Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Congratulations Heda. It would be pretty cool to talk to Woodrow Wilson about his ideals of making the world "safe for democracy" and whether that principle holds up today. Heda said she'd also address the issue of race. Though, Heda, it's very tough to try and convince an early 20th century mind to adopt the principles of the early 21st century mind. A lot has changed in 100 years. As a teacher, I ask my students to do this. It's a hard concept to handle. Open-mindedness today supersedes any open thought from 100 years ago by a landslide and our ideals may be looked at by someone like Wilson as insane.
Regardless, your thoughts were good enough to win the DVD set. Please contact me at ushistorysite at gmail dot com and I'll have the DVDs sent to you.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Just received an email from a company that has created a website/iPhone application dedicated to making to providing information on what happened today... In History.
In other words, it's not just another of your average Today in History sites. This one actually gives you the content you want, where you want it... on your iPhone or iPod
Today In History is an effective tool to share: it simply offers snack sized pieces of information to get the reader hooked, lets them look up a bit more on wikipedia, and then once the seed is planted they'll hopefully act on it and seek more information in a library or in school.
Here's their website for more information: http://www.todayhistory.net/
And here's the Today in History iPhone application: http://bit.ly/diIMmS
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In honor of President's Day, A&E Home Entertainment is having a special on "The Presidents" documentary on iTunes! You can download all eight episodes of the documentary for only 99 cents each.
The Presidents 3-DVD set is an eight-part survey of the personal lives and legacies of the remarkable men who have presided over the Oval Office.
From George Washington to George W. Bush, The Presidents gathers together vivid snapshots of all 43 Commanders in Chief who have guided America throughout its history--their powerful personalities, weaknesses, and major achievements or historical insignificance.
Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by James McPherson, The Presidents features rare and unseen photographs and footage, unexpected insight and trivia from journalists, scholars, and politicians such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Wesley Clark, Bob Dole, and former President Jimmy Carter. Viewed within the changing contexts of each administration, the Presidency has never seemed more compelling and human. Narrated by Edward Herrmann (The Aviator), this three-DVD set is a proud addition to the award-winning documentary tradition of THE HISTORY CHANNEL.
Link to The Presidents on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/
If you've got iTunes or an iPod or any other iProduct that could download the information, the entire set is yours for about $8 bucks until February 23. Each episode is about 45 minutes long, so that's a pretty good buy. If you don't want to shell out the money, I'm giving one away. A&E has agreed to send one to me, and one to one of my readers.
So here's the deal.
To enter into the Free DVD sweepstakes tell me which President you'd most like to spend a day with, and tell me what you'd do. I'm looking for historical accuracy and creativity.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I just came across a cool website featured in an old American Teacher magazine. American Teacher is the national publication of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT is basically the union of all unions.
Which is very fitting considering the link I found is the online museum of all online museums.
The Museum of Online Museums, or MoOM, is an ongoing experiment of web publishing, design and commerce from the Chicago based design company, Coudal Partners.
The MoOM is updated often and they have a rotating gallery. There probably isn't a museum you can think of which isn't listed.
Online museums are a good way to bring otherwise inaccessible art to the classroom. Often times the museum will allow you to zoom in and navigate each piece and the good ones will have a background of the piece to help set the scene.
Monday, February 08, 2010
I like books. I like collecting books and referencing books and knowing that I have books that could cover almost every part of American history. But like most of the free world, I don't like to pay for books. To subscribe to the books that Library of America (LOA) offers, one has to pay a heft price.
LOA usually has some kind of introductory offer that is too good to pass up. I acquired 3 books this way. I was browsing my own web site, http://USHistorySite.com and saw an add for an Abraham Lincoln collection for about $5, and a free book about US Grant. I clicked on the add (even though it was on my own site... sorry GoogleAds, I probably have 3 fraudulent cents in my pocket), and I got the books and quickly sent back the invoice with 'cancel' on it... Of course I still received a shipment of books, paid for them to be returned and made a phone call to cancel my account. I didn't like the idea of paying monthly for more books. But I do have some pretty good looking cloth bound books about Lincoln now in my collection.
And another good thing about giving them my information is now I receive The Library of America Story of the Week via email. This is simply a link to a blog written by an LOA staffer which gives their service more exposure and allows you short previews of the books the peddle.
The story I received last week struck a chord... John Muir. I'll be honest, I hadn't hear of John Muir until a few years back when my wife and I were visiting family in San Francisco on the way back from our honeymoon. We were fortunate to be able to spend a few hours driving Muir Woods just north of San Francisco. Naturally the curiosity in me nudged me to research a little more about Muir. That year while teaching in Atlanta the high school librarians were getting rid of old books that hadn't been checked out in a few years - and I was able to convince my wife to allow a box load or two to come back to our 2 bedroom apartment in Atlanta. One of those two boxes of books was a collection of John Muir writings, with a narrative by a more modern writer of the same vein.
To make what's already a rather long post shorter... John Muir is founder of the Sierra Club and a catalyst for the preservation of Yosemite National Park. Library of America pays tribute to the best thing since Thoreau in their blog: http://www.loa.org/storyoftheweek/2010/01/wind-storm-in-forests.html
Enjoy his prose. And then go outside...
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Here's a great resource for teachers and students. Scrolling through the list you can probably find something for almost any topic in world history, government, economics, etc...
100 Lectures for History Lovers
I might suggest having some of your students listen to some of these lectures for extra credit and then report the highlights back to the class. You can show bits and pieces of the lectures in class, or for your tech-savvy students, perhaps they can edit the lectures to say something that wasn't really said... kind of a propaganda technique.