Tuesday, August 2, 2011

US Civics Infographics

As I've mentioned in the past, every fall semester I teach a civics and government course. Recently, through Jeff Thomas, I learned about a nice infographic that I think I'll add to my bag of resources for that course. How Our Laws Are Made is an infographic (flowchart might actually be a better description) that outlines all the steps that a bill must go through to become a law. The infographic was created by Mike Wirth Art and can be purchased without the watermark that you see in the online version.

A related infographic from the same artist is Our Flag: A Graphical History. Again the infographic can be viewed for free online or purchased without the watermark.

And not to be forgotten is this classic video about how a bill becomes a law.

Children of the Congo: From War to Witches

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Children of the Congo: From War to Witches. This hour-long film documents the effects of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the children of DRC. The film investigates the work of individuals and organizations to bring positive change to the lives of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The film is embedded below.
Watch more free documentaries
Click here to watch the full-length film and read the accompanying discussion questions.

Visualize the Effects of Search Operator Words

For the last two days I've facilitated a series of workshops about using Google products in the classroom. One of the workshops included using Google's advanced search features. During that session I was reminded of the Boolify Project, a handy resource for showing students how search operator words affect search results.

The Boolify Project provides a jigsaw-like template into which you can drag the search modifier pieces "and," "or," and "not." Each time a piece is added to the puzzle the search results at the bottom of the page will change accordingly.

Applications for Education
The Boolify Project is a good resource for helping students understand how search operator words can affect their search results. In addition to the search tool, the Boolify Project offers a small collection of lesson plans for teaching about web search tactics.