Thursday, February 22, 2007 - Gen Nexters have their hands full
We're rather behind this month, so a story from the drafts folder. This is part of the PBS Generation Next project; and provides some focus on the overachieving end of the student spectrum. It just adds to our contention that we do not need to spend more time trining kids to be amateur historians; we just need people young and old to master a few stories of those who got us this far.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Opportunities @ PSLC : Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center
If you reaaally want to dig in deep into learning, join, partner, train, or intern with the PSLC.

(Or go work at a video game company :-) ).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Apple CEO Jobs attacks teacher unions | Houston Chronicle
Wow. Apparently when you have the coolest technology on the planet, you start to say crazy things--even about your oldest customers!

Monday, February 19, 2007

SIMILE | Exhibit | Presidents {select Birth Places view}
MIT brings this effort to make publishing of entire exhibits an effort you do online with a little markup language. This example demonstrates the integration with Google maps; other templates allow you to create tables and do interesting things.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Yahoo! UI Library: Animation
This surely deserved much more attention than we're going to give it this morn. While yours truly is not a professional programmer, these look rather cool. Consider the shrinking bar demo. It takes just a div layout item; styled in this case as:
#demo {
font:100%/1.2em arial;
height:10px; }
...and animates it with two these lines:
var anim = new YAHOO.util.Anim('demo', 
{ width: { from: 30, to: 10, unit: 'em'} } );
YAHOO.util.Event.on(document, 'click',
anim.animate, anim, true);
Wuhu! the gray bar shrinks from 30 to 10 ems. In not much more code than it would take for the placeholder for a custom flash component.

I'll add that the library setup is superb. In one glance you can find the demos, cheat sheet, docs, downloads, everything. Very nicely done.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pigeon Forge Storytelling
Does anyone know how common this type of event is? I'd never heard of even an evening here; this festival ran three days. In addition to veteran storytellers,
The festival also features the National Youth Storytelling Showcase where the next Grand Torchbearer will be selected from performers age 17 and younger. The Showcase is presented in partnership with the National Storytelling Network.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

WSJ - Every journey needs a Journal.
A simple set of animations...and yet powerful. They're designed to inspire; to draw motivation from the lives of stars/athletes/ entrepreneurs.

You could do the same with a set of say, Saints, Villains, Inventors; Merchant-Traders; Explorers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

George and Martha
OK, the Library of Congress' effort to celebrate Valentines Day may strain credibility with the kids just a bit. Still, we wanted to talk about these plain old html interactives. The entire set introduces 43 "Amazing Americans", 11 historic periods, 51 state profiles, and 12 recreation and music highlights. The simplicity does have much to commend. Audio?

What we really want to address, though, is Young Love. George paid a lot of attention to the ladies. Some times not with the success he hoped for .

Teens could learn much from Washington and other leaders' own youth. George started the Seven Years War when he was 22--five years before he married. (Many 22-year olds today are just hoping to get out of school). What was GW's life like in the years before that?

Wouldn't be cool if teens could experience much more of that life in the wild mountains of Allegheny and the ballrooms of northern Virginia?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pipes: Rewire the web
Yahoo! has unveiled (but seemingly not branded) this interesting service.
Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.
Use the graphical interface to connect, aggregate, and filter data streams.

Be sure to check New York Times filtered through FlickR!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lincoln's Birthday |
Nice story for this anniversary. On his death, they emptied Lincoln's pockets. Among the contents was a Confederate five dollar bill--crumpled up in a ball. Why a Confederate bill in the pocket of their most ardent enemy?

After the war, Lincoln wanted to see Richmond (the Confederate capital). It's not far from DC, so he rode down in a carriage guarded by Union soldiers.

On the streets of Richmond, black Americans were not a little happy to see President Lincoln. One approached, and shoved the $5 bill into Lincoln's giant hand. "I was saving this to buy my freedom." he said. "Since you brought my freedom instead, the $5 is yours." Gentle Lincoln carried that precious gift 'til the day he died.

