Thursday, December 31, 2009

Held by the Taliban
No this is not about the American soldier currently being held in Afghanistan. Rather this is a video story of David Rohde who was held for several months by the Taliban before escaping. It is fascinating as it has geography (including Google Earth scenes), history, great descriptions of area and the story itself.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Decade in Review in Pictures
This is a great site to see a decade of photos. I found it on Larry Ferlazzo's site.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Easy Slide Show with Voice Add In
One thing that sometimes gets me when I give assignments that require the Internet is that some of the kids say, "Why can't you just give us a worksheet." This is one A good place to use it might be for your absolute monarchs section of the course where you can have a picture for each person and then have the student tell how they were strong leaders and/or innovators. You can also have other students make comments themselves. What is great is the above slide show was made by 2nd graders! Hit the buttons in the lower right corner and you can see all the pictures at once. The last one will allow you to embed it. I found this site on a Tweet (and I can't say enough about using Twitter for teachers).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Iran and "The Lede"
Having spent a number of years in Iran in my youth, I must admit I am smiling that so many seem to be rising up against the current government there. More to the point since Iran is one of the countries on the AP Comparative test, it might be interesting to follow it more online. Above is a video from today taken by some of the participants. Here is a blog entry which includes links to the opposition website. It is from the NYTimes Lede which is a supplement to their newspaper and includes many videos and pictures and is another reason why I no longer read a newspaper in paper form.

European Virtual Museum
This is a collaboration of 27 Europeans which allows you to look at their artifacts online. Found it at

Internet 3.0
This short video explains how we went from Internet 1.0 where you could see what others had designed to 2.0 where the average user can create their own projects to Internet 3.0 where we will be better connected between our projects and better able to see them from the computer, phones (look out Google is about to release its own phone- and I don't mean the Droid- which you will be able to use no matter what phone service you use) and other devices.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Quizzes on Google Docs
Perhaps I am getting too far afield with all the "Google stuff," but above is a video that tells you how you can create a quiz with all types of questions in Google Docs and then allow your students to take it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 in Review as seen by Google Wave
Above is the year in review by Google Wave. If you haven't seen Google Wave, it is real time talking (both written or via up to six video links). this is from a Twitter feed from GiseldaSantos.

British Quartering Act

Kids Making Their Own Cartoons
I received this from one of my normal followers (feel free to leave a message with your tips or to e-mail me at if you have any. I always have my students create cartoons as I find it a good way to memorize something without having to actually sit down and say something over and over until it is in one's head. With this site, one can actually make digital cartoons much as we have drawn them in the past.
Google Maps Follow Protests in Iran
Want to add Google Maps to your class and are teaching World History, then here is a great way to do this. This site has been following the protests in Iran.
(Photo from

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Google and Texting and other uses for cell phones in class
If you have "Google" as one of the address in your phone, you can text a question and send it to that address and get a response. Here are a bunch of other ways to use texting (including several articles). I learned recently that our school district, while banning cell phones, actually leaves it up to the principal. You might want to check out if your school is the same. That is how I got permission for just social studies teachers to use it. The link above also shows one how to use which is a way to quickly go over a few multiple choice questions, have kids text the answers and instantly see a chart for the percentage of kids who have answered what question. Finally if you go to the search engine on this site and type in "cell phones," you will find many other suggestions for usage from this summer's postings.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Google - This is Time Travel
Want to see actual newspapers from the past, go here to understand it and here to search.
Rome on Google Earth
Go here to download the necessary software and watch above to see what amazing things are in store for your students.

Ten Ways To Use Google Wave
Google Wave is starting to spread about (you need to get an invitation or go to the Google Wave page and sign up). For those who don't know what it is, I have the video above, but basically it allows you to chat with other people at the same time without pushing the "send" button. Below are many clever uses which I found here. It is worth your time to go through the list as for example they have a list of educators and their addresses so you could contact them. There is also one that tells you how you can video conference and if you wanted, you could look at videos together - all in the same screen. It also allows you to put Google Wave into Blackboard so you can use it with your students (imagine groups working at home and being able to see each other and at the same time working on a Google Docs item!). By the way I found this list here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Igoogle and Google Docs in the Classroom
Here is a video I made for teachers in my county to be able to use the aggregator "igoogle" and Google Docs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ePortfolio Mashup for Google Apps in the Classroom
This is a great picture (above and here) that shows how you can use Google applications in the classroom. I found it on Twitter from NMHS Principal whom I believe is a principal in New Jersey and judging from the Tweet film below is very much on top of technological uses in the classroom.

