Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Presidential Debates 52 Years Later

Tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this) is the first debate between President Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. You can watch the debate live on YouTube through the YouTube Politics channel. That is certainly a much different way to watch the debate compared to how the first televised Presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon was watched in 1960. The Kennedy v. Nixon video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
I probably wouldn't have students watch all of the video above, but I might pull out sections of it to have students compare the debate topics of 1960 with the debate topics of 2012.

Try Pathbrite for Creating Academic Portfolios

Pathbrite is a free service for creating digital academic portfolios. Pathbrite provides an easy-to-follow template for creating your portfolio. There are ten parts to the template, but you can skip parts that you don't think you need. Your Pathbrite portfolio can include transcripts, letters, and samples of your work. You can import information from a number of social networks as well as upload materials that are stored on your computer.

Applications for Education
About a month ago someone asked me if I had a standard digital portfolio template to use with students. At that time I didn't, but now with Pathbrite I do have one. Pathbrite could be a good tool for high school students to use to organize materials and create a portfolio that they can share with college admissions counsellors.

Pic Collage - Quickly Create Image Collages

Pic Collage is a free service for quickly creating picture collages on your iPad or Android tablet. The app does not require you to register or connect a social network profile in order to create a collage. If you do connect a social network profile to Pic Collage you can pull in pictures from those accounts. Otherwise you can upload pictures that are stored on your device or take new pictures using the Pic Collage app.

The Pic Collage user interface is easy to use. Just tap the blank canvas to import pictures from your device, from a social network profile, or by taking a new picture. To arrange the images in your collage just touch and drag them. You can expand or contract the images by pinching on them.

Applications for Education
Back in June Angela Oliverson wrote a great post about using collages pique students' interest in books. I encourage you to read that post.

Animated Map - Britain's Royal Navy in WWI

The Guardian recently published a neat animation of British Royal Navy ship movements in the years just before WWI, during WWI, and the years just after WWI. If you watch the animation you'll notice shifts in the patterns of activity during the years depicted. The animation moves quickly and is not interactive so I had to watch it a few times to notice everything it depicts. The animation itself is neat, but what I actually found more interesting is the data that was used to create the animation. The animation was created using these ship logs. To see images of some the ships in the logs, visit this ship list.

Applications for Education
When I saw the animation my first thought was to ask students to investigate why some routes were maintained during the war while others were abandoned. A good follow-up could be to have students try to investigate U.S. Navy ship patterns for the same time period.