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Posts tagged ‘news’

Tip of the Week: Consensus Debate

“What thoughtful, intelligent people do with their brains is to mull over inconsistency. When two ideas are in conflict and you have to struggle to make sense of that conflict, that is when thinking starts.”

Malcolm Gladwell

One of the many topics that a group of teachers and I messed with earlier this week was the idea of using debates in class. How can we set up activities during which kids support specific positions using evidence – which is good – without having the debate disintegrate into emotional arguing – which is bad?

Civil discourse. Evidence-based discussion. Consensus building. Solving problems together.

Good.

Yelling. Emotion-based arguments. Talk show pundits acting like children. Winners and losers. No solutions.

Bad.

And you gotta know . . .  Read more

Tip of the Week: Fantasy GeoPolitics

I got the chance yesterday to spend time with some of the middle / high school teachers from Manhattan. We chatted about primary sources and DBQs and historical thinking and Sam Wineburg and all sorts of social studies stuff.

Doing tech integration stuff is fun. But spending a whole day with other history and social studies nerds is good for the soul. These are my people. And I always walk away from those types of conversations smarter than when I walked in – teachers share ideas, resources, web sites, strategies, all sorts of goodies.

I, of course . . . steal all of those great ideas, resources, web sites, and strategies and pass them on to you.

Yesterday was no different. Shane and Alex, a couple of world history guys, shared how they use what looks like a very sweet tool for geography, world history, and current events teachers. Called Read more

5 free tools for finding fantastic current events

A few days ago, I ran across a simple list of handy current events / news resources. A few I was familiar with. Some were new. And from the Twitter conversation, I ran across a few more.

I’ve grabbed a few from the list at ClassTechTips and added a few of more own favs for a quick list of five news sites that are specifically designed for teacher use.

What’s on my list? Read more

Newsela: Current events, connections to contemporary issues, and literacy

Need a place to connect past with present? Need writing prompts? Need hundreds of articles about current events in an easy to access place? Need articles with leveled reading? Need a searchable database that filters by keyword, grade level, Common Core reading anchors, and articles with machine scored quizzes?

If your answer to even one of those questions is yes, then I’ve got just the tool for you. Newsela is a free (so far) site that provides all sorts of things perfect for social studies teachers looking to integrate literacy and contemporary issues into their classrooms.

I’m spending a lot of time this week working with small groups of social studies teachers, leading conversations about our new state standards and what that can look like in the classroom. One of the things I enjoy most about those kinds of conversations is the sharing that we all do – strategies, ideas, suggestions, web sites, just about anything that’s going to help us do our jobs better.

And Stephenie came through. A fifth grade teacher in a small parochial school, Stephenie has been using Newsela since last spring and loves it. She shared how she was using the tool and we ended spending the next hour or so exploring, talking, suggesting, and generally falling in love with the possibilities of Newsela.

At its most basic level, Read more

85,000 reasons to head over to YouTube

Apparently going to the movies isn’t the same as it used to be. In 2014, there are no cartoons before the feature film. And no newsreel. At one time, I guess this sort of stuff was a big deal in the movie-going experience. MovieTone News and other companies would create weekly news updates that would run as short video clips before the main event. Sort of the 1940s version of the current social media / 24 hour news cycle.

British Pathe was the British MovieTone News equivalent, known for first-class reporting and a uniquely entertaining style. Reporting on events from 1896 to 1976, their collection includes footage from around the world of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, sport and culture. The archive is particularly strong in its coverage of the First and Second World Wars.

Their collection of 3,500 hours of footage was digitized in 2002 and is now accessible to anyone around the world for free on the British Pathe YouTube channel.

How cool is that? Read more

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

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