Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gettysburg Map

Here is a map which you can go up close or back out again put together by Smithsonian about the Battle of Gettysburg. 

Three Great Informal Assessment Tools: Socrative, WallWisher, TodaysMeet

Here are excellent step-by-step directions from Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) on how to use three great informal assessment tools--Socrative--Today's Meet and Wallwisher.

  • Socrative looks especially cool. It's a little like Poll Everywhere in that students respond to questions on their phones or another computer.  But unlike Poll everywhere,  you can ask students short answer questions and they can respond anonymously.  You can also create multiple choice quizzes. Socrative  gives you a room number when you register.  You use that number over and over and give it to students when they log into m.scorative on their device.
  • TodayMeet is another way to poll students in real time. Like Socrative, you create a room for students to log into. Once they are in, they can respond to a in-class video with comments or questions. It's a real time discussion that might even work when you give student s video to watch at home.  Students could discuss the video on TodayMeet.
  • WallWisher, now called Padlet,  is like an online cork board on which students can post images, links, videos, etc about a specific topic.  You can make the wall public or private, use it as a KWL chart, or as way to showcase student work. Here's a slideshow on other ways to use it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary

The WashPost has been running an amazing series on the Civil War which I have covered before. It has an interactive maps, personal stories, military history, information on females in the war, Twitter handles to follow and so much more.  If you teach US history (and hey if you are reading this you probably do), it is a must to look at for your class.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Project Based Learning

Interesting clip from the PBS News Hour about Project Based Learning. Thanks to Sofia Georgelos for tweeting the link. Here is more about Project Based Learning.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A History of Voting Rights

The Supreme Court invalidated a part of the Voting Rights Act today. This New York Times article and the video clip above reviews the history of voting rights. The video clip is terrific and provides a great review.

Rethinking Research - Part 4 - Jackie Robinson: Swinging for Equality

This is a student created project which discusses the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the various newspapers who covered his rise.  It also discusses the legacy of Robinson.  This website is intended for use by middle school students.  Use it as a webquest or just explore to find out more.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Disney Goes to War

Walt Disney did a number of pro-US going to war in WWII.  Above is one of them that goes against the Germans.  Below is one against US involvement in Vietnam.  These are certainly a different way to show your students their favorite Disney characters.  I found this on OpenCulture.

Rethinking Research - Part 3 - Raymond Bonner and the El Salvadoran Massacre

This student created website looks into the the coverage of El Salvadoran massacre in 1982 by NY Times reporter Raymond Bonner.  His coverage of this this story was refuted by El Salvadoran and U.S. Governments and eventually his lost his job, but truth was on his side.  Find out more about his story.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gaming & Education: Jane McGonigal

The big talk at the ISTE 13 conference (The International Society for Technology in Education) in San Antonio, Texas, which you can get a taste of on Twitter, is the keynote talk by game designer, Jame McGonigal.  Apparently her talk was so compelling that one attendant set up a Today's Meet to discuss the keynote. For all of us not at the conference, we can get an idea of McGonigal's talk with her TedTalk below. And you can watch one of her more recent talks here.

Rethinking Research - Part 2 - Fake It Till You Make It - 1920's Sensationalist Journalism

This student created site looks at sensationalist journalism in the 1920's and makes comparisons to modern day controversies concerning photo altering and whether is a violation of journalistic integrity.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rethinking Research - Part 1 - A Sedentary Submission to Change: The Influence of the Greensboro Sit-In Movement

This is a student created project on the Greensboro Sit-In Movement.  It is an interactive website that walks viewers through the sit-in movement and how it's coverage by the southern press helped it expand.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

34 Amazing Photos of American Cities From 100 Years Ago

Photos of major events in cities 100 years ago. The photos were taken by George R. Lawrence from his 17-kite airship.The photo below is of San Francisco from 800 feet above 4th & Mission Sts., 1908. You can click through all 34 images and each is annotated in this Chicago Magazine story. Thanks to Cheryl Davis for tweeting the link.

Rethinking Research - Intro

For the past two years my English partner and I have partnered with the Newseum in Washington, DC in an attempt to give our students a new research paper experience.  Over the course of the year students research topics of their choice related to media coverage of 20th century history and write a research paper, but the work does not there.  From there each student gives a sales pitch on how their topic could be made into engaging online content.  The Newseum chooses the best 4 pitches and papers.  Finally the students create online content for the Newseum website.  Here is a short video by the Newseum featuring our project.  

As nearly every Museum in the county has a website, but very few of them have the time and resources to create engaging content, utilizing our students to create content is one way to rethink research.  This a project that engaged our students and the website creation was a great way to use the post-AP exam days to keep the students engaged.

Over the next 4 days I will feature the 2012-2013 Projects.  Each will be entitled - "Rethinking Research" 

Please feel free to use them in your classroom for webquest or student research.  You can give feedback to me on ways these sites can be improved to meet your students' needs or if you would a copy of the project outline.  Email with questions or requests.  

PBS Reagan Assassination Attempt

Here is an eight minute look back at the assassination attempt as described by the author the amazing book Rawhide Down (which I highly recommend) and the doctor who treated Reagan at George Washington University.  I found it on PBS's Google+ feed.  Here is a Discovery Channel video on it. 

