How far is 10 miles?

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I’m writing from my family’s home in Noosa Heads, Australia, so my priorities have shifted to surfing with my dad and eating some home cooked meals.

However, this trip home has helped remind of an app I can’t leave home without. The GlobeConvert app (iOS) is as the name suggests, all about converting units. If you need some converting, this is your one stop shop. Currencies, areas, energy, length, power, pressure, speed, temperature, time, volume and weight values can all be converted into the measurement you seek.

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On this trip home I’ve used the app to compare currency exchange rates at the airport (Japanese Yen ~ Australian $), evaluated the distance of a hike recommended by an American blogger  (Miles ~ Kilometers), and the app came in handy when I was explaining about the block of land I recently purchased with my family (Square Meters ~ Acres).

For my English language classes in Japan, I have asked my students (familiar with metric measurements) to download this app or Android’s Metric Unit Converter. When we are working with American texts in particular, these apps allow students to convert an imperial measurement into a more comprehensible metric value, thereby allowing them to access a deeper understanding of the text. For example; students can get a handle of a US Dollar price tag; students can realize that a 70 mile an hour speed limit is actually really fast;  students can understand how hot a 100 degree weather forecast for Las Vegas really is; and my students can more clearly imagine how tall President Obama’s 6’1″ really is.

So, there it is, my solution to traveling smart and helping students overcome imperial measurements. Do you have another digital solution which works for you?

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