  text written at a variety of reading levels, simulations and interactive websites then see if it makes a difference in the success of all students. Take a look at a very simple Jog I created, Let’s Explore the Nervous System, to view multiple ways to present information to students.

Tweet Topic Explorer

If you appreciate a good word cloud you might be eager to learn about a tool that creates a word cluster out of the information people post on Twitter, commonly referred to as tweets.

This word cluster identifies the most frequently used words tweeted and also groups them to show relationships. Although the sample of my tweets below is only an image, you go to the actual website then  click on any word to highlight it in the tweets.

Photosynth – Capture the World in 3D

Photosynth is a cool tool for capturing and viewing the world in 3D. This tool takes a series of photos and weaves them together to create a virtual tour. You and your students can explore the many photosynths already created simply by visiting the website, or create your own by signing up for an account.

Please enjoy this photosynth of the Chicago Skyline.

Try it for yourself at