Tuesday, July 31, 2012

75 Primary Document Lessons

A group of Stanford University grad students have been working hard on digital learning projects.  Here is one they have created that teams up with the Library of Congress and has lesson plans built around 75 primary documents.  The plans are broken up into the standard units you would teach (colonial, early America, Civil War & Reconstruction and so on).  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Join.me: a virtual communication tool for higher education

If you thought the discussion board on Blackboard was somewhat limited or that your online class was limited because you could not talk to your students, or that your flipped  did not allow for any meaningful exchange, then you might consider “join-me.”  It includes virtual meetings and  free screen sharing.  Here is their education blog and here is their site. The video makes it look incredibly easy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why Students Should Learn to Write for the Public

In this very interesting clip, New York teacher Ileana Jimenez, talks about the importance of encouraging kids to blog or write for public so they feel their writing has some weight and see their work in a larger context than the classroom.

The Mobile Wave

The Mobile Wave is a new book by Michael Saylor (above briefly discussing it) that looks across the spectrum of the world for a good over view of where mobile devices are going to take us.  The cool things include how we will be able to set our home to open for a delivery, have our key delivered to us virtually, help third world fishermen and, of course, education.  Each chapter is a broad overview which, if you know a great deal about it you will probably find some fault - such as his saying that one teacher could teach thousands when we all know that lectures need to be short and lead to interactive teaching.  Nonetheless the book helped me with my thinking of where education is going and why I am glad I finally got a smartphone a few months ago and am learning how it can be an integral part of classrooms.  

If you love technology and want to help shape the future of teaching, this is an important and very quick read you might want to read. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics

Open Culture has two great clips about about the 1936 Olympics when Jesse Owens won medals in the 100 and 200 yard dash , and 4 x100 meter relay and dashed Hitler's visions of an Aryan world. The first shows the actual event and the second is a kind of funny quiz show about the event. Start the first video at about 28.00 for Jesse Owens. Both clips go on much longer.  You really only need to watch or show the first couple of minutes of each.  Summer school students might enjoy the clips as the London Olympics go on.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Footage of Linbergh Taking Off

Lindbergh's Transatlantic Flight
Above is vintage footage of Charles Lindbergh taking off on his transatlantic flight from the US to France.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Marzano Wiki

Robert Marzano is a consultant whom is nationally know for his cooperative grouping of students.  Here a wiki dedicated to digitizing the ideas in his book Classroom Instruction that Works.  Here, for example, is the wiki on cooperative learning.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

EDTEC Cheat Sheet

Mark Gleason, a primary school teacher, posted this graphic on his blog along with some comments about the difficulty of understanding technology buzzwords and whether we need as many technology-based systems as outlined in the graphic. Check out the graphic--it does have all the buzzwords and includes most of the major technology initiatives like flipping, gaming, digital story-telling, and MOOC.

Netvibes Instead of iGoogle

Google recently announced that they are jettisoning their iGoogle page in November 2013.  I can't tell you how much I depend on that page as I am always on Google and it makes for an easy way to see my news feeds.  I have, though, found a close equivalent called Netvibes.  It looks almost the same and allows almost all your feeds.  It also allows you to set how many stories you can see.  The only thing I can't do is delete my gmail e-mails.  One can also set pages so they are private or public or have one or more of each.  Now, of course, you could stick it out until Nov 2013 and see what else is on the horizon.  Here is also a video on how to set up Netvibes

Above is the complete 500 Nations: The Story of Native Americans.  I found it from a Google+ post by Cynthia Yildirim.  Obviously you would never want to show the entire movie, but you can have it set to go to a certain point by using Splicd.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hear Me in Webinar on Integrating Technology into the Classroom

I will be participating in a webinar next Thursday the 26th of July 26th from 2 to 3 pm.  It will be part of a program of the Alliance for Excellent Education here in Washington, D.C.  My job will be to discuss the 
learner-centered instructional model driven by high-quality digital learning and the effective use of technology that provides a more personalized, rigorous, and collaborative learning environment for each student.  You can sign up for the free session here

Pinterest Boards for US History

U.S History teacher Angela Cunningham has a great Pinterst site called the History Lab with boards on the different units (from the American Revolution to the Gilded Age to the Red Scare to the 1980’s). The excellent boards include links to interesting sites, cartoons, and photographs.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SonicPics (Podcasting with Iphone or Ipad)

This is a neat app   for the Iphone or the Ipad in which you can essentially turn pictures into a custom slideshow with narration much like you might do with Screencast-O-Matic. You can publish your recorded slideshow to You Tube.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Universities Reshape Online Education

This is an interesting article about "the seismic shift" in online learning that may reshape higher education. Coursera is the year old company that is bringing together the consortium of universities. They expect to offer over 100 free online courses in the fall but admit that there is still a lot to work out. Will students ever get real college credit for the courses? How will they deal with cheating on the online assignments or assessments? My thanks to my colleague, Feff Feinstein, who sent me the link to this story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cut and Paste on the iPad

When I need to figure something out I go to youtube (or sometimes my 8 year old!).  Right now I wanted to know how to cut and paste and the short video told me how to do it on the iPad. 

