Tag Archives: history

A National Treasure Of Free And Engaging Resources For All: Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons!

Welcome to the tenth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. This being the ninth post in the series, be ready for my super post that brings all the sites in this series together. Also, be on the lookout for my upcoming Advanced Google Post and an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series!  Not only that, I f have found a few more tools over the summer that I am anxious to share. Please be sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share this site and its information with others !  I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans), so be sure to follow. Now lets learn about a fantastic site that is really to big to blog! – Mike

If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its Smithsonian Education website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. When first entering you will note that the Education Page has a rich host of options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources that align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection.  In this area students are in engaged in activities such as  Sizing Up The Universe, they may take a Prehistoric Climate Challenge,  or relive an engaging Apollo 11 Mission of Walking On The Moon,  and they might just  race for answer on a web mission while Digging For Answers. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Woman’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. In fact you might enjoy visiting the Top Ten Lessons of the month such as :

1.  The Music in Poetry
2.  Teaching with Collections
3.  Every Picture has a Story
4.  The Universe: An Introduction
5.  A Shape-Note Singing Lesson
6.  WWII on the Home Front: Civic Responsibility
7.  Introduction to the Nature Journal
8.  Abraham Lincoln: The Face of A War
9.  Tale of a Whale and Why It Can Be Told
10.  Tomorrow’s Forecast: Oceans and Weather

It should be evident that lessons do cross every grade level and subject. You will find amazing material as you search by subject , standard, and grade level.  There are even lessons about making and using podcasts in the classroom along with an amazing collection of unique podcasts. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator.  Here is an archived example titled, Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts.  You may want to begin your first Smithsonian  lesson as small as a game about the  Cell, or  expand your classroom to the endless boundaries of the Universe. The Smithsonian  is a great resources, its yours, and its free.   It really is time to bring  national treasures, collections, and resources into your classroom, today!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as the Smithsonian this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! Coming soon… my upcoming Advanced Google Post and an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series! Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki,  follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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Free Down To Earth Resources For Science And Social Studies

Welcome to the eighth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

A visit to the US Department of Interior’s USGS Education Website , The U.S. Geological Survey, provides scientific information intended to help educators. Exploring this amazing site  is certainly a grand voyage in itself. Teachers of Social Studies, Geology, Geography, Biology, Statistics, and History will find themselves engaged in a a collection that literally covers the Earth! The mission of the USGS is to educate the public about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and issues that affect quality of life.

Your students can discover what a satellite can really see as it passes over our planet.  Unlike many popular satellite imaging programs,  students will see pictures in near-real time with the USGS EarthNow Landsat Image Viewer. This program incorporates mesmerizing, near-real time satellite imagery from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over North America. Discover how to make it happen by watching a high-resolution, 1-hour public lecture, Looking Down On Our Planet: New satellite imagery reveals a changing global surface. A teacher may also want to design a unit around Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change. This is an educational site focusing on before and after satellite images (emphasizing environmental change) with detailed information for the classroom. Perhaps you want to help your students Explore the Arctic.  They will discover the many new facts scientists are learning ever day about its changing landscape.  Don’t miss the countless other Featured Topics that contain exciting and engaging lessons ready for classroom use. It will be worth your time to take a moment to download this recently published PDF File citing over 22 major resources supplied to education from USGS.

Teachers will discover great  lessons for K-6 and 7-12 involving Ecosystems, Biology, Geography, Geology, and Water. Wish you could take more field trips? Perhaps you may want to check out  your own schoolyard filled with great geologic features! School Yard Geology is filled with activities and examples of what to look for to turn your schoolyard into a rich geologic experience. Supplement just about any lesson with over 130 engaging and downloadable Podcasts covering such topics as Twittering Earthquakes, Mt. St Helen, Arctic Ice Shelves,  and Global Warming. Most USGS videos and animations  are posted on the USGS Multimedia Gallery and even have captioning.  Browse through this database containing a collection of USGS videos and animations that are especially appropriate for classroom use. This list provides a broad representation of USGS research available through their own visual media. Remember, USGS is a Federal agency and cannot copyright its products. With one exception, all the products in this database are considered public domain and may be viewed, downloaded, and reproduced free of charge. What an opportunity for student remix and creativity! Be sure to visit Lessons & Activities for Exploring the Earth with Maps It will allow you to make maps and geography concepts come alive inyour classroom! Speaking of maps, why not Find A Map that fits the exact topic you are teaching? Using Find A Map educators will browse a site containing links to popular USGS map resources and map databases, including the: The National Map, and The National Atlas. You don’t have to stop at the USGS education site, find even more information at the main site for the USGS. It really is time for you to bring your curriculum down to earth while providing engaging opportunities for all students.  You will find that the USGS Education Website is filled with resources that will allow you to facilitate 21st Century Learning in your classroom today!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as USGS this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike


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Free EDSITEment : Core Curricula, 21 Century Ed, And The Arts

Welcome to another of a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

If there is such thing as a free goldmine of resources, then EDSITEment qualifies for hitting the mother lode.  Looking for Art and Culture? How about Literature and Language Arts? Perhaps you need some Foreign Language! Let’s not forget Social Studies and History! Click on EDSITEment and you will enter a site that indexes nearly three hundred other websites at the current time!  Every one of these websites covers at least one, if not all four, of the curriculum areas stated above.  This wealth of material is provided by a partnership consisting of the National Endowment for the Humanities,Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust for the Humanities.

