Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Brief History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

No unit of study about the Cold War is complete without including the Cuban Missile Crisis. The latest TED-Ed lesson provides students with a five minute overview of the moments of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The History of the Cuban Missile Crisis explains why the Soviet Union wanted to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, the decisions that Kennedy and Khrushchev had to make, the compromise that ended the crisis, and how historians view the outcome of the crisis today.



Take a look at Keith Hughes' work for a more in-depth video lesson about the Cuban Missile Crisis.



To The Brink is a free iPad app about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It offers more detail and media about the Cuban Missile Crisis than I’ve ever seen in a middle school or high school history textbook (print or digital). As a free app it is a resource that I highly recommend to middle school and high school history teachers.

Spend a Few Fall Evenings Learning New Tech Skills To Use In Your Classroom

Next week I'm starting three sections of my popular Practical Ed Tech online courses. On Monday Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders begins. On Tuesday Getting Going With GAFE begins. Graduate credits are available for completing both of those five week courses. Teaching History With Technology is a three week course that starts next Thursday evening.

About the Courses
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a five week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned. After establishing blogs we’ll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities.

Getting Going With GAFE is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. Getting Going With GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice.

In Teaching History With Technology you will learn how to develop engaging and challenging learning activities through the use tools like Google Earth and Maps, video production tools, primary source databases, and how to help your students become better researchers. This course features three interactive online meetings.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Evolution of Presidential Campaign Commercials

As the campaign for the White House continues to heat up, tonight's debate should make that clear, it might be a good idea to take a look back at how campaigns have evolved over the last sixty years. The Living Room Candidate is a great website shows visitors how political campaigns have evolved.

The Living Room Candidate is part of a larger project called the Museum of the Moving Image. Visitors to The Living Room Candidate can view the commercials from each campaign from both parties. A written transcript is provided with each commercial. Provided along with each video is an overview of the political landscape of at the time of the campaigns. Visitors to the website can search for commercials by election year, type of commercial, or by campaign issue.



Applications for Education
The Living Room Candidate has a great tool for students called The Living Room Candidate Ad Maker. The Ad Maker can be used by students to remix old advertisements, sound bites, and images to create new campaign commercials. The teachers page on The Living Room Candidate offers nine lesson plans for teaching about the historical context of campaigns, analyzing campaign ads, and creating new campaign ads.

Identifying Arguments - A Debate Assignment for High School Students

The first debate between U.S. Presidential candidates is happening tonight at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Lifehacker has a list of all of the ways that you can watch the debate even if you don't have a cable/ satellite television. The debate should provide high school students with a good opportunity to learn more about the positions of both of the major candidates. The debate will also provide students with the opportunity to practice identifying positions, arguments, and logical fallacies.

If you're thinking about giving students the assignment to watch the debate tonight, consider asking them to watch with the purpose of trying to identify the candidates' positions on questions raised, their arguments or justifications for their positions, and any logical fallacies that either candidate uses. Your Logical Fallacy Is offers a convenient list of logical fallacies. Wireless Philosophy offers short video lessons on logical fallacies.

Students who choose to watch the debate online can use VideoNot.es or TurboNote to record time-stamped notes while watching the debate. With the TurboNote Chrome extension installed your students can take notes while watching any video. To take notes students just need to click the TurboNote extension icon in their browsers and start writing notes in the menu that appears on the right side of the screen. Any notes that studetns type are automatically time-stamped. Notes can be edited while the video is playing or while the video is stopped. All notes can be shared via social media and email.


VideoNot.es is a great tool to connect to your Google Drive account. With VideoNot.es you can take notes on one side of your screen while watching a video on the other side. Your notes are automatically synchronized with the timestamps in the video. You can share your notes just like you share any other file within Google Drive. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how VideoNot.es works.

Google Inches Closer to Making Google Play Available on More Chromebooks

Earlier this year Google announced a move to make Android apps and other element of the Google Play store available on Chromebooks. The first opportunity to do this was in the beta version of Chrome OS on a couple of specific Chromebook models (the Acer R11 and Asus Flip). Late last week Google removed the need to run the beta version of Chrome OS.

Owners of Acer R11 and Asus Flip Chromebooks can now access the Google Play Store without having to use the beta version of Chrome OS. You can now run the stable, widely distributed Chrome OS and access the Google Play Store on your Chromebook.

The list of Android apps that can be used on a Chromebook as steadily expanded. That list can be seen on this Chrome Web Store page (note, the page only displays the apps if you are viewing it on a Chromebook).

Applications for Education
As the number of Android apps that can run on Chromebooks expands, we'll find that more students can quickly transition from using their Chromebooks at school to using the same apps on their personal devices. This could make it easier for students to continue working on a project as they can quickly transition from one device to the next.

H/T to Lifehacker