Using QR Codes in Class

Here's a great tutorial on how to get started using QR codes in the classroom. There is also an Itunes course you can take for free all about how to use QR codes in the classroom. Thanks to Sean Junkins, instructional technologist in Myrtle Beach, SC for tweeting the link to the course.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remind101 Improves Its Site

Our county has an in-service in August for which I have organized ten groups to do presentations.   If you come to this site in August I will be putting all of those in-services and their "handouts" on this blog.  One of the sites we will discuss is Remind101 which has been one of my favorites for years.  I use it to communicate with students and parents about what they should be doing at home.  This year I have also used it on days when I cannot be in class.  So recently I was grading AP exams and I pre-set a message to my class so they would know their assignment.  Since you can use Tinyurl to shorten the link address and then you can send it to your students in class when you are not there.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Storify & Telling a Story Using Social Media

George's post has me searching for Storify items as I have never used it before, but am incredibly intrigued.

The idea is that students can research on the web for information that is found on social media and then create a story.  Video, G+, Twitter, Facebook and several other media can be used.  You can also add in titles and comments and easily manipulate the order.  Here is a written document for how to use it and above is a short video explaining the same.

Below is an example of Storify for the life of Rosa Parks.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More on Twitter: Educators Discuss its Value

Jerry Bluemengarten and Sean Junkins, a technologist in the Myrtle Beach, SC schools discuss the value of Twitter in the slideshow below. (I collected the tweets into a program called Storify and saved it as a slide show.)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Using Voice Comments with Google Docs

If you collect assignments through Google docs, you can grade and comment on on those assignments with voice comments. Tucker English walks you through the process here at TeacherCast.   The process is simple. I tried it it and it works well. When you open a Google document, click connect to more apps, just like the photo in the article. Then, every time you open a document, you just click open with "voice commands."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

History of the Am Revolution in Five Minutes

The title pretty much says it all if you want a quick overview of the American Revolution. 

Rubrics for Every Assignment

One of the questions I get (and I get a lot of them) is how do you grade online assignments.  My short answer is that I like rubrics, but there are as many rubrics as there are assignments.  So one of the webpages I like is Ribistar which has improved a lot since I wrote about it three years ago.  Now you simply use the drop down menu to answer some questions about your assignment and just like that you have a rubric.  Give it a try. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MOOC Summer Courses

With summer approaching very quickly (yes I still have students until June 18th!), there may be time for you to recharge and try something else.  One thing you might want to do is to take free courses online called a Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).  Here is the complete list and here are the ones for the humanities. 

Kennedy’s Finest Moment

A day after George Wallace took his infamous stand against segregation at the University of Alabama, a white segregationist murdered the civil rights leader, Medgar Evers. In the span of two days, the civil rights movement became a national crisis. President Kennedy responded in what Peniel E. Joseph, a Tufts University professor and founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy  calls his finest moment.

He went on national television not just to report the revolution but, writes Joseph in this editorial for the New York Times , "invited Americans of all backgrounds to engage in the kind of civic activism that reflects the tough work of democracy. 'A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.'”

Joseph argues that Kennedy defined the crisis for Americans and even presidents following Kennedy. Students studying the civil rights movement and President Kennedy might find this story compelling.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hip Hughes Videos on US History

Hip Hughes has a series of clips about American History from the Emancipation Proclamation above, to the Articles of Confederation, the New Deal, Colonialism, and the Industrial  Revolution, to name a few.  You can find the whole series here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Four Cool IPad Apps

Sean Junkins, in this Google hangout web cast from Edudemic, reviews four I-Pad apps that are great for content creation. Junkins is a learning specialist in the Myrtle beach, SC school district. He reviews Splice (movie making app), Poplet, (timeline among other things), Haiku Deck (a little like PowerPoint), and Morfu (create famous figures and have them talk).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

7 TEDTalks for U.S. History Classroom

Angela Hamblen Cunningham, a Kentucky teacher, put together on her blog these 7 TEDTalks for US History. Other clips, in addition to the Doris Kearns Goodwin clip above include:

David Hoffman's, Sputnik Mania, is particularly good. Cunningham also put together TEDtalks for World history and government. You can find her on Twitter at @kyteacher.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Easily Make MC Tests in Google Forms

We have a test maker for which we have to cut and paste each part of multiple choice questions into the "a" section and the "b" one, etc.  Well here is a much faster way for you to make convert your multiple choice questions to Google Form tests so students can take them online.  It is as easy as pasting the entire answer into the "a" slot in Google Form (as you can see above).  So very quickly you can make an exit ticket or even and entire test. I found the tip from the Google+ group Google in Education

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Price of Rebellion in Jim Crow South

This is an exceptionally moving story about Jim Crow south that students might enjoy during coverage of the 60's.  Thanks to my colleague, Jeff Feinstein for sending me the link.

By 1963, Danville, Va., last capital of the Confederacy and where Jefferson Davis met his cabinet after fleeing Richmond, became a Jim Crow town.  Schools remained segregated nine years after the Supreme Court ordered them desegregated. Police put down black protest with particular brutality. 

Tess Taylor, in a article for the New York Times, explains how her grandfather, a mill worker, downed some bourbon and fired off a letter to the judge who had sentenced over 300 protesters, who had been badly beaten to fines and hard labor. She recounts how her grandfather, with four children to raise, apologized to the judge.  But that did little good. He never got a promotion from the mill in which he worked all his life.  Ms. Taylor does not see her grandfather as a hero.  She says: "when we look back on our troubled histories, especially at the distance of 50 years, we might like to imagine that we would be Skeeter Phelan, the character in “The Help,” or an abolitionist. My grandfather’s story recalls the painful complexity of oppressive regimes not only to those they oppress most directly but to anyone who dares to question them at all."