Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weaving History - Create Timelines with Maps to Match

Weaving History is a promising website for history students and teachers. The purpose of Weaving History is to enable users to create timelines matched to maps.

There are two basic functions that you need to know about in Weaving History; Factlets and Threads. Factlets are where you create short summaries about an event. Factlets include dates, places, names, and other relevant information. Threads are where you string together a series of Factlets. In the Threads view you can choose between "chrono view" and "geochrono view." Chrono view displays threads in a traditional timeline style with a list of Factlets below the timeline. The Geochrono view displays threads as placemarks on a map with timeline below. Click on any of the placemarks in the Geochrono view to see the Factlets connected to the events at those places.

Applications for Education
Weaving History could be a great way for students to construct displays of information they've found through their research. Connecting the timeline of Factlets to the map of Factlets could help students visualize a progression of events through time. When I first looked at Weaving History my thoughts immediately went to my US History students who sometimes struggle to remember sequences of events related to the American Revolution and where they happened.

H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Snag Learning Film of the Week - Disconnected

How long could your students go without going online? In 2008 three Carleton College students tested that question on themselves. Disconnected chronicles the "struggles" of those three students as they disconnect from the web. Follow along as the students try to re-adjust to life without Internet access. Watch the sixty minute video below and read the discussion questions here.
Watch more free documentaries

Applications for Education
This film could be a great way to get students to reflect on their use of the Internet in their personal and academic lives. Teachers of Sociology might find this to be a good resource to add to their lists of current resources.

Tools for Creating Strong Passwords

As more and more of the important information in our lives moves online it becomes more and more important to use strong passwords. In addition to being in the habit of using strong passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters you should also be in the habit of changing your passwords regularly. Of course, developing strong passwords isn't always easy. Here are some tools that can help you and your students create strong passwords.

Password Bird is a simple website that asks you three questions then generates a password for you based on your responses. Every password it generated for me included numbers and letters. If you don't like the password it generates for you, simply click the link for a new password.

 PassPlex is a simple tool for generating strong and unique passwords. To use PassPlex to create a password all you have to do is enter the number of characters you need and the level of complexity you desire for your password.

Random.org offers a password generator that will allow you to create up to one hundred unique passwords at a time. To use the Random.org password generator just specify the number of passwords you want to create and the number of character each password should have. After making those specifications the list of passwords will be generated for you.

New Password Generator offers two tools for randomly generating passwords. The simpler of the two allows you to specify the number of letters and digits in your passwords. The more complex generators allows you to  specify if you want a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and the length of your password.

Here are a couple of videos that can help you explain to students why they should create strong passwords and how to go about it.

Here's How to Choose a Safe Password by Explania.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Here's Secure Passwords Explained by Common Craft.