Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Gondwana Animation Homepage
For a really intense view of the continental drift, get the full animation from the International Institute for Aerospace Surveys
Animation of Gondwana breakup
A cool animation of the supercontinent (OK, I'm ignorant, I thought it was called "pangea"). It even projects 50 million years into the future, when India is swallowed by Asia, and Austrailia becomes a suburb of Tokyo.

Also on this site, you can Build an Atoll
This Far by Faith
Its a little hard to find the media content in this site on African American faith throughout our history, but a number of audio and video components are listed on the sitemap. In particular, listen to the four audio clips of "slave narratives". (If you can find an explanation for them, let me know!)

The timeline on the main page and timeline page is not Flash based, but has some features to learn from.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

On Time
All right. I'm sure the positive, motivating thing todo would be to simply ignore this one, or at least pass it on without comment. But I learned from the incredible Ryszard Michalski that learning often only occurs through both postitive and negative examples. The navigation features on this are the most blatant negative feature, but look too at the text.

Who is the audience for this? Remember, this is our National Museum of American History, not some snooty little Mid-town gallery, and scarce resources being used to tell...what?
Thanks,Kyle...we need both types of Examples!

Friday, June 13, 2003

Ohio Proficiency Tests
For a look at examples of one state's proficiency tests. See if you can find much history - or Biography!
States' High School Exit Exams

"When the results of statewide tests were released in late May, high school senior Eric Lira had scored 286 on the reading exam--one point less than he needed to pass. That means Mr. Lira, who is earning A's in advanced placement calculus and honors physics this semester and has a 3.3 grade-point average, won't receive a diploma when his class graduates from Miami Senior High School on June 12.

"Without the diploma, Mr. Lira, who is 19 years old and arrived from Nicaragua three years ago speaking no English, won't be able to go on to college. 'My future is broke. Everything. By one test,' he said, dropping his face into his hands during an interview in his guidance counselor's office."
--June Kronholz, States' High School Exit Exams Are Political Minefields, Wall Street Journal, 6/6/03

I believe kids should graduate actually knowing something, and that accountability of schools, teachers, and students is part of that. Is this the way? Go look at the wonders achieved on Surely we can be more creative about communicating this student's status than this.

The article also decribes areas where schools pull back in order to achieve test scores (like writing).

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Secrets of the Dead
The Great Classic swf on this site was Cannibals of the Canyon. And the show is airing tonight on PBS!

To celebrate, I revisited the Secrets of the Dead homepage to see what new interactives might have showed up:
The Tomb of Christ See the rebuilt faces over the centuries.
The Witches Curse offers a map called "Explore Salem". Its not clear how the map actually adds to the story, but I do like the timeline, and how easy it is to get info on each person.
Murder at Stonehenge has an interactive that portraits the building of the site over about 1400 years.
Day of the Zulu This one is awesome! In a little window, it presents some fantastic graphic panoramas of the battle of the Zulus and the British army.
Australians at War
Kyle's other submission is a huge site with many stories, particularly of individual soldiers - captures in audio. I'll just have to come back to it, but I wanted to post it here now.
Iraq War
Found among the above links pages, this great new map comes from
Wadsworth Publishing
As noted, a textbook publisher,with many authors and classes to support.
History Home supports American,European, Western Civ, and World Civ areas. Be sure to check the special features; they are evolving nicely.

World civ maps Same comments as above. Plus: "Critical Thinking Questions"? Arghhhh!!!!!
Historical Simulations You choose a role in each of these games; the computer offers you choices. There's quite a bit of reading at each choice, with fairly small print. Again, a good starting point.
At the Movies
Map Central

Theres also a separate Religion section, which includes a large set of religion maps
Maps of Western Civilization
Kyle checked in with two more good sites -just before his WinXP system decided not to boot anymore.

The first would appear to be a trememdous collection of interactive maps. And it is a great collection. The maps just aren't extremely interactive. Most are static maps linked together - some have as few as two. i find it hard to read the legends. And the accompanying narrative keeps that aweful prose style which can only be found in hitory tomes: "These aquisitions were confirmed by a treaty in 1774 which also gave Russia an outlet to the Mediterranean bu granting access through the Bosphorous Strait. Although the treaty made Crimea an independent state, ..." (Do you see the Bosphorous Strait on this map? )

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Nelson Thorne's [ sitemap ]
Nephew Kyle has joined the hunt for web media, and he immediately found a great example from Britain! Nelson Thornes, ltd, the textbook publisher, offers interactive features, and has a couple examples.

They made the first, Contenders for the Throne, a downloadable archive. Unzip it, go to your browser, and open the swf file there. It’s actually a great little exercise. Question, though: Isn’t “fascinating fact” an oxymoron?

The second, Dress the Norman Knight is a frustrating little game that you get all right, or start all over again. More frustrating from a public perspective is that it’s in the "secondary" or “Key Stage 3” resources, directory. Does a 8th grader learn from this?

Both are part of a 12 game CD-ROM that includes:
Black Death Diaries
Castle Attack
Help Farmer Eustace
The Life and Death of Thomas Becket
Monastery Challenge
You be the Judge

Finally, they also have a list of recommended websites:
Nelson Thornes History Website Directory

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Jefferson's West
Gotta go,and haven't explored this yet, but it looks sweet. You get a character to move around.
A Map of Virginia, John Smith 1612 Narration would go great with this navigation style.
Music of the Spanish AMerican War. From the PBS website Crucible of Empire. Not sure which empire they mean, but....
Sounds of Monty Python
Someone has taken the time and risk to record and publish all these excerpts from Monty Python. Hmmm, we could sure use that kind of help!
Early Recorded Sounds & Wax Cylinders
A cool discovery from the previous sitelist. Hear these recodings as they sounded. All kinds of music, some comedy, and the worlds oldest playable recording.
Flash Flashcards
Here's a wierd thingie: Houghton Mifflin has a Flash app to show Flash cards of terms relating to its history course, The Enduring Vision. It says "College Division"... OK...

Really test your Am. history knowledge
ACE Practice Tests are online at the Houghton-Mifflin site. I got 10 of 12 on independence and nationhood...but I may have guessed.
Quite a few weblinks here. Need to return to this list for more media examples.
- American History
- Western History"
- World Civilizations
Primary Sources
- US
- Western
- World
The 'companion site to the video series and telecourse'. Twenty-six chapters, each with some sort of interactive feature, including....

Some excellent maps:
- Slave and Free Soil Animated map reminds us that all 13 colonies once had slavery. (Wish: click on states to learn more).
- Mapping Conquest 8 maps in one. Nice overlay/comparison feature. Their method of turning on and off map features should be noted.
- Transportation Revolution Roads, canals, railroads to 1830-1870.
- The New West Less history than commentary, this map still has some interesting things--like the map of public lands.

- 1555-1735: Colonial Settlement Note that you can view events in Europe, and also other settlement activity.
- 1555-1876: America at the Centennial "Alternative timeline"; lets you view events dealing with women, African Americans, labor, and Indians.
- 1876-1999

You can find all the features at the sitemap. While the "You Decide" features don't use new media, they're an excellent example of deep interactive learning.