Saturday, July 24, 2010

Google Translator
t I have a lot of ESOL students (esp. during the summer when I teach online). When I showed them Google Translate they were overjoyed. If kids are having difficulty with their textbook, they can copy and paste it (assuming it is online as my students have) into the text box. Or I have them write the essays in their native language and then translate it into English.

Friday, July 23, 2010

American Revolution Map in 8 Minutes
This is put together by a Grolier and is a nice way to review what you have just done in class after you have studied the revolution.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pox and the Covenant
So, who knew: that Harvard had an Indian college, that gloves were sent to people's homes if one was invited to a funeral, that Bostonians spent a fortune on importing wood each year, that James Franklin (Ben's other brother) came out strongly against the smallpox innoculation in his newspaper and that Ben later became a huge advocate of it after he moved to Philadelphia. At the heart of the book is a look at the largest outbreak of smallpox in colonial America in Boston in 1721 and the fight that ensued between, among others, Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin (all of 16 at the time). Dr. Boylston came up w. a cure where one would infected with the disease, become a bit sick and then overcome it. Only 6 of 400 died from this method, whereas nearly 900 died of the actual disease. Honestly a perk of this blog is that publishers send me free books and ask me to post write-ups. Since I hate to put up items that cost, I rarely accept the book or the job. But this book is AMAZING. It is very well written - really I didn't know I cared about smallpox outbreaks (!) and gives super detail on daily life. It's also a very quick read.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Howard Zinn's A People History of the US
Here is the entire history of the US as written by Howard Zinn (pictured above).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tiny Url For E-Mail To Text
If you ever have a long url and want to shorten it (say for a text), you can go here and it will be done for you. So what would you use this for? Well most of my students do not like e-mail. If you go here I have links for how to input their cell phone into an e-mail database. Then you could send them an e-mail message with the "tiny url" of your blog post and the kids could get the message (since texts can only be 140 characters long).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jefferson Wrote "Subjects," then "Citizens"
Using "hyperspectral imaging," a scientist has seen that Jefferson originally wrote the word "subjects" and then wrote over it with the word citizens in a draft of the Declaration of Independence. There is more in the article and more here from the Library of Congress. (Picture from