There are so many more ways to study world history than looking at textbooks and class displays. This site
addresses other tools historians use to investigate world history, such as the frameworks of geography and chronological timelines. A geographical area can be used to explore commonalities across political borders
to discover the effect of trade, disease, and migration. Bridging World History is a set of multimedia materials designed to help learners discover world history and:
- Develop a dynamic conceptual framework for the study of world history, its
theoretical constructs, and its historiographical practices.
- Establish a spatial and temporal grasp of the peoples and cultures that
comprise world history, spanning thousands of years and the entire globe.
- Discover insights into thematic relationships that shape our understanding
of world history.
- Span the gaps between what learners comfortably know and what they need to
comprehend in order to explore a truly global and relevant
Are you familar with VoiceThread? It's a tool for onversing by means of a different media. It's one of the best ways to talk about and share your images, documents, or videos. You create your VoiceThread
, and others leave comments by telephone, text, webcam, microphone, or file upload. What a really cool resource for an upcoming project!With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install.
VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and
colleagues for them to record comments too.
Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies.
is an online learning platform that offers thousands of ready-to-use
activities, motivating games, avatar features, online homework access with
automatic grading, in-classroom review modes, and the ability for educators and academic learning coaches to use 'as is' or completely customize the learning experience. And, it's FREE. I used this site numerous times as an educator when I wanted to enrich certain subject areas.
The online learning platform gives students access to thousands of ready-to-use activities, motivational games, avatar features, online homework access with auto-grading, in-class review models, and more. Judges appreciated the easy teacher and student interfaces. Just get on, type in a subject area, and learn!
Does your child need a vocabulary boost? Vocabulary.com
offers FREE sign up and usage to enhance basic vocabulary skills. This website offfers more than 40,000 questions for helping students imporve their vocabulary. It creates a model of students' knowledge with which to track their progress. Various judges liked its ease of use and raved about the adaptive technology, which helps students learn tough words.Regardless of your education level or age, Vocabulary.com will help you to
master the words that are essential to academic and business success.
Writing a research paper can be daunting. Often online instruction can be a bit overwhelming detailing important components in the rubric of grading. Yet, Automic Learning gives a brief three minute video on How to Write a Research Paper
. This video will give you a great start in honing in on your subject information.
Once you've got a clear view, or template in your brain, writing becomes an ease as it is just a matter of adding more subject information in each of your areas. Don't struggle looking at the big picture, click on How to Write a Research Paper APA style and get off to a stress free beginning.
Woices is an interesting tool for sharing "echoes" that are linked to specific geographic locations or real-life objects. This would be a great themed approach for a history project. Just upload and give everyone the "featured tour". You just upload and produce your own app. Then send it out for others to view. There is even a bit of cash in this!How It Works
1. Sign upSign up for a Woicesguides account. It's completely
2. Create your guideUse Woicesguides smart guide building engine to create your guide.
3.Submit it for publishingSend the guide for publishing. Woicesguides will automaticaly compile and create the guide from your materials and design.
- Upload your
custom maps or use Google maps.
- Define as
many levels (in case of indoors guides) as you need.
- Place points
of interest on top of the maps.
- Add media (audio, text, images,...) to every point of interest.
images to customize the guide look and feel.
additional interesting information for your visitors.
4. Get the guide pubished in all major mobile app stores
Woicesguides will publish the guide in every major mobile app store*. Right
now, Woicesguides publish to AppStore, Android Market and BlackBerry
At the last stage of the guide creation you will be asked whether you want to
charge users for the final app or not:
National Children’s Book Week was observed this year from May 7-May 13. You will find everything you need to celebrate books and reading on this site
sponsored by the Children’s Book Council. Print out the official bookmark, designed by author and illustrator, Lane Smith. Best of all, use it throughout the year for literature ideas. There are a number of GREAT books for every age group on this site. If you need a free pick, be sure to peruse this site.
Best of all you can see the poster designed by David Wiesner, and encourage your students to vote for their favorite book. Activities include story starters by many children’s authors, and word-search and crossword puzzles. There is a digital toolbox for teachers and librarians, and suggestions on how to make every week a great book week. Celebrate books and the transformative power of reading!
If you're a BrainPOP
fan, you can now own the app. Log on your smartphone and download the new featured movie app. This app provides free timely and calendar-aligned digital content that rotates daily. It covers a range of relevant topics including current events, holidays, and historical figures.
The app also features a daily movie and quiz. Judges loved its "extremely well-alid-out content" and the availability of movies about many subjects. They said that students will appreciate the ease of use and the content.
If you already have a Gmail account, then take a look at the latest article from Tech Learning which gives accolades to Google Drive. Here you'll have a one stop system to upload and download all of your documents even on the run.
Google Drive, Google's online file storage system, is now
live. With it you can upload and access all of your files including videos,
photos, PDFs, Google Docs and more, just like with Dropbox or Sugarsync.
Google Docs is integrated with Google Drive so you can work on all your documents, presentations and spreadsheets, as well as share
content and then add and reply to comments on any file (PDF, image, video, and
so on) and receive notifications when some one else comments on a shared item.
It has added some social networking features to cloud file storage. Drive will
also recognize text in scanned documents. (similar to what Evernote does).
