Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Living in Rome Circa 73 AD

I found this cool Ted-Ed vide on what it was like for a 17 year old to live in Rome in 73 A.D.E.  I found it on Open Culture

Monday, October 29, 2012

Why the Question is More Important for the Student

The authors of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, think Socrates was all wrong. Instead of using questions to get kids to think more deeply, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana, the authors and co-directors of The Right Question Institute, argue that we should ask the student to come up with the questions that speak to the core of a topic. They want us to flip the Socratic method on its head.

Here's what they say about their method: “What happens is the teacher plays a different role,” Santana said. “They lead students into thinking. The process of teaching students to ask their own questions allows teachers to communicate what they need to around curriculum. The difference is that the students are thinking and doing more, rather than the teacher.”  They offer some interesting ways to to begin the process.

Tell a Story with QR Codes

The blog, Instructional Design Fusions, has an interesting story on how to use QR Codes in the classroom. The video above is a bit long and takes a minute or so to get used to the accent, but you'll get the general idea after a couple of minutes. It's got me thinking how I might use QR codes in world history.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Rebecca Small is a fellow social studies teacher and a teacher-student in my class learning to integrate technology into the classroom.  She just made this very nice assignment for her students using FakeTweet.  You could copy it and completely change the assignment to match your needs as it has a link to a great how-to video (made by a former student of mine) as well as an example of her FakeTweet and, of course, a link to the FakeTweet maker. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy and Noodle Bibs

So last night my oldest daughter was working on her timeline on Richard Nixon and she said she had to citations for her pictures.  She started to login to her Blackboard site to go to the MLA maker site.  Instead I had her Google "MLA maker" and we found EasyBib which allowed her to just put in the website for the picture and come up with the citation.  Of course it also allowed her to put in an author and all of his/her books came up.  Magazines, interviews, etc. are also out there.

If you want a free site for MLA, APA or the Chicago methods of having citations then NoodleBib is free and here.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Aztec Empire Clips

Just found these neat clips about the Aztec Empire. The first is an animated overview and the second is about Aztec sacrifice and somewhat chilling. I know most World 10 teachers have already taught the Aztecs, but I think the the clips are worth bookmarking. Each clip is about three minutes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting More Out of an Essay

One of the most frustrating exercises I have had as a teacher has been to get my non AP students to write essays.  First off, I have to hear the line, "This isn't an English class."  Secondly so many students simply do not write their essays, instead choosing to take the grade hit.  Well I believe I finally have found a successful way to get the kids to write essays.

  1. Help the students find background information by setting up categories for the students or even asking questions about documents if you are doing a DBQ.
  2. Put students in groups and use Google Drive to share their background notes
  3. Go over the fundamentals of writing and then have students write lots of the essay in class and share parts of it with the students
  4. E-mail parents that the essays are due and use Remind101 to tell remind students that it is due. I even, this time, had students share the essays with partners so they could give feedback.
  5. I made the essays due by 6 pm Sunday night and then put comments (note, no grade) all over everyone's essays.  When the students got to class I actually gave them a quiz on the main points of an essay (see #3) and then let the students look at my comments and then ask questions about it.
  6. Let my many ESOL students write their essay in their native language and then translate using Google Translate
  7. Then I told the kids they can fix my comments and share them with me using Google Drive by Wednesday.

The upshot is that almost all of my students wrote their essays and wrote a substantial number of points.  

Make a Map Using Google Drawing

Today my students learned how to illustrate a map using Google Drawing.  Here are the instructions I gave them.  The next map we do (China) will include the freehand drawing of the entire map (see above as well).  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mapping an Ancient Egyptian City: Archaeology from Space

Thanks to my colleague Francis Coffey for this great clip about the search for an ancient Egyptian city. "It highlights physical processes, like rivers changing their course, the work of archaeologists, and the importance of geospatial technology."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cave Paintings, Maybe World'sFirst Cinema

This comes after the unit on pre-history but is still worth watching. French archaeologist and film maker, Mark Azema, put together this clip using paintings from the Caves of Lascaux. Below is a clip from the the radio news show, the World, about Azema's work with the cave paintings. Both the clip and the newscast are fascinating. Saw this on Open Culture here.

