Thursday, December 31, 2009

Held by the Taliban
No this is not about the American soldier currently being held in Afghanistan. Rather this is a video story of David Rohde who was held for several months by the Taliban before escaping. It is fascinating as it has geography (including Google Earth scenes), history, great descriptions of area and the story itself.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Decade in Review in Pictures
This is a great site to see a decade of photos. I found it on Larry Ferlazzo's site.

Monday, December 28, 2009



Easy Slide Show with Voice Add In
One thing that sometimes gets me when I give assignments that require the Internet is that some of the kids say, "Why can't you just give us a worksheet." This is one A good place to use it might be for your absolute monarchs section of the course where you can have a picture for each person and then have the student tell how they were strong leaders and/or innovators. You can also have other students make comments themselves. What is great is the above slide show was made by 2nd graders! Hit the buttons in the lower right corner and you can see all the pictures at once. The last one will allow you to embed it. I found this site on a Tweet (and I can't say enough about using Twitter for teachers).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Iran and "The Lede"
Having spent a number of years in Iran in my youth, I must admit I am smiling that so many seem to be rising up against the current government there. More to the point since Iran is one of the countries on the AP Comparative test, it might be interesting to follow it more online. Above is a video from today taken by some of the participants. Here is a blog entry which includes links to the opposition website. It is from the NYTimes Lede which is a supplement to their newspaper and includes many videos and pictures and is another reason why I no longer read a newspaper in paper form.

European Virtual Museum
This is a collaboration of 27 Europeans which allows you to look at their artifacts online. Found it at freetech4teachers.com


Internet 3.0
This short video explains how we went from Internet 1.0 where you could see what others had designed to 2.0 where the average user can create their own projects to Internet 3.0 where we will be better connected between our projects and better able to see them from the computer, phones (look out Google is about to release its own phone- and I don't mean the Droid- which you will be able to use no matter what phone service you use) and other devices.

Thursday, December 24, 2009



Quizzes on Google Docs
Perhaps I am getting too far afield with all the "Google stuff," but above is a video that tells you how you can create a quiz with all types of questions in Google Docs and then allow your students to take it.

Monday, December 21, 2009


2009 in Review as seen by Google Wave
Above is the year in review by Google Wave. If you haven't seen Google Wave, it is real time talking (both written or via up to six video links). this is from a Twitter feed from GiseldaSantos.

British Quartering Act


Kids Making Their Own Cartoons
I received this from one of my normal followers (feel free to leave a message with your tips or to e-mail me at kenhalla@gmail.com) if you have any. I always have my students create cartoons as I find it a good way to memorize something without having to actually sit down and say something over and over until it is in one's head. With this site, one can actually make digital cartoons much as we have drawn them in the past.
Google Maps Follow Protests in Iran
Want to add Google Maps to your class and are teaching World History, then here is a great way to do this. This site has been following the protests in Iran.
(Photo from Wired.com)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Google and Texting and other uses for cell phones in class
If you have "Google" as one of the address in your phone, you can text a question and send it to that address and get a response. Here are a bunch of other ways to use texting (including several articles). I learned recently that our school district, while banning cell phones, actually leaves it up to the principal. You might want to check out if your school is the same. That is how I got permission for just social studies teachers to use it. The link above also shows one how to use polleverywhere.com which is a way to quickly go over a few multiple choice questions, have kids text the answers and instantly see a chart for the percentage of kids who have answered what question. Finally if you go to the search engine on this site and type in "cell phones," you will find many other suggestions for usage from this summer's postings.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Google - This is Time Travel
Want to see actual newspapers from the past, go here to understand it and here to search.
Rome on Google Earth
Go here to download the necessary software and watch above to see what amazing things are in store for your students.

Ten Ways To Use Google Wave
Google Wave is starting to spread about (you need to get an invitation or go to the Google Wave page and sign up). For those who don't know what it is, I have the video above, but basically it allows you to chat with other people at the same time without pushing the "send" button. Below are many clever uses which I found here. It is worth your time to go through the list as for example they have a list of educators and their addresses so you could contact them. There is also one that tells you how you can video conference and if you wanted, you could look at videos together - all in the same screen. It also allows you to put Google Wave into Blackboard so you can use it with your students (imagine groups working at home and being able to see each other and at the same time working on a Google Docs item!). By the way I found this list here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Igoogle and Google Docs in the Classroom
Here is a video I made for teachers in my county to be able to use the aggregator "igoogle" and Google Docs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ePortfolio Mashup for Google Apps in the Classroom
This is a great picture (above and here) that shows how you can use Google applications in the classroom. I found it on Twitter from NMHS Principal whom I believe is a principal in New Jersey and judging from the Tweet film below is very much on top of technological uses in the classroom.

