Sunday, June 19, 2022

The Essays and Madness of King George III

I recently started reading The Last King of America by Andrew Roberts. It is an extensively detailed biography of King George III. I'm about fifty pages into as I write this blog post. So far it has been an enjoyable read although not one that I would deem a "quick read" or "light reading." 

I am not one to skip the author's notes, introduction, or acknowledgements and jump straight into the first chapter of a book. I like to know a bit of the author's background and, in the case of books like The Last King of America, I like to see who or what the author consulted in writing the book. It was in reading the acknowledgements that I learned about the online Georgian Papers Programme

Roberts used many of the papers in the Georgian Papers Programme in his research for writing The Last King of America. He doesn't say, but I assume he used physical as well as digital copies of papers in the collection. Not all papers in the Georgian Papers Programme are available online, but there are more than 200,000 that are accessible online

You could simply browse through the collections that are available online and start reading things that seem like they might be interesting. You can search through the collection for something specific. Here are some directions on how to search the catalog. But to get a good sense of what is in the Georgian Papers Programme and how researchers have used them, take a look at the virtual exhibitions of the Georgian Papers Programme

Two of the virtual exhibits of the Georgian Papers Programme that I found interesting were The Madness of King George Explored and The Essays of George III

The Madness of King George Explored is a set of papers that Mark Gatiss viewed in preparation for his role in the Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company's production of The Madness of King George. The exhibit features the papers along with commentary to explain the context in which they were written and the significance of those who wrote the papers and who were mentioned in them. Reading through the exhibit was a bit of a crash course in how mental illness was viewed and treated in the late 18th Century. Reading the commentary also provided a bit of a refresher on the lineage of the royal family.  

The Essays of George III is a collection created by Jennifer Buckley. The collection of thirteen essays selected from 8,500 documents. The essays in this collection are focused on the education of King George III and essays that he wrote on a range of subjects from economics to the arts. For someone who is not an expert on the history of the Royal Family, the commentary is as valuable as the primary sources themselves. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Giraffes, Stories, and Bubbles - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where consistent summer weather seems to be eluding us. As I write this it's overcast and 50F! I guess we'll be wearing sweatshirts and fleeces to the graduation party we're going to this afternoon. 

This week I took a day off to take my kids to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. We had a great time watching the giraffes, observing the gorillas, and playing on some cool playscapes. I hope that you also had a great week and have a great weekend!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 45 Canva Tutorials for Teachers and Students
2. Lessons for World Bicycle Day
3. Unpoppable Bubbles - Another Fun Summer Science Lesson
4. A Quick and Easy Way to Make Your Own Wordle-like Game
5. Three Ideas for Telling Stories With Pictures
6. Screencasting on Chromebooks - Built-in Tool vs. Third-party Tools
7. A Giraffe in Our House - More Fun With Augmented Reality

Webinars for Your School
I conduct professional development webinars throughout the year. I'll host a free one-hour webinar for any school or group that purchases ten or more copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips.

Other Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 41,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • If you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include Icons Daily and Daily Dose. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Ten Google Sites Tutorials for New and Experienced Users

Summer is here (in the northern hemisphere) and it's a great time to casually work on things that we don't always have time for during the school year. One of those things could be creating a new class website or revamping an existing site. Those who work in school districts that use Google Workspace already have access to a solid platform in Google Sites for building a classroom website. Whether you're interested in building your first website with Google Sites or you're looking for some ideas to tweak an existing site, the following tutorials have something for you. 

How to Create Your First Google Site



A Few Overlooked Google Sites Customization Options



How to Avoid a Common Google Sites Video Mistake

Friday, June 17, 2022

Short Lessons About the Longest Day of the Year

Perhaps my favorite thing about living in northern New England is the amount of daylight we have in the summer. I enjoy the early sunrises even more than I do that late sunsets (before I had kids it was the other way around). The longest day of the year is coming up and if your kids, like my kids, have questions about why it's still light outside at bedtime, take a look at these short lessons. 

SciShow Kids offers a nice video that can help K-3 students understand why the length of daylight changes throughout the year.



Reasons for the Seasons is a TED-Ed lesson appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. The lesson explains the relationship between the shape of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, the Earth's tilt on its axis, and how those affect the amount of sunlight on different areas of the Earth.



And for a little perspective on winter vs. summer solstice here's a great side-by-side time-lapse of the winter and summer solstices in Manchester, England.

Conclusion to the Arthur Davidson Email Scam - Lessons in Context Clues and Motorcycles

Back in March I got an email from someone claiming to be a Boston-based intellectual property attorney working for the law firm of Arthur Davidson. The email was poorly formatted and had some other errors that made me think the email might not be from a legitimate attorney's office. The email also happened to arrive on a day when I was feeling particularly grumpy so I decided to do a little sleuthing to see if I could unravel what I was fairly certain was a scam designed to get me to put a link to a nefarious website on my blog. 

There were a lot of routes that I could have taken to pulling back the curtain on this scam. As you can see in the video that I made about it, I unraveled the scam by using some context clues which led me to then use some research tools including WHOIS lookup, reverse image search, Google Maps, and the Wayback Machine. 

April Update

In April I discovered that a few other folks had gotten the same email from Arthur Davidson and decided to also unravel the scam. So much so that that the scammers switched from using the domain ArthurDavidson.com to ArthurDavidsonLegal.com.

June Update and Conclusion...for now

Just out of curiosity I checked to see if ArthurDavidsonLegal.com was still being used to try to run a backlinking scam. It turns out that the website has been suspended by the host. I'm guessing that enough people or the right person complained to the hosting service and got the site suspended for running a fraud. 

Motorcycles!

If the name Arthur Davidson sounds familiar to you outside of the context of a fake legal firm, you probably have an interest in motorcycles and or you teach U.S. History. Arthur Davidson was one of the founders of Harley Davidson. Did the scammers who set up the fake legal firm of ArthurDavidson.com and ArthurDavidsonLegal.com know who Arthur Davidson was? Possibly. Did they choose those domains to attempt to rank well in search results? Probably, but I have no way of knowing that for sure. 

You can learn more about the real Arthur Davidson and the founding of Harley Davidson Motorcycles in this nice Google Arts and Culture story