Tuesday, July 3, 2012

46 Sites and Lessons About The Civil War

As I continue to reorganize the blog resources, here is another installment for the new "HISTORY" tab. I will publish the tab after adding a few more posts and then add the new ones over the course of the rest of the year. Any posts from a while back (i.e. The Holocaust) will automatically be located in that section.

American 3D Civil War
- use the Google Earth plug to view

The American Civil War- from EDSITEment

American Civil War Collections- includes letters, texts, newspapers, student projects

American Civil War Flashcards-27 cards (Flashcard Machine)

The American Civil War Lesson Plans- from Teacher's Guide

The American Civil War Online Simulation 

The American Civil War Resources- from EyeWitness to History; some sites listed are interactive

Animated Gettysburg Address:

The Center for Civil War Photography- retouched photos, 3D exhibit

The Civil War- PBS film by Ken Burns

The Civil War Across Disciplines
- from the Library of Congress; how to use primary sources when teaching about the Civil War

Civil War Animated 

Civil War Battlefield Medicine- primary sources, Civil War doctors, common medical terms

The Civil War Collection
- over 30 million documents

Civil War Flashcards- 35 cards (Quizlet)

The Civil War Home Page
- includes official records, photos, battle maps

Civil War Interactive Poster- from Teaching History.org

The Civil War For Kids

Civil War Letters Collection- from libraries at the University of Washington

Civil War Potpourri- list of links

The Civil War and Reconstruction Era- free Yale course taught by Professor David W. Blight; view the course here

Civil War Sheet Music Collection- Library of Congress

Documenting the American South- thousands of links on this site

The Fight for Civil Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War

Flashcards About the Civil War- (StudyStack)

The Gettysburg Address- from the Library of Congress

Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library- around 20,000 items, including correspondence and papers; Library of Congress

NeoK12 Civil War Videos and Quizzes 

Outline of the Civil War- from Great American History

Pennsylvania Civil War 150- interactive map, interactive timeline, interactive soldier, artifacts showcase

Portraits of Named Civil War Enlisted Men- from the Prints and Photographs Reading Room (Library of Congress)

Teaching the Civil War With Technology- this wonderful blog is all about the Civil War, including curriculum resources (webquests, lesson plans) NOTE: not all links are up-to-date.

Timeline of the Civil War- from the Library of Congress

14 Lessons on the Civil War- includes interactive and printed quizzes

Civil War Lesson Plans- from social studies teacher

Civil War Lesson Plans- for all grades K-12; other resources and activities listed

The Civil War: A Nation Divided- for grades 6-8 from Discovery Education

Civil War Photographs: The Matthew Brady Bunch Collection- from grades 6-12 from the Library of Congress

Civil War: A Terrible Swift Sword- for grades 9-12 from EDSITment

Library of Congress Civil War Themed Lesson Plans

Map the Civil War Lesson Plan- grades 4-7

TeacherVision Resources for the Civil War- includes lesson plans, slideshows, printables, quizzes, reference

Teaching with Historic Places- nice listing of lesson plans from the National Park Service

Voices of Bull Run- for grades 5-8

Women in the Civil War: Ladies, Contraband and Spies- for grades 6-12 from the Library of Congress

Women's Role in the War Effort

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The 3 A's of Awesome

Neil Pasricha talks about attitude, awareness and authenticity and how optimism will help you lead an awesome life. His blog, 1000 Awesome Things won the 14th annual Webby Awards and each day presents another awesome thing in life. Examples: "the smell of a library", "when someone already highlighted your textbook". Neil's books and blog can be found here.

My Guest Post on Free Technology For Teachers: The Teacher-Librarian-Your Best Tech Resource

Thank you to Richard Byrne for allowing me to make a guest post today on his very popular blog, Free Technology For Teachers. (Two images were left out of that posting but are visible in this one.)

