New interactives from the Library of Congress!

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 1.51.05 PMI love being able to teach with interactives and simulations. They give students a new way to explore material and help it “stick.” Today the Library of Congress announced  three new interactive projects funded by LOC grants and they look really cool! Eagle Eye Citizen is for middle and high school students focusing on US History, civics and government and promotes civic understanding and historical thinking skills. Engaging Congress has several game-based interactives looking at representative government, and KidCitizen allows K-5 learners to explore history. All three interactive programs utilize primary sources from the Library of Congress. Love it!

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Textivate – Fun on a Friday!

ImageHow about  quick way to create up to 44 different activities based on up to 500 words?  Find your favorite vocab list and head to Textivate. Once the words are pasted into the box on the Textivate page, generate the desired activity. There is even a “?” that can be clicked so the user can get directions if s/he needs help.

This would be fun to use in so many classes – really anything with vocabulary, matching, math problems and answers, events, it could be used for almost anything text-based.

iCivics: Win the White House

My 3rd hour and I are in the computer lab right now. To hear conversations like, “I came back and took the lead…”  “I just took California!”  “Can you fundraise in a purple state?” “Is it better to oppose…do whatever you can, if you’re supporting that issue…” “I am at 208 [electoral votes] and I need 270…” I love it!!  Normally my goal is to never post a second time about a site, but if the site adds new things that are wonderful, they are worth a post and “Win the White House” from Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics site is impressing me. It takes the students through each phase of a campaign for the White House. For the past three days we have discussed the presidential election process and Super Tuesday. This semester I also found YouTube videos showing the opening minutes of the Democratic National Convention, a news broadcast wrapping up the 2008 Republican Convention, and a 3 minute clip showing Georgia casting its votes at the DNC. Students really responded well to the video clips, something I had not tried in the past.  (A copy of the presentation we used in class with the links to the above mentioned video clips and more is available here.)

My student Michael said I could post the photo of him playing our game in class, I thank him for that.

Lesson Plan on Identify Theft

My first post of the new year is actually a lesson plan I customized from the free curriculum on Online Identify Theft: Information is Power from Common Sense Media. Our technology office teaches what I would describe as a survey course in technology and digital citizenship and safety landed in my corner for the upcoming semester. While the customized lesson uses a lot of the Common Sense Media lesson ideas and resources, I found a few more resources and was a bit more specific on the use of a webtool. As of this writing, I am glad to see that it looks like “ID Theft Faceoff” the “game” designed by several federal government agencies to explore  identify theft is back online (it wasn’t looking so good about two weeks ago).

Too often teens think identity theft is only something adults need to be concerned about. I hope we are able to bring this issue to light with our students next semester.