Showing posts with label Cultural Anthropology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cultural Anthropology. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Evolution and Disappearance of Languages

This morning through Open Culture I learned about a neat TED-Ed lesson on the evolution of languages. Through the lesson students can learn about the difference between a dialect and a language, causes of linguistic divergence, and the types of words that are likely to be borrowed between languages. The video of the lesson is embedded below.

The TED-Ed lesson above reminded me of a couple of maps about the distribution and disappearance of languages around the world. National Geographic's Vanishing Voices is a languages hotspots map. The languages hotspots map is a heatmap of regions in which there are languages in danger of vanishing. You can click on the map to learn about the languages in danger in those regions.

The Endangered Languages Project map contains references to more than 3000 endangered languages. Click on the placemarks to find the names of languages, information about who speaks those languages, and the risk of those languages becoming extinct. The Endangered Languages Project is a collaborative project that invites contributions of language documentation in text and video form.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Project Explorerer - Free Films and Virtual Tours

Project Explorer produces free educational films and virtual field trips for students in elementary school through high school. Right now it appears that most of the content is focused on South Africa, Jordan, and Shakespeare's London. The videos in each unit seem to have a strong focus on culture. The educators section of Project Explorer offers lesson plans to accompany the units on South Africa, Jordan, and Shakespeare's London.

Applications for Education
Project Explorer could be a good resource for virtual field trips and videos of the places listed above. The cultural focus of the units make Project Explorer a good fit for use as part of a global studies lesson.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teaching Math Through Culture

I recently learned about the work of Dr. Ron Eglash at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Eglash has done a lot of research of the occurrences of fractals and mathematical functions in cultural designs. Based on that research Dr. Eglash has developed some very interesting materials for teaching mathematics through culture. The program Dr. Eglash has developed is called Culturally Situated Design Tools. It contains fourteen units of study based around instances of mathematics concepts, including fractals, basic Algebra, and Geometry concepts occurring in cultural designs. The units of study can be used with middle school and high school students. The resource page for teachers provides some additional resources and background information.

Applications for Education
When creating interdisciplinary units math is often the most difficult content area to include. Through his Dr. Eglash has done the hard work for math and social studies teachers. The units of study in Culturally Situated Design Tools provide fourteen opportunities to integrate math into the teaching of culture and culture into math.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Earth Calendar - Every Day is a Holiday Somewhere

Earth Calendar is a small demonstration of cultures and traditions from around the world. Earth Calendar is built on the idea that every day is a holiday for someone somewhere. Earth Calendar has three simple search options, holidays by date, holidays by country, or holidays by religion. I used the holidays by country option to find out that May 1 is Labor Day in Macedonia.

Applications for Education
Earth Calendar is a simple to use resource for students to use to get a little flavor of cultures and traditions from around the world. I've always found that adding just a little bit of lesser known information (dare I say trivia) about a country's culture helps to engage students in lessons about world news and world studies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: A Vision of Students Today and in the Future

This video from Michael Wesch, Professor of Anthropology at Kansas State University has been viewed more than 1.4 million times on YouTube so chances are you've probably heard of it. The video takes a look at today's college student, their habits, their society, and what is important to their education. The video while about college students has a lot of relevance to teachers of all grade levels.
Here are two of the thought provoking statements from the video:
"When I graduate I will have a job that doesn't exist today." That statement that applies not only to college students but all students. What are we doing as educators to prepare students for jobs whose descriptions do not yet exist?
"This year I will read 8 books, 2300 webpages, and 1281 Facebook Profiles." What are we doing as educators to engage students in learning through the use of current technologies?

Enjoy the video and join the discussion.