Stones into Schools
Having grown up overseas the story, Three Cups of Tea and the new book, Stones into Schools, struck a cord with me. While I am advocating bringing more and more technology into the classroom, it is easy to forget so many schools around the world are happy just to have an unheated structure where one can learn. The author of the book, Greg Mortenson, builds schools mainly for girls in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Above is an interview with Mortenson. You can find more about his organization here.

If the World Were A Villgage of 100 People
This is a fun demonstration of the idea of where people live, religion, gender, etc.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Interactive Way to Explore Ancient Civilizations
This site is an interactive way for students to look at the Mayans, Mesopotamia, Mali and Songhai. I found this information from this NJ Principal's tweet.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Multiple Uses for Google Earth
I found this from a tweet from Ann Oro. I am using it for locations of battles (such as the Civil War) where my students can put the name of the leaders, statistics, etc.
Google Sites and Posting Your Assigments
I used to be happy that we had Blackboard, but no longer as it is clunky (six clicks to correct one assignment). Here is a great example of what you can do with Google Sites. It shows you that one can have folders, links, etc. Of course your students can turn in the their work through Google Docs (one click to grade) and you can include PowerPoints, pictures, quizzes, etc. Here is the best example of what is possible in the page. So if your system does not have an online delivery device for your students Google Sites.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Virtual Tour of Stonehenge
Go here and then click on any part of Stonehenge and take a complete virtual tour. I found out about it from MrBally's Tweets.
Look at the poster below which is an example of a "glogster" (combo of poster+blog). You can put pictures, multiple videos, words and a song in the poster.


A Seventh Grader's PLE
A personal learning environment is a pretty new term, but it is essentially an aggregator for all the sites you might use to perform your necessary functions. For example, you might have your Facebook page there, websites you frequent, Google Docs and more all in one place. I use for mine. Above is another aggregator called which a 7th grader uses to demonstrate how she does her classwork. It is very much worth a minute to watch it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Longitude/Latitude Tool
This is a great device to show your students what any location's longitude and latitude is.  I found it from a tweet from 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Google Earth New Virtual Sites
Go see Stonehenge, Versailles, old town in Spain, historic center in Prague and much more. Amazing. Here is the list of places you can visit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oovoo! is a relatively new video recording device. You have use it to have a video conference with up to six people which is a great way for your students to work on a lesson plan. Also, you can interview and record up to 1000 minutes which would be great if your students are making a video and want to put it into something like Movie Maker.

Oldest Living WWI US Veteran Testifies on the Hill
This is pretty cool. Cpl. Frank is 108 (!) and was a POW and today spoke on the Hill in favor of building a memorial in DC. Here is an ABC video story on him and above is a more detailed account. (Photo from CNN)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Google Blog
If you have been reading this blog a while, you know that I like Google products that help me in the classroom. For example the other day I set up an "igoogle" page to house all of my favorite sites. Blogspot is a Google hosted item which I use for this blog. Google Docs is a great way for you and your colleagues/students to share projects. My wife and I have our family calendar on the Google calendar (with different colors for each person) and it is synched with my school Outlook calendar. There are, of course, lots of great videos for the classroom on Youtube (owned by Google). Finally I like Google Mail, not just because it is a good e-mail system, but my kids can video chat through it with their cousins in Maine (we're in VA). I also read a great book this past summer appropriately titled Planet Google. So if you are hunting for new Google ideas the Google blog should be helpful to you as they tell you about the products and then show you how to use it with a short video. Recently, for example, they released Google Dashboard which is a way to control the information that Google stores on you, which in my case is growing rapidly!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Twitter Guidebook
Here is the ultimate Twitter "how to" guidebook. It tells you how to search, grow your community, have consersations and much more. I have only been on Twitter for a month or so, but have found it an amazing source for teacher ideas.