When I first began my career as a media specialist, the Internet was just beginning.  Now, 22 years later, technology is an integral part of our lives. The school librarian, once known for handling books, is now responsible for both print and non-print resources. This is the biggest change in a job description any teaching position has seen.  If you are a K12 educator, you are aware of the term "technology integration", but did you know that perhaps your greatest assistance can come from the school media specialist (or teacher-librarian)?  Let's talk about what kind of help you can expect:

1. You have assigned your students a research paper and have given them the requirements.  Now what? If your class has questions about how to evaluate a website they'd like to use, what would you tell them?

Many teacher-librarians (yes, we ARE certified teachers) have set up pathfinders on the school's website to aid students with a myriad of topics. The pathfinder lists information on that topic, including the Dewey Decimal number, (books) book titles in the library, and websites, which have already been approved by the librarian.  If your school subscribes to EBSCO, Fact on File or any other databases, we can give a tour and explain the best way to search for a specific topic.

One lesson that I have done for grades 7-12 (I work in a junior-senior high school) is on searching.  My students are very quick to use Google, without understanding Boolean logic.  Here is a simple explanation from Kent State University's libraries on the left.

This type of search can be done in databases including EBSCO, and is the way that Google's advanced search is set up.  I always offer other search engines that are best for scholarly work, because they are specific to academia.

Let's get back to Google.  Students will believe that Google is all they need to research their topic.  Wrong. I explain to them that Google will merely provide results it thinks they are looking for without saying whether or not the website can be trusted.  After showing them some hand-picked sites which are hoaxes (here's one which looks like the White House website and has links which are real, except this one) and mentioning that anyone can make a website and put it on the Internet, the students begin to understand the importance of being able to trust the information.

Once classes have begun to research their topics, I talk to them about curation (collecting information to share later on) and various sites to assist them, such as LiveBinders, Evernote or Zotero

Since today's kids are digital learners, I will suggest apps for their phones, which will make the research process easier on the go.  For example, EBSCO, LiveBinders, Evernote and Follett Destiny have mobile apps available. Students can check our card catalog for books remotely. (Boy, so much easier than when I was in school!)  Even the citation process is easy for them, with BibMe, Noodle Tools Express and EasyBib creating the bibliography for the student.  There is an app for EasyBib only right now.

2. Information Literacy: Are your students literate?

With budgets being cut across the nation, many school librarians have lost their jobs.
This map depicts how bad the situation is.  Students in elementary school enter middle and high school without the proper skills and are then are lost when they need to use the Internet and don't know how to even attach a file to their email account.  I make it a point to create posters on how to do various things in the computer lab, such as checking the spelling and grammar in Word for a Spanish document, things students should know about EBSCO, HP smart printing made easy, finding images on the web with high resolution for inserting in Word documents, and how to search for a job.  When I taught in another school, I actually had a class in Information Literacy. In my opinion, this class should be mandatory for every student, now that the 21st century has arrived.

3.  Looking to make presentations easier for your students?

It's no secret around my school that I dislike PowerPoint.  With the PC version much easier to use than the Macintosh version, (and students still finding it difficult to locate where things can be found in the interface) I have introduced SlideRocket to quite a few classes with great success. You will never have to worry about lost presentations, because they reside in the cloud on SlideRocket's server. The interface is clean and adding images, video and audio are a snap. No more excuses from students about forgetting their USB drive at home. Compare SlideRocket's interface (left) to PowerPoint .

4.  Trying to keep up-to-date on all things related to technology in education?

It's a daunting task for anyone, especially when lesson plans, quizzes, teaching duties and more fill up your schedule.  Your teacher-librarian can find resources that are best for you to try.  Many of us have blogs or websites where we post thoughts, ideas, and information on tech tools and apps.  Edmodo is loved by our students because the interface emulates Facebook.  I demonstrated this program and many others, including Pixton (Spanish students created comics using their vocabulary words) and took the students through the sign up process.  I posted the winning cartoon on our school's website. (only 2 frames shown here)

There are so many things that your teacher-librarian can offer you and your students.  USE US. Make time to visit the library-media center. It should be the focal point of every school.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @cybrarian77


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