ITunes U and History courses

ITunes University (which you can download as an app) and access through ITunes on your laptop has scores of courses in history as well as in most other disciplines. Some of the courses (I found a couple in religion) have  embedded video clips that were quite good. Some are worth exploring. You can also access K-12 listings. To find  ITunes U, open ITunes  and click on Itunes Store, then click the pull down menu on the last tab called ITunes U.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Google Drive Presentations

Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) has its own version of PowerPoints called Presentation.  Here is a tremendous e-sheet showing you everything you ever wanted to know in terms of using it.  Above is a video showing some of the cooler features of Google Drive Presentation. 

Explore a Google Data Center

If you want to control your walk through a data center, you can go here to a Street View panorama.  Thanks to a Tweet from Alex Couros for this video. 


One of the things I teach my teacher students is how to have their students create fake Tweet streams.  You can use it to have conversations between historical figures, add in pictures and generally make your students condense their comments to a very well thought out series of concise statements.  Above is a video made by one of the teachers in my course last year, Matt Levi.  The best part about this is that while you can set up an account, you do not need to and once you are done it gives you a unique url which your students could e-mail or put on a Google Drive document to share with their teacher.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Google Cultural Institute

Google has an amazing collection of online exhibitions dealing with world history. The collection is called The Cultural Institute. The collections include exhibitions on D-Day, Anne Frank, Auschwitz, and Nelson Mandela. The images are awesome

Twitter Hashtags for Educators

Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags
Compiled By:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jeopardy Labs for Jeopardy Review Games

Talk about a fast learner.  One of my "teacher-students," Rebecca Small, just created two Jeopardy games for reviewing ancient Egypt from Jeopardy Labs.  When I asked where she had found out about it, she said one of her students told her about it and added that I would like it since it is "on the cloud."

Egypt review #1
Egypt review #2

I also did a search for Mesopotamia and found a number of previously made ones.  Here is one of them.

If you prefer to add the two together into one game, then here is one of many. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Undoubtedly you speak about Aleppo in your ancient world history class.  Well here is a 60 Minutes feature from tonight's show detailing how the area has been impacted by the Syrian civil war. 

Project Based Learning in History

This clip shows how an AP Government class changed their curriculum to model project Based Learning (PBL). It would be fun to figure out how to do this in World 9 or 10 or even AP World.

The AP Government class made the change with the help of the University of Washington and some high school teachers in nearby Bellevue, Washington. They used scores from the PBL class and compared them with scores from the traditionally taught classes. The idea was to give students a more in-depth look at government than a traditional AP class can give. You can read and see more about PBL at this Edutopia site.

Bloom's Taxonomy

Above is an eleven minute video that uses The Andy Griffith Show to explain each of the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.  I found it at EducatorsTechnology through a feed I get on my Netvibes account.

An amazing explanation of how to use Bloom's comes here from Kathy Schrock who has several pictures that show how you can use technology at every level of Bloom's.  Below is one of them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Another Twitter Hashtag Chatting Device

While it is hard for me to believe, not all of my students have Twitter (about 1/5th).  But when we Tweet about the next debate I told these students they can simply go to TwitterFall which does many things, but among them, it lets you watch a hashtag live if you enter it with a "#" or "@" and the title in the search box.  If you are logged into Twitter (for the other students) it also lets you put up your own comments.  You can also follow lists and trending topics so it has a bit more than TweetChat which I mentioned in a post earlier today. 

Popular Educational Hashtags

Now that Frank has me doing hashtags, I am glad I just found this Edudemic list of educational hashtags.  Here are ones that can help you:

The Most Popular Hashtags
  • #edchat – Education, worldwide (lots of US teachers). A really useful hashtag if you are interested in tweeting with a wide range of educators worldwide.
  • #schools – Massively wide ranging but used far less than #edchat or #ukedchat
  • #lrnchat – Learning chat
  • #TT – Teacher Tuesday where educators suggest others to follow
  • #ukedchat – UK Education
  • #GlobalEd – Education with a global dimension

  • #edtech – a very wide range of tweets relating to the use of technology in education.
  • #elearning – eLearning topics
  • #mlearning – the use of mobile technologies in education, also #mobilelearning though this is less used
  • #edapp – educational apps
  • #gbl - games based learning
  • #slide2learn – iDevices and learning
  • #vitalcpd – effective use of technology in the classroom

Map of Every War Ever

Saw this in the Smithsonian Magazine blog. Scroll along the dates at the bottom, click on the location, and you'll see brief descriptions for thousands of conflicts overlaid on a zoom-able map.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

TweetChat for Discussions on Twitter

Frank (Panther Fan) are currently in a chat discussion in Twitter with some of our students as we listen/watch the vice presidential debate.  To that end Frank just gave me the site TweetChat where you can both watch a hashtag as well as input your comments.  Above is a very short explanation of how to use it.  