Stones into Schools
Having grown up overseas the story, Three Cups of Tea and the new book, Stones into Schools, struck a cord with me. While I am advocating bringing more and more technology into the classroom, it is easy to forget so many schools around the world are happy just to have an unheated structure where one can learn. The author of the book, Greg Mortenson, builds schools mainly for girls in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Above is an interview with Mortenson. You can find more about his organization here.

If the World Were A Villgage of 100 People
This is a fun demonstration of the idea of where people live, religion, gender, etc.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Interactive Way to Explore Ancient Civilizations
This site is an interactive way for students to look at the Mayans, Mesopotamia, Mali and Songhai. I found this information from this NJ Principal's tweet.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Multiple Uses for Google Earth
I found this from a tweet from Ann Oro. I am using it for locations of battles (such as the Civil War) where my students can put the name of the leaders, statistics, etc.
Google Sites and Posting Your Assigments
I used to be happy that we had Blackboard, but no longer as it is clunky (six clicks to correct one assignment). Here is a great example of what you can do with Google Sites. It shows you that one can have folders, links, etc. Of course your students can turn in the their work through Google Docs (one click to grade) and you can include PowerPoints, pictures, quizzes, etc. Here is the best example of what is possible in the page. So if your system does not have an online delivery device for your students Google Sites.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Virtual Tour of Stonehenge
Go here and then click on any part of Stonehenge and take a complete virtual tour. I found out about it from MrBally's Tweets.
Glogster
Look at the poster below which is an example of a "glogster" (combo of poster+blog). You can put pictures, multiple videos, words and a song in the poster.

Glogster


A Seventh Grader's PLE
A personal learning environment is a pretty new term, but it is essentially an aggregator for all the sites you might use to perform your necessary functions. For example, you might have your Facebook page there, websites you frequent, Google Docs and more all in one place. I use igoogle.com for mine. Above is another aggregator called Symbaloo.com which a 7th grader uses to demonstrate how she does her classwork. It is very much worth a minute to watch it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Longitude/Latitude Tool
This is a great device to show your students what any location's longitude and latitude is.  I found it from a tweet from 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Google Earth New Virtual Sites
Go see Stonehenge, Versailles, old town in Spain, historic center in Prague and much more. Amazing. Here is the list of places you can visit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oovoo!
Oovoo.com is a relatively new video recording device. You have use it to have a video conference with up to six people which is a great way for your students to work on a lesson plan. Also, you can interview and record up to 1000 minutes which would be great if your students are making a video and want to put it into something like Movie Maker.

