Thursday, March 31, 2016

Google Web Clipboard

Here's a Google app that helps you copy and paste with greater ease. The Web Clipboard allows you to save and retrieve text across google applications--sheets-docs-and slides.

In your application, simply go to Edit > Web clipboard > Copy to web clipboard.

Here's a very short clip that walks you through the steps.

Globalization summarized

Studying globalization? Here's a great 8-minute clip from the BBC explaining what it is and it's ramifications.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter: The Different Ways it's Celebrated in West & East

PBS Religion and Ethics has an excellent six minute clip about the different ways Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter.

PBS Learning Media also has a background essay as well as discussion questions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Story of Cities: Terrific Short Histories

Fifty cities. Fifty amazing stories!

The Guardian initiated earlier this month a 50-part series "charting the planet's urbanization."  They have released seven stories so far including histories of Alexandria, Rome, Bagdad, Bejing, Benin, Potosí.

Former Guardian correspondent, Jack Shenker, is writing the series.

The stories are relatively short and include terrific maps and images. I read two of them--the one about Potosi and the other about Bagdad.

Both are readable and suitable for students. In fact, they might work as a jigsaw, or perhaps as a single reading assignment. Potosí would certainly work in AP World  in the 1450 to 1750 period.

My thanks to Bram Hubbell for tweeting the link to this series.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Understanding the Conflict Between the PPK and Turkey

Today, a suicide bomber killed four and wounded 36 people on a popular Istanbul street. While no one has claimed responsibility, the bombing is similar to other attacks by the the PKK.

What is the PKK and why is it committing terrorist acts in Turkey?

The PPK (the Kurdistan Workers' Party) represents the Kurdish minority in Turkey. It was formed in the 1970's and originally called for  a separate Kurdish state and clashed with the government. Over 40,000 people died in the armed struggle.

In the 1990's the PPK abandoned it's call for a separate state and began agitating for more autonomy. Kurds represent 20% of the population but Turkey refuses to grant them any representation.

The Kurds are key players in the struggle against ISIS and the international community would like Turkey to support them.

In the excellent NPR clip below, Gonul Tol of the Middle East Institute explains the situation to NPR.

Here, TestTube explains who the Kurds are in this four minute clip.

And here is a 30 minute documentary from France24 with "a look inside the Kurdish rebel movement: PKK, war on all fronts."
Here are some good resources for understanding the conflict between the Kurds and turkey

Israel & Palestine: Crash Course

Studying the Middle East? Here's a great review of the conflict between Palestine and Israel from John Greene.

Greene notes that the conflict is more about land than religion and that Jews, Palestinians, Christians and Arabs all got along before Israel was created.

AP World History teacher Bram Hubbell wrote the episode.

Field Museum Releases Educator Toolkit

Studying Chinese history? Chicago's Field Museum has a terrific online exhibit organized around specific themes in Chinese history.

For example, students can learn about China's major belief systems--Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism--through art and objects.
In another section, students can examine different maps and draw conclusions about audience, purpose, and bias.
The museum developed pdf's for each of the themes.  Each pdf contains links and lesson ideas for the theme. The lesson on religion, for example, contains links to the museum's galleries on the different religions.

Other themes in the exhibit include the Silk Road, scholar officials, science, and language.

The exhibit corresponds to one of the museum's permanent exhibitions, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China, which can be visited in person by Chicago-area classrooms, or accessed digitally around the world for free.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Using StoryMapJS to Enhance Student Learning

Check out this awesome student assignment using StoryMap.

StoryMapJS is a terrific tool to help students tell stories about topics you are studying.  The software allows students to import maps, images, and videos to enhance the story and places each slide on a map.

Along with Storify, StoryMap allows students to enhance their learning as they process material for their story.

My colleague Jeff Feinstein wrote about StoryMap weeks ago in his US History blog which encouraged me to experiment with it.

We are studying decolonization in AP World History so I asked students to create a StoryMap explaining the process of decolonization in these seven countries:
  • India (Mohandas Gandhi) 
  • South Africa (Nelson Mandela) 
  • Ghana (Kwame Nkrumah) 
  • Algeria (FLN) 
  • Angola Kenya (Jomo Kenyatta) 
  • Viet Nam (Ho Chi Minh)
Students had to create a title slide and three slides for each country. I gave them links to help them with their research.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Teach the Middle East: Great Resources

The Middle East Policy Council has some terrific educational resources. It's educational outreach program, "Teach the Middle East," includes a digital textbook with chapters that align with parts of the AP World curriculum. In fact, AP World History teacher, Bram Hubbell wrote two of the chapters I particularly like, one called "The Roots of Modern Islamism," and the other called "Legacies: The Ottomans."

In "The Roots of Modern Islam," Hubbell outlines the rise of Arab nationalism and the Muslim Brotherhood after Britain granted limited independence to Egypt in the early 1920's. And in his chapter on the Ottomans, Hubbell analyzes the last fifty years of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of of the Young Turks.  He takes issue with the idea that the Ottoman Empire was the "Sick Man of Europe" at the dawn of the 20th century.

You can download the individual chapters and print them out. They include reading and discussion questions as well as short primary sources. For example,  the Roots of Modern Islam includes an excerpt from the World Islamic Front's "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders" and an excerpt from Sayyid Qutb's book, "Milestones." (Qutb was an Egptian nationalist "who promoted a more Islamist view of the world" and tried to assassinate Egypt's President Nasser in 1966).

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Man Flies Drone Over Auschwitz

Here's an amazing clip from BBC News showing the Nazi concentration camp.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Using Storify to Reinforce Student Learning

We are studying the Cold War in AP World. Students completed a stations activity to introduce them to all the Cold War events. But I wanted them to explore the events a little deeper so I made an assignment asking them to create a story of the events using Storify.

My colleague, Jeff Feinstein, recently posted a great story about how to use Storify.   The program allows you you to use social media to import tweets, website links, videos, and other resources into slides. If you were do a story about the the development of NATO, you could import a map showing the member countries, provide a link to a video clip about its development, and write a short summary.

Here's the assignment and directions that I created.

And here's the first student assignment that came in this weekend. And here's another.  They are awesome!

Students Make Radio Broadcasts About Rise of Hitler

This week, my world history students made radio broadcasts about the rise of Hitler and some of the features of the Nazi state. We gave the kids a rough story board for them to work out their broadcast, along with some outside readings,  including a short biography of Hitler.

You can see the directions here and listen to one of the broadcasts that came in today. Here's another.

Students used their mobile devices to make the broadcasts (most with voice memo) and sent them to me via email.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Trump and the Great Wall

Perhaps your students noticed the other day when Trump compared the Great Wall to the one he wants to build on our Mexican-US border.  This might be a great way to mention (or more likely at this point in the year, re-mention) to your students.  As I used to say it is the Great Walls as you can see in the image above.  It also was started in the 3rd century BC.   Trump did get right that it is about 13,000 miles.  But as we know the Mongols did get through (or rather go around) it so in the end it didn't stop "immigrants" nor was it built very quickly or without great loss of life as you can see here