Monday, February 14, 2011

2 Tools for history teachers today

I'm paging through the OZ/NZ educators' Diigo group today and they share some interesting links, but there are two I passed on to a Social Studies teaching friend of mine

The first is a link to a Google Template created by Derrick Wadell.

It's so students can create a faux Facebook page for a famous person. This template is not connected to any actual Facebook account so is safe and user friendly. It works inside a Google Doc, so offers students an interesting way to collaborate to develop the profile of a historical figure. They can insert an image (try a Wikimedia Commons search first), but will have to add text boxes of their own to add their research to the right slots. (See "Facebook for Dead People" post in Richard Byrne's blog.)

The other is a new service from Life Magazine. Students can now view or create pictorial timelines using Life's photos or their own.

"With’s Timelines, you can unlock LIFE’s legendary archive of more than 10 million images — or choose pictures from your own collection — and put together photo essays to share with family and friends."

There's even a way to do a futuristic timeline of events that haven't yet occurred. I like the idea of them doing their own artwork and creating an interesting storyline or starting with historical photos, going through the present with Life and then projecting into the future with artwork.

History never seemed to be about real people or events when I was in school in the -- just lists of characters I was supposed to care about but didn't. I think using these kinds of tools would have breathed some life into history for me.

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