Oldest Living WWI US Veteran Testifies on the Hill
This is pretty cool. Cpl. Frank is 108 (!) and was a POW and today spoke on the Hill in favor of building a memorial in DC. Here is an ABC video story on him and above is a more detailed account. (Photo from CNN)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Google Blog
If you have been reading this blog a while, you know that I like Google products that help me in the classroom. For example the other day I set up an "igoogle" page to house all of my favorite sites. Blogspot is a Google hosted item which I use for this blog. Google Docs is a great way for you and your colleagues/students to share projects. My wife and I have our family calendar on the Google calendar (with different colors for each person) and it is synched with my school Outlook calendar. There are, of course, lots of great videos for the classroom on Youtube (owned by Google). Finally I like Google Mail, not just because it is a good e-mail system, but my kids can video chat through it with their cousins in Maine (we're in VA). I also read a great book this past summer appropriately titled Planet Google. So if you are hunting for new Google ideas the Google blog should be helpful to you as they tell you about the products and then show you how to use it with a short video. Recently, for example, they released Google Dashboard which is a way to control the information that Google stores on you, which in my case is growing rapidly!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Twitter Guidebook
Here is the ultimate Twitter "how to" guidebook. It tells you how to search, grow your community, have consersations and much more. I have only been on Twitter for a month or so, but have found it an amazing source for teacher ideas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tremendous Class Webpage
This is quite simply one of the best class webpages I have ever seen. It includes outlines (yes they come from a textbook, but you will see it is very smoothly done and you still remain on the website), great online games, video, terms and a calendar. I will add that it is made for AP World. I just wish the teacher had his e-mail on there so I could get him to help me on this blog page.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Twenty-One Interesting Ways to Use Audio in the Classroom
Perhaps the coolest thing about the above PowerPoint is that it just appeared on my Google Docs page as I was added as a collaborator. It was made by Tom Barnett whose blog is here. I have been using Google Docs this fall for my students group projects and love it. I even am going to try having students turn in some of their work this way as I am becoming frustrated by the clunkiness of Blackboard's way of turning in assignments. I'll do more on it later, but for now the twenty-one ways include podcasts with audacity, musical timers, recording projects in both audio and video and most importantly it includes all of the links for each idea.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interactive Darwin Site
This site does a great job of showing the stops that Darwim made in the correct order. I got it from a Larry Ferlazzo tweet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Edublog Awards
Each year these awards are given out to the best blog sites on the Internet. If you want to see the categories and think that this site has been helpful to you, you might want to nominate it by going here.
SparkNotes
This is a great review site or actually a site close to a complete book. It has a fairly detailed outline of world history, 45 question quizzes on each section (and there are many sections), context, important people, summary and analysis, study questions (including essays), and further reading. Really it is a one stop shop place for your students.

Monday, November 23, 2009

12 Ways to Publish Online
Okay, this comes from FreeTech4Teachers and includes Google Docs, SlideShare, Empressor, Zoho, SlideRocket and more.
Cold War Advertisements
This is pretty cool as is it has fifteen advertisements from the Cold War era.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Digital Storytelling
This is an amazing sheet as it gives you all of the items to make a digital story (ie video, slideshow, etc.) with your classes. It even tells you how you can resize photos, add music, etc. Of course, all of the items are free. I have used digital stories with my students and find they are often ahead of me and the ones who aren't, learn from those who are. I found this item from a tweet from Larry Ferlazzo.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ashoka and Buddhism
Here is a film on the edicts of Ashoka and the development of the Buddhist faith.
A Very Cheap Interactive Whiteboard
I found this on the FreeTech4Teachers site. If you watch the video above, you can see for about $30 how to create an interactive whiteboard using a "Wiimote." You can get more information on how to do this by going here.
Thirty Tips to Use Twitter
I've only been using twitter for the past week, but I am amazed at how 140 characters can enhance one's teaching. If you want to give it a try, I'd recommend going here for some quick help.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Amazing Site on World Religions
This is one succinct website that has a bunch of the world's religions and in a organized page for each one all the details for each. For example, for Judaism it has beliefs, customs, holy days, the Holocaust, people, texts, subdivisions and worship.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Top One Hundred Technology Tools for Learning
You will probably see a lot more posts dealing with general technology as I adjust to my Twitter feed which has been growing quickly. Here and above is a great list of technological innovations one can use in the classroom. I found it from this Twitter site. Each one also has a link to the item's site. If you are using this site a lot, you will recognize many of the items.

Monday, November 16, 2009

100 Google Docs Tips
My students challenged me today to try to get through a class without mentioning the word "Google!" I am not sure I can do it! Here are 100 tips you might want to have as you learn to work through Google Docs. In a way they remind me of word in the earlier stages, however there have been so many times I have wished all of my documents were on there so I would not have to log onto my slow to start school laptop or when I am at another house and want to look at something. Google Docs is getting better and better and for collaboration it can't be beat. By the way, I found this using a Twitter feed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Twitter & Education - #140conf LA from RealPlayer SP on Vimeo.


Twitter Resources
I just found this by tweeting and ended up seeing a post I had missed on FreeTech4Teachers. It is a short discussion of how and why to use Twitter for educators. Since I am just getting into this, I will probably have more ideas in the near future. Remember you can follow my tweets at www.twitter.com/kenhalla. They will be for all three of my educator sites (World, US and Govt) and will also be on the right side of all three sites.
Outline of the Stearns AP World Textbook
If you make your students outline a textbook, be careful since you have seen from this site that many of the outlines are now available online. As proof, here is the entire one for the Stearns AP World textbook.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Twitter Feed
A few months ago I signed up for a Twitter account and then did nothing to it. Interestingly enough people started signing up, so I am going to start using my account. If you want feeds of all three of my teacher blogs (US Government Teachers, World History Teachers, US History Teachers), you can see the latest feeds on the side bar of this blog page or you can subscribe directly to the page by going to twitter.com/kenhalla

Friday, November 13, 2009


History of Religion in 90 Seconds
I've run this one before, but it is a super video and a nice way to review the spread of religion.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PowerPoints for Holt "Human Journey" and Entire Book
Okay, here are all the PowerPoints for the world history textbook, "Human Journey" as well as the entire textbook in pdf format. Wow!

