Where in the world is......?

If you like to play games online, and test your knowledge, you might enjoy these websites:

There are 16 games for the whole world, or different parts of the world.

This site also has pages of interactive maps. "(These maps) are all played as games, individually or in a group, competitively or not. Can you point to Zimbabwe on a map of Africa? Do you know where the Vietnam war took place? Can you find the Spice Islands (on a map, not in a boat)?


If you'd rather place countries in the right position using arrow keys, try Statetris. "Statetris is an interesting game mixing aspects of the popular game 'Tetris' and geography. Instead of positioning the typical Tetris blocks, you position states/countries at their proper location." Choose easy, medium or hard levels.

Test your Geography Knowledge

A really serious quizz format interactive geography site to test your geography knowledge is at this site. You can test yourself on the whole world, the continents, and some countries.

Create an avatar

You can use an avatar on many of the social network web sites - a digital representation of you. (Check out the definition here.) Creating an unusual image is a great way to give yourself a unique identity, without putting your real photograph on the web. At the left is my  avatar.
At the Simpsons movie site go to the "Create Avatar" tab, choose "New Character" (You don't need to log in to do this).

When you are finished, click on the envelope icon at the bottom of the screen, and "Send to a friend" - that is, send it to yourself! Or, you can do a screen shot, too. We will add it to your Picasa Web Album, so that you can use it easily.


You might prefer to be a character from South Park. Go to this web page. Using the diagram on the left, create your person. Click "save" when you are finished, and follow the directions (which are to take a "screen shot". South Park Studios also has an avatar creator. Save with a screen shot.


Maybe you'd like to be a cartoon character? Go to this site and create yourself! Scroll down below the flashing "Get yourself in Zwinky FREE!" add, and start working below "Create my picture". The email feature does not work (and you wouldn't use it anyway, would you??). Save with a screen shot, and paste it into a picture editor. Then crop it down to your avatar and save.


If you like animals, you might visit the Build Your Wild Self page of the New York Zoos and Aquarium web site. When you've built your wild self, choose "print your wild self", and then right click and "save picture as" to preserve your creation.


At http://www.reasonablyclever.com/mini/kidsafe.htm you can create yourself in Lego. The only way to save your picture is with a screen shot.

If you'd just like to be a Lego block, use this site: http://www.reasonablyclever.com/blockhead/index.htm


At this address http://www.myavatareditor.com/ you can create a Wii persona.


You can turn yourself into an M&M at this  site: http://www.mms.com/us/becomeanmm/create/. Save with a screen capture.

The Year of the Blog at ISB

Jeff Utecht, (International School of Bangkok) on his excellent blog, The Thinking Stick, has written about the process of getting his entire school blogging.

In his post, he links to several pages worth exploring, among them ISB's
Blogging Guidelines, a Netvibes page that links to all the student and teacher blogs in all the 5th grade classes, and a directory to all the blogs at ISB. Take a minute to browse through this amazing list!

Read teacher Chrissy Hellyer's blog (Room 231), and her Blogging Contract. One of her posts on Internet Saftey included this video from WiredSafety.org:

In his post, Jeff writes "It’s not the blogging we feel is important of course, it’s the power that publishing to a wider audience that in 2010 will surpass 2 Billion Internet connected people. Not only is there engagement power in publishing to this audience but also authentic power as students realize they are writing for someone larger than their teacher. That an assignment is not just an assignment but an idea to be shared with others."

If you're considering blogging with your students, or your child has a blog or Facebook account, be sure to read Jeff's post (and follow his blog).

How do you make a USB key?

Watch this video showing how a Kingston USB stick is made, labeled and packaged by a series of robots, machines, and one or two humans:

The video was produced by http://www.netbooknews.com/ (Thanks to Nextway for the heads up.)