Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cornell Notes: Everything you Wanted to Know

The True Size of Africa

Unfortunately we just did map distortions a week ago, but this is a great way to show students the problem the Mercator map which still dominates most of our classroom walls.  Here is a short Economist article on the topic.  Thanks to a Tweet from Conrad Hackett for this one. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

You Can Now Pre-Order My Book!

We now have a definitive early January release date for my book, whose name has changed to "Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction."  The name pretty much says it all as I relate research, examples and explanatory tutorials to show you how to effectively use technology for both primary (technology being used in ways similar to paper and secondary (more of the book and ways to allow you to do things you cannot do without technology).   There are also five "teacher challenges" per chapter so that you and your PLCs could set goals for your teams to integrate the techniques into your classrooms and school.    

Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Write an AP World DBQ

Not only does the author of this video know how to write a DBQ for AP World, but he also knows how to technology to illustrate his points. 

Human Evolution Timeline

Here is a very nice human evolution timeline from the Smithsonian Institution.  As you move over it, you can click on items to get more details.  When teaching early man, or anything for that matter, context and relations to other items helps so this should be effective in teaching early man.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Flipping My Back to School Night

If you follow my blog you know I flip my classes and will be doing the same for my WHI class this Thursday.   Honestly I do not get a lot of parents for my standard classes so I will have my students text this to their parents so that those who cannot come can still get the information. I have, as you can see, done a number of translations for the document, but, am still waiting for someone to be able to create an instant translator for recordings!  

Tank Man Video From Tienanmen Square

I am reading The People's Republic of Amnesia which is about the 1989 Tienanmen Square Massacre (or incident as it is taught in China).  For those of us in the West, the image of the tank man is what we think of.  Interestingly enough it came after most had already been killed and the question is always, "I wonder what happened to that person."  Well, in the video above he didn't die, but he did show a lot of courage.  It is entirely appropriate to show your students.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014


My students just started prehistory and are watching a flipped lecture for homework on the Neolithic and Paleolithic periods.   This short film is something we will watch in our next class as it not only talks about the Paleolithic monument, but also talks about the burial grounds surrounding it.  It is a nice video to highlight archeologists, artifacts and how they are collected to create history.    

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ninety Second VIdeo of the Great Pyramids

There are several startling things about the great pyramids.  First off the center one isn't the tallest, but is built on higher ground to look that way.  Secondly the Sphinx is missing his nose because Napoleon's troops blew it off with a cannon.  Third, and this video shows it, the city of Giza goes right up to the pyramids.

I found the video from Google in Education on Google+.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Map Projections' Assignment

Today my students are going to look at different types of map projections.  I made this assignment with my combined ESOL/mainstreamed students in mind.  I have a site with pictures and descriptions of map projections and one for types of maps (ie climate, political, etc.).  Above is a clip from the West Wing which is a great introduction on why we should study maps. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Remind Now Allows You To Record Homework Reminders

This is a pretty cool addition for those of you who have Remind on your smartphone (iTunes, Android).  You can, as the video shows, record your student assignments for your kids to hear rather than read.  You can also attach assignments if you like.  If you look at this video you can set up and use Remind with your students.  

How Europe's Borders Changed Over 2000 Years

This is a great, and very quick video, to perhaps show at the beginning and end of your course to show your students how country borders have changed so much.  I found it from a Tweet from FC Tymrak.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Free Online Ancient World Civ eTextbook

We are in our fifth year of using an online textbook with our students and so it never ceases to amaze me that Pearson still isn't ready for prime time.  Every year at this point, when everyone is logging in their books, they can't handle the traffic.  Or the one that was really amused with was McGraw-Hill servicing their online books from Thursday - this morning after having had the entire summer to work on their shells.

Having said all that, I still believe that online books are the way to go, but not just because they are online.  Really I hope we are moving towards the days when books will be used as a resource and not the main source.  There are so many videos, links, images, documents online that a book should fill in the gaps or be the starting point.

But if you do want a book, here is one I worked on years ago called and it is not going to go down on your students and it is complete through about 2000.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Big History Project & Putting Learning in Context

Bill Gates seems to like getting involved in the way we are teaching our students.  He has helped bank roll the Khan Academy, Common Core and now, from his personal money (as opposed to the Gates Foundation), he is helping to promote a connected type of learning called the Big History Project.  It is interesting to me as it is similar to the project I have been working on called ContextU (which has our Civil War unit up and in a few days will have our American Revolution up as well). The central thesis of both is that we do not live in a fish tank and that one thing is connected to others (as is becoming more and more obvious in our modern world).  The Big History project pulls back and keeps looking at a timeline where as ContextU also adds in location, cause and effect and group connectivity.

With Bill Gates' funding the Big History Project has spread to a number of schools in the US as you can see from this article.  You can go to the Big History Project and see six units of the course.  To say the least I am always intrigued with a better way of teaching and since I have long believed that we all learn best when we can connect our subject matter to what we already know, I am curious about this course which has now even started to replace some schools' World History courses.  

Mesopotamia: From Nomads to Farmers

Here's a great 13 minute overview of Mesopotamia from "Nomads to Farmers." Thanks to Randa Hendricks for tweeting the link.