Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Lost Empire that Ruled the Silk Road

Here's a great essay about the Silk Road city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. The author, Annalee Newitz, notes that "its culture was a hybrid of Iranian and Chinese influences, its religion a mix of Zoroastrianism and other traditions, and it belonged to a now-vanished ethnic group called the Sogdians."

Newitz explains how the city became so multicultural and why the Silk Road was so vital to trade. For example, she notes that slaves and horses were some of the most valuable items that were traded.

The Silk Road is important not because it brought silk to the west but, according to Newtiz,  because "it brought immigrants to and from all parts of the world. And with them came new ideas, new scientific discoveries, and new political alliances between far-flung groups."

This is a great story to assign students when covering the Silk Road's development.

Texting Small Groups of Students in Remind101

I should have written about this a month ago, but if you have three or more students you want to reach, but do not want to connect with your entire class, then you can text that group only using Remind101. To do it go to the "To" box and start printing in the name of each student.  It will autofill and you can even add names from multiple classes.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Move Around the World

Albeit this is only eleven countries, but this video, which is getting tons of hits, is a quick way to show your students some of the differences in the world.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Changes in AP European History

I am on a College Board advisory panel for 6-12th grade changes and am sitting in a meeting right now and just found out about Advanced in AP which has the changes that are coming in AP European History.  Other changes in other subjects will be added to the site as they come about. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pinterest on the Middle Ages

This is a tremendous Pinterest of the Middle Ages that George Coe put together.  It is great with lots of videos (such as the one above talking about the geometry of the Mona Lisa painting), maps, images, etc.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Napoleon's Invasion of Russia: Infographic

Here's a great infographic on Napoleon's invasion of Europe. It's definitely worth bookmarking for next year. Thanks to Brian Licata for tweeting the link.

Women of the Arab Spring

Here are two short videos about women and the Arab Spring. John Stewart of the Daily Show hosted a panel of Arab women recently. Both clips are short, each less than three minutes.

In the first clip, Nadia Al-Skkafa,discusses how women in Yemen helped shape and empower public opinion.

My AP World students did a project comparing the French Revolution to the Arab Spring last semester and some just saw The Square for extra credit. These two clips will add to their understanding of the revolutions.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Appeasement at Munich

Stanford History Education's Beyond the Bubble has a great new assessment using this image taken from the signing of the Munich Conference and  form the Library of Congress. The assessment includes a couple of questions about the image, a rubric and possible responses.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Plague Was Not Spread by Rats!

The skeleton remains in London I spoke about in the post below are giving us more information.  Thanks to Rebecca Small who sent this article to me which states that the speed with which those who died in the Bubonic Plague could not have been transmitted that quickly by rats - as we have all learned.  Indeed the researchers are saying that it must have been an airborne virus.  Here is more

Samurai & Bushido

Studying Japan? Here's a great two minute clip on the Samurai and the Code of Bushido from the History Channel. Thanks to Star Wars in the class for tweeting the link.

Skeletons of the Black Plague

The WashPost has a fascinating new article on the finding of victims of the Black Plague and how one tooth from each victim tells so many secrets - such as what they did for a living, injuries during life and even if they were breast fed.  Much more is here

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Editing in YouTube

Believe it or not, but a fellow chair asked what we are doing for our end of the year project.  Some of my students will be looking at an immigrant in their family and writing an original essay on that person, but they also need to have a narrated video on the person.  So I am toying with them using YouTube to edit it since they now have access to accounts in it.  Above is a video explaining how to use it. 

Saving Twitter & Other Sites to Storify

So I am sitting in a library trying to finish the third editing of my book and dealing with a peer review comment that asked how we can save Twitter.  So to show that I too can learn new tricks, Frank Franz mentioned Storify to me and instantly you can drag in the Tweets you want as well as any website and create a story you can refer to later.  I must admit I am the kind of teacher who goes to an in-servicest and immediately comes back to my classroom and sift through the notebooks taking out only what I want to keep.  These items I scan and put in my in-services' folder on Google Drive (yes I am a minimalist and my classroom only takes 30 minutes to pack up each summer!).  So what I like about Storify is that I can essentially do the same, but even better I can delete items I do not want later.  You can collect Twitter, YouTube, Google+, websites, etc. to your hearts desire and create a storybook that you can edit later.

Above is a how to video.  If you are like me and try lots of sites online, you might want to consider having a "trash" e-mail for everything.  If I need the site to email me I can easily go to the trash site, but that way any extra email I might get because of signing up for so many things goes to the aforementioned site.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Remind101 Adds Attachments

If you follow this blog, you know I use Remind101 every day of the week to remind my students about their homework.  Simply put it is has greatly improved my students ability to complete homework, but also to communicate with them, especially this year when I had to put up with eleven snow days and ten delayed openings.

Above is a video giving you the highlights and below is one teaching you how to use it.  The latest addition to the service is that you can now text an attachment.  Of course you can use Tinyurl or to shrink a link to a Google Drive document which is what I often do. 

When did Humans Come to The Americas?

New discoveries suggest that humans came to the Americas as early as 22,000 years, not 13,000 as most archaeologists thought.  Talking to the New York Times, Walter Neves, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of São Paulo, said '“If they’re right, and there’s a great possibility that they are, that will change everything we know about the settlement of the Americas."'