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Awesome Stories November 22, 2013

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in History.
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Recognizing the 50th commemoration of President Kennedy’s assassination today gives the opportunity to share an awesome resource for historical stories.  “Awesome Stories” offers an excellent exploration of The Assassination of John F. Kennedy through text, images and primary sources that guide the user through the events surrounding JFK’s death through his funeral. Awesome Stories is about to launch a newly redesigned website (expected on Nov. 26) that explores 250 historic stories, lesson ideas and resources, primary sources (text, images, video), narratives and more. A great tool for remembering history.AwesomeStory - JFK


Decoding History October 24, 2013

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in US History.
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I was disappointed when I read about this web activity and the government shutdown resulted in the NPS websites being offline for a while, but now, no more!  George Washington’s Codes activity is from the NPS and is a part of the junior ranger program.  Visitors to the site are introduced to a coding scheme George Washington used to keep his wartime messages secret and then are given the opportunity to decode a message themselves.

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Interested in more decoding? This PBS site  that supports the NOVA show “Decoding Nazi Secrets” explores the Enigma machine, decoding efforts during WWII, offers a virtual Enigma-like machine to try, and in the teaching materials section, a decoder that can be printed and built by students, then used to explore more codes.

Both offer fun ways to talk about secrets during wartime. Then, depending on the age of the students, a conversation could extend into a discussion about intelligence gathering today, the Patriot Act, the role of the NSA, and more.

Halloween Fun! October 15, 2013

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in Random Thoughts.
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Normally the resources here are digital and more academic. Today, while looking for free ecards, I checked Hallmark’s site and found some Halloween-themed free printables for things like word puzzles and pdf patterns for treat boxes and directions for creating a Halloween gingerbread house! Fun for a Tuesday! 🙂

“Crowd-Creating” a Presentation With Google October 11, 2013

Posted by Wendy Wolfe in Google, Presentations.
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Wanting students to work as a class to create a presentation is not a new idea. Some of my colleagues were talking about doing this in science classes by having each student creates a slide, emailing it to the teacher, and the teaching combining the slides into one show to then post on Haiku.  After some discussion, they warmed to the idea of doing the following:

1. Set up a Google Slide presentation (a title slide and one slide for each person or team if desired) that has permissions set to allow “Anyone with the link can edit.” (With this setting, up to 50 people could simultaneously edit the presentation.

2.  Post the link on Haiku

3. Have students create their slides (or edit designated “placeholder” slides so the desired order is maintained)


The result? A presentation created by all, able to be referred to by all, and no time required by the teacher on the back end! It might not seem overly flashy, but the idea is moving through our faculty and they love it.

Haven’t explored Google Slides much?  Here is a link to the Google Help Guide for Google Slides (Presentations).