Friday, July 22, 2005

The Institute of Outdoor Drama
Today, a different kind of history-telling resource. Here in Appalachia, we seem to be the center of outdoor drama. A few miles from here, stories of the western frontier in the Revolution are spun nightly under the stars. A few miles further, Johnny Appleseed comes back to life. And further still, crews recreate Tecumseh, and the Hatfields and McCoys.

This site serves as a resource to all who work in this field. And for consumers, a list of every such production in the country. This summer, go spend an evening in story!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mozilla: From obscurity to opportunity - ZDNet UK
Technology news org ZDNet UK visits Mountain view, "to find out how a small band of open source enthusiasts have started to challenge Microsoft's hold on the browser market." Several articles look at marketing, history, how they make open source work. There's even photos from Mozilla HQ!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Into the West TNT
Alas, last night was the first glimpse I've got of the Stevern Spielberg series. Compelling. The site offers a fine dynamic map of the expansion of the US, a gorgeous timeline, and some biographical info. Even TNT and Spielberg, however, can't seem to integrate sound into their web media.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
This winter we featured the article where James Garrett nicknamed this bag of tricks. Together, they deliver more real-time response in web pages, in a way previously available only in Flash™. (For a quick demonstration of this approach, play with Google Maps). Now the resources are collected here, on Mozilla's new developer pages. This really will change the quality of the learning experience.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Building the School of the Future School District of Philadelphia and Microsoft
Microsoft has teamed up with Philadelphia Schools to create the school of the future. For now, this site has only a set of mushy goals with a mushier R&D process. Yet Microsoft has money and smart people, so one can't help but be a little excited. Apparently they conducted a groundbreaking this spring. Any more info?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

All-laptop high school to open in Vail The Arizona Daily Star
So the day has come. We've projected for years the day when laptops would be cheaper than a complement of texts; for one school district, that time has arrived.

A big leap of faith in net content? Maybe. Or maybe just resignation at the poor quality of the texts, and/or the lack of discipline to read them. Either way, the future moves forward. Our mission here becomes more pressing.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Srebrenica: Europe's shame

Ten years after Dutch UN troops handed over 5000 human beings for massacre, the world's shame at Srebrenika is still little known. I could find no major commemorative site. CBC's moving audio slideshow The Digging Season follows the victims. PBS has Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave. The UK Guardian has an interactive guide to Massacre in Bosnia.

Friday, July 08, 2005

U.S. History: Our Worst Subject? - Senate Hearings U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
A rather blunt title for a US Senate hearing. Is it all that bad? Witness Charles Smith gives the results of the National Assessment: Merely 10% of our High School seniors show proficiency in History. Three fifths (57%) scored below basic.

Among African Americans, fully 80% could not show even basic knowledge of our legacy.

How can things be this bad?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Free Quiz Downloads from the PEST Community of PEST Test Makers
How much do you know about the Revolution? Take one of these quizzes. Answers are promptly rewarded or raspberried with ever changing sounds effects.

PEST (Professional Exam Self Test) is shareware. You download and install the app, then download and run the quiz. Cool part? You can easily create a quiz for others, and submit it to the site.
(I didn't do well on my Revolutionary Battles).

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Who Burned Down the Museum?
A 3-D mystery game of 19th century peculiarity! This is a very rich interactive! It starts with an introduction to Mr. Barnum and his museum (The Lost Museum - Introduction ). The mystery soon takes you into the civil war and the society Barnum lived through.

This cool interactive seems to have a story to its creation. Hosted by SUNY, the mystery is attributed to American Social History Productions, Inc. Production was done at SUNY's New Media Lab, while some material appears from GMU's Center for History and New Media servers. In all this was an eight-year effort!

I have to admit, though, that I nowhere near finished the mystery. The design, while compelling if you are very interested in the topic, doesn't reward you much along the way--or draw you forward past the first call of other pressing matters.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Black Alliance for Educational Options
As we enter the July 4 weekend, perhaps we can reflect on one job still unfinished: greater independence and options for so many of our urban, black youth. It's also a good day to note the committment of John Walton, who died this week, and who poured so much money and time into reaching such kids.