Lincoln (R-Illinois) had plenty of detractors. In the north, many of these were called Peace Democrats--a famous one, Clement Vallandigham, was from right here in Ohio. For Peace Democrats, they just hated the Great Emancipator.Lincoln didn't much like them either, arresting some 18,000 northern confederate sympathizers. Vallandingham (a former Congressman) was among the convicted.
After General Ambrose E. Burnside issued General Order Number 38, warning that the "habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy" would not be tolerated in the Military District of Ohio, Vallandigham gave a major speech, charging the war was being fought not to save the Union but to free blacks and enslave whites. To those who supported the war he declared, "Defeat, debt, taxation [and] sepulchres - these are your trophies".

He denounced "King Lincoln," calling for Abraham Lincoln's removal from the presidency. On May 5 he was arrested as a violator of General Order No. 38.
He was sentenced to 2 years' confinement in a military prison.
Gaming advances as a learning tool eSchool News online
Started a longer review of a "scholarly" organization which sniffs "only the most worthy institutions have been invited to join the consortium,...." My 'tude was promptly not proper for such a fine Monday morn.

This one gives a nice little summary article on the use of games for classroom time. Old friends Marc Prensky, MuzzyLane, and Civilization are mentioned, and also some perspective on the growing acceptance of games for school learning.

Friday, February 09, 2007 - The World Is Thinking
This one is a "YouTube for thinking people". Well, some of them don't think very deep and most engage pie hole much longer than their brain cells fire. Still, a nice resource for a variety of videos, without wading through the pranks of every high school in America.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bible.kmz - Google Maps
You know that people can do cool things with datasets and overlays for Google Maps. This one locates sixty sites from the Bible on a satellite map of the land. Bible.kmz - Google Maps It's a strange collection; not as familiar a set as might be. Still, who can resist the beauty of zooming in on Solomon's Porch?

Paul's 1st Missionary Journey offers a different view-one extended event mapped out. This one hits me especially deeply: such a map sketched out in Paint was one of my very first efforts to bring History to the net.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The PSLC Theoretical Framework (pdf)
We promised there'd be cognitive science and pedagogical synthesis here. Does this offer any help? The framework is billed as an evolving document; the folks at the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center use it to know what kinds of experiments to do next. If you need to cite something, choose from among their research papers.

Aside from looking around the Learnlab site, you can visit CTAT, the technology that got PSLC started.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Life & Death of Visual Literacy
Today a nice presentation on understanding symbols and images through the ages. Delivered via Macromedia Breeze, it's a reminder of this useful method.
Does scene 11, Learning Perspective, remind you at all of our rush to develop new art today?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Somewhere, Milton Is Smiling OpinionJournal
Does this mark the end-times for public education?
"all new kindergartners would qualify, so that by 2020 all private school students would be eligible for vouchers."
We mention this sort of thing because, if you want curricula that include more history and more interactivity, the money for such invention comes mainly through the private and home school markets. Also, we do have the word "Open" in our name.

Read on in the article for some interesting observations on civilized policy development. Talk about compromise!
"Given that the average district gets $3,500 from the state and the average voucher is expected to be $2,000, a typical school district would gain some $1,500 every time a student left its system."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Firebug - Web Development Evolved
Just noticed: Firebug updated to 1.0 last week. And what improvements they've made! If you've not previously used Firebug to debug your web pages, you'll be pleasantly surprised. If you have, you'll still be all smiley over the improved features in 1.0.

Friday, February 02, 2007

NARA | The National Archives Experience
The National Archives has done well with this presentation of the three Charter Documents of Freedom.
I do love the iconic index at the top. Wish it would give a bit more of a hint to the contents as you roll over each icon. They could make some of the image resource links etc. more AJAXy. Overall, its a beautiful look, a deserving frame for these critical papers. Kudos to the artist who created those cool icon buttons.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ernie Pyle
Digging and Grousing
I really love these columns by the great Ernie Pyle. So many newspapermen count him among their idols; would that they actually followed his model.

This presentation is all the more special, as you can hear the columns being read.