EDSITEment offers a treasure trove for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality material on the Internet. This site is loaded with cross-curricular information, 21st century skills, and project, problem, and inquiry based learning activities. Check out these main headings including  Art and CultureLiterature and Language ArtsForeign Language, and History and Social Studies. In each one of these categories you can search by subcategories and grade levels. Perhaps your students want to take a virtual excursion “On The Road To Santa Fe“. Possibly they want to to learn that the Alphabet Is Historic. How about an activity in Mythology involving a  Podcast with Rick Riordan, author of the best-selling series Percy Jackson & the Olympians series ? You could get  involved with a Picturing Americas Conference. These conferences provide opportunities to teach history, and culture through American Art. Explore these lessons from Picturing America and see how they emphasize the value of visual literacy for subjects in the core curricula.

But wait, there is so much more! Take a moment to see what the ASA said about EDSITEment’s Advanced Placement US History Lessons. Explore EDSITEment’s cooperative effort with NCTE involving The National Gallery of Writing. This collection of student interactives and contributions are short essays that are thoughtful, analytical, and well-researched  based on history as seen through art. Be sure to also explore these NEH funded PBS resources for education. One example is the  NEH-funded five-part television series on PBS entitled American Experience: We Shall Remain.This is a provocative multimedia project which spans four centuries and gives Native American voice to the national experience from the Mayflower to the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973. There are some great lessons based on 19th century American Literature you may wish to explore and incorporate.  Not to be forgotten is this outstanding literary glossary.  You will also be rewarded as you browse the engaging monthly features that are provided.  The monthly calendar and calendar archive help integrate important events in history with lessons that can be found in the archive. There is also a great NEH Magazine that will fascinate you and your students, and a wonderful newsletter to keep you up-to-date in all the new resources and programs at EDSITEment.  I really could go on and on… but it is time for you to discover the goldmine of free resources found in EDSITEment!  Explore and be amazed as you search through the entire database by subject, subcategory, and grade level. I am sure you will create EDSITEment in your classroom.

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as EDSITEMENT this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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The Twitter In Google… A Wave Between The Two!

Welcome back to  a week dedicated to the Googal in Google. While Google has developed its own tool called Wave it also continues to develop features that compliment twitter. In this midweek post I share with you how Google helps you search for tweets and even find new people to follow. While Google continues to Wave its own micro blog, it also understands the importance of a Tweet. Speaking of tweet, please feel free to follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans) and I will do the same!  Now lets explore the Twitter in Google! – Mike

OK, why would you want to look at the history of a tweet?  Simple, by looking back at  tweets, users can explore any topic that people have discussed on Twitter. Perhaps you want to know how how the news broke about health care legislation in Congress, what people were saying about Justice Paul Stevens’ retirement, or perhaps the twitters happening with the release of the iPad.  You may want to replay all these tweets to gather information. Perhaps you want to look up information on a new piece of software and find great web links that better explain it. This will be possible with the new replay feature that will be available globally in English within the next couple days. For Google’s  initial release, you will be able to  explore tweets going back to February 11, 2010, and soon after, you will be able to go back as far as the very first tweet on March 21, 2006.  All you will need to do is click on Options (at the top of search results) and Updates (on the left side of search page results). You will get all of the tweets and a history timeline at the top. Move and click the  the history timeline as you wish. For those that want to see it right now , try out this special link and put in your own search term!

Google Labs can always be a lot of fun!  Today, Google announced a new lab tool called Google Follow Finder.  Once you are at the Follow Finder page just enter your  Twitter account name. This new lab tool will publish a  list of people you might be interested in following. Get other suggestions  from Google by entering other Twitter user names. If the Google Follow Finder displays someone you want to follow, just click “Follow on Twitter,” log in, and that person will be added to your following list in Twitter. Google claims that ” this integration is based on Twitter’s new @anywhere frameworks, which make it easy for any site to add Twitter functionality”.  The lists in Google Follow Finder are generated by using public following and follower lists on Twitter. The idea is pretty cool, although being a new Google Lab feature I do think there are some bugs to tweet out.

Thanks for joining me  for another look at the Googal in Google!  As always please take a moment to share with others and I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans).  I will do the same and we can tweet each other towards new discoveries in 21st Century Learning! I also invite you to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and to also visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki,  filled with great information! Have a great week and take a moment to watch your own tweets in Google! – Mike

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Free And Engaging Resources At Smithsonian Website – Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons, Oh My!

Smithsonian Education – If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. From the Education Page there are many options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources and align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smnithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Women’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. There are even lessons about podcasts in the classroom. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator. The Smithsonian is a great resources, its yours, and its free. Bring its national treasures, collections and resources into your classroom today!

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