Friday, November 13, 2009

5 Ways to Step Back in Time

History Buff? History Teacher? Regardless, there are various opportunities online for our students to step back in time. Check out some of these websites to bring history alive within your classroom.

History Mystery

This site offers games and activities on exploration, African-American History, Environmental History, Government & Politics, Social/Cultural History, etc.

Grade Level: 4-9

Archiving Early America

Short video clips at your fingertips! Each short video on this site offers a highlight of true, significant historical events based on the Early American Digital Library.

Grade Level: 3-8

National Geographic Expeditions

This site is described as being an interactive museum with geographical journeys including a telescopic view from space – there is even an archeological dig.

Grade Level: 5-8

Digital History

In addition to lesson plans/handouts… you can also find historical music, videos, games, interactive timelines and a digital textbook.

Grade Level: 3-12

Growth of a Nation

Only have a few minutes? This site offers a unique, narrated 10 minute presentation on the growth of our nation.

Grade Level: 3+

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Comfort Zone?

So – at first this may seem unrelated to technology – but… give me a second…

How many times have we reached our comfort zone?

At some point in life, we all reach a zone of comfort where we feel like we have the bull by the horns. The tall, tall ceiling is our limit – and we reached it. We are on top of our game – masters of our roadmap. Simply put, we think we are just plain good. Hmmmm… does any of this sound familiar? This could be you in sports, a hobby, or even your job. But, I want to challenge you and that type of thinking.

Change can show up every day - is everywhere - and can effect everything.

How does this relate to technology? Let’s hit rewind. Technology is always changing – it will never be something we hit a ceiling on – glass or otherwise. That proverbial bull will, somehow, wiggle free, and sometimes mightily. The directions on the roadmap will need to be updated with added curves and additional turns – sometimes while we are still going full speed ahead.

In essence, what am I trying to say here? Keep your eyes and mind open – be willing to go with the flow. Technology is ever-changing – for improvements, innovation, enlightenment and the engagement of your students... Accept the challenge. Be in it for the long-haul. It is worth it. The use of technology in education is worth it.