Saturday, June 14, 2014

Create Multimedia History Presentations With Digital Artifacts

The National Archives Experience Digital Vaults is one of the resources that I almost always share in my workshop on teaching history with technology primary sources. The Digital Vaults offers three good tools that students and teachers can use to create content using images and documents from the National Archives.

The National Archives Digital Vault poster and video creation tools allow students to drag and drop digital artifacts into a poster or video. The National Archives provides images, documents, and audio in an easy to use editor. When making a poster students can combine multiple images, change background colors, and create captions to make collages of digital artifacts. See the screen capture below for a demonstration of poster editing.

Creating a video is just as easy as creating a poster in the Digital Vaults. To create a video simply drag your selected images on to the editing templates, type image captions, select the duration of display for each image, and select audio tracks. See the screen capture below for a look at the video editor.

Applications for Education
The Pathways tool in the Digital Vaults can be used to create small quizzes that ask students to identify the connections between two or more images or documents. To start, drag one image to you Pathways menu then select a related item to add to your Pathway. Type in a clue for students to use to help them make the connection. When you share your Pathway with others, they will see only your first image and your connection clue, they have to find the image that connects. Take a look at a sample Pathways challenge here.

Please note that the Digital Vaults website loads a lot of media when you visit it for the first time. Give it ten seconds or so to load everything before you start to create and investigate. It also helps to be using an updated browser (Chrome or Firefox are best). 

Educational iPad Apps from the Library of Congress

The U.S. Library of Congress offers a wealth of fantastic online resources for teachers and students. A quick jump into the teachers resource page will lead you to things like these primary source analysis guides that I have used with students in the past. The LOC also offers a couple of good iOS apps that are worth noting.

Library of Congress--Virtual Tour provides images of the Library's historic rooms along with historical information about them. The images are also paired with related links for further investigation. Audio podcasts about items and features in each room can be accessed through the LOC Virtual Tour app.

Aesop's Fables interactive book from the Library of Congress is available to read on the Web, on an iPad, and on an Android device. The book contains more than 140 of Aesop's Fables for children. The level of interactivity varies widely depending upon which story you're reading. Some of the stories have truly interactive animations while other simply have a small moving picture accompanying the fable.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts of the Week

Good evening from the Free Technology for Teachers World Headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. Earlier this week I spent a couple of days working with a great group of teachers, technology integrators, and teacher-librarians in Selah, Washington. We had a great time exploring all kinds of ideas around augmented reality, video creation, and blogging in the classroom. Next week I will be in Dubuque and Bettendorf, Iowa. If you are going to be at either of those conferences, please say hello. And please click here if you would like to have me visit your school or conference.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Flip Your Classroom With eduClipper and PixiClip
2. Photo Mapo for Archiving Summer (and other things)
3. Complete These Free Courses to Become a Better Researcher
4. Progressive Phonics - Free eBooks for Teachers, Parents, and Students
5. Three Good Places to Find Historical Images - And an Idea for Using Them to Spark Discussion
6. Legislative Explorer - An Interactive Visual of Legislative Actions
7. Flipagram - Telling Stories Through Pictures

Three seats are left at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston and Chicago.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.

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TED Playlists - A Little Organization for Your TED Talks Viewing

TED Talks have provided the spark for a lot of interesting conversations in my current events classes and in my homeroom meetings over the years. Sometimes I would simply show them in the classroom as discussion fodder and other times I would post them on a classroom blog to have students watch and respond with written comments. I found talks either through searching the TED website or by having them appear in the TED Blog feed. Now there is an easier way to find good talks, that is by looking at TED Playlists.

TED Playlists are sets of talks organized around a topic or theme. You can search for playlists and videos by selecting a topic from the playlist homepage then entering a keyword search within a chosen topic. It's a quick and easy way to find interesting talks to share with your students.
If you would like to a see a list of more than 1700 TED Talks, take a look at this spreadsheet that contains speakers' names, talk titles, talk summaries, and links to the talks.