PowerPoints and entire AP textbook
On the same site are PowerPoints and the pdf textbook for an AP World book as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Mining New Data from Google
Here is a great link that allows you to compare a large variety of items from countries around the world and then put them in a chart instantly. Above is a comparison of Internet users in China, India, the US and the world. Also, click on any part of the lines and it will give you the percentage at that point in time. Right now, Google can display results for all of the following:
CO2 emissions per capita, Electricity consumption per capita, Energy use per capita, Exports as percentage of GDP, Fertility rate, GDP deflator change, GDP growth rate, GNI per capita in PPP dollars, Gross Domestic Product, Gross National Income in PPP dollars, Imports as percentage of GDP, Internet users as percentage of population, Life expectancy, Military expenditure as percentage of GDP, Mortality rate, under 5, Population, and Population growth rate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quizlet
This is another "goodie" from the teacher who created the webpage mentioned in the previous post. This has 78 question on 1914 to the present. If you go to Quizlet.com, you can see lots of quizzes and even make your own.

Berlin Wall
Above is the fist story of the NBC Nightly News Broadcast from 20 years ago on the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here is a link to a number of stories about the wall on icue.com.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Plug this Blogsite?!
If you live in the DC area you know of Jay Matthews who came up with the Challenge Index which features the top AP schools in the country. He and Valerie Struass are looking for the best education blogs. If you like this site, you might consider clicking on the article and leaving a comment or by e-mailing either Jay Matthews at matthewsj@wash.com or Valerie Strauss at theanswersheet@washpost.com (note you have to copy and paste the addresses into your e-mail). I heard about the article from FreeTech4teachers.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NOVA Series on "Becoming Human"
This is an excellent (based on the first part) sthree part eries on human development. It starts with apes and goes through the neanderthals. You can already watch the first part on line and have it in full screen (in case you wanted to show it in class) and the others will be up as they show. Go to the link above for the show times.

Friday, October 30, 2009

World Civilizations: The Global Experience (Free Ancillaries)
And yet another online textbook. I actually had an unnamed textbook person (pretty high up in the company) tell me that it was okay to charge more for the online books (because you get a newer version twice in a six year adoption phase) than the hard back since there are so many extras - WHICH THEY GIVE AWAY FREE (except for the test maker). But here are more free outlines from "The Global Experience" + multiple choice, true false and so much more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Ann Frank Youtube Channel
This is why I get upset when youtube is blocked in a school. Above is the only know video image of Anne Frank (I got the idea from FreeTech4Teachers) and here is an entire video grouping put together by the Anne Frank Museum including interviews with Otto Frank, the view she had from her window, a virtual tour of her apartment and much more.

Saving Paper By Splitting Your Screen
Two years ago I almost bought another monitor so I could see two screens at the same time as I was tired of printing out paper, using it for a minute and then throwing it away. Perhaps the people who view this blog know about the trick above, but in case you don't, please watch the one minute video and learn how to see and work with multiple documents/webpages all at once.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Indus Valley Script
This is a very interesting Time magazine article on the attempts to decode the script from the Indus Valley. Thanks to our Gov't Teachers Blogger, Frank Franz, for finding it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

AP Textbook Online
Well, by textbook, I mean the outline for every chapter, five question multiple choice review questions (how often do we see more than four stemmed questions), short answer review, matching and interactive maps.  The book is titled "Traditions and Encounters" by Bentley and Ziegler.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Italian and German Unifications
Okay, so this is not a professional movie, but it is a nice idea to have your students do in MovieMaker and so this is a great example of what you might expect of them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Chinese Dynasty Song
My wife is amazing in that she remembers virtually every song she hears which is why she still remembers the periodic table as she learned it to a song. Above is one class (not mine) singing their song to remember the Chinese dynasties. It may work in your class or you may want to come up with your own as an assignment.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The French Revolution in 10 Parts
Each of these movies are under nine minutes and weave movie scenes with scholars (who speak only short parts at a time so the kids will be able to stay with it. Part one is above.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

