Sunday, October 31, 2010

Google Docs on Youtube

There is now a youtube channel for Google Docs. Most people know about Google Docs (ie word documents) and Presentation (ie PowerPoint), but few know about charts and my new favorite - drawings which is better than Microsoft Paint. Above is how to make a Google Docs Drawing which I use for my map quizzes and tests.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Story of India

This website has many useful links to various aspects of India's history. While it coincides with the PBS series "The Story of India," it does have stand-alone videos and matching lesson plans and activities. There are some amazing interactive photos as well. Useful for India pre- and post 1500.

Trench Warfare Animation

This is a great interactive website I stumbled upon today. It allows students to click all over the image to learn more about various aspects of trench warfare. It has animated graphics, narration and sound effects.

Stearns AP World History Notes

Here and here are some great notes to go along with Stearns' AP World book.

Alexander the Great on Snagfilms

Watch more free documentaries allows you to see full length world history movies as well as cut and paste portions of them.  You can also get parts of each film and embed them on your blog or PowerPoint.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

World History Videos from KhanAcademy

This comes from Bill Gates' education website which has a ton of math/science videos.  Having said this, here are a bunch of videos for world history on the French, Haitian Revolutions and Napoleonic Europe.  Above is one on the French Revolution which, like the others, is about 15 minutes.  If you are like me and never like to show films that long, then you can go to spliced and put in the start and end section you want and it will create a new video you can link to or embed.

Presentation From Google Docs

We do a ton of collaboration at my school so I can tell you that I have added very little to the PowerPoint above.  But I did upload it into the "Presentation" mode (Google's name for PowerPoint) and since I my district requires us to use Blackboard, I just link it from there to my Google Docs file.  This then allows me to change my presentation without uploading.  For example I just added my name in hieroglyphics to one of the last slides and did not have to re-upload it into Blackboard.  I can, as you will see on some of the slides, insert video clips from youtube which is very hard (although possible) to do w. PowerPoint.  The nicest way is that you can share editing rights with your peers.  So if you find something new, as I did this morning, all the teachers in your professional learning community could benefit. Here is the site to be able to do the slide show above as well as documents and other things.  Here is a site that will tell you how to do it By the way, that is my family in slide number 10 as we had the great fortune of going to Egypt last April.

Write Your Name In Hieroglyphics

Above is my name in hieroglyphics.  It might be a quick and fun exercise to let your students create one with their own name using this site.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Big History and Scale of the Universe

I've been reading David Christian's Maps of Time, and I'm increasingly led to believe that world history could take this type of "universal" approach in the coming years. A less expensive and shorter version of Big History is Christian's This Fleeting World. I highly recommend both books.

BUT, the free online resource that I found that reminded me of all this is the Scale of the Universe. By providing a scalable look at the size of the universe, from the smallest bits of matter to the universe in its entirety, it effectively encapsulates the grand scale of a history of everything from the Big Band to the future. And the dreamy, hypnotic music doesn't hurt either.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing the Education Paradigm

This is a very interesting video that essentially (in a very entertaining way) describes how our schools were created for an industrial age and asks if we are preparing them for our current world.  I laughed at part of it as I thought of someone who this week complained that I was expecting my students to work too much online - as if they won't need it after high school!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paleolithic Humans Had Bread Along With Their Meat

Starch grains found on 30,000-year-old grinding stones suggest that prehistoric humans may have dined on an early form of flatbread, contrary to their popular image as primarily meat eaters.
Read the full article @ the NY Times.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Addenda to the Mesopotamians post

This site has the lyrics for the song.

Catchy Song on Mesopotamians

This is a cute short film that will help the kids remember the different Mesopotamian groups.

Fertile Crescent Drought

Here is an interesting story from the NYTimes detailing the drought in the fertile crescent and the fact that much of the farmland has been drying up.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More statistics

I posted earlier about using Gapminder in the classroom to give students a visual when it came to statistics.  (See that post here.)  Well, NPR's Planet Money team has posted a video from one of the site's creators that gives a lecture about some of the site's statistics along with the visual.  Yet one more way to teach stats - have someone else do it!  (kidding, just a bit).  You can find the video by clicking here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

3D Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel

So while the kids are watching their Friday night movie, I am having fun finding new things for the classroom.  Here is a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel. Amazing!

Ghandi Talks!

This is a video of an interview with Ghandi.  Amazing stuff and again from the blog site Open Culture.

High Resolution Images from the Renaissance

Another item I found on the Open Culture blog (mentioned below) is this set of Renaissance era paintings which have been placed online using high resolution and you can get very close for your students.  They include paintings da Vinci, Botticelli and others.

Coronation of Czar Nicholas II

This is pretty stirring to be able to see this - the coronation of Czar Nicholas II.  I found it at, but it was originally placed online at another interesting site called Open Culture.

Pictures of Mali

Here are some great pictures of Mali today.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Outline of the Stearns AP World Textbook
If you make your students outline a textbook, be careful since you have seen from this site that many of the outlines are now available online. As proof, here is the entire one for the Stearns AP World textbook.
Did you ever want to show only part of a video.  Well go to splicd and you just enter in the start and end times as well as the url and you will be all set. Here is a how to video. It only takes one second to make your new video and you even both a new url and code to embed it. I found this bit from this ed tech site.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Khubilai Khan and the Yuan Dynasty

The New York Met has a huge online exhibit on Khubilai Khan with an amazing number of pictures (which increase in size as you can see from mine above) and descriptions on religion, art, daily life, textiles and making connections.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Interview People via the Web

I have been looking for a free service for a while to interview people via the computer.  The most I have found is ones that allow a free month.  But thanks to "ShellTerrell" whom I follow on Twitter (from Germany), I found Wetoku.  All you do is give a link to the person you want to interview and get online at the same time and push "start."  Immediately you have a link and embedded code to put on a website.  The only disadvantage is that it is not as good quality as some of the other paid ones, but for the price it is excellent.

How to Use Google Docs

Yes, there are some videos (go to the browser to find them), but the item below is for those who prefer reading to know how to work Google Docs.

Google Docs - Tipsheet and Resource Guide

Friday, October 1, 2010

PBS Video on Conflict btw Spain & Central America

This is a new PBS video which you can watch in its entirety or in its parts. It looks at the conflict that occurred when Spaniards came to Central America and the impact it has had.