Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learn Boost

I have gone paperless and have most of my students that way as well.  So, when I saw a rather "busy" desk of one of the teachers in my dept. this morning, I suggested he try an online lesson planner (since that and a dictionary were two of the items on his desk).  Well after a little research I found LearnBoost which not only has a planner, but also a gradebook, attendance and a calendar and all for free. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hagia Sophia

Here is everything you ever wanted to know about the Hagia Sophia, one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Byzantine Empire

Above is the first of a five part History Channel video that can be found here on youtube.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Cold War

I doubt you are to the Cold War yet, but when you do, above is a nice short video on the Berlin Wall (and there are many other great ones at the History Channel).  Here are more links that I found here

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Install or Update Multiple Programs At Once

One of the reasons I can hardly wait for the new version of Google CR-48 to come out this summer is that I can purchase a cheap computer and keep everything on the cloud. Until then I will have to deal with viruses as I did with both of our family laptops last weekend.  Thankfully there is a quick way to install multiple programs of your choosing and not have to sit around waiting for each to follow.  Go to Ninite and look at the long list of most, if not all of what you want.  Thanks @cuevash (who was a teammate of mine in college) for the great tweet. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This is a great short film on Mecca which I found on Open Culture. It would be perfect to show when you are studying Islam. 

Comments in Google Docs

Almost all of my AP students now submit their essays to me via Googel Docs.  I love it because since they now are using the platform for a number of their assignments in school, they look to see when I have graded the assignment (which is easy since it bolds the title in their portfolio) and really take the time to look at my comments (which has not always been the case in the past).  But now as you can see from the video above the teacher (or the collaborator) can leave a comment and another person can respond (or more if there are several people working together on a group project) and then the comments can be deleted when the issue has been resolved.  For me this is an ideal way to improve a students' writing ability. 

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have followed @russeltarr for a while on Twitter and his adaption of Facebook is one of the many great reasons to follow him.  If you go here, you will get a free Facebook like template which you can have your students work on. They can save their products and even edit them later or e-mail you the finished url to grade.  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Google Page on Japan

Google (thanks to HedaWood's comment below for alerting me) has set up quite an amazing page on Japan.  Yes, it is mostly for those in Japan, but it does have 47 videso of the quake as well as current news that might help you teach the subject.  When I spoke about it in class yesterday, I also mentioned that the Asian and European markets were down and, as you can now see, so were the US ones at the end of the day. 

Plate Tectonics and More

Since many world history classes teach about tsunamis, plate tectonics, etc., I thought this feature which shows how the earth shifts and causes a tsunami might be instructive in your classroom.  You can also get a number of other videos here (on the left side of the page) on what has gone on in Japan. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami in Japan

This is dramatic footage of the tsunami and the speed with which it moved in Japan.  Here is more news on it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Identify an Image

So each day I give 5 questions for review for our state exam and on it I include simple questions, maps, multiple choice and even items to identify an image.  One of my students was having difficulty which led us to see if one could a search of an image and figure out what it was.  Voila! does just that for any image that is currently on the internet.  Also if you are curious about the questions for my students they are here and done on Google Docs, so I can add new ones every other day.

Global Voices

I learned about the Global Voices blogger page from the book I am currently reading, the Net Delusion (hey I try to look at both sides of the Internet and the book explorers if technology really fuels revolution as well as the negatives of the Internet).  At any rate Global Voices was started by a CNN reporter, but it is an aggregate of stories from 300 bloggers (sort of a Lede on steorids) which the page claims to be an alternative to what you see in traditional news (or e-) papers.  It's worth a look if you like connecting your world history classes to the present. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Nice Short Explanation of Longitude and Latitude


Here is something else I am using.  You will be able to get to all the links except the e-book.  I am working to even get beyond that as I do not like being tied to any text, but for the moment I love that this webquest has two quick movies, a Qwiki and a Wikipedia link for the kids to use to answer the questions.  


I get asked a lot about what I am doing, so here is one example.  This is a PowerPoint that was created by a bunch of people in my department over a bunch of years. I have now taken it to the Internet in Google Docs and if you return over this unit, you will see that I am making changes (adding movie clips, pictures, etc.).  This is what is so great about Google Docs PowerPoints (they call them Presentations) as I give my students the link and they instantly have all the changes I make.