Showing posts with label ken burns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ken burns. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Use This Interactive Map to Discover Artifacts Used in Ken Burns Productions

On Sunday evening I found myself immersed in watching the new Ken Burns series The Roosevelts (the episodes are available online until September 28th). Watching the series launched me into a search to find more Ken Burns materials online.

On the Ken Burns America website there is an interactive map and timeline featuring images, videos, and audio files that have been included in various programs produced by Ken Burns. You can filter the display according to media type, era, theme, location, and Ken Burns film title.

Applications for Education
Most of videos and images that you find through the Ken Burns America interactive map include a link to related lesson plans. You can also just jump to the classroom resources page to find lesson plans.

If you don't need a full lesson plan, but want a to find a short video clip or a visual aid, then you may find the interactive map on Ken Burns America to be handy.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

An Interactive Story About the Dust Bowl

One of the online complements to The Dust Bowl produced by Ken Burns is an interactive story about the dust bowl. The Interactive Dust Bowl is a series of video clips and scenarios for students to work through. After each video clip students have to make a decision to either keep farming or move onto something else. The point of the activity is to help students understand the causes of the dust bowl and the mistakes made that contributed to its continuation.

Applications for Education
Working through the Interactive Dust Bowl could be a good way for middle school students to understand the myriad of factors contributing to the dust bowl. The interactive activity is also good for helping students understand the effects of the dust bowl on farmers and their families.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ken Burns on Storytelling

I saw this video this morning on Open Culture and I had to watch it right away because I'm always curious about the art of storytelling and because I am a big fan of Ken Burns. In the five minute video below Ken Burns explains what he thinks are some of the key themes in the art of storytelling. One of the things that stands out to me is his assertion that "all story is manipulation."

Applications for Education
If a venerated documentary film producer like Ken Burns is willing to say that all story is manipulation, what does that say about new media and other media outlets? That might be a good question to put to your students as an introduction to lessons on bias and propaganda. In the video Burns also introduces another question that could be a great conversation starter in your classroom, that is, "is it okay to manipulate information and how much manipulation is okay?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The National Parks Digital Story Telling Modules

The new Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea premiered on PBS last night. I'd been eagerly anticipating this series since I first heard about it in late July and it did not disappoint me. Prior to watching the first episode I did some exploring on the website established for The National Parks: America's Best Idea. On the website I found some great lesson plans that incorporate a variety of digital storytelling tools including Google Earth. In addition to the lesson plans, PBS has put together eleven modules that will teach you and your students how to create place-based digital stories from start to finish. The digital storytelling modules include screencasts showing you how to do each task each step in the digital story creation process.

Applications for Education
Many of the lesson plans designed to accompany The National Parks: America's Best Idea provide a great opportunity to combine elements of geography, history, and writing into one lesson. Two of my favorite lessons, and ones that I might try with one of my classes, are Mapping the National Parks and Images of the Parks.

Your students don't have to have seen the series to benefit from these lesson plans, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. You can watch a lot of clips from the series here. The DVD of Ken Burns: National Parks - America's Best Idea isn't available until October 6th, but you can order it from Amazon now and save $30 off the list price.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

National Parks Picture and Video Contests

This September PBS will air a new documentary series from Ken Burns about America's National Parks. Over the course of six episodes the series will showcase America's National Parks. The series documents the history of the National Parks and the challenges facing America's National Parks. If you're like me and cannot wait for the series to air, you can view fifteen video segments on the PBS website right now. The series preview video is twenty-five minutes long while the other videos are much shorter.

As a promotion for the National Parks Service and the PBS series, PBS is running two contest this summer and fall. The video contest asks contestants to create a video of their experience at any national park. The winners of this contest receive a trip to any park of their choice. The photo contest asks for submissions of photos taken at any national park. The winners of that contest receive camera equipment and their winning photo will appear on the 2011 national parks pass. If you're not sure if there is a national park in your area, check out the National Parks layer in Google Earth.

Applications for Education
When the series airs in the fall the PBS website will be adding a section of National Parks profiles. These park profiles would be good to have students read before having them explore the National Parks layer built into Google Earth.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Create a National Parks Virtual Tour
Every Trail, The Grand Canyon, National Parks
Google Street View is Now Easier to Navigate