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Posts tagged ‘current events’

Crisis in Ukraine: Teaching resources

Looking for some resources to help with class discussions on the crisis in Ukraine? Here’s a quick short list.

Background:

Teaching resources and lesson plans:

And don’t go anywhere without checking out what Larry Ferlazzo has to share both here and here.

13 resources for learning about the government shutdown

I’m hoping that by the time you read this, Congress has moved past kicking sand at each other and turned the government back on. I’m not holding my breath but who knows, maybe some grownups will show up and actually do something productive.

Until that happens, you might find the following resources useful in your conversations: Read more

Tip of the Week: TV News Search and Borrow

The Internet Archive recently released  a new, very cool tool called TV News Search & Borrow. The searchable collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over three years from national and metro U.S. networks. You can search by keyword, network, and specific TV show. You can also limit the time period searched by using the timeline slider.

The tool archives the closed caption transcripts of the different news shows and uses that as a searchable database that is linked to the actual video clip. Very cool idea.

And it can help you to find and use a wide variety of news coverage quickly and easily. It’s stated purpose is

to help engaged citizens better understand the issues and candidates in the 2012 U.S. elections by allowing them to search closed captioning transcripts to borrow relevant television news programs.  The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired. Older materials are also being added.

Read more

Online resources for controversial topics

The Teaching History website always has great stuff. A recent article by Ben Bohmfalk, a high school teacher from Colorado, continues the tradition of excellence. Ben shares a few websites that can help you and your students gather un-biased information about current events, policy issues, and election topics.

He highlights three and I’ve added four of my own.

ProCon.org
An independent non-profit designed “to provide resources for critical thinking and to educate without bias.”

National Discussion and Debate Series
Video, text, and links from debates at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. This program was created “to encourage a vigorous, well-informed discussion on the national stage about the major issues of our time.”

Debatepedia
“The Wikipedia of debates . . . an encyclopedia of pro and con arguments and quotes. A project of the International Debate Education Association

PolitiFact
Every day, PolitiFact and its partner news organization examine statements by anyone who speaks up in American politics. They research these statements and then rate the accuracy on the handy-dandy Truth-O-Meter.

Factcheck.org
A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.

FactCheckEd.org
The aim is to help students learn to be smart consumers of information, not to accept it at face value; to dig for facts; and to weigh evidence logically. Lesson plans, resources, and frameworks for analyzing information.

Flackcheck.org
Uses parody and humor to debunk false political advertising, poke fun at extreme language, and hold the media accountable for their reporting on political campaigns.

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Tip of the Week – 2011 Google Year in Review

Every year, Google publishes its annual Zeitgeist:

What mattered in 2011? Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year’s 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011.

From that report, the Google folks created a short video highlighting the events of 2011 as seen through the lens of Google searches. It’s a different way and a different perspective to view the past year. It’s also a nice way for you and your kids to start a conversation about a whole range of things:

  • Current events
  • Bias & perspective
  • Cause and effect
  • Why are some events more “important” than others?
  • Why did some events and people make the video and others didn’t?
  • What would the video look like if it focused on just one country? On just the United States? On just your state or city?
  • What would your video look like?

The cool thing is that your kids can create their own video. Using the very awesome Google Search Story Video Creator, your students can use the Google Search tool to fashion a ZeitGeist of their own.

Have fun!

(View the 2010 version here.)

Newspaper Map tool perfect for social studies

As social studies teachers, we’re always looking for great current events resources. And what history teacher doesn’t love old newspapers as primary sources?

I just ran across a site that does both. And translates stuff into English for you. And provides a very cool way to visual browse over 10,000 newspaper in map form. And has a mobile version for iPods, iPads and cell phones.

Called newspaper map, the relatively new webapp uses Google Maps to visually display newspapers from almost every country in the world. You can filter the map results by place, address, newspaper name and language. The further you zoom in, the more pins you see. The larger the pin, the larger the paper.

When you find and select a specific paper, you have the option of going directly to that paper’s web site or selecting a specific language for translation.

So . . . read the New York Times to get a sense of what is happening in Tripoli and then browse over to the Arabic language paper Libya Almostakbal. Click the English hyperlink and another page opens with a Google Translate version of that paper.

Seems like a great way for kids to see and read different perspectives of the same event. Have kids read and compare papers from different parts of the US. Have kids read and compare papers from a variety of countries. You could even have different kids read different papers and then debate based on the perspective of their paper.

And if that’s all newspaper map did, it would be pretty awesome. But wait . . . there’s more. There is also a Historical layer that you can turn on and off in the filter box. Clicking that button gives you a different set of papers. Opening any of these papers link back to a variety of historical archives including the Library of Congress Chronicling America site.

So now . . . not only are you finding historical primary sources that discuss events of the day, your kids can do the same compare and contrast activity they were doing earlier with current events. Or simply use newspaper map to find and share some great historical documents.

No matter how you use it, the site is one that needs to be added to your toolkit.

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