D-Day Smithsonian Videos
Here are three short videos put together by the Smithsonian Institute on the D-Day invasion. To see all three go here.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Multiple Choice Questions Explained
If you look at the AP books on Google, you will see they are teases in theat they have some of the book, but not all of it. So this one has the first 37 pages before it misses one. BUT, in those pages are an explanation of all the different types of questions so if you have a student who needs help, it might be a help. It is also above. Finally I set it so the first page you see above is where the explanation begins.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Classzone Maps
Why pay for the expensive hanging maps when you can show these on your television or LCD. This has US and world maps and has them in political and physical ones. You can also move the maps around and zoom in and out. When you get to the site, you will need to click on your state and subject and then look for the "Rand McNally" link at the top in the middle and click on it

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maps and more maps
If you go here, you will see a plethora of maps from Pearson and you can print out and give your kids. It is set up alphabetically so you can easily find them. Above are some of the maps under "B."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Chinese History in 2 Minutes
This is the last sixty years of Chinese history which I found on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Short How To For Google Docs
If you follow these blogs, you know I have been exploring Google Docs as a way for teachers and students to share and store their documents/spreadsheets/PowerPoints, etc. online. Above is a 4 minute overview that is quite good about how to use the basic features.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Downloading Video
There are many sites out there, but here is a site that allows you to download a youtube.com video.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Last Sixty Years of Chinese History in 2 Minutes
I found this on FreeTech4Teachers.com and it's here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great How Tos For Moviemaker
If you go here there are a bunch of how to connections for movie maker which I use to have my kids do a variety of assignments.

Friday, September 25, 2009

British History
One of the nice things about doing this blog is that I get a lot of e-mails telling me about sites (and please send any you know of) including this one that gives a great deal of information on British history. There are a lot of links and pictures as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Google Docs and Florence
Okay, call me a little behind the times, but I only just started learning Google Docs recently. What is amazing is how easy it is to embed video (from youtube or your desktop, but no where else) and pictures, etc. You can also easily link to outside sources. There are a bazillion templates for a PowerPoint and it can be shared with others online and you can download. Above is a very simple example that I did in one minute. Here is a video I made on how to make a Google Doc Presentation.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quizlot
This is a new site that allows you to make quizzes, flashcards, etc. It also allows you to share them with others (ie practicing for a test). It already has some questions up for history and government.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009




Google Earth
Here is how to navigate around Google Earth. Below it is a video showing you how to place a marker for a site. I will be having a series of video so you can use this tool with your students. One use might be to follow the explorers in the Age of Exploration and both follow them on the earth, as well as embed pictures of the people and the places as they look today. The very top video tells you how to embed it in a blog.

The Lascaux Cave

The French Government has sponsored a phenomenal website which gives users a virtual tour of the Lascaux cave, including descriptions of each drawing, its importance and meaning, as well as individual breakdowns of specific parts of each drawing. A really cool site that students can explore individually or that you can look at as a class.
The Lascaux Cave

Monday, September 14, 2009

Google Earth
Google Earth keeps getting better. Here, thanks to the Google Earth Blog and Free Tech4Teachers is a great video for looking at Afghanistan. It is more professional than what your students might do, but it will show them what is possible and give them something to shoot for. Check back soon as I will be adding a video showing how to do it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

AP World Exam Calculations
While I have not taught AP World, years ago I used to grade AP US exams. Back then if the student used 3 (yes 3!) facts correctly they could get a 5 (out of a possible 9) on the rubric and that was good enough to pass the exam - assuming all else was equal. Well here (and above is the graph) an explanation of what a student needs to pass the AP World exam. I'd be curious about your feedback on this one, but the point is that if you can teach students how to answer free response questions (and the best way is to become an AP Reader) it is not that hard to pass the exam (yes, assuming the kids come to class each day, do their homework, etc.). It is interesting to see the chart and the explanation, though.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Mysteries of Catalhoyuk


