Friday, October 31, 2003

PBS - New Perspectives on THE WEST
Another fantastic series. They covered 100,000 air-miles more than 250 hours of film, and some beautiful and informative work comes out of it.
The website, though...hopefully its just not finished. Lots of sophmoric errors, like calling Colorado Arizona. It says there's an "interactive" map and timeline; both are static html pages. Even the "Where in the West" quiz doesn't work; worse: they put about 2 minutes of thought on learning value into it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

A Sense of Scale
While this is history but in the extreme view, the Flash mechanics are definitely in the spirit of a timeline. From PBS' The Elegant Universe, a wonderful and fun trip though size! (Be sure to follow to the last frame! :-) )

Monday, October 27, 2003

Scavenger Hunt Through History!
From the Freedom: A History of US. | PBS site. A great little game where you put events in their place on a timeline!

As so often, sound would help so much. You should get to hear at least a little of the material presented when you get a right answer. Also, wrong answers get no feedback at all. And, at this time, some of the segments don't work entirely correctly.

Still, I love the educational approach of this game. Being able to place things in order, and in general time periods, is critical to deeper thinking about the events.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
The National Park Service' new site includes massive data on soldiers who fought, prisoners, regiments, cemetaries, and lots more. A great discussion on the battlefields we're loosing to development, and a wonderful summary of battles, by campaign or by state.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Lawrence of Arabia . Battle Features . Emerging Middle East | PBS
Ahh, this is too sweet! This is the type of interactivity I got into this work to see!

The TV show is great. Helps to understand how the Arabs came to so resent the west in the 20th century. The best part of the web interactive is the maps - which the TV show sort of lacked. Sound would be great. A timeline, or timetags on the panels, is essential.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Lost from even our language.
We note here that "gulag" and "genocide" are not in Blogger's spellchecker dictionary.
Tolerating Gulags
The Nazi death camps and the Soviet gulags were so awful we must remember them--so they won't happen again. We have holocaust museums and memorials across the land. Would we ever tolerate such a thing to happen again?

Apparently so. David Hawk, a chronicler of the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, leads the team presenting a new report today: The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea's Prison Camps .

A policy of starvation, overwork, and torture. Newborns murdered on grounds of suspected genetic diversity. Imprisonment of three generation of an offender's family. A lifetime political prisoner population of 200,000 - more than all the US military in Iraq; more than all the people in a small industrial city.

Report is from the Committee on Human Rights in North Korea [ ].

Monday, October 20, 2003

Educational Testing Service
A question from our friends at the discussion group FutureTeachersUSA, seemed honest enough: "What does the fee for teacher testing cover, and is it a good bargain?"

Well, no answers here, but at least it sent us to the website of the biggest testing company, Educational Testing Service, the home of the SAT, GRE, etc. It's worth a look. They even have their own Policy Information Center, lots of opinions on education (hey, they support tests!), surveys, international testing, and more.

Friday, October 17, 2003

History for the Classroom - PBS
Don't think we've mentioned this: PBS has a compilation of all its classroom resources for history. You can choose by grade level, subject, time period. Of course there are lots of classroom activities and teaching suggestions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Distance Learning with Abe, Oakley, Edison, and More
I described Monday our encounter with Abe Lincoln. What's really cool is that you can get him in your school, wherever you may be.

This company makes him and a number of other Living Historians (Orville Wright, Annie Oakley, Twain, an 1860 Physician, Columbus, more) available via distance learning:

Monday, October 13, 2003

Algonquin Mill Fall Festival - & Abe Lincoln
This weekend brought our annual marathon work stint for the Algonquin Mill Festival. For the first time, I took some time to do what normal people do - see the event!

One goody was a talk by Honest Abe. (I've chatted with Abe in the pancake line and elsewhere--even about the 2000 election--but this was the first time I got to hear his presentation.

From a rocking-chair on the front porch of a little cabin, he spun a short tale of his early life. Off the bat, Lincoln dispelled the myth that his family was poor when he was a child. On the contrary, they were substantial landowners.

Even more compelling were the tales of his first starts as a young man into the riverboating business and later the law.

How awesome it would be to have parts of this recorded for the web, so that young people everywhere could tune in on demand and hear him talk of his first steps in the business world!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

GWOT links
Afghanistan Interactive - Guardian
Just stumbled across this collection.

Iraq Interactive - Guardian
Parallel collection on Iraq.

For more of these, see our own Iraqi Freedom as Told through Interactive Media
From the Annual Meeting of the Association of the US Army
Nothing like a good visit with the Army's annual convention to be reminded of a whole lot of history. General Sullivan's opening remarks called to mind the critical point in history at which we stand today. A presentation by actors and multimedia from the Old Guard took us from Paul Revere's ride warning Americans of the British march, to WWII and the events of 2001 and today.

Then there was the award to General Paik Sun Yup, of the Army of the Republic of Korea:

Fifty years past, he stood with his beaten, exhausted, devastated troops on a ridge. Having lost their Capital, and much of their country; their backs were against the Pacific Ocean. Racing to address them, he said, "Men, there is no where else to retreat. If we quit now, the enemy will take our country, and there will be no more Republic of Korea.

"Look there. The Americans are tired, exhausted, yet they fight.

"I will lead you forward. If I turn back, shoot me." [animated map ]

That was fifty years ago, and he has since spent his life - giving up so many of the good, comfortable things of life - to serve and represent his country in its capital and in 19 nations around the world. [Paik bio | Korea50 site]

There were, too, great presentations from soldier leaders who made history this year: freeing, protecting and helping the people of Iraq. You rarely hear their stories on the news. I didn't get to hear near enough from them.

Finally, we had lots of great discussions with people working hard to tell more of our history to more of our students and countrymen [countrypersons?]. Both the National Museum of the US Army, and the Army Heritage and Education Center are moving forward in their capital and devlopment campaigns.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The Production of Smooth Scale Changes in an Animated Map Project
A white paper on map designs - don't know if it might help.
Hybrid Designs - Custom Cartography is the map-making company.They have some examples.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Timeline of The Old Testament
Fred sends in this very thorough chart of dates and events in the Hebrew civilization; contrasted nicely with events from surrounding cultures.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

National Constitution Center: Interactive Constitution
Explore the Constitution by article, topic, or even selected court cases. You can also search the Constitution by keywords. Funny...if you type in "privacy" or "separation of church and state" you get zero results. Anybody know why that would be?