It used to be that we had our students get a video camera from the library to take movies for their projects. With Qik.com (yes it has been out a while), students can record (and even stream live) to the Qik site and instantly download it onto Youtube.com. (here is a post on how you can download from youtube) so you can use it as part of a presentation. Qik is compatible with 200 types of phones and probably many of your students already have the app.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Spark Notes has a nice overview of most of US history. It is broken up into the standard units you would cover such as revolution, building a state - two you might be doing right now. Within each unit is an overview, a timeline and then notes on each subsection of the era.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I like making screencasts to show my students what they should do and/or teachers I am working with for in-services. Above is a how to video I made for Screencast-o-matic.com which allows you to make up to 15 minute screencasts (movies of what you are doing on the computer screen) and instantly upload them into Youtube. Since you do not first need to download onto your computer (as you might do for Snagit) and then upload, it can all be done very quickly. Finally it is entirely free which makes the price just perfect.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
here is the main page and here are the timelines of the battles and casualties of the war which you can stop and start (picture above). For each major point,
here is an explanation as you can see in the picture above. Other treasures include a Civil War app for the battlefields. There are also quizzes and a ton of essays on every aspect of the Civil War.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Because I have been pushing e-books for four years now, I get lots of good and some negative comments (the positives have greatly increased with this article from the WashPost on my classroom). One negative comments is that it is harder to focus using online books. Of course I point out that the kids' cell phones are never far away and that they already do so much of their work online anyway. But the temptation is still there for sure. Well I just read this post on FreeTech4Teachers for the site StayFocused which allows students to set a time limit for how much a person can be on a site before they will get kicked off and not allowed back until tomorrow. If the kids are sure that it is a serious problem, then they will use it or perhaps their parents will have them do so or I could just be dreaming! Above is a video explaining it.
Today I tossed my last movie that I could still hold (and it was old as it was a DVD). Now every snippet I use is on the cloud. Above is one example of a history of the American Revolution. At the end of it, or here, are a bunch of others you might like to use.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Twitter as they like to use it to communicate with their friends. Well one of the teachers in my department is using that fact to her advantage. She found out about FakeTweetBuilder which allows the kids to create characters, add images and Tweet what they would have said. So you could take an historical figure and have them Tweeting back and forth with someone else. The nicest thing is that there is not login, password or e-mail needed to do the exercise and at the end you have a url to send the teacher. Here are some great directions she wrote up to help out her students - and you. The one limitation is that you can only do six Tweets per time, but you could have your kids each do it twice. Here is actually a very nice site that has built its own historical examples which you could show your students before asking them to do the project.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Kno is a start-up that is just about two years old, but is already working with tons of e-books to make them even better. If you are toying with buying e-books, you can see what is starting to be out there. In the above video, one sees how a journal is kept of pictures and notes the student takes so that one does not need to go back to each page. Additionally a new feature allows students to quiz themselves on any picture that includes text. As I tell my students and their parents e-books do not equal textbooks. Above is proof.
Hippo Campus has a complete AP and standard US history book. Each e-book has both video and written parts and is broken into the normal sections one would expect to find in a textbook.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
NOTA is a new collaborative poster maker similar to Glogster. The added benefit is that it can add Google Maps in addition to pictures, video, words, etc. Here is a video showing how to make a post. One disadvantage is that it does not come (yet) with a way for teachers to create their own page for their students which Glogster does. I found out about this a Tweet from "HPTeacherExchange."
This week or next I am showing my students how to make a simple quiz in Google Survey. Above is a short video explaining how to create a Google Survey (quiz) which I found using a simple search on Youtube. Below is a video that tells you how to correct it automatically. It is only 4 minutes long. I know social studies teachers tend to recoil when they see math formulas, but it is an easy one and might save you a lot of time in the long run. I found it by using the search engine on FreeTech4Teachers.