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Posts tagged ‘museum’

O Say Can You See? Smithsonian’s blog. (And other stuff. Lots and lots of other stuff)

Have you ever had one of those days / weeks / months? I feel ya.

Back in the day, summer was one of the slower times of the year at ESSDACK mission control. But over the last few years, for a variety of reasons, June through the end of August has become a very exciting time. Lots of extended learning opportunities that we facilitate, travel to places outside member school districts, and our own very cool Podstock tech conference.

But I’ve been missing History Tech. It’s nice to be back. And what better way to get back home than to talk up one of my favorite online places. Read more

I thought I was smarter. Uh . . . no. Dang you, Smithsonian

Yesterday, I felt smart. I had just finished a full day with some of the best social studies teachers around. We had talked about hyperdocs, completed a BreakoutEdu, identified photos as either real or fake, learned about a variety of graphic organizers, and participated in an awesome video conference focused on the Smithsonian Learning Lab with Darren Milligan and Kate Harris.

I felt smart. I had learned some stuff. I had taught some stuff. My brain was feeling good.

I should have stopped while I was ahead. Read more

I feel smarter

No real topic at all here today. But after finishing a great day of learning with 25 super bright social studies teachers, I feel smarter. So just a few of the random things I picked up today and a few others that  I’ve been reading, thinking, and talking about.

Cause if I can get smarter, anybody can get smarter.

“I, too, sing America.” Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed –

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes

The National Museum of African American History and Culture officially opened on Saturday, adding one more amazing piece to the Smithsonian collection. Through its collection of artifacts and narrative, the NMAAHC makes clear that the African American story is an American one and that understanding black history and culture is critical to understanding American history and culture.

In his dedication speech, President Obama said that the NMAAHC Read more

Robots, iPads, and museums. Oh my!

There’s nothing like a good history museum. Interactive displays. Interesting artifacts. Knowledgeable docents. Done well, a museum visit is not just a good time but can be an incredible learning experience.

That’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Especially if I’m a classroom teacher. Having students connect with evidence and explore possible theories in an environment specifically designed to support learning is something we all want for our kids.

And most history museums work very hard to find ways to get teachers and students into their buildings. The artifacts are there. The docents are there. The resources are there.

But more and more school districts are struggling to fund off-site field trips to history museums. Subs, entrance fees, fuel costs all add to make it difficult to get kids from schools into places like the Kansas History Museum. And so many museums,  have been forced to develop a variety of tools that attempt to replicate actual visits.

They create and ship out traveling trunks. Create and post lesson plans online. use photos and videos to give a sense of artifacts and displays. Many museums are experimenting with online chats using Skype or Google Hangout.

Museum and Education Director Mary Madden and her staff at the Kansas Museum of History have done all of that. Their Traveling Trunks are very cool. The Read Kansas cards are a great example of practical and aligned lesson plans that focus on literacy and social studies.

But two days ago, Mary stepped into a whole new world. Together with Curriculum Specialist Marcia Fox, Mary led Read more

Tip of the Week: World War One Museum and Centennial goodies

June 28, 1914.

Despite warnings of a Serbian plot to assassinate him, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, took his wife on a visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. They had minimum security and the route they planned to travel within the city was publicized.

Partway through the trip, a bomb was thrown at the motorcade and several people were injured. Following a planned speech by the Archduke, the motorcade planned to travel to the hospital via a different route to visit the injured. A failure to communicate the new route with the drivers took the royal couple right in front of Gavrilo Princip, one of the assassins who was stationed on the original path.

The car carrying the Archduke and his wife suddenly stops directly in front of Princip because someone in the car is telling the driver, “You idiot, you’re not supposed to go down this road. Stop the car and back up.” Princip fires two shots, killing both the Archduke and his wife.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The world is gearing up for the centennial of World War One and there is tons of stuff out there that can be used and adapted by world and US history teachers. So today  . . . a quick list of some of that stuff. Read more