Happy New Year, all! This semester we will be updating this blog a little less frequently, but I hope you still have time to check in once in a while.
First this week, I’d like to introduce a comic creation website. It can be found at http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/. The site is meant to be used for English and Spanish speakers, but please be flexible – it works just as well with German. It allows you to create comic strips using a variety of pre-drawn characters. It allows you to modify the characters and their expressions and add talk or thought balloons with text. It’s actually a lot of fun.
Second, some of you may be familiar with the Google Earth application. It is free, but you must download it (although we have it in some of the computers in the LLC if you’d like to check it out). If you’d rather not download anything, Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/) works as well. It’s a lot of fun to check out your house and your school and see if you can recognize everything from a bird’s eye view, but the Google applications are also great ways to explore culture, travel and language.
According to NITLE, a non-profit initiative for advancing learning through the use of digital technologies ,Web-based mapping tools like Google Earth are changing the way we understand our world by promoting spatial thinking and visual literacy.Google Earth allows language learners to develop their skills in geography while exploring important cultural and natural locations.
Here are some places in German-speaking countries that I found personally interesting:
This is a view of the small town of Holthusen, Germany. Holthusen happens to be my last name, and the town is all the information I have about where my ancestors came from, so I hope to be able to stop by for a visit some day. It really doesn’t look like a very exciting place, though.
This is the location of the Stephansdom, the most famous cathedral in Vienna, Austria. If you go to the “my maps” tab and click on photos from panoramio and picasa, photos that people have taken of the places will show up.
That’s all for today, folks – as always, if you have anything you’d like to see featured on this blog, email me at aholthus(at)willamette(dot)edu.