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Tip of the Week: David Rumsey Historical Maps and Georeferencer

In my perfect world as a map nerd, I would have grown up living my life as if I were David Rumsey. Make a ton of money and spend that money finding and archiving historical maps. Then figure out ways to share those maps with other people.

Because that sounds like a very sweet way to spend my time.

If you’re not familiar with the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, you need to head over and check out his more than 55,000 maps digitized maps, the more than 150 Google Earth layers, and the nine different mapping tools. Be prepared to spend some serious time here. There is just so much cool stuff.

One of the easiest ways to find handy maps for use in your classroom is to use the

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10 things you probably don’t know about Abraham Lincoln

It’s February 12. And we all know what that means.

“Time to go buy Valentine candy?”

Uh . . . no.

It’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthdate. Everyone knows this. Well, maybe not everyone. But for me, Lincoln’s birthday has always been one of the highlights of the year. Seriously. For as long as I can remember, February 12 has been a big day for me.

Lincoln has always been my favorite president. I can remember doing research, if you can call looking at his picture in the L volume of World Book Encyclopedia research, in first grade. And my appreciation for him has only grown since elementary school.

I grew up with the traditional rags to riches story of a self-made man, growing up in the wilds of the American west and becoming president. But he’s become much more complex as I’ve had the chance to spend time with him. Perhaps one of the most powerful professional learning experiences I have ever had was spending a week at Gettysburg College with historian Gabor Boritt.

Lincoln is more than just a tall guy with a really good media team. More than a guy who walked three miles in the rain to return six cents in chance and who split wood to make fences.

So today . . . ten things you probably didn’t know about Abraham Lincoln. Read more

#METC15 sessions – Google, close reading, and other assorted tech goodness

I’m in the beautiful state of Missouri at the 2015 METC in St. Charles. The #METC15 folks do a great job of creating a very positive learning environment centered around the idea of technology integration. So a good time for me to share some ideas and gather new stuff from others.

(I’ll be live blogging here throughout the day so be sure to refresh for most recent version.) Read more

New Mission US game released!

It was almost five years ago that I first ran across Mission US and wrote a quick blurb about it.

“Designed specifically for the educational market and aligned to national standards, Mission US is a multimedia project that immerses players in U.S. history content through a free interactive game with extensive teacher materials and resources. Students playing the game will walk away with a solid knowledge of the pre-Revolution period. And for the most part, the game does a good job of engaging kids in thinking and asking questions.”

At the time, there was just the one game teachers and kids could play:

“For Crown or Colony?” puts players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. They encounter both Patriots and Loyalists, and when rising tensions result in the Boston Massacre, they must choose where their loyalties lie.

In the years since, Mission US added:

In “A Cheyenne Odyssey,” players become Little Fox, a Northern Cheyenne boy whose life is changed by the encroachment of white settlers, railroads, and U.S. military expeditions.  As buffalo diminish and the U.S. expands westward, players experience the Cheyenne’s persistence through conflict and national transformation.

And just this week, they’ve added a fourth game. Called  Read more

Tip of the Week: Black History Month 2015

Okay. I gotta be honest.

Much of what you are about to read is two years old. My thinking hasn’t changed much since February 2013 and well . . . I’m not sure I could write it a whole lot better anyway. So the message and much of the text is the same. The resources are updated.

Enjoy.

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Free Google Earth Pro. And other Google Earth goodies

Most of you already know about my love for all things Google. Their stuff always works. It’s always high-quality. And for the most part, it’s always free.

One of my favorite tools has always been Google Earth. I use it a ton. It gives you and your students a chance to connect people & place and events & place. It provides big picture data and encourages problem solving. And it’s always been free.

Except for Google Earth Pro. Pro is, well . . . more awesomer. More features. More fun stuff like a HD Movie Maker. High resolution images. Extra layers not available on the free version. More measurement tools. So while it is more awesomer, Earth Pro would run you $399 for the privilege.

Until now.

Google Earth Pro is now free.

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