Shared Search – Sign Up to Help Out

I have a new crowd-sourcing idea up my sleeve that needs your help and input. It is all based around the idea of a collaborative search engine that can be constructed together – Shared Search.

Elevator Pitch

  • A community of educators work together on a Google custom search engine (CSE).
  • The CSE can be for any specific topic taught in the classroom.
  • A new CSE is created and collaborators are invited (like Google Docs) to add suitable sites.
  • Labels are added to the sites to filter their relevance, this can be used in the search results too – which means it can be relevant to different age groups.
  • Up to 100 collaborators can be invited to any one CSE.
  • The broader the pool of contributions the richer the search experience for the pupil.
  • The code will be shared to educators who want to embed it in their schools sites and blogs.
  • The community generate a growing library of relevant search engines for different curriculum topics.

So what do you think? Are you interested in helping with the first one. I have set up a search engine about SEALIFE, as this is a common topic and one that has a huge amount of content.

The idea of a Shared Search is that we act as first filter to the children’s own experience of searching online content.

If you have some underwater web gems to share please sign up in the form below and look out for the email invite into the Custom Search Engine. I look forward to seeing your response and I hope that we can once again help create something valuable together.

Why not try out the “SEALIFE” Shared Search below. Remember as more people contribute sites the more useful it will become.


Leading With The First Step

Both of these films meant something to me. They both show people leading, they both show people taking action – they are both very different and yet we can learn something from each.

Leadership can happen in many forms, it can occur in the smallest of actions as well as the more obvious ones. What did the films say to you about leadership?

Embedding Google Maps on Your Blog or Website

This is a pretty straight forward process, but it also can have a variety of different outcomes depending on which map you want to display. It is useful to know these options to offer a richer visual experience on your blog or website.

Here is the basic run through:

  1. Navigate to the location on Google Maps that you want to embed elsewhere.
  2. Click on the LINK button above the map.
  3. You can take the second link of HTML to embed in your blog – this is the default size 450 by 350.
  4. Useful to note here that this is iframe code which doesn’t work well in WordPress (or Edublogs for that matter) – so if you have a WordPress blog write your blog post in the Visual editor and when you are ready switch to HTML editor, paste your code and then publish straight away. If you switch back to the Visual editor the code will get stripped out and your map will vanish.

Customise your map for embedding:

  1. Hitting the Customise and preview embedded map link will give you a bunch of options and allows you to refine exactly what you want embedded.
  2. The map sizes you can choose from are Small, Medium, Large and a Custom option for you to define the exact size.

You in fact have four different choices for the style of map you can use at this point.

Earth = Google Earth (plugin needed)
Ter = Terrain style
Sat = Satellite imagery
Map = Map

For a fifth and sixth option you can combine the Satellite or Earth imagery with the Maps labels, a little rollover on each button.

Here are the examples of the different maps that you can display embedded below, plus an extra bonus. I particularly like the Google Earth choice that provides that functionality to any user, they of course need the GE browser plugin which is available on Flock, IE, Firefox and Chrome.


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To embed Streetview just drag the little Orange pegman to the map and find your preferred Streetview, then just follow the process explained above, easy. You can always alter the view on the Customise page if you need to.

The location of these maps is the Angel of the North. It is worth looking out for these special locations where Streetview goes offroad and follows footpaths to get up close to various monuments or unique locations.

There you go, seven different types of maps to embed in your blog or website – I hope you found this little guide useful.

Newspaper Car Park

At the London offices of Google they have a Google Earth tour displayed on a wall of the reception area. I happened to spot this quirky use of space by an Amsterdam based newspaper printing company.

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According to James Turnbull and the Google Sightseeing blog the translations include:

  • “Entree” = “Entrance”
  • “Afhalen kranten” = “Pick-up newspapers”
  • “Parkeren vrachtwagens tot 5m” = “Parking trucks up to 5 metres”
  • “Papier” = “Paper”
  • “Aanvoer goederen” = “Supply Goods”
  • “Uitgang” = “Exit”

Addition in Adelaide – A New Maths Map

I have begun a new Maths Map in Adelaide focusing on addition ideas that can be seen or referred to on the map. It would be great to have your contributions it is very easy to do:

How can you contribute?

  1. Explore the maps below for the ideas already added, follow the links to open them in a new window.
  2. Click on EDIT in the left panel.
  3. Zoom close to the city and it’s surroundings. (Don’t forget Streetview)
  4. Find some TOPIC ideas you can see.
  5. Add a placemark (use the right colour for the age group it is best for – see purple pin)
  6. Explain the activity in the description.
  7. Change the title to show how many ideas there are.
  8. Send out a Tweet or write a blog post to highlight this resource and encourage others to contribute.

View 6 Addition Activities in Adelaide in a larger map
Make sure you explore the other maps in Nottingham, Madrid and Paris that are currently running, you can see all 4 on the Maths Maps page.