Thursday, May 31, 2007

XM recreates D-Day radio coverage in real-time
One Marine's View
Oh, is this cool!! Too bad the schools are mostly empty this week.

The broadcast will run on the 40's channel, and will recreate and rebroadcst the entire day's coverage.
American Folklore: Famous American folktales, tall tales, myths and legends, ghost stories, and more.
A great collection of old stories, tales, and verse. Brer Rabbit, Pecos Bill, Davy Crockett, Clementine, Babe the Blue Ox, Hey Diddle Diddle, The Muffin Man, and lots more. A few MP3's. You could probably make a bit of money making a flash/audio version of this site!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

OPFOR: New Market Day 2007
Can't help but reference this video and commentary this Memorial Day week.
Not really an interactive, and not especially history in motion...yet the whole thing speaks in the de jur storytelling language circa 2007.
HubbleSite -- Out of the ordinary...out of this world.
Today some reaaaaaally old history! Actually, I'm not finding the really cool interactive I first found at this site. But there's still lots here. Many of the interactives are in the Amazing Space section, including this cool history of telescopes.Some of these start as HTML pages, but keep digging. There are Flash, Php, and Quicktime interactives burried here and in the rest of the site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

leadership innovation business narrative, & storytelling
Here's a different take on StoryTelling -- for business and organizational leadership.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Faces of the Fallen: Iraq and Afghanistan Casualties washingtonpost
This weekend is to remember all who died in achieving, preserving, and expanding our freedoms. But remember especially those whose families have such recent losses.

Grief in Section 60 is a Flash presentation of 10 photos in Arlington National Cemetery has no multimedia that I see, but covers the basics. lists national events in Washington, including the PBS event you can watch at home.

And, if you have time, pray a bit for the wounded.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

YouTube - Romans vs. Saxons
How did they do this? And why?And is it legal? If it is, can we open source it for someone to place in context with narration and maps and sweet interactivity that compels the average learner?

Here's another: Medieval II Total War Holy Chronicles 18 In fact, this guy has a page of 550 of them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Nation's Report Card
I've been holding this back for a week now, perhaps perplexed by the headline in the Fox News article: More Students Know their History, Civics. Is that really the case? Yeah, a few states have upped their curriculum requirements a bit. At the same time, the standards opponents will have us all believe that testing of reading and math have obliterated all time in school to study the arts, social sciences, and anything of culture. Perhaps both views are right. Perhaps the students can answer more history and civics questions because more students can actually read the questions.

And, does identifying tribe totem poles and the joys of cliff-dwelling really provide a boost in understanding how to earn, keep, protect, and expand freedom and the rule of law and the ensuing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Civics 2006
History 2006

We'll keep working here. Our discussions with those under 25 (or 45) lead us to believe there just might still be a market and even a need for rich stories of heroes told with sound, motion, and interactivity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mus�e McCord Museum - Home Page
On the road today, but quickly, some history for our Canadian friends, and a bag of interactive tricks for all the rest of you.What do you think of these approaches?

Monday, May 21, 2007

We Interrupt this Blog
At this point I am feeling --well, sad. I have never met Kathy Sierra, never read her work, never seen her presentations, and until this morning never heard her speak. And after listening to her via podcast, the one word that overwhelms me--above smart, informed, funny, passionate, caring, intuitive, is just plain "sweet". I can't imagine any person hearing her remarks and not thinking that. I felt better about the world for having listened this morn.

So imagine my shock to find her blog closed down, her speaking engagements canceled, and her life disrupted by a bunch of juvenile miscreants who either see no shame or harm in verbal and graphic abuse, or who do and enjoy the results.

I started and continue this project because I believe the culture should be at a higher level. Not a huge amount; we're certainly not snobs here, and we argue frequently for accessible stories. In that sense, episodes like this vindicate and inspire me forward, as we aim for a return to some sort of minimum civility. On the other hand, in a case this absurd, one just wonders if a culture of openness and freedom can even survive.

The answer lies mostly in the 1128 overwhelmingly supportive comments Kathy received in 2 days. Some of the answer lies in an old sign I once saw: Gentlemen respect God; Christians fear him. But maybe some of it lies in putting overgrown children like this in the stocks on the public square, next to piles of rotten fruit.
south by southwest: "Kathy Sierra Opening Remarks"
Speaking of writing code and text for users, I just finished listening to Kathy Sierra's Opening Remarks at SXSW. (Yeah, yeah,...the event was 10 weeks ago, and I should have been in her live audience instead of wandering around the Alamo, enjoying my first 80deg. temps in 7 months, and sipping a cold beverage next to Hooters).

