A good day so far. A few sessions this morning. Some great conversations with a some poster folks. I scored two free tee shirts and a cell phone battery charger from Google. And I spent two hours at the ESSDACK vendor booth.
Last session of the day before the awesome Tweetwood Mac / Otus / ESSDACK reception tonight? Jenn Judkins BYOD session on creating and using Google MyMaps. One of the first things I learned this morning was that MyMaps is now an option on the GAFE Google Drive Create dropdown menu.
So I am pumped that I’ll learn some new stuff this afternoon. I have my fingers crossed. If nothing else, Jenn is incredibly perky for 4:15 pm. She seriously just said
The IT guy’s name is Merlin. Shut the front door! He’s literally a technology wizard.
So . . . it’s gonna be awesome. Read more
Just dipped my toe in the #iste2015 Expo Hall, talked to a few folks, and got out. You want to be careful about spending too much time in there. It’s too easy getting sucked in to the vendor web.
But I headed in on purpose with a mission to stop by the ESRI booth for a quick chat. Met Tom Barker who had spent some time at the University of Kansas and learned a ton in just a few minutes. So I quick update before I scoot off to browse some poster sessions. Read more
I’m not exactly sure where I was or what I was doing when I first ran across Peter Menzel’s first book, Material World, A Global Family Portrait. Pretty sure it was some sort of social studies conference years ago and a vendor had some poster size images from Material World. And I was captured.
The images were powerful. The text informative and engaging. The teaching and learning possibilities endless.
It was a simple concept. Read more
For the last month or so, there has been a serious spring cleaning operation going on in my house. Serious. I’ve dug through boxes of stuff that I packed away almost 20 years ago and haven’t looked at since. Middle school lessons plans. Old laminated classroom posters. Folders of tests and handouts. Front pages from the Wichita newspaper documenting the first Gulf War.
And maps. Lots and lots of maps. Most of all the stuff I went through got recycled. Some of the books and resources will be given away as door prizes during future trainings. The maps? Nope. Kept most of the those. Cause you can never have too many maps. There’s just something about a good paper map.
But I also understand the power of digital. As much as I enjoy spreading out a 1939 world atlas, the ability of an online or tech-based map to blend and display huge amounts of data can’t be beat. Google Maps. Google Earth. ERSI. Rumsey Georeferencer. StoryMaps.
And now you’ve got the United States Geological Survey folks with even more goodies. The USGS has always been great about creating and sharing educational resources. But now they’ve created a new handy tool for finding and using historical topographic maps. Read more
I can not get enough of Flipboard. Seriously.
Flipboard inventor guy, I salute you.
The reason is simple. Find topics, follow topics, learn tons of new things. The unintended consequence, of course, is that you can often fall into a deep, dark, highly entertaining hole of time that you will never get back. I’m willing to pay that price because, like I said, tons of new learning.
Just in the last day, I ran across the incredible Guardian website on the First World War, I learned 60 news ways to use Google Classroom, and found what is apparently the ultimate strawberry shortcake recipe.
So . . . sidebar. Get Flipboard.
But while the WWI site, 60 Googley things, and shortcake were all interesting, what really caught my eye over the last few days has been a couple of articles focusing on geography. The first is about a book titled The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic and the impact of American geography on legal history in the United States.
And, yes, that sounds . . . mmm, not very interesting. But the interview with the author, Akhil Reed Amar, is not what you expect. You’re going to have to trust me on this. Head over Read more
It’s actually 149 maps. But I figured that was just a bit of overkill in the title. To be completely transparent, it’s really five different articles about five different topics that all focus on very cool and interesting maps to tell a story.
So you can pick and choose.
Middle school US history teacher? There’s a little bit of the Civil War in there. High school world history? Yup. We’ve got some WWI and WWII. Ancient? Rome and Middle East, covered.
But . . . I can hear a few of you now.
Glenn. I know you love a good map. But what can I, a classroom teacher, do with that many maps? How can these be incorporated into my instruction? And somehow make it about historical thinking?
Well . . . first of all, we’ve already decided that 149 is a big number so don’t use all of the maps. Pick and choose the ones that best fit your specific end in mind and content. And second, remember that one of the best ways to engage the brain and to hook students on content is to create an intriguing problem. Look for a map or two or three that creates a sense of “academic discomfort” – something that doesn’t seem to make sense. Or maybe combine a few maps together to create a narrative that can lead kids in a certain direction.
We’ve used Google aerial photos to hook world history kids before. We can use a similar strategy with middle school US.
So how about this? Read more