Friday, March 18, 2022

A Short Overview of the Wayback Machine

In yesterday's blog post about unraveling an email scam I mentioned that I used the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine as a part of that process. The Wayback Machine is a useful tool for finding out what a website looked like a given point in time over the last 25 years. 

The Wayback Machine can be useful in attempting to verify the citation of a webpage in an academic work. As is demonstrated in my video embedded below, you can use the Wayback Machine to see how a website looked and read the text of pages as they were originally published.

On of the ways I've used the Wayback Machine in history classes is to have look at how major news websites reported on significant events in late 20th Century and early 21st Century. Not only does the Wayback Machine show you the text, it may also show you images that may have since been removed. 

You can seen an overview of how the Wayback Machine works by watching this short video that I recorded a handful of years ago.

What Happened in 2008? - A Crash Course in Economics

In researching for Wednesday's post about inflation I ran across one of my old posts about Crash Course Economics. Within that thirty-six part course there is a video all about the 2008 financial crisis caused by the collapse of the housing market

How it Happened - The 2008 Financial Crisis: Crash Course Economics #12 does a great job of explaining what a mortgage is and why banks will sell mortgages to other banks. From there the lesson progresses to explain what mortgage-backed securities are and why they became popular investments in the mid 2000's. Critically, the video explains why mortgage-backed securities became riskier as the requirements to get mortgages became less stringent. 

After teaching what caused the 2008 Financial Crisis the video goes on to explain what the government did to bail out some banks and attempt to stabilize the economy. The video also explains some of the regulations and laws that have been passed since 2008 to try to prevent a repeat of the conditions that created the financial crisis in 2008. 

Applications for Education
The 2008 financial crisis is a historical event (recent historical event) in the minds of current high school students. Some of them may have heard their parents reference it. This video does a solid job of explaining what caused it and what changed because of it. After watching the video I might assign some of these articles from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for my students to read to learn more about factors contributing to the crisis. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Watch Me Unravel an Email Scam

As you know, I am a huge advocate for teaching students and teachers to respect copyright. To that end I always advocate for using your own media or media that is in the public domain whenever possible. So when an email with the subject line "DMCA Copyright Infringement Notice" landed in my inbox this morning, I immediately opened it. It turned out to be the second attempt by the same person to scam/ threaten me into linking to a website. 

I outlined the basics of a similar scam a couple of years ago. In short, the person emails you to say that you are using an image in violation of their copyright or that of someone they represent (in this case the person was claiming to be an attorney). They then say that you have to link to a particular website within seven days or they will pursue some kind of legal action. 

I was in a particularly bad mood this morning when I received this email so I decided to fight fire with fire. I did a little research on the person who claimed to be an attorney and then told her to get lost! If you're interested in the whole process that I went through, here's the video I made to explain it

In the video you'll see me do the following:

  • Identify the fairly obvious red flags in the email.
  • Show the original image as found here on Pixabay. 
  • Conduct an email trace (this video shows you all the steps). 
  • Uncover that the "law firm" doesn't actually exist. 
  • Discover that the "attorney" probably isn't even a real person. 
  • Conduct a WHOIS look up. 
  • Use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to view changes in a website.

Applications for Education
If you maintain a website for your classroom, school, or extracurricular club, this is a scam that you might land in your inbox one day. I see it a few times a year and usually just trash the email without a second thought. Today, I was in a particularly grumpy mood and decided to try to turn this scam into a lesson. 

Resources on Copyright

Alternatives to Vialogues for Annotating Videos

Yesterday morning I answered an email from a reader who was looking for some alternatives to Vialogues for annotating videos. Vialogues has been one of my go-to tools for students to use to take notes and share notes while watching a video that you share with them. Unfortunately, Vialogues is shutting down in May. If you find yourself looking for some alternatives, here are some options to consider. 

By using VideoANT anyone can add annotations to any publicly accessible YouTube video. To do this copy the URL of a video and paste it into the VideoANT annotation tool. Then as the video plays click the "add annotation" button when you want to add an annotation. To have others annotate the video with you, just send them the VideoANT link. Here's a video of how it works

ReClipped is a neat tool that lets you take notes, share notes, and share clips from educational videos. With a ReClipped account you can clip sections of videos that you find on YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Coursera, and TED. In addition to clipping you can create time-stamped notes about the videos that you clip. A Pinterest-like aspect of ReClipped appears if you choose to share your clips and notes on a board. ReClipped boards can be shared publicly or kept private. Here's a demonstration of how ReClipped works.

Timelinely is a free service for adding annotations to YouTube videos. You can use Timelinely to add text, image, and video annotations to any public YouTube video. After you have added your annotations to a video you can share the annotated version with anyone much like you would share any other video. You can share your annotated video by embedding it into a blog post or by just giving people the link to the annotated version of the video. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Timelinely to annotate YouTube videos.

Bookmark It
Bookmark It is a free Chrome extension that can solve a problem many people face when trying to show students just a specific part of a video. That problem is having to scroll along the timeline of a YouTube video to find the spot that you want to share. Bookmark It lets you add timestamped bookmarks and notes to the timeline of a video. Once you've added your bookmarks and notes you can return directly to them from the Bookmark It extension. Watch my video that is embedded below to see how Bookmark It works.

An Interactive Map of Surnames in Ireland

Mapping the Emerald Isle: a geo-genealogy of Irish surnames is an interactive map depicting the distribution of Irish surnames across Ireland according to the 1890 census. To use the same simply select a name from a drop-down menu in the list and the map will change to show you in which counties people with that surname lived in 1890. The map will also provide you with a list of number of households with that surname in each county. For example, I discovered that there were 301 Byrne households in Dublin county in 1890.

Applications for Education
This is a neat example of mapping data. Your students could create similar maps using either ESRI's mapping tools or Google's My Maps tools. I have found Google's My Maps tools to be easier for new users to understand. A playlist of tutorials about Google's My Maps can be seen here.