I have done a number of other Twitter posts including how to find other educators to follow. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tour of the Valley of the Kings

Pretty soon I am going to have to get Rebecca Small (who is collaborating with me on two classes this fall and in my teacher-class) to help with the blogs as she keeps finding a ton of new things.  Here is a site that show the Valley of the Kings (as opposed to Queens and the one I saw two years ago, Monkeys (bottom of the page)).  You can click on each tomb to find out more about them. 

Motivating Your World History Students

I have a great group of freshmen this year, but I always have students who do not understand the importance of education.  Since this is a world history class, you might want to show the first few minutes of this film to your students (although you might want to skip a few seconds early on as they have a few graphic scenes of those who support females in education) who feel this way.  The upshot of what the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan is that girls are not only being kicked out of school, but the ones who defy the ban as well as their teachers and administrators are being punished.  Yesterday the now 14 year girl featured in this film, Malala Yousafzai,  was shot at close range on her school bus and is now in critical condition (as the article details).  Her crime was that she spoke to the NYTimes and continued to go to school. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Diigo for Bookmarking

This week my "teacher-students" will be save webpages on the cloud using Diigo.  They will learn how it can save pages and images and can be shared with others (here are my public items) or you can lock them so no one else can see them (which I use for all my teacher sites rather than writing them down).  The top video tells you about Diigo and the bottom one tells you how to use it. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

War Puts Syrian Antiquities At 'Heritage Sites' In Danger

Ancient Egypt Online

I have been doing a lot of work across schools with Rebecca Small as we have similar teaching schedules this year.  She just found KingTutOne which is a very comprehensive site on ancient Egypt.  It has a part it calls "articles," but is essentially a glossary list of all the names you would want for your class.  It also has fairly good sections on the pyramids, the gods, King Tut, queens, pharaohs  pyramids and temples.  If you do web quests, you will find this a valuable site. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crash Course Egypt

As long as George is putting up Crash Course videos, the next one I am showing is on the ancient Egypt which you can see above. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Indus River from the BBC

Nice BBC site on the Indus River. It has different areas of life to explore such as technology, games, art, etc. It also has an interactive trading game where you can become an Indus trader.
John Greene (Crash Course) on the Indus River civilization. (9 minutes)

The Story of Sanskrit

The Story of Sanskrit from from Michael Palin's "The Story of India." It's only 4 1/2 minutes.

A Rosetta Stone for the Indus script

The first five minutes of this Ted Talk lecture is engaging as Rao explains how computers are helping us to understand the Indus River script.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Martin Luther Sparks a Revolution

One way to find videos such as this one and the one below is to go to Google Videos and do a search for your subject. 

Henry VIII

Here is a short video on Henry VIII. 

Giza Pyramids in 3D

My colleague, Frances Coffey, sent me this neat link from the New York Times about a college professor who put together this 3D video of the pyramid at Giza.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Netvibes to Aggregate the Sites You Follow

Tomorrow I am starting my class for teachers who want to better integrate technology into the classroom.  One of the first thing I will teach them is how to aggregate all the sites you might want to follow so that you can quickly keep up to date.  The site I use to do this is

How the Pyramids Might Have Been Built

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Search Engine for the Teacher Blog Sites

I received an e-mail from a former colleague today saying he was enjoying seeing what this site has on it.  You can do it too.  The government teachers blog has 1383 posts in the last 4.5 years while the world history one has 1072 and the US history one has 959 posts.  To do the research just plug in what you are looking (most of all of the subjects have been addressed at one point or another), press enter and lots of links will appear.  You can also do it for the technology that appears to see what has been written about in the past.  With 3400 posts you should be able to find lots of items to help with your teaching.  As always, send us your links and, in most cases, we'll post them. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Most Hit Sites in September

Hard to believe the first month of school is already over.  As always thanks for coming to this blog page.  We had 42,000+ page views (including the US and government blogs) last month including 14,000 on this site alone   The top three for this page were:
  • Time Maps was a huge item to hit on this month as it gives your students to look up anything you are studying and see maps to correspond to the learning. 
  • Pre-history Web Quest - this was personally nice for me that so many of you were curious what my students are (or were) doing in class.  To make a copy, just go to file and then "make a copy."  You do have to have Google Drive to do it. 
  • Drawing a Map Using Google Drive I love this one since it came partially from one of my ninth graders last year.