Monday, September 27, 2010

Wiki for Tech Tools

This is one of the nicest assortment of tech tools I have ever seen and since it is a wiki, it is only going to improve over time.  Some of the categories are presentation, collaboration, video, slideshows, audio, drawing, quiz, file storage and more. Each page of tools has a description and in many cases, a video explanation.  I found this from a tweet from "tbris101."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Movie on Mesopotamia

This is a nine minute movie on Mesopotamia.  It may be old, but it is quite good.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Splitting A Computer Screen
Last year my department piloted an online US history e-book.  This year it has grown to 18 schools and several different books.  Kids say that they don't like online books because it is hard to look at them and do their assignment.  The video above should help if you are promoting e-books in your school. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another e-Book
This is probably the easiest book to navigate of the e-books available.  It, though, is only ancient world history.
e-World History Book
Well here is an entire e-book of World History.  It has all the categories and then you just click on the one you want.  The only problem (if there is any) is that it is set up by eras rather (chronologically) rather than by the topics you normally teach.
Online Movie Maker
Most Microsoft based computers have Movie Maker, but go here and you will see an online movie maker that allows photos, movies and then can be downloaded to a variety of other places such as youtube if you prefer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Watch & Simultaneously Chat About Videos w. Friends Online
If you have students creating a video online or using clips from multiple sources, this might be helpful for you. Here is a site to explain how it works, but basically if you put the word "social" right before ".com" for any video in, you can then e-mail that link to other people and a new screen will appear for all of you. You will be the moderator (ie only you can start and stop the video) and you can write comments on the side (much as you can in Google Docs) that your fellow video viewers can see as well. So students could "talk" online and decide what captions to put in the video as well as which clips to use. Pretty cool! Above you can see the Common Craft video I cited below and see my comments on the side between two different people.

How Great is Wikipedia?!
I am going on a limb here, but I actually do like Wikipedia and go to it all the time when I have questions. I know this bothers English teachers in my building, but they have never seen the Common Craft video above which essentially says that all entries must have be verified and unbiased (thanks to for mentioning a similar video).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Visual Statistics

This site is quite possibly the coolest one I have ever seen. (Thanks to FreeTech4Teachers for the link) Gapminder has tons of statistics that you can show your students in a visual format.  Rather than dry charts and graphs, your students can see animated charts that show whatever statistic (that they have available) and the change over time.  For instance, if you're interested in which country in the world has the most number of internet users per 100 people (it's not the US), you can choose this graph.  They have several graphs already made, with such topics as income, education, access to healthcare, etc.  There is a special section for teachers that has lessons for classroom use as well. You can change the information displayed on the X and Y axis for a comparison of just about anything.  This is a fantastic tool, and I can't wait to use it in my classroom!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Facebook and Twitter
Right now I am struggling to find a way (pls. leave a post if you know how) to make Facebook acceptable to use in the classroom. There is Edmodo (read earlier post) that looks exactly like Facebook, but then the kids have to look at it and they are ALWAYS on Facebook. I have figured out that I can create a new organization in Facebook and then the kids can see my posts, but then I could also see their sites, which I don't want to be able to do. In the meantime I have found this post which allows one to post items from Twitter directly onto someone's wall. So the kids could sign up for your school Twitter feed and see it as a "status update" on their site. The problem would be that all of your kids couldn't ask everyone in the class questions (as they could in a Facebook organization) and therefore while it would be a great way to reach the kids, it wouldn't let them work together to answer their own questions. Thoughts on solving my dilemma would be much appreciated as a post or e-mail (

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can't get to the museum? Bring the museum to your kids!

Many museums these days have excellent online presences.  I particularly like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which has a great section on their site that's a timeline of art history.  You can search by time period, region of the world, or even by thematic essay topic.  Perhaps you're interested in teaching about Chinese Buddhist sculpture, or Byzantium.  Sending your students to this site can give them a window into these cultures and many more.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Pictures from Lascaux
Yes it just so happens I will be discussing cave paintings in a couple of days (and you can see a virtual tour in this post), but above are unpublished pictures from Lascaux including the pictures of the couple who first opened the cave.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Changes to Google Docs
My new students just turned in their first papers via Google Docs. It was fun to watch some of them in class as they found out how they can collaborate and have a free suite of docs, excel, PowerPoint, picture editor and survey monkey. If you follow this site, just go to the search engine and type in "Google Docs" for some of my other posts or for now play the video above to see the new improvements.

Prezi Adds Live Collaboration to its Presentations
Prezi lets you build a multidimensional PowerPoint all on one slide so that you merely need to move the screen up, down, left, right, etc. Here is an example of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Here is a great way to have students present geography with pictures, maps, etc. The presentation has pictures, video, graphics, links and even a worksheet all on one slide. Above is a video describing how you can create a Prezi PowerPoint with other people on other computers anywhere in the world at the same time - much as you can do with Google Docs.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Interactive World Religions Map
This map allows you to look at all religions from 5000 BCE to the present and then click on a location to find more details.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaching about Buddhism?

This site from National Geographic is interactive, and shows some wonderful pictures of the giant Buddhas that are found near caves Dunhuang, China.  Dunhuang was near the ancient Silk Roads.  In the early 20th century, archaeologists made an incredible discovery in these caves - according to the British Library, thousands of Buddhist artifacts have been found here.  The caves vary in size, and the National Geographic site allows you to virtually travel from one end of the caves to the other, taking a peek into some of the grottoes.  You can see gigantic Buddha statues, as well as murals and other paintings.  For more about the caves, you can also see the article on the National Geographic site by clicking here.

The International Dunhuang Project is working toward making many of these artifacts available free online.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tut the Product of Brother/Sister Pairing
It almost is too hard to believe, but the National Geographic details here how they used DNA to show who Tut's mother and father were and the relationship between them. Here is a interactive family tree. It will make for some interesting discussions when you get to ancient Egypt. The video is three minutes and explains how Tut's death was determined. I found this from a tweet from "rmbyrne"
E-Pals From Different Countries
This is something I am going to have my World History I students do this year. This site will allow you to connect to students in most countries of the world and collaborate using technology.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cobo Cards
I have blogged about Quizlet and Study Stack (which gives you a lot of categories for social studies) which are online flash cards. The advantage of Cobo Cards is that you can add pictures to your flash cards.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Interactive World Map
Can you tell I am getting back in the swing of school (our students start on Tuesday)?! This link has every country in the world and shows their rank in terms of populations, infant mortality, GDP, industry, services and more. By the way I discovered it from a tweet by "kyteacher".

You Were Born a Second Ago
If the history of the world were one year long, man was born one second ago. This is an interesting video that would be one that precedes the ones below.

History of the World in Seven Minutes

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Blogger! Free Historical Thinking Poster!

Hello all! My name is Christopher Lee, and I am one of the new contributing bloggers here at World History Teachers Blog.

I figured I'd start my time here with something FREE!

"Free? Did someone say free?" So goes the teacher's mantra year in and year out. And this freebie poster is all about history and from the very reputable National History Education Clearinghouse. Just follow the link, and fill out the form to get this very useful classroom tool.

Using A GPS Device to Teach Longitude and Latitude
Above is a video explaining how you can teach your students longitude and latitude without paper and pencil in a real world setting. I found it here.
Google Spreadsheets
Click here to see a video I found on this blog that shows you several useful ways to use Google Docs (surveying kids on several field trips, seeing how well students learned information on a unit and more).