Educreations and Flipping the Classroom

Educreations is a website that allows you to create a nice movie either on the web or with an iPad or iPhone app.  I did the little one above is literally three minutes.  Here is how you can do it.  Now, you can use this site to create short videos (or long ones) for your class.  You can add pictures from your own photos, get something from Dropbox, the web, etc.  You can also record, as I have done above (sorry the sound is low), and write at the same time.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meaningful Learning

Memory Retention and the Forgetting Curve
Brought to you by: Online Colleges
I have long had a rule that my students must "touch" our learning at least five times before their final exam.  To add to this I strive, as much as possible, to have my students learn through interacting with the materials (ie I facilitate and they do and therefore learn better).  Finally, as stated above, good learning involves connecting as much as possible to the learner.  When we do my reviews of the year, one thing that students repeatedly state they find helpful is when I connect the learning to their own lives.  All of these thoughts are reflected above.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Apps to Use in the Classroom

This has been a great week as one of the things I have is work with a team of six others on coming up with apps that one can use on smartphones and tablets.  We started with a long list of several hundred and knocked it down to 76 and finally to 25.  While the list was initially meant for social studies teachers, it so happens that only about 5 are content specific.  So the list starts with items such as Mobile Mouse which lets you move around the classroom, to a QR reader (and maker), ways to make whiteboards with audio, video, images, our favorite flash card maker, ways get to get students to write easily get their homework down, a collaborative video maker and more.  I have highlighted some of these devices and will continue to do more, but if you wanted to play around with some great apps this summer, I hope you'll like our list

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Free Wifi on Your Smartphone

With unlimited data plans on the way out, one thing you want to do is set your phone up so it gets free Wifi when it is available so you do not add to your data plan when you are using apps.  So the video above lets you see how to do this. Watch it and save money! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

QR (Quick Reference) App

One of the apps I have been working with this week are QR (quick reference) scan codes.  The film above shows you how to use it and some uses for it.  Here are some additional uses for it in the classroom.  If you want to download it to your Android device, use this link and go here for the Apple ones.   In a nutshell if you do not have enough laptops for your students, you could make a QR code (it takes two seconds).   Then, for example, you could use a PR code to link to a reading for the day or a quiz or even to homework.  The last item is nice because not all the students like to write it down or even type it on their phones, so they would just scan it and go.  You could also change the assignment without changing the QR code.    

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bloom's Taxonomy and Apps

This summer I am fortunate to be working on several projects.  Two of them are question writing for my count's database and finding apps to use in the classroom.  That is why Kathy Schrock's "Bloomin Apps" is perfect for me as it lists each level of Blooms and the gives you clickable links for the apps you can use in the  classroom.  I have been doing a lot of searches to find my apps, but this one I found on Android4schools

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Japanese Internment Camp Story

This is a NYTimes story on one of the Japanese internment camps from World War II and the a pilgrimage some descendants of camp victims recently made.   

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Civil War Battles

Civil War Trust - Battles of the Civil War
Brought to you by The Civil War Trust
Found the link on the History Lab on Pinterest.

Community Trumps Content

After I posted "Flipping History Without Video," I did a little research on the author, Jeff Utecht. He sees the change in technology as a revolution rather than an evolution with students being the change agents.

Here is his TedX talk about how important it is for teachers to understand the "connectedness" of the generation in school today who understand that their world is all about being connected. Utecht is an international educator and educational technology consultant currently in Bangkok.

Google Chrome on Your Phone

Today when I went to a very HOT swim meet to watch my son swim in a few races.  To get there I used the Chrome to Phone app on Google Chrome.  Well now that Google Chrome as a phone app I don't even need that as I can just turn on my phone and I am on the same page on the phone as I was on my laptop (or my iPad).  

Larry Ferlazzo's Entire US History Class

Larry Ferlazzo is someone you want to follow if you teach US history (or ESOL students).  Here is the blog he uses for his US history students which has his entire curriculum.  A few years ago he and I corresponded as he tried out his online only curriculum which he used for ESOL students.  In fact he was an inspiration for me to do the same this past year.  Also, here is his US history webpage which has an unbelievable number of links in easy to follow categories.  For those who think e-tools are for the young, Ferlazzo is a second career type who has been teaching about nine years (by the way, for that matter, Frank, myself and George are all over 40 and only our soon to be new blogger Scott is under the magic age of 30). 

