The 360Cities site requires Flash, so there’s no visiting on your iPad! Fortunately, there is an app, and since it allows you to make your own panoramas, it’s excellent value.
Panoramas are user uploaded, so popular tourist sites are over-represented and some places have none at all. That aside, my quick sampling (birth place in UK, recent trip to New Zealand, Canada and interest in Easter Island) all turned up useful views.
And of course, your students could make their own too!
Search query: Complete with your topic of choice. Be specific here, otherwise you may be overwhelmed!
Result type: Are you after News? Blogs? Videos? Discussions? Books? You can also choose Everything to be sure!
How often: Choose from “As it happens’, ‘Once a day’ or ‘Once a week’
How many: Two choices here – ‘Only the best results or ‘All results’
Deliver to: Your email address.
I’m currently writing a musical based on Rapa Nui (or Easter Island).
Here’s the alert I set up and a sample of the responses I received.
Google Alert form example
I’ve found the system excellent. Just two days in, I received an alert about the final stages of an expedition that paddled a traditional outrigger around the Polynesian ‘triangle’ of New Zealand / Hawaii / Easter Island. Then I received an alert on an update to 360Cities with panoramic walk rounds of the Rano Raraku quarry where the stone heads were carved. Two very useful stories within one week!
YouTube is a huge resource for teachers and especially so for those in the areas of Music, Multi Media and Drama.
I came across the video ‘Forward’ after following a Reddit link. The clip features music by Fred V and Grafix with video by Messe Kopp.
The concept is simple; have your principal actor walk through a scene backwards. When finished, reverse the footage and add your music.
I showed this to a range of year levels. I explained to them there was only one ‘special effect’, and asked if they could work out what it was. Some of the responses were quite entertaining! The clip certainly caught their attention, as all classes wanted to watch it again! It was also intriguing to hear their thoughts on where it was filmed. After some hints (look at the signs, headwear) students worked out the Middle East, then Jerusalem.
We then bounced around ideas for filming our own version. With the weather still warm students were keen to try out the water effect and one group immediately saw the potential for the playground swings.
We started with a whole-class version. Two students were chosen as the ‘walkers’ and the rest of the class positioned themselves strategically along a path from the front of the school to our Performing Arts Centre. We attached the Flip Video to a tripod and balanced it on a furniture trolley for stability. The trolley was then pushed keeping pace with the students walking backwards.
Safety is obviously a concern when people can’t see where they’re going. We had a spotter (outside of the view of the camera) and I made sure nobody was falling off the trolley.
Once filmed, we downloaded the video onto our Windows 7 PCs and used the excellent VideoPad video editor to reverse the video. (If you use VideoPad, right click the clip in the timeline > ‘Change Clip Speed’ > Tick box ‘Play Clip In Reverse’)
The results were impressive, with some very ordinary actions producing totally unexpected results. Throwing jumpers or hats to the ground was especially impressive, as were any leaps or jumps.
Students then formed small groups and recorded footage of their own which we edited and presented to a whole school assembly.