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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free Guides to Teaching and Learning With Primary Sources

Last month Common Craft released a great video explanation of the differences between primary and secondary sources. After sharing that video with your students, extend the lesson by using the primary source evaluation guides from the Library of Congress. A central part of the Teacher's Page on the LOC's website is the primary source center. The primary source center walks teachers through the process of locating documents on the Library of Congress' site. The primary source center also provides guides for using various types of primary sources including political cartoons, photographs, and oral histories.

Applications for Education
When I was just starting out as a history teacher I knew that I should include primary source use in my classroom, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Fortunately, after some stumbling around a colleague gave me some of his primary source-based lessons which gave me a much better handle on how to use them effectively. Hopefully, the Library of Congress Teacher's Page will help new history teachers avoid the stumbling process I went through when I started out as a history teacher.

ShareDrop Offers Any Easy Way to Transfer Files Between Devices

ShareDrop is a free service that makes it easy to transfer files between devices without creating any kind of account. To use the service just go to ShareDrop.io in Chrome or Firefox (latest versions) on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Then do the same on the device to which you want to transfer your file. As long as both devices are on the same wireless network you can then drag a file into ShareDrop on one device and open it on the other.

Applications for Education
ShareDrop could be a good tool to use in an elementary school computer lab or a similar setting in which students don't have email addresses or Google Accounts for sharing work with their teachers. By using ShareDrop when students are ready to share their work with their teachers they can simply drag it into the browser on their laptops, desktops, or tablets.

H/T to LifeHacker

How to Record Audio Interviews With Skype and QuickTime

Last week someone asked me if it was possible to record the audio portion of a Skype call. The answer is yes, you can. There is software designed specifically for that purpose (VodBurner is a popular choice), but if you have a Mac you can record by using QuickTime. The screenshots below provide directions for recording a Skype audio call by using QuickTime. After recording your call you can take the audio file and use it Garage Band or another audio editing tool like Audacity to edit the audio.

Step 1: Call your contact. You can call by connecting to a Skype contact or you can call by dialing a phone number.
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Step 2: While your call is in progress open QuickTime and select "New Audio Recording" from the "File" drop-down menu.
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Step 3: Choose an input source for recording your call. Unless you have another microphone connected to your Mac, select "Built-in microphone."Click the red "record" button when you're ready to start capturing the conversation.
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Step 4: After your call has ended, save the recording then export it to your desktop as "Audio Only." You will then be able to use the audio recording in the sound editor of your choice.
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For the Student Driver - How Rearview Mirrors Work

For experienced drivers it is just a natural reaction to flip that tab on the bottom of our rearview mirrors when headlights appear behind us in the darkness. This isn't such a natural response for student drivers. Student drivers may be wonder, what flipping that tab at the bottom of the rearview mirror actually does?  Brainstuff explains the answer in the video below.

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