Monday, March 03, 2008

The World Wide Telescope and Google Sky - innovative technology for the innovative teacher

Yes, images in a textbook of the beautiful heavens are a nice way to teach about our universe, but give me a comprehensive view of the universe with real satellite images any day. Science teachers of the world; you gotta see Microsoft's new WorldWide Telescope - a technology that combines feeds from satellites and telescopes all over the world and the heavens, and weaves them together holistically to build a comprehensive view of our universe. The TED video treats the WorldWide Telescope like something completely new, however, it appears to be very similar to the already available Google Sky, which enables you to view images of distant galaxies and nebulae from the Hubble Space Telescope, learn about the movement of the planets and the lifecycle of the stars. The advantage of Google Sky is that it works on any operating system whereas I am not sure that will be the case with Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope. Either way, I look forward to finding out which one I like better and teachers around the world should do the same.

These innovative technologies will really give students a unique, never before seen perspective, which may inspire some excited discussion in the classroom and even ignite some new motivation in students to look at studying science and technology. Again, we see the online world continue to contribute innovation to education. Just another aspect of University 2.0.

The World Wide Telescope Video

Google Sky Video

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