Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Enlightenment and Primary Resources

Fordham University has a tremendous asset for your teaching of world history with tons and tons of links for every part of what you teach broken up into an easy to follow outline that looks like your World History I or II class.

For example, for the Enlightenment, here is a complete outline of all the major thinkers and links to their key writings.  You could have your students read excerpts or put them in groups and have them exchange with others what they have found.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Add Questions for Students to YouTube Videos

You can add questions to any You Tube video if you sign up for the Beta test Google just started.  You can sign up by clicking here.

You can add questions (only multiple choice for now) anywhere in the video. You just scan through the video to the point where you want to add the question. When you play the video back, it pauses at the question, and will not move ahead until the question is answered correctly.

Here are more explicit instructions that I found on another blog.

Here's a short how to clip from another teacher. 

The Value Added By a Great Teacher

So perhaps this is a little off the normal target of this blog, but your hard work does pay off for your students.  Right now I am reading Unchartered which uses Google books to look at how language has changed over time (or at least at the point where I am reading).  But in the introduction Raj Chetty is referred to for his landmark study on the value added of a great teacher. Chetty earned the incredibly prestigious John Bates Clark award which often comes before a Noble Prize - and he is only 34!  At any rate the paper concludes that when a high value added (VA) teacher joins a school, test scores rise immediately in the grade taught by that teacher; when a high VA teacher leaves, test scores fall. Test scores change only in the subject taught by that teacher, and the size of the change in scores matches what we predict based on the teacher’s VA .. and students assigned to such high value-added teachers are more likely to go to college, earn higher incomes, and less likely to be teenage mothers. On average, having such a teacher for one year raises a child's cumulative lifetime income by $80,000.   Best of all the study is a quantitative one so it is not based on time based case studies so you can draw the inference that by reflecting and continuing to improving your craft you are really making a difference in the life of your students. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Alexander the Not So Great: Through Persian Eyes

He destroyed the great capital of Persepolis and the temples and emblems of the ancient Zoroastrian religion. So, unlike Westerners who tend to see Alexander as a great conqueror and military genius, Iranians do not see him as so great.

In an fascinating article for BBC News Magazine, Iranian historian, Ali Ansari, professor in modern history and director of The Institute of Iranian Studies at The University of St Andrews, Scotland, suggests that Alexander came to regret the destruction he wrought in Persia. He believes that had Alexander lived, "he may have restored and repaired more" than he did during his life.

You can also listen to Professor Ansari on BBC4 Radio 4 in an an excellent  3-part series "exploring world history from a Persian perspective."  Each episode is about 30 minutes and offers some great history through Persian eyes. In part 1, Professor Ansari discusses Zoroastrianism.

Catching Cheating Using Technology

I like to think that when I teach I am embarking on an adventure with my students, but kids are kids and there are lots of pressures they feel from trying to impress their friends, pleasing their parents and, in some cases, not even being aware of cheating (plagiarism) - or rather never have been called on it.  There are lots of ways kids can cheat, but with technology it has also become easier to catch.

  1. Copying from the Internet remains the most prevalent cheating and the easiest to catch.  As I tell my students, most of them are paid to write and so as nicely as some of them can write, any time I suspect copying from the Internet (PowerPoints seem to be the place most likely to do this), I just paste in a line into Google and up it pops.  Usually if there is more than a line, I don't accept the assignment.
  2. Copying from friends is harder to catch, but using Google Drive there are several ways to catch offenders:
    • For each set of assignments, create a folder and drag in each assignment.  At the same time, right click on your "shared with me" stream and "remove."  The assignments will still remain in your folder.  
    • If you think you've seen a line in an assignment more than once then go to the search engine for the assignment folder (see above) any type in the "offending language."  As with searching the Internet any copied language will appear and instantly you can see where it originated.  If you partner with other students, have them create a similar folder and you can exchange lines.
  3. Use "revision history" by going to "file" and then "revision history."  
    • This will allow you to see how much your students have been working on a project which will appear on the right side under "revision history."  If there is only one entry either your students wrote it in Microsoft Word (and there you will have to decide if you want to "ban" using this or they copied it.  Either way it is a huge flag to tell that you need to copy a strand of the language into the search engine and see what you get.  
    • You can also see what time the kids were at work.
  4. If you are like me catching students is no fun and detracts from the team aspect of learning that we try to build in our classrooms.  On the other hand, make a point of nicely telling your kids how many kids have been caught.  Usually catching a few early in the year detracts from cheating the rest of the year and leads to better learning the rest of it.  Of course how you deal with cheaters is up to you and your school.  Here's to hoping these tricks detract from cheating. When my book comes out in the late spring I'll have more on these techniques, but more on that later. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Modern Revolution

 ,Here's a great review of the modern revolution from the Big History Project. The ingredients include globalization, new energy resources, the increasing use of energy and the inter connectedness of the four world zones.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

History of St. Nicholas

This is a great NPR interview about the reality of St. Nicholas who was a Catholic bishop from Turkey.  He actually was born wealthy and did give some of his money multiple times to poor families prior to being a bishop.  Legend (no real proof) is that on one of the visits instead of throwing it through the window (his usual method), he dropped it down the chimney.  There is a lot more in the interview.  Here and is a website explaining the history.

The history of the suit goes back to Thomas Nast's cartoon above. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cloud Based Video Maker

A few days ago a teacher in my department asked me how to make a video.  I spent 3 minutes with him on WeVideo and came back and in five minutes he had figured it out and created his short video.  It is that intuitive.  WeVideo can be done alone on the Internet or it can be added to your Google Drive account (Create (in the upper left side of a page)...Connect More Apps...WeVideo and then synch it with your account).  WeVideo is essentially a MovieMaker that is cloud based and therefore can be worked on simultaneously by a bunch of different people in different locations.  Think about how many times you have run out of time working on a video and wished the kids could finish at home.  Well now you can! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Greek Philosophers: Can't Get You Out of my Head

Kylie Minogue reviews the three main Greek philosophers!

Archimedes Takes a Bath

Archimedes takes a bath and comes up with one of the great principles of mathematics in this great three minute TedTalk.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Egyptian Mummies: Great Flash Site

Here's a very cool interactive flash site from Active History that takes you through the steps of mummification in an engaging manner. Thanks to Russel Tarr for tweeting the link.

Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

Here's a great seven minute clip about the formation of the Delian League and the Age of Pericles.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The World's Largest Cities Over Time

Here are the world's largest cites from 4000 BCE to the present from Slate Magazine. They got the chart from Goldman Sachs who just published a report with their favorite 100 charts. This was one of them. If you go to their site here, you can click the chart and enlarge it.

You'll see, for example, that in 1000 CE, Kaifeng was the largest city in the east with a population of almost 1,000,000.  And Cardoba was the largest in the West with a  population of about 200,000.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Flipped School Clintondale's Videos

The PBS video on Clintondale in the post below is excellent especially since it addresses what to do with students who are more disadvantaged.  Both George and I have to deal with that in our schools.  One of the things I do is have more fluid due dates.  In fact my flipped students only have late assignments after the test is over.  I also have lots of kids come to my class during our "flex" periods, as well as at lunch and after school.  If you want to see Clintondale's videos go here. You can look a few posts below to see how to make your own videos.  If you want more I have a book coming out in the late spring with Corwin that spends some time on flipping the classroom - and a lot more, but more on that in coming months. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What' a Flipped Classroom Looks Like

Here's an excellent clip from PBS NewsHour that shows what a flipped classroom looks like.

Google Sites for Education

Google sites is a great platform that allows you to create a class website where you can embed assignments, video clips, and even Google Forms for short assessments. Google gives you more flexibility than Blackboard and has more apps that work seamlessly with Google sites.

 My colleague, James Dahlgren, and I presented different ways to use Google sites at the 2013 VSTE (Virginia Society for Technology in Education) Conference in Roanoke this weekend. Here’s a link to our presentation that shows you the steps involved in creating a site.  And here's a link to a site we created for our AP World history class.  We link the site to Blackboard so that when students open Blackboard they are taken directly to the Google site.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

From Foraging to Food Shopping

Did you know that the decisions you make about food today extends far back into human history? That's exactly what this clip from the Big History Project attempts to show.

Monday, December 9, 2013

42 Maps - Different Ways of Looking at the World

This is a cool look at the world through 42 different maps as told by Hank Green (brother of John).  Show it to your students when you start your map sections. 

Flipping the Classroom Presentation

I helped organize a technology 1/2 day at our school today.  I am doing a presentation on Flipping the Classroom.  Here is what we are going over today:

  1. What will be taught:  We will learn how to record lectures for students to watch at home, how students can be accountable for that information and how to flip one’s classroom to do the “problem sets” in the classroom.
  2. Tutorial steps that will be finished in the class (each underlined item is linked to a tutorial)
    1. will learn  how to use Screencastomatic to learn how to record a ten minute lecture
    2. will discuss what can be done in the classroom
    3. will learn how class activities can be put on a Google Drive document and linked into Blackboard
    4. learn how to split the laptop screen so students can see the video and their notes or you could use VideoNot.es (tutorial)
    5. If you accumulate lots of videos, here is how you create a youTube Playlist 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Google Drive Templates

My son is working on an assignment on Jamestown (4th grade history in VA is VA history) and is writing a newspaper account about 1619.   So we found this link to Google Drive documents' templates.  But it also has links to Presentations (PowerPoints), excel spreadsheets, forms and drawings (see below).

To use the templates, simply open up Google Drive and then go to the page.  Click on "use this template" (see below) and it will appear in your Google Drive under "Recent" which is on the left side of your page.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Greek Government

This is a nice video explaining how you can use paper to tell the kids about Greek government. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mandela's Struggle in Posters

The New York Times has a great slide show of Mandela's struggle against apartheid through posters. My thanks to Jeff Feinstein for sending me the link.

NPR's Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt

Show your students how a simple t-shirt is made. They'll be amazed! Click here to go to the NPR site (NPR developed the story), scroll down and click "View" for a video presentation of the story. The video contains different chapters such as "cotton," "machines," "people," "boxes," and "you."  It's fascinating and definitely worth showing,especially if you are covering the industrial revolution.

Here's part IV, about boxes

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Scripts for Google Drive

Unlike apps that are added to something like Google Drive, scripts just help Google Drive further an application it already has.  For example, WeVideo is an app that one can use to collaboratively make videos in Google Drive.  But we have already discussed a script such as Doctopus that allows you to put your students' assignments in folders.  Well, here are eight other scripts that you might want to use in your classroom along with Google Drive.

The video above is one example of the scripts on the link which is called Flubaroo which makes grading exams easier in Google Drive forms.

I found the scripts on Synergyse.

Ancient Rome Prezi

Here is an awesome prezi on Rome. It begins with the rise of Caesar and the end of the Republic and goes through Augustus and Pax Romana. Five or six excellent short video clips add a lot of interest. Check it out.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Age of Exploration Poster

This is a nice concise poster that explains what life is like at sea for the sailors in the Age of Exploration (which for some reason is a difficult resource to get online). 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holocaust Survivor Meets Savior

When possible I enjoy using primary documents as they bring history alive, but it is even better when one gets a short video like the great one above.  It shows two elderly gentlemen, one who was hidden by the other during WWII for being Jewish.  Perhaps since my own grandfather saved 200 Jews in Czechoslovakia from the Germans, I feel somewhat moved by the end of the video.  It would make a nice addition to your teaching WWII.  

Oracle Bone

My students were supposed to find out about the oracle bone, but a lot missed the boat so we will look at this simple site on Monday which does a nice job of explaining its purpose. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

World's Most Typical Human

We just finished our India unit and now are into China so I showed the bottom video to our students.  It is a great clip from National Geographic showing that the most typical person in the world is a Han Chinese man.  There is more to it and it is captivating to the kids.

The top video looks at what having seven billion people on the earth means and why are numbers keep going up.  It too will be enjoyed by your students. 

Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure

WETA will broadcast Tuesday and Wednesday a special about Leonardo Da Vinci. Hosted by Fiona Bruce, the BBC program will trace the story of the famous artist and help us to understand how he became so famous with so few paintings to his name.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sailing the Seas of Global Trade

Follow Harvard historian Maya Jasanof as she explores global trade aboard an 1100 foot cargo ship as it sails along some of the same trade routes ships have traveled for centuries.  In a story for Aljazeera America Jasanof says that she is interested in the "links between the globalized past and present."

Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" provides Professor Jasanof with what she calls "a rich if unconventional historical source." Conrad, she says, "described the beginnings of globalization as we know it today: a world in motion and increasingly financially, politically and culturally intertwined; a world in flux, shaken by new powers, technology and ideas; a world whose dynamics strikingly resemble those of our own."

Here's the ship she on which she will be traveling for four weeks.Check Aljazeera for updates and photographs from Professor Jasanof as she begins her travels.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NCSS Breakfast Talk

This morning I am going to be helping my son's troop with their popcorn delivery.  Somewhere in the middle of that I am supposed to talk to the NCSS World History teachers' breakfast and hopefully call in for questions.  Since I can't be on my computer, I made this five minute video showing some of the cool things world history teachers can do.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

QR Generator for Google Drive

You can use a QR code generator for any of your Google Drive documents to use in your classroom, but if you want to keep a list of them, then you need to go to the Google site that will shrink your link and give you a QR code which it will keep for you as long as you want. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Photos of Brazil's History With Slavery

Brazil was the last place in the America's to abolish slavery in 1888, so there are lots of photographs of the practice as you can see in the clip above. Indeed, according to NPR, Brazil has the "world's largest archive of photography of slavery."

Now, you can see many of those photographs  at a new exhibition in Sao Paulo (the museum web site is in Portuguese). You can also read the excellent  NPR story which includes some background about the history of Brazilian slavery.

We are covering sugar and silver in Brazil in AP World now so these photographs should offer students some interesting insights.

Here's the NPR story about the exhibit.

Kahn Academy's Smart History

I just found the Kahn Academy's "Smart History," which was started in 2005 and has now been quite well populated with both history and videos.  It started as an art history website, but has grown to be a nice history book or sorts with summaries, video and images.  It is broken into the major categories that you are teaching, be it ancient or modern world history.  

Amazing Summary Video of Major Religions

This is an eleven minute Ted Talk overview of each of the world's five major religions.  I would show each part to your students as a summary as it does a great job of giving your students the main points you are teaching.  But it adds in maps and ties the facts of each religion together very nicely. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

75 Google Play Apps for Your Classroom

A few years ago I met Jaime Casap whose job it is to promote Google's Chromebooks.   I found this PowerPoint from his Google+ account.  I will be mining it over the next few months, but wanted to share it right away as it has too many amazing apps for those of you who like to jump into these things right away.   All of the apps can be used on Chromebooks and with Google Driveand are found in Google Play. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

World History Teachers at NCSS

I recently have been in touch with Joe Ballou, the current chair of the world history community within the NCSS. Starting this year, NCSS is placing a greater emphasis on developing its support of world history teachers than it had in the past. If you're going to St. Louis next week, their world history community is hosting a talk and a breakfast (which I will call into to talk about technology) and I'd encourage you to check out both if you can. The community is also looking for NCSS members who would have an interest in leadership, as there are a number of volunteer leadership positions available. 

Joe is a former world history teacher who has spent the past 2 years creating world history games and technology with his company Civic Games, and currently works as a coach and curriculum developer at the Democracy Prep Public Schools. You should look out for him in St. Louis to talk about this work, or you can contact him directly via the contact form at www.joeballou.com

Cheat Sheets for Ancient World History

This is a great visual way to review for an ancient world history exam.  It has a visual summary for every major category you will teach.  Above is the one for China. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Using Rubrics in Google Drive

So have you ever wanted to use a rubric with student work in Google Drive?  Sure you have.  You can create a rubric and then link it into Google Drive and have it connect to a Google Drive spreadsheet so that you can have the grades recorded and the students can see their rubric.  Above is the how to tutorial.  You can find more easy scripting on youpd

Doctopus to Manage Student Work Flow in Google Drive

One of the problem with Google Drive is that while you may want to keep all of your students' work, it becomes almost unmanageable in the shared column.  BUT Doctopus is a script that will allow you to create folders to put your students' work inside AND you will not have anything to show in your shared list.  Think about it.  You can then keep all assignments all year and check on cheating between different teachers (copy the curious language and then send a snippet to your fellow teachers and you can have them use their Google Drive search box to see if kids have copied between classes.

To use Doctopus, open up a Google Drive speadsheet and to to "Tools" and then "Script gallery"
and then use the search box to type "Doctopus' ." (steps are here). 

Next watch the video below to see how to use it. 

If you like this, there are many other items found here

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Origins of Civilization: China The Mandate of Heaven

Here's a great Michael Wood documentary about China. The first 15 minutes, which I plan to show tomorrow, cover Shang and Zhou China, Confucianism and Daoism. Michael Wood also produced the The Story of India, from which the clip in the post below came.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Flipping the Classroom Presentation

I helped organize a technology 1/2 day at our school today.  I am doing a presentation on Flipping the Classroom.  Here is what we are going over today:

  1. What will be taught:  We will learn how to record lectures for students to watch at home, how students can be accountable for that information and how to flip one’s classroom to do the “problem sets” in the classroom.
  2. Tutorial steps that will be finished in the class (each underlined item is linked to a tutorial)
    1. will learn  how to use Screencastomatic to learn how to record a ten minute lecture
    2. will discuss what can be done in the classroom
    3. will learn how class activities can be put on a Google Drive document and linked into Blackboard
    4. learn how to split the laptop screen so students can see the video and their notes or you could use VideoNot.es (tutorial)
    5. If you accumulate lots of videos, here is how you create a youTube Playlist 

Gupta Empire Achievements

Here's a clip from The Story of India about the Gupta achievements. I showed it today after students completed a History Alive station activity that reviews many of the achievements.

I helped organize a technology 1/2 day at our school today.  I am doing a presentation on Flipping the Classroom.  Here is what we are going over today:

  1. What will be taught:  We will learn how to record lectures for students to watch at home, how students can be accountable for that information and how to flip one’s classroom to do the “problem sets” in the classroom.
  2. Tutorial steps that will be finished in the class (each underlined item is linked to a tutorial)
    1. will learn  how to use Screencastomatic to learn how to record a ten minute lecture
    2. will discuss what can be done in the classroom
    3. will learn how class activities can be put on a Google Drive document and linked into Blackboard
    4. learn how to split the laptop screen so students can see the video and their notes or you could use VideoNot.es (tutorial)
    5. If you accumulate lots of videos, here is how you create a youTube Playlist 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor

Here's a great overview of Qin's terra cotta warriors. The clip was for the 2009 exhibit of some of the warriors at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Confucianism and Daiosm: Great Podcast

Here's a great podcast explaining the basic beliefs of Confucianism and Daoism. I put it on Blackboard so my students could use it to review the two philosophies.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I helped organize a technology 1/2 day at our school today.  I am doing a presentation on Flipping the Classroom.  Here is what we are going over today:

  1. What will be taught:  We will learn how to record lectures for students to watch at home, how students can be accountable for that information and how to flip one’s classroom to do the “problem sets” in the classroom.
  2. Tutorial steps that will be finished in the class (each underlined item is linked to a tutorial)
    1. will learn  how to use Screencastomatic to learn how to record a ten minute lecture
    2. will discuss what can be done in the classroom
    3. will learn how class activities can be put on a Google Drive document and linked into Blackboard
    4. learn how to split the laptop screen so students can see the video and their notes or you could use VideoNot.es (tutorial)
    5. If you accumulate lots of videos, here is how you create a youTube Playlist 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Visualizing empires decline

Fascinating clip that's interesting not just for what it shows but what it doesn't show. Thanks to @CaseyMMeier for tweeting the link.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Chinese Dynasties' Song

Kudos to Jeff and George for finding Harvard professors singing the Chinese dynasties' song.  I like this one above best, especially the kid on the left whom my students get a kick out of seeing. 

Voice Comments in Google Drive documents

First off a clarification.  Google documents are one item in the Google Drive suite that includes things like Google forms and Google presentations, but now allow a lot of apps.  A new app is Kaizena allows you to add links (which you can already do), but also voice comments to a document so you don't even have to write anything anymore.  Above is the tutorial which I found from a Tweet from .

Thursday, November 7, 2013

French Revolution Web Quest

Here's a great site that has links to short summaries of all the major events of the French Revolution from the Enlightenment to the fall of Robespierre. Each summary has a sidebar with supplemental information including images, documents, and some multimedia.  My colleague, Keri O'Brien developed a web quest that can serve as a great introduction or review of the big events of the revolution.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

China's Dynasties: How to Teach Them

Two Harvard professors show us how to memorize the Chinese dynasties to the tune of Frère Jacques, a trick most of us high school history teachers also know.  It's just a little amusing to watch two older Harvard professors sing it. Thanks to my colleague, Jeff Feinstein,  who sent me the link to this video and New York Times story.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Buddhism Web Quest: Pacific Asia Museum

Here's a web quest based on the Pacific Asia Museum which has a great interactive website.  It works best with flash player. And here's the worksheet that goes with it. Thanks to my colleague,  Frances Coffee, who designed the web quest and sent me the link.

Attila the Hun: Here Comes the Rain Again.

Bookmark this clip for the Middle Ages. Here the Eurythmics sing "Attila the Hun: Here Comes the Rain Again." And below is the 1954 movie, "Sign of the Pagan," with Jack Palance as Attila. Read more about the movie from the Medievalists.net 


Friday, November 1, 2013

Salt: A Brief Big History on TV

Program your VCR for what looks like a great series. The H2 channel will premiere a 16 part series on salt this Saturday at 10 PM. The H2 channel is an extension of the History Channel. Here's how AP New summarizes the series: "The series uses science and history to show how various things that we take for granted these days had their origins thousands of years ago." Search "Big History" on the H2 channel to find the program.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Educator's Guide to Twitter

Here is the best clip I have seen on how to use twitter in education.  You can find out more about Twitter and education here. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Intro to Buddhism Prezi

Teaching Buddhism? Here's a great Prezi  with several short video clips embedded into it. Thanks to my colleague, Mary Anne Cohen for sending me the link. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Most Typical Person in the World

My kids love this video as it hits both China and India which are the two units we are now working on and does it in a fun way. 

Chinese Philosophies

One of the things you can do easily with your students is have them make a movie of a concept you are teaching.  So many of them have smartphones and can use it or their home laptops to edit the films.  Above is one I found detailing the Chinese philosophies of Taoism. Legalism and Confucianism.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Follow Me on Twitter and Google+

As always thanks for coming to this site to find information and ideas for your classroom (and if you have good ones, please e-mail me).  But if you also want to have my posts go to your Twitter or Google+ feeds then you can follow me on Twitter or Google plus by clicking on the links

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flipped Learning and DIfferentiation

Believe it or not the NYTimes has an opinion piece advocating the Flipped Classroom.  But it is the quasi flipped classroom which I use a lot in our combined ESOL World History I class (which is a ESOL and standard education students combined in a mainstreamed class).   We do much of the flipping at home, but, for example, two days ago we did a unit on Egypt where we started with the flip (except we were in class) and then went to the actual work.  As you can see in the video above what flipping allows is for the teacher to individually work with ALL the students by moving around the room constantly and to allow for individualized student pacing which is nicely incapsulated in the video above.

The creator of the video above, Tom Driscoll, has a number of great videos on his Youtube account which are broken into flipped learning, tech tutorials and World History flips.   You can also follow him on Twitter. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Battle of Thermopylae: Stanford History Education Lesson

The Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) has a new World history lesson, The Battle of Thermopylae, which you can preview here. Their lessons all use primary sources, which are generally short, and include good scaffolding.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chromebook Tutorials

World's Wealth in 1500 and 2002

Russell Tarr tweeted this excellent picture of the relative distribution of the world's wealth in 1500 and 2002. @HistoricalPics  originally tweeted it. You can find these maps and others at Worldmapper.

Fakebook Tutorial

I have been using Russell Tarr's Fakebook for several years with my students.  It allows the kids to create a Facebook like page where they can have friends, put up posts and make comments.  It is not real in that the students are not sharing with others, but rather creating their own world.  They also are given their own unique url and allowed to set a password of their own.  BUT they do not have to sign up, or give a e-mail or anything else that will identify themselves.  It is a great way to have students create a conversation between historical figures or even current politicians to show that they have learned the material successfully and can apply it.

Since Russell has not yet created a new tutorial to match his newly improved Fakebook site, I have my own above. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Upside of Isolated Civilizations

Here's a cool 4 minute clip from Ted Ed explaining how isolated civilizations like the ancient Egyptians, the Maya of Meoamerica and the medieval Japanese, all of which were isolated from invaders, made great contributions to the world. They had two things, the author argues, food and peace, that helped their success.

Video Notes for the Flipped Classroom

One of the apps you can add to Google Drive is VideoNote.es.  As you can see on the image above it allows you to watch a Youtube video on the left while taking notes on the right.  The e-sheet allows you to tap right beside where you are writing and it will take you to the same place on the video.  When you are done it shows up in your Google Drive suite.   One drawback is that it does not allow for bullets or numbers, but can you can copy the notes and put them into a regular document. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage

Wow! So long Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus and several others. According to a new study, those different species  "may actually represent variation among members of a single, evolving lineage."   "In other words," according to the the New York Times, "just as people look different from one another today, so did early hominids look different from one another, and the dissimilarity of the bones they left behind may have fooled scientists into thinking they came from different species." 

