WOW! Just WOW! Jessica brought this site to my attention recently, but she forgot to warn me I would get lost in it!
CyArk stands for Cyber Archive. They are a non-profit organization with the mission of “using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites before they are lost to natural disasters, destroyed by human aggression or ravaged by the passage of time.” This mission give me chills! As a history buff who happens to love technology, this is an amazing project that I know will benefit our students and generations of students to come. The founder of the organization, in his TED talk, shared how he is worried that we are losing historical sites faster than we can physically preserve them (due to natural and human factors), and that when we lose those sites, we lose a significant piece of our collective memory. The answer: 3D laser scanning software.
What this means for you, the educator, is that your students have access to a wealth of high-quality, 3D digital models of historical and cultural sites around the world without leaving your classroom.
Maybe you’re thinking, I don’t teach social studies. That’s ok! They have a host of cross curricular lesson plans that incorporate everything from math and measuring to art to creative writing. The lesson plans incorporate research and digital technology, as well as core-content areas, and there are over 50 detailed lesson plans available that range from grades K-12.
If you do teach social studies, you’ve just upped the game on your virtual field trips with CyArk. The quality of the technology is incredible, and so the 3D models they provide are incredibly accurate. They are also able to combine high-quality digital photography with their data to render realistic models that they can then “fly through” to give context and tell the story of the place they are preserving.
Additionally, check out the mobile apps available to bring this incredible content to life on your iDevice.