Flipping History WITHOUT Video

Jeff Utecht, who writes "The Thinking Stick.com" argues persuasively in this excellent post that the flipped history classroom does not have to involve video. "In fact every time I have helped a teacher flip their classroom in the high school it has never involved videos. Instead it involves students actively finding information, making sense of it, and then coming to class ready to discuss with the teacher what they have learned, what questions they have and, what it is they still don’t know/understand."

In this essay, he outlines a history lesson on Thailand and Southeast Asia. He explains the process of coming up with an essential question and then sub questions to focus research. He posted the entire lesson and offers some feedback from students and parents who push back because they expect the teacher to tell them the answer in a lecture or power point. You can see the entire lesson and rubric when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.  You can even make a copy of  the blog rubric in your Google docs as I did here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Google Translate App

This summer I am working with a large number of ESOL students, many of whose parents do not speak English.  It used to be that you had to go to Google Translate to do it.  But now you can put an app on your phone.  The really cool thing is that you can translate on your phone and then have it speak to you in the other country.  Here is the Android app. Here is one for Apple products. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

History Resources

Edudemic.com just updated their list of the the 100 most powerful search engines. They include a number of categories (general, meta, databases and archives, journals and books, science, math and technology, and you guessed, history.) I've listed a few of the links below but if you go to the site you can find all of them. Some are really good.

General Search: Iseek. Edudemic described it like this: "targeted search engine, designed especially for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers. Find authoritative, intelligent, and time-saving resources in a safe, editor-reviewed environment with iSEEK." I treid it and really like it.

History: History Buff: online newspaper archive with free primary source collection.

Genesis: "A dataset with descriptions of women's history collections from museums, libraries and archives in the United Kingdom and a Guide to sources that provides access to a wide range of international web resources on women's history."

History and Politics Outloud: "a searchable archive of important recordings through history, particularly politically significant audio materials."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How did the British Press Cover the American Revolution

In Foreign Policy Magazine, Eliga H. Gould examines the lousy press coverage America got after the Revolution and argues that we would do well to remember that coverage when we examine events in the Middle East. One of the lessons we can learn, he argues, is "how difficult it is for one nation to understand what is happening in another." "Even more important," he argues, "the American Revolution reminds us that whatever comes of the upheavals sweeping the Middle East, it will be the Arab people, not observers in the West, who ultimately decide their fate."

A Brief History of Money

New Yorker writer, James Surowiecki, traces the history of money in this brief article for IEE Spectrum. It's quite good and a nice tour through history. Did you know, for example, that it was the small kingdom of Lydia that introduced the world "first standardized metal coins, or that in the 13th century Kublai Khan switched China to paper money.

Deleting a Class in Remind101

Now that the school year is done (and starting over for those of you who are teaching summer school), you may want to know how to delete your classes on Remind101.  Here are the instructions for doing so.  Then you can create new ones in the fall when you start up again.   You can also just delete the students and parents and keep the class if you prefer. 

So When Is Independence Day?

The Continental Congress actually voted on July 2nd, 1776 to declare independence and then passed the wording of the document on the 4th and it wasn't signed until August 2nd.  Even more importantly, it was largely relegated to the dustbin of history until the 16th president referred to it in a famous speech with the reference to "four score and seven years ago" which made everyone run to their history books to see what he was referring to.  More and more information

I like to point out such interesting items to my students so they know that history is only nice and neat when one looks back at it and a bit (or a lot) messy during the actual time period. 

How Does the Internet Work

Former Senator Ted Stevens famously called the Internet a series of tubes for which Jon Stewart gave him a hard time.  The truth is that it is just that, a series of tubes, relay stations, data centers (where the "cloud" is kept).  Above is a short video showing how far you travel when you look at a url. If you want to read more information there is a great new short book called Tubes that you can read. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cloud Computing

This is a short video that defines "the cloud" and looks at the uses for it.  The best part is that the reporter, near the end, asks what will we be using the access the cloud in a few years - a laptop or something else.  One of the reasons I promote teachers coming up with interactive assignments that include links, video, e-books, etc. is that I believe we are only a few years away from Internet devices being cheap enough that very few students will be without them (and hey, they may even roll up and fit in your pocket).  So the more you can get your students on the cloud and you working on it as well, the better prepared you will be to take your students to a completely digital world! 

Learning Styles

Click on the picture below to make it bigger. I like this graphic as it tells you the personality of each person to make it easier to identify them.
What Type of Learner Are You?
Compiled By: OnlineCollege.org