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Posts tagged ‘news’

MACE tech goodness: Free news sites for social studies teachers

It’s that time of year. The MACE tech conference in Manhattan opened its doors this morning and I’m loving it. It is about as nerdy a place as you can find – in a good way, of course. Just a lot of smart people getting together and sharing tech ideas / resources. I always learn so much and meet so many cool folks.

(Cody, my marketing boss at ESSDACK, would want me to mention our own very nerdy tech conference called Podstock. He would want me to let you know that Podstock is July 16-18 at the Old Town Conference Center in Wichita. He would also want me to share that early registration with a $50 discount ends June 1 and that the pre-conference is already about 75% full.

But it seems a bit weird to share information about our tech conference while I’m attending another tech conference, so I’ll probably just tell Cody that I did talk about Podstock held in Wichita on July 16-18 and hope he buys it.)

So the focus here is on the great sessions I get to attend and the ideas that I run across. I’ll share as much as can. Have fun! Read more

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.


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

The Mason-Dixon Report – Stripping history from the Civil War

It is exactly 150 years since Confederates soldiers in Charleston fired the first salvos on Fort Sumter that began the bloodiest, costliest war America has ever fought.

Here’s a question:

What if a cable news network existed in 1861 to broadcast the events of the day?

I’m not a huge fan of the current news pundits who seem to think that the louder they yell, the more right they become. But I am a huge fan of actual news.

So wouldn’t it be awesome to see what a 24 hour news program and its experts would have looked like in the 1860s? A program with colorful, opinionated pundits in front of the cameras to discuss the ongoing American Civil War? A news show with eyewitness reporters in the field to cover the human drama playing out in the halls of power, on the streets and on the battlefields.

I think it would look something like the Mason-Dixon Report.

The Mason-Dixon Report provides a very realistic take on what the news might have looked and sounded like as the war unfolded. Students often think that events in the past happened the way they did because . . . well, because that’s the way it was supposed to happen.

The Mason-Dixon Report seems like a great way to show students that history, as it happens, is not set in stone. You get historically accurate information, presented as if the events just took place. The clips are short, easy to use and generate student conversations. As one set of teenagers asked after watching a series of clips:

What happens next?

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10 Best Sites for Learning About Osama Bin Laden

I had other stuff planned for this space today but dramatic events have moved those till later this week. So . . . just a quick list of some handy sites to help as you discuss Bin Laden and the goings on in Pakistan.

The first thing to do is to provide some geographic context.

1. Based on a great article by PBS highlighting Bin Laden’s mansion in Abbottabad, we can use both Google Maps and Google Earth to get a sense of where the action took place.

Now you can settle in and start going through some of the other topics surrounding the events.

2. The New York Times Learning Network always has great stuff. Go here to get their Teaching Ideas on the Death of Osama Bin Laden.

3. CBS News has an interactive timeline called Hunting Bin Laden.

4. The Wall Street Journal put together a timeline, videos, comments and articles.

5. I always like the Newseum’s Front Pages – a great way to get a quick overview of views around the country and world.

6. Speaking of different perspectives, the BBC adds some articles, opinions, videos and photos to the discussion.

7. PBS NewsHour coverage is always fair and comprehensive plus there’s some handy teacher resources.

8. CNN has put together a long list of Bin Laden related topics and articles.

9. The New York Times created a detailed Bin Laden timeline.

10. NYT Learning Network has an older lesson plan titled Investigating Al Qaeda’s Presence Around the World that seems useful here.

Okay . . . one more that I really like.

11. The Society of Professional Journalists has a great web site called The Journalist’s Toolbox - it’s a handy resource for just about any topic and their Bin Laden is no exception.

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