This is a great website that allows students to complete some simple Pre-historic activities, such as creating a neolithic dinner. Its a fun way for students in World History I or AP World History to explore the world of the Neolithic individual, how they survived, what they ate, and where they lived. Great as a whole class or explored by individual students.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


How Stuff Works
This is a great site for many reasons, mostly because they have hundreds of short videos (on many things beyond the classroom). I have found it very good for both US and world history. Above, for example is the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The coolest thing is that the movies are 3-1o minutes, so if a student misses class, he/she can still see what you watched!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Smart History


This is a great website that helps us learn and teach Art History. The topics covered range from prehistory (cave art) all the way up to modern art. This site is great for students to explore in class since it provides maps, pictures, and detailed explanations of different art trends and how they relate to art history. This is especially helpful for World History since the SOLs and AP exam seem to be adding images every year. http://www.smarthistory.org/

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Map Site Traces Famous Voyages
If you want to show your students the voyages of Magellan, Columbus, Lindbergh's flight to Paris, DeSoto, the Silk Road, Marco Polo and others, this site is a great one. It also includes pictures and descriptions which you can see as you make the follow the voyages. By the way, I found it on a Delicious.com site. Delicious allow you to bookmark online so you can get to your links from any computer and it also shows you what others who have bookmarked the same sites are looking at.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reminder on Videos

Just as a reminder, there are several tips posted on how to download and embed videos for instructional use.

How to download a video from Real Player

Academic Earth



Here is a great resource. Academic Earth is a collaboration between Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA and Yale that provides full video courses and lectures for free. There are video lectures that cover both US and World History, as well as Political Science/Government. I'm planning on using these in my AP World History class as enrichment material that students can access from home.
Great Map Site
I'll let this site speak for itself: The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has over 20,000 maps and images online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented. Collection categories include antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall, childrens, and manuscript maps. Some examples are United States map, maps New York, California map, Arizona map, America map, New York City map, Chicago map, and Colorado map. The collection can be used to study history, genealogy and family history.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Text Your Students with E-mail
I always get my students' e-mails and will occasionally send them a message. It is frustrating that half of them never check. In fact even after they e-mail me, they don't look for a reply. But here is a way to use cell phones, but not in the classroom. You could set up a database with their cell phone numbers and then add the code below depending on their cell phone and then they will receive a text. Certainly this way the kids will get the message. (Obviously this is one you'd want to check with the parents first to make sure they don't mind)

Sprint:

[10DigitNumber]@messaging.sprintpcs.com

T-Mobile:

[10DigitNumber]@tmomail.net

Verizon:

[10DigitNumber]@vtext.com

AT&T:

[10DigitNumber]@mobile.mycingular.com

Just replace [10DigitNumber] with the ten digit phone number you are trying to reach (area+ local number).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cell Phones Uses - Podcasting
Go here to see a presentation on ways to use cell phones in class. The video takes you through each step and could easily be followed by you or your students. It is quite lengthy so I have put the highlights. But if you want to use the cellphone this is really an excellent how to video. All of the examples could be done at home if your school won't allow cell phones. Here is what is covered in the video

1. Record video or audio. You can use www.gabcast.com; www.gcast.com; www.hipcost.com; www.evoca.com (all of which are free). These sites also allow students to use landlines to make the podcasts. Gabcast will allow you make a podcast of up to one hour for each entry. It will also give you html which can then be put in your blog. Uses would include
a. getting authors to read their works
b. having students explain concepts that you are teaching
c. read poems
d. put clips from famous speeches and have kids explain them
e. radio broadcasts
f. audio interviews
g. sound clips from trips
h. ESOL students working on their language skills and integrating it with subject matter.

2. A second use of free phone conferencing is www.freeconference.com which actually allows you to have a conference call of up to 200 people! The advantage of using a cell phone is that you will not be charged long distance charges. Another is www.talkshoe.com

3. You can have free online voice mail which are at privatephone.com and jangl.com. These will give you your own phone number and for those who don't want to give out your own number, this is perfect and better yet you can get the messages via your cell phone or online.

4. Audio e-mail are found at jott.com and mindjot.com. These allow you to speak your message and it will be transcribed into a text message and even be set as an audio.com

5. Taking Movies: go.blogger.com Using bubbleshare.com you can use your phone to make pictures and then bubbleshare.com will allow you to make a slideshow. You can have all the students in one class send pictures to the same site or have invidual sites for each student. You can edit the pictures, record audio which would allow you to make a digital storybook. You can then e-mail the slideshow, add it to a blog or even to download it. Imagine going on a field trip and having an instant slideshow created by the kids.

