Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fixing Failing Schools
We're off again to that nasty town on the Potomac. Will we learn anything new? Surely. It's a discussion of "Is the NCLB Toolkit Working?". Either way, we need lots more efforts from the local community upward.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rails 1.2: Release Candidate 1
We can't swear that Ruby and Rails really are the state-of-the-art in Web 2.0 ajaxy goodness. But Rails does seem to ride the edge in some domains. Either way, the new release features REST (REpresentational State Transfer). Well, if you are interested, follow the links, Google on, and get a copy of the new Agile Web Development with Rails.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Desolate Wilderness
The Annual Tradition.
How the Pilgrims Made Progress
You'll recall last summer we met with John Rolfe of Jamestown Colony, and he told the strange story of his colony's experimentation with communal living, it's near demise, and recovery into a prosperous and permanent settlement.

In this recounting from William Bradford, a similar story of experimentation, failure, and recovery is told. 'Tis a story not often told in the schools--see the above dropout story!
Generation Dropout
ABCNews is running a series of stories on the poor graduation rate.
Slashdot discusses the story and What's the Problem With US High Schools?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Generation Next: Speak Up Be Heard
PBS and partners like USA Today take on a season-long project investigating the lives, passions, technology, religion, and environment of 16-25 year olds. The project is ongoing, with intermediate broadcast segments and a final documentary to be aired in January. Components are added to the site regularly and features published in partner organizations.

Monday, November 20, 2006

You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving.
Here is en extraordinarily rich site that would be vastly improved if it practiced what it preaches. The media are fantastic; the the narrative perspective, and worse, the instructions on the pompous Teacher's Guide, much less so.

Can you imagine bringing a teen into the Army, sitting them down, and giving them lessons: "You Are the General! Investigating the Battle of the Bulge!" No. As this lesson points out, the Native Americans knew how to teach history. They told stories, and the children were expected to learn them to pass them on to their children.

'Twould be nice, for example, if kids were to learn and remember something of Massasoit, Standish, Bradford, etc.

Still, a very rich site. And filled with sound, as you know we so like to hear. The media fan in me just loves it. This would make a fantastic forensic case study.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Buckeyes Win
And if it wasn't an historic enough game, Bo went and died.

Oh. Saturday night's pick 4 lottery numbers: 4239. We kid not.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Buckeyes vs. That Team From Up North
What? Your mind is on education and storytelling? You gotta get out more.

There's only 31 hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds til kickoff time. You want History? #1 playing #2 in the last game, for the Big 10 Championship and clearly the National Title, in a season that started with the same #1 playing last year's #1 down in Austin? That's History friends!

Go Bucks!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Beta Blogger, Site Update
Last week brought a little reprieve and time to finally(!!) get some dynamic dropdown menus onto the site. The code isn't quite 2006 Web 2.0, but it works--and great thanks to Aaron Boodman ( Hope it's now easier to find your way around.

And, for a reward, Google also opened its feature-complete beta Blogger to FTP users like us. Still a few entries to tag, and we hope they complete BlogThis, but so far, thanks Google!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Run Universal Javascript Animation Framework
The web is full of reports on this today, so why shouldn't we join in? Does it fill the bill? I don't know; I'm still looking for navigational components that install and work easily. So, we'll leave it up to you to decide if this beats the Animations in Ajax Control Toolkit, Macao Web Animation Framework, or any other.

Write in with your favorites, and history-telling examples.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I thought this morn we'd talk about the benefits of religious diversity. Wait a minute!, say you? We're really off topic now? Hmmm.

Yesterday, we mentioned that FamilySearch and the Geneological Society of Utah are partners in in the Virginia Freedman Project. If this sounded odd to you, check GSU's mission statement, and lean closer: Mormons take their ancestry seriously. You can look up why yourself (or create an interactive explaining it!). The point here is that FamilySearch and GSU provide world-class resources for researching people.

Both, you'll note, are ministries of Church of Latterday Saints, so if you benefit in your work, say thanks for religious diversity!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Virginia Freedman Project Gov't Technology
Virginia Will Digitize African-American Historical Information
This announcement initially caught our eye as one more digitization effort to make note of. Something exciting here is the number and scope of organizations working together: National Archives, Genealogical Society of Utah, FamilySearch, state of Virginia, Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, and Howard University.

Friday, November 10, 2006 - your source for free photos
OK. Before we go, a link to a great image resource. But that's it!
Roadtrip to Northwestern!
We're off! If the #1 team in the nation isn't #1 Monday, and you don't hear from us...well, it may be because some Buckey fan found out about our record at away games.

Meanwhile, we're looking forward to finding a good Chicago Irish pub, a proper polish sausage, and a little culture and fun on the banks of Lake Michigan. Go Bucks!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To the Ends of the Earth Masterpiece Theatre
Three Sunday nights past, we sat down for William Golding's extraordinary drama of voyage on a converted 1770's British man-of-war. Golding, you might recall, started with Lord of the Flies; so his view of human nature runs somewhat hard.

Wouldn't your audience be interested in some of the characters and character of this story? Could you give life to a person of that time...just for a short while, for the young folk in school right now? Surely, with a bit of patience and teamwork, could do better than the history texts on their desk!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jamestown Journey
Thursday, students (and you!) can join the opening of the celebration of America's 400th Anniversary. A live webcast will connect you to the spot where western civilization began to take root. Lessons plans and more are available.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

GamesFirst! || Why Gamers Have No Eyes
"The National Summit on Video Games, Youth and Public Policy was both down to earth and informative. ... I honestly believe that the gaming industry by and large could have benefited from attending.

"Which is why the first article I'm writing about the summit has very little to do with what happened there, and everything to do with my disappointment in the lack of interest the event generated amongst the mainstream game media. ..."

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Last King Of Scotland Official Site
Has this movie been running? Either way, they put up a sweet Flash site.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Field Museum | Underground Adventure - Virtual Tour
Here's a fine little interactive that lets kids virtually walk through an exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum.
Mind you the subject matter is a little dirty, but the kids should be ok.