Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Tag Archives: social studies

Newspaper Map, Study Jams, and Go Go News

Newspaper Map

Newspaper Map is a nice mash-up with Google Maps that pins many of the world’s newspapers in their respective locations on the map. Students and teachers can look up a specific newspaper or location, filter it by language, and then go to the site of any of the thousands of newspapers included in this site.

Study Jams

Study Jams has a fun selection of animated videos to help students with math and science concepts such as multiplication and division, algebra, fractions, geometry, landforms, solar system, matter, energy, light and sound, force and motion, animals, and much more.

Here’s a preview of one of the videos:

Go Go News

Back to current events, Go Go News is an educational site that has “big news for little people.”  Since its inception in 2006, GoGoNews has provided children with general knowledge, as well as a consciousness and awareness of the world, regardless of geography or culture. Along with the different news sections, there is a free mobile app, and they are developing GoGoTeach, to help educators integrate the site into their classrooms.

Advertisements

Children of World War 2

From the BBC, Children of World War 2 is a great resource for kids who want to get a better understanding of what life was like for children during World War 2.  History lessons will usually focus on the major events of the war: The Nazis invade Poland, the German Blitz, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Auschwitz, etc. The human side of the story is often missed and that’s where Children of World War 2 comes in.

The well-presented, easy to explore site has 10 sections to delve into that inform kids about the war and what it was all about. From evacuations, to what homes were like,  food and shopping, daily life, and other interesting areas. Each section comes with some amazing photos with captions, some sections have writings (actual letters and speeches written by the various leaders), and also videos, and audio recordings of war-time events (Note: the audio and videos are not available in all countries).

Also, within each section, there are activities, challenges, and quizzes that add a bit of fun to an often sad topic.

Visit the teacher section for lesson plans, worksheets, a collection of all the media associated with the site, as well as links to other websites to further explore the topic.

The Children of World War 2 is a great resource for any unit of historical study of World War 2. It truly gives students a new, eye-opening perspective about some of the atrocities, and some of the simplicities that took place during this time in history.

5th Graders Interview History Experts Via Skype

This past Wednesday one of my 5th grade classes took part in a fantastic learning experience. Two history experts who work at the Singapore Ministry of Education were kind enough to Skype in and answer a series of 12 questions that the students came up with.  Here’s a video of what took place:

Historical Imagery and 3D Trees in Google Earth

Historical Imagery

Google recently improved upon Google Earth and introduced a historical imagery slider so that you can compare locations with how they looked previously (as far back as imagery is available for any particular location).

3D Trees

Another great new features is 3D trees. With the release of Google Earth 6, there are more than 80 million trees which include over 50 different species. Watch the short video below to learn more.

EdTechIdeas: Google Earth is a great, free tool for students to learn about places in the world, geography, distance, topography, and many other things. Now, with the historical slider, students can get a first hand account of how things change over time due to human “progress,” and how natural disaster shape the earth. 3D trees is a great tool for studying the environment. Students can zoom in to the amazon and identify different types of trees and discover the layers of the rain forest first-hand (well, sort of).  A combination of the historical slider and 3D trees would be a nice tool for students to use as a visual for an oral report about deforestation.

Nuclear Detonation Timeline 1945-1998

Here’s an eye-opening video created by Isao Hashimoto which shows all of the 2,053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945-1998.

EdTechIdeas: This would be an interesting video to show as a discussion starter for middle and high school students studying World War II, human rights, the arms race, and nuclear proliferation. Students could use the information from the video to pinpoint and identify specific explosions and align each with historical facts about what was going on during that time.

3 Great Websites for Country Information Comparisons

One thing kids (and adults) often have trouble with is the concept of scale. Understanding how big or small something is can be difficult if there is no familiar reference point of which to compare. Here are 3 sites that help students gain an understanding of size and how certain occurrences that happen on our planet compare to places that they are familiar with.

If It Were My Home

The Gulf Oil Spill

If It Were My Home allows students to choose a disaster and place the disaster somewhere familiar to show the vastness of its destruction.  Another feature is the country comparison, which highlights certain aspects of what your life would be like if you were born in another country compared to where you were born. Unfortunately, you cannot change the default comparison country (US).  Perhaps this will change in future versions. 

Show World

Countries Resized Relative to Total Population

Show World visualizes the countries of the world not by land mass, but by certain data entered. For example, in the map below showing the world’s current oil supplies, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela appear largest due to the fact that those 2 countries house the largest reserves.

Countries Resized Relative to Total Oil Reserves

Dimensions

The BBC’s Dimensions allows students to compare a variety of different occurrences and phenomenon to familiar areas including: the war on terror, space, depths, ancient worldsenvironmental disasters, and more.

%d bloggers like this: