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  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. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Syria in 5 Minutes

This clip comes from the vlogbrothers and thanks to Andy Carvin for tweeting the link.

42 Amazing Maps

Great clip from the vlogbrothers. Thanks to Andy Carvin for tweeting the link.