..Anyway, Kathy had some really good points about how developers who can speak perfectly normal English go into "writers mode" and spit out completely inhuman text.
Writing For Multimedia
Something to think about, if not to learn from by example! :-)
One way to achieve this is by keeping your scripts in the active voice. Active voice is more direct, and usually shorter than a passive construction. The passive voice tends toward imprecision, which affects clarity. A good way of cleaning up your scripts is performing a global search for words like “be,” “can” and “will.” There are some instances where passive voice is acceptable, usually shifts of time, or sentences where the person who performs the action is unknown or unimportant:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Event: The Politics of Knowledge: Why Research Does (or Does Not) Influence Education Policy AEI
This Monday's seminar could either be extremely interesting or bone death dry.
"Researchers and discussants will suggest how incentives and institutions can be altered to encourage rigorous research and its proper use, while recognizing its limits."
The papers are already available at this link.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past ABC Radio
We don't get into Presidential politics here, but an item in our domain comes this week from not-candidate Fred Thompson. You can hear or read Thompson talk a little about military history and college campuses. I particularly love this quote:
"The hundred years of talking about slavery was not as important as two days at Gettysburg. The success or failure of Normandy affected Hitler more in an hour than had years of pleading with him in the 1930s."
In fairness to the Professoriate, Thompson misses one point in that many of the left brain types on campus have their hands and head more than full with technology, sciences a plenty, and just keeping systems running. That too much curriculum design gets left to those of the feel more than think side, well, that's our fault and we (the taxpayers and donors who fund colleges) need to explain what we want taught and direct them back to focusing on the art of storytelling.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gollum, the Wikipedia Browser
Look at this Ajaxy, read-only Wikipedia browser! How cool! And the future?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Silent Epidemic -- Homepage
We've long written here about it; MTV, the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation, America's Promise, and others have banded together to try and force some change. The site provides resources for teens, parents, policy makers, and citizens to help reverse teen dropouts. MTV is running a show about educational choices, aiming to remind their young viewers that the piece of paper matters. The site offers a 10 Point Plan, this week there was a National Summit, and you can help hold a local summit.

Senator Kennedy and Secretary Spellings co-authored National epidemic, economic necessity this week. Included in their facts:
Fifteen percent of the nation’s high schools produce more than half of its dropouts.
Jynell Harrison was the winner of thinkMTV's Be the Voice campaign and a $10,000 college scholarship. She told of her story of dropping out, and you can find more of these: MTV's The Dropout Chronicles. MTV also has more on the summit

Of course, if you're reading this, you're already compelled to help make education much more accessible, interesting, and sticky. You're working to raise the knowledge and excitement of teachers everywhere, and that alone can't help but rub off on students.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy 400th, America!!
Yes, today is it! The 4ooth anniversary of the landing and settling at Jametown island. After a bad attempt to set up camp at Virginia beach (unfriendly campers there), and a rather long sail up the Roads and the James River, they found a spot that looked comfy and plunked down...400 years ago today. 'Twas not much later til the US suffered its first war dead. And I can tell you from the flies that bit my legs the entire time we stood there last summer, 'tis not the most enjoyable place on the coast. But there they stayed, and eventually profitably. And here we are to tell the tale.

The President stopped by yesterday. The Queen was there last week of course. What about you? Will you make it?
Jamestown 2007 - America's 400th Anniversary

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts at Westmont College
I know, a little heavy for a nice Friday May morn. Many of us have come to believe that the tradiational liberal education is nearly dead. The classes and departments formerly responsible for providing these have been usurped by professors with physics envy--purveyors of CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS which in the end provide anything but.

I haven't covered this site in detail, but it looks like there's food for thought.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Texas Ranch House . Interactive History . Intro | PBS
From last spring's show, six interactive games to test and train you on 1860's cowboy culture and work in Texas. There are also interviews with the cast members, video from the show, and lesson plans.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium
OK, personally, I expect to spend July 22 1)somewhere on a Carolina beach, 2) working the county fair, or 3) on a jetski on the Sandusky river. But don't let that stop you. If you're in Chicago that week, you might want to visit with the Librarians! James Gee is speaking, and there will be at least 27 more sessions on gaming, learning, and your library.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Linux to help the Library of Congress save American history
No doubt some of you have tried to tell a story, as we have with the Great Trail, and found the source material more than a bit difficult to get hold of. When Doug Angelloni, wanted to find out about our little Indian trail fro the Ohio to Lake Erie, his source maps and materials were in the U.K. When I turned to the job, much was available on my screen.

How will the library of Congress move 200 years of books and materials, some in bad shape, into the digital, universal access world? Read on.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Flashforward 2007
Registration is now open for FlashForward 2007, coming in Sept. This year it's Boston! So, get your in gear, register, and plan to take in a little of the Boston Freedom Trail whilst there.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Head2Head Interviews ActiveHistory
I know, it should be Free Beer Friday! And on an Open Sources project blog no less!! But this one will cost you. $60US, in fact. A big chunk of change--half our yearly webhosting budget! Looks like they use Oddcast Characters--like our own Lydia. MAybe your school will foot the bill. Russell Tarr, the proprietor of Active History, is certainly an amazing man. While many full time teachers complain at the end of the day that they have no time. Mr. Tarr has gone off and built up over the years this amazing site.
Most of the site used to be free; you can imagine that his costs have jumped over time, and a man of these talents should certainly retire on more than a schoolmaster's pension!! Some of the interactive items are still available free at this writing. One we've been playing with is Rennaissance Florence: Time Machine Mission.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

History Podcast Shows (pdf)
As nothing is working this week, today a short reference, sans comment, to this list of history podcasts.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

History on Air - Home of HistoryPodcast
Ahh!! Now here is a promising podcast! We've seen lots of good podcasts, of course. What makes this one special is partly the multiple authors. Even better, they band together to produce a supporting wiki! There's discussion forums as well, and even a phone number, of all things! (Back in the day, if you wanted info, you picked up this strange black instrument invented by Mr. Bell, and living people at the other end would tell you things or send you stuff in the mail).

In just under two years of work, they've produced ninety-some podcasts diverse topics. Good work!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't by Stephen Prothero.
This book came out last month; it was featured on the cover of Time, and received a good bit of television coverage.

I wrote yesterday of stories of Judeo-Christian culture. This was in a church setting, but what about the public schools? I know I had an entire course on Greek myths and stories as a hs sophomore. In college I was taught, and I'm sure many high school students are now taught, stories of "modern" writers who have a particular value system. Native American, Chinese, and Hindu stories are making their way into the public schools. Do stories of the Hebrews and early Christians deserve less of a place in schools?