6. If you want kids to make movies, you can use the free site of eyespot.com. They allow you to take movie clips with a phone and immediately upload it to the sites where you can edit the fim online and then publish it to a blog page.

7. This video also goes through audacity.com

8. Sending free textmessages. textforfree allows you to send free text messages.

9. To create surveys you can go to mobiode.com

10.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Watch Know Video Library
Here is a collection of short videos which can be used to study ancient world history. Topics include Egypt, Greece, Rome, Incans, Mayans, pre-historic, Ottomans and more. If you are like me, you are picking your way through all the videos I have put on this site and choosing some to use in class. If you have a student webpage, you can easily then have absent students view them on their time. Above is on of the videos, this one on Plato.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Empirical Support for Cell Phone Usage in the Classroom
I have put some of my ideas for cell phone usage on a list serve and have gotten some flak saying 1)our rules prohibit 2)the kids will abuse it if we have it. I really believe as with passing paper notes when I was a young teacher, that good teachers will 1) find a way to get kids not to look at cell phones (interactive teaching and interesting material) and over time will find good uses. At any rate International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) has a report out that looks at technological use in the classroom. Since I have a Ph.D., I am all about support (and for that matter questioning what you read), but this report cites empirical research that states the obvious. 1) we have always known that the best way to teach is to be interactive and to use tools that kids enjoy 2) that tool today is technology. As the study states (money pages are 6-8) , 10-17 year olds spend an average of 3:45 a day on cell phones and that 87% of 12-17 year olds are online EVERY DAY. Right now, unlike online activities, ideas for cell phones in the class are certainly limited, but that will change over time (see my next post for another idea for cell phones). So I am only advocating limited use and certainly NEVER to text friends.

Just in case you need more convincing, here is Sec of Education Arne Duncan advocating the use of cell phones.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Text Your Students with E-mail
I always get my students' e-mails and will occasionally send them a message. It is frustrating that half of them never check. In fact even after they e-mail me, they don't look for a reply. But here is a way to use cell phones, but not in the classroom. You could set up a database with their cell phone numbers and then add the code below depending on their cell phone and then they will receive a text. Certainly this way the kids will get the message. (Obviously this is one you'd want to check with the parents first to make sure they don't mind)

Sprint:

[10DigitNumber]@messaging.sprintpcs.com

T-Mobile:

[10DigitNumber]@tmomail.net

Verizon:

[10DigitNumber]@vtext.com

AT&T:

[10DigitNumber]@mobile.mycingular.com

Just replace [10DigitNumber] with the ten digit phone number you are trying to reach (area+ local number).

Sunday, August 9, 2009



Guns, Germs and Steel

Based on my summer assignments link (see links on the right of this post) for AP students, "Guns, Germs and Steel" is one of the books most often used. Well, go here and your students can read it for free (I believe even on their phones - how's that for a creative use of phones for school work?) or you can embed it as I have done it above on a webpage if you have one.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


AP Study Guides Online
Well I may never have to ask my students to buy another AP study guide online as here most of them are in their entirety. If you have a webpage for your students, you could even embed one or all of them as I have done. It just keeps getting better and better.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Ancient Sites in Google Earth
If you go to youtube.com and type in "Ancient sites + google earth" if you are in YouTube the above video is what you get. You can do it for anything you are studying. This one includes Google Earth scenes as well as pictures and includes Colossus of Rhodes, Greece, c.280 BC + Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, c.285 BC + Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, Turkey, 351 BC + Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece, 435 BC + Temple of Art.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Game Templates
This comes from FreeTech4Teachers. I love using review games for my students and here are templates from Jeopardy, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Wheel of Fortune, $25,000 Pyramid and more.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Great Interactive Map Review
This site asks you a world history question and then the student has to answer it by finding the place on the map. Incredible! It also is timed so the student has to really know their stuff.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Transcribe Your Voice Into a Student Text Message
Yes, you heard it. You can use this free service to record a message for your students which will then be converted into a text message. If your parents are wary of giving a phone number to this site, you can always use the post a couple of days ago where I showed you how to e-mail a text message (and for that matter students can text you back to your e-mail!).