Monday, August 31, 2009

New Season, Energies, and Mind Stimulation

I am very fond of The Visual Thesaurus. I saw it several years ago at a Museum and Web conference. This site made me sit up and take notice of what was happening on the Web and an idea of what was coming with interactives. I use the Visual Thesaurus to look up synonyms or to stimulate ideas of other words that may help express my thoughts better. Learning and seeing go hand in hand for me, I am definitely a visual learner. I subscribe to the Visual Thesaurus and have given it as a gift. There are special annual rates for schools. Vocabgrabber added in May 2009 is a wonderful new add-on feature. You can cut and paste text and it pulls out words and gives you their part of speech and a definition. Words are classified into several groups: Geography, People, Social Studies, Arts and Literature, Math, Science and Vocabulary. Please try it for yourself, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did you have a Piggy Bank as a kid? - Museum of American Finance

I had a cash register savings bank that when I put money into it a bell rang, it was fun, but I was more concerned how to get the money OUT! As a kid I had a bank account, but was not watching how it grew, and it grew so slow! Learning about how to manage your finances that are controlled by you, for you is a skilled not taught in our schools nor many families. This museum offers some interesting insights and may spur thoughts of how to manage finances and possible options available to you.
The current exhibit focuses on Women and Money.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In a Digital Future - or not so future - Textbooks Are History

This article appeared in the New York Times on August 9, 2009
Recently, I weighed a textbook belonging to a high school student and it confirmed what I thought, "'s so heavy, expensive, old, and one dimensional...". This article confirms what I have been thinking and talking about for several years.
I have been entering international museum and cultural web sites into a database, The Cultured Web. Ultimately The Cultured Web search tool will generate a relational visual result. Serving as a complement and supplement to the on-line textbooks and because of its content will be safe and not compromised by filters placed on searches and sites by IT administrators. Some of the noteworthy sites have been included in this blog, please take a look and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lego Millyard Project

I subscribe to a blog ExhibiTricks written by the "chief instigator" Paul Orselli. I get an email informing me of a new listing on his blog from time to time. I really like what Paul talks about and shows. Even though this online reference to the Lego Millyard Project is focused on visiting the museum, the concept can be a valuable educational resource. For students studying CAD this adds value and a lot of other attributes: planning, collaboration, and history etc. I enjoyed seeing the collaboration of Lego working with: SEE Science Center in Manchester N.H., FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), CLD Consulting Engineers, and NELUG (the New England LEGO® Users Group) to make this a reality. The City of Manchester also sponsored this project. The Manchester Historic Association provided research materials, and awarded SEE with an Historic Preservation Award for the project in 2006.
You can get the details of this project on their site.
Flickr has many photos here is a link for one, ENJOY! and thanks to Paul for instigating!

I would like to see a project like in my town, and yes it can be scaled down quite a bit, for students studying CAD (computer aided design), historic structures, architecture, etc. Every town has a historic or noteworthy structure to be replicated.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

LOUVRE - Click here to enter

Before you enter the LOUVRE by clicking on the title, let me give you a bit of background and some insights.
Here is the main page of their site, they know you are in an English speaking country. Take a moment to look around....
Please take note that this website has material for Young People (under 26) but rather disappointing sparse and no interactivity.

Another interesting find on their site were offerings for classes for Social Workers.

The parts of the museum where virtual tours were created, and seeing the collection that has been included in this site, with brief cartoon type stories are delightful and makes you want to remain on the site for a while, or fly out to Paris...