Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Map of Book Bans and Challenges

Next week is the ALA's banned books week. Just in time for that, Janet Kenney (Library Lady J on Twitter) shared with me a Google Map representing the places where books have been banned or challenged in the United States since 2007. Each placemark on the map contains the name of the book and a brief explanation of why it was challenged or banned. Check out the map below.

Applications for Education
Banned Books Week is good time for teachers to combine lessons in literature with lessons in Civics. It's a good opportunity to have a discussion with your students about freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Wikipedia in Plain English

Last week I had a student tell me that one of his other teachers doesn't allow the class to use Wikipedia for anything. Unfortunately, that statement could be made about any number of classrooms around the world. Often those restrictive policies are made by teachers who don't understand how Wikipedia works. A good resource to help people understand how Wikipedia works is Wikipedia Explained by Common Craft uses Common Craft's In Plain English style to explain how Wikipedia works. The video explains how Wikipedia entries are written, updated, verified, and maintained. Watch the video on Common Craft.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Textbooks, Wikipedia, and Primary Source Research
Mashpedia - The Real-time Encyclopedia
VisWiki - Visual Wikipedia

3 Ways to Access Khan Academy Without YouTube

Khan Academy now has has more than 1800 mathematics and science tutorial videos online. There are even some videos covering topics in the humanities now too. While Khan Academy is best known as a YouTube Channel, there are other ways to access the Khan Academy content. Khan Academy can be accessed through iTunes U. Khan Academy can be watched and downloaded on Curriki. Finally, Khan Academy can be downloaded onto a flash drive for viewing on any computer.

Thanks to Miguel Guhlin for the tips about Curriki and the flashdrive download. Thanks to Open Culture for the iTunes tip.

Applications for Education
If you've always wanted to use some Khan Academy videos in your classroom, but couldn't because YouTube is blocked in your school, try one of the three methods listed above to bring that great content into your lessons. Khan Academy is a great reference source for teachers and students. Students can find all kinds of helpful mathematics and science videos to use when they get stuck on a problem or concept and can't get in touch with their teachers.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom
Hundreds of Reviewed Online Mathematics Resources
Downloading Videos for Use In the Classroom

60 Second Recap Now Offers an iPhone App

60 Second Recap is a website that hosts video overviews of many classic book titles. Each title has a selection of 60 second videos explaining different parts of each book. Today, I learned that 60 Second Recap now has an iPhone app. The app itself is free to download and comes with three book overviews (30 videos in all) preloaded on it. Additional book overviews cost $.99.

You can read more about 60 Second Recap in my previous post about it.

Applications for Education
60 Second Recap's iPhone App could be a handy resource for students who need some assistance in understanding the main ideas of the books they need to read.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Guys Read - Getting Boys to Read
AdLit - Strategies for Teaching Adolescent Literature
Shmoop - Study Guides for History and Literature