Sunday, December 4, 2011

Building the Panama Canal - Lesson Plans & Video

One of my favorite television programs is American Experience. And one of my favorite US Presidents to read about is Theodore Roosevelt. The construction of the Panama Canal was one of the projects that Roosevelt pursued with vigor. Therefore, I was excited when I discovered that American Experience has a ninety minute program about the building of the Panama Canal. I recently enjoyed watching the program (in chunks because I never seem to have 90 uninterrupted minutes these days) and exploring some of American Experience's related resources. I've embedded the beginning of the program below, click here to watch the whole program.

Watch The Panama Canal on PBS. See more from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Applications for Education
American Experience has some nice resources to support a teacher's use of the Panama Canal documentary in the classroom. The Interactive Panama Canal Map allows viewers to click on different parts of the canal and explore the challenges faced in building the canal and the technology used to construct it. The Timeline of the Panama Canal doesn't have any interactive elements but it does offer a great overview of the history of the canal. And as usual American Experience has some good lesson plan suggestions connected to the video. My favorite of their suggestions is their suggestion and inclusion of editorial cartoons about the construction of the Panama Canal.

Insert Text - Win the Battle Against Inbox Overload

Everyday brings a new round of Man vs. Email to my life. Some days "Man" wins and other days "Email" wins. Now I have a new weapon in this battle and its name is Insert Text.

Insert Text is a Google Chrome Extension that allows you to right-click on any field in your email or other web form and insert a chunk of text from your personal library of saved text. Insert Text allows you to build a library of sentences and paragraphs that you use frequently. Then when you need to use one of those sentences in an email just right-click and select the sentence you want to use.

If you read the reviews of Insert Text on the Chrome Web Store, you might notice that some people had trouble using this extension to insert text. I did at first too until I restarted my browser after my initial installation of the extension. So if you install Insert Text, I recommend restarting your browser before trying to use Insert Text.

Applications for Education
If you send out week-in-review emails to your students' parents you probably have a few phrases that you frequently use in those emails. Save yourself some time and use Insert Text to construct those emails.

Do you have a favorite time-saving app? If so, please leave a comment.