One other nice feature is that you can open all these types of files (over 30
different ones) right in your browser, even if you don't have the original
program the file was created in on your computer. That's a big afeature.
You can access your files on the web and install the Drive on your Mac or PC and your Android phone (iOS app coming soon). There is also a screen reader for blind
You can also search your files easily by keyword, file type, owner and more.
Not surprising that you can search like this since it isGoogle.
Screencasts and slideshares are all the rage when completing enrichment assignments. Here is a wonderful article located in Tech and Learning that offers you great tips on completing your project.Recently I’ve been exploring the options for slide-casting and
I know that so much of my library business is remote. I know from my stats
that my LibGuides are heavily used. But I also know that lists of links and
pretty images, and other people’s videos are not really enough.
I need, for instance, to explain in my own words, criteria contained in a
rubric or how Gale’s Literary Index can help you locate exactly where
to find criticism in your selected poem.
I am interested in these tools for other reasons. I’d like to begin to
archive and more broadly share professional development. I’d like to offer
teachers easy ways to present and archive instruction. To offer students new
strategies for presentation and for archiving their work. To help me rehearse
and archive my own formal presentations. And I am planning to do a little
online adjuncting in the fall.
And, as more schools and more individual teachers adopt the Flipped
Classroom model, we will be looking for options to present content,
lecture, and video as homework, so we can devote class time to more interactive
and engaging collaborative learning strategies.
So, I’ve been investigation a growing array of mostly free web-based tools
for projecting and archiving instruction, screenshots, storytelling, and
And because I am not there yet, I thought I share some more professionally
produced specimens. The web-based programs seem to fit into two large
buckets–slide narration tools and screen capture tools.
1. SlideRocket: Michelle Luhtala has been urging me to try
this one for months now. SlideRocket EDU is part of her Google Apps package,
but sadly, not ours. I’ve been playing around with Lite. Watching her tutorial/pitch for the application, I am sold on the free EDU version. The presentation platform
offers the ability to import presentations from PowerPoint or Google Docs, embed
media, publish easily, access Flickr’s Creative Commons search, collaborate,
analyize metrics, update presentations without replacing them, and store
2. MyBrainshark: This promising tool allows you to add voice to PowerPoint, documents, images, speadsheets, or videos. (MyBrainshark supports nearly 100 video formats.) Polls may be inserted. Users may add narration with their phones or computer microphones or by uploading a pre-recorded MP3. Speaker notes may be displayed as a support. And visual dashboards allow creators to track viewing results.
3. Present.me: Upload slides and images, in either ppt or pdf formats. The program converts your files and allows you to record and present into your webcam as if you were presenting to an audience.
A simple self editing function for missteps. Presentations may be shared or
embedded. Your initial registration offer a month of premium service. After
that a basic account is free and will allow you to record presentations up to
15-minutes long. Check out Shelly Terrell’s example.
4. Movenote: offers a similar arrangement of recorded side content accompanied with photos, PowerPoint slides, text documents or even videos. Movenote synchronizes the video and the side content for you when recording the presentation.
5. HelloSlide is a pdf-only tool that allows you to add computer-generated voice to your documents. Upload your presentation, type the speech for each slide, and the programs automatically generates audio. Presentations are searchable, editable, and available in 20 different languages. An edit feature allows you to tweak the speech without re-recording the audio. Translations are available as a paid feature. This may be useful for ESL learners. The English voice reminds me very much of the one used on Xtranormal. (Note: it is super easy to export PowerPoint and Keynote files as pdfs.)
1.Screenr: This screencaster allows you to capture images from your desktop, select the location and size of the capture, and record your voice over the action on your screen. A pause button allows you to take a break. Login through Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Google, Linkedin, or Windows Live ID, and you are ready to record and instantly publish on your platform of choice. Of course, you can also embed elsewhere. You are limited to 5 minutes of recording.
2. Screencast-o-Matic: records screen actions within the chosen dotted border. After the count-down, you may record and then publish to the Screencast-o-matic site, to YouTube, or to a video file. The free application limits you to a 15-minute presentation. Here is Andrew Steinman’s Flipped Classroom tutorial description of the the tool for the Kent ISD. Registration is not essential unless you choose to save to the Screencast-o-matic site. If you are registered you can add notes and captions–a lovely feature for distant or flipped instruction! A Pro-account offers sophisticated editing functions.
3.Jing: The free version of Jing requires a download (for Windows or Mac). Using the docked sun tool, users may record up to 5 minutes of onscreen video and instantly share using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Screencast.com (Jing’s
storage area which allows 2 gigs of space). You can mark up screenshots with
text boxes, arrows, highlighting, or captions. Jing is also a handy tool for
capturing screen images.
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
And, I realize that PowerPoint and other presentation programs allow for
recording of narration and saving as video files.
Nevertheless, I think that these web-based options offer easy publishing
options and additional valuable features. I welcome your suggestions in comments
and I will continue to curate our options. I hope to be
sharing my own productions in future posts.
Joyce Valenza is the Teacher-Librarian at Springfield Township High School, author, and technology advocate. Read her SLJ NeverEndingSearch blog here.