All of this comes from an international team of scientists who studied a skull from Dmanisi, Georgia. The skull comes from a site in Georgia that has the "biggest collections of well-preserved early human remains known anywhere in the world."

In  addition to the New York Times story, you can read this story from the BBC News. And here is an NPR story about the discovery.

Thanks to Jeff Feinstein for sending me the links.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Positive Engagement for Challenging Students

I just learned about PBIS World at an in-service at our school.  Name the problem behavior; disorganized, hyperactive, anxious, not turning in work and on and on.  This is a great site that has lots of ways to deal with all kinds of challenging behavior.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cave Paintings Mostly Made by Women

It has long been believed that the Paleolithic painters were men, but this is an interesting article describing new research by a Penn State professor who believes most of the paintings were actually made by women! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why did the Indus Civilization Disappear?

Why did the ancient Indian city of Mohendjodaro disappear?  Michael Wood explores the answer to this question in this excellent five minute clip from his documentary, The Story of India.

How to Make Papyrus

This is a great video showing how to make papyrus. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Malala Yousafza and Her Inspirational Message

If you ever have a student who doesn't want to do work, show them the first 30 seconds of this Jon Stewart interview with Malala Yousafzai who tomorrow may become the first teenager to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  Actually if you just want to inspire your students tell them Malala was shot by the Taliban for going to school and then see what she would do if she met up with the man who shot her. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hinduism and Buddhism: Lesson Ideas

Check out this teacher site if you are teaching Hinduism and Buddhism. The site's author, a teacher at the Emma Willard school, has some interesting lesson ideas and excellent short readings, especially for Buddhism, that might be great for 9th grade world history students.  My thanks to Rob Kerr who sent me the link to this site.

For other resources on Hinduism and Buddhism, check out my religion blog. Just use the search function to find entries on both religions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

China's Great Uprooting: 250,000,000 to the City

Two Hundred and fifty million rural Chinese residents will move into newly constructed towns and villages over the next dozen years in what the New York Times calls, "a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come."

What a change for Mao's peasants!  Here's part 2 of the Time's series about China's push from farm to city with an interesting slide show and below is chart showing the projected growth of China's urban population that I saw in Architecture Daily News.

How to Make a Flipped Classroom

Today I am doing a short in-service for my school and since I only have ten minutes I am putting these items up there for our teachers to use later or for you to do use to make your own flipped classroom.

First off below is a PowerPoint with the main points of how and why to do flipped classrooms as well as additional resources.

Next is a video which shows you how to use Screencastomatic which is a free online resource which you can use to make screencasts.  If you go to my Youtube page you can see lots of my flipped videos.

Now once you have made the screencast you will want to share it with your students.  To do this you can create a Google form and add it right in the top.  The form will allow you to have students ask questions which you can start the next class by answering.  Then you can go to the interactive you want to use in class.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

World History Flipped Class Videos

This year I am co-teaching with an ESOL teacher for WHI.  To that end we have decided to ditch every lecture and use flipped videos instead.  We feel it will especially serve our ESOL students who will not have to ask to have us repeat everything and we can run around more and help all our students.  I will not say my videos are incredible, but in case you want to see them this year, here is the playlist on Youtube.  The other advantage this affords is that for the several kids who do not have Internet at home they can either watch it on a smartphone or just watch it at school and pace themselves through the class - which really is a huge advantage to having a digital classroom.

Above is a vide I made two years ago detailing how to make a map in Google Drive drawings which is something we are starting with tomorrow. 

Chromebooks for Your School

While I have been unsuccessful in convincing my school district (mostly since Pearson cannot yet run their end of the year state exams in the cloud - amazing for a company as big as they are) to let me buy Chromebooks, for our students, 22% of US school districts are now using them.  I am practicing what I preach as my wife and I have bought two of them for our kids and they love them for their school work and everything else they do (except for games that require Java downloads).  The best ones are only $250 which kills the price of the iPad and other laptops and the go from completely off to fully functional in 10 seconds.  Since they are cloud based they also keep updating themselves.

If you or your school district is thinking of purchasing them, the slideshow above is very balanced on the pros and cons (pro = cheap to purchase if your students use the cloud and your school district approves the use of Chrome apps; con = no Java and no Microsoft Word).

Here and here are two great pages on using Chromebooks and the slideshow above is a perfect place to start with lots of apps.