Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to use Google Scholar for Supreme Court Research

I teach a course in my county that shows teachers how to integrate technology into the social studies classroom and is open to 4-12th grade teachers.  Funny thing is that a number of tech people have taken it, but this spring I have my first librarian who made the video above on how to use Google Scholar to find research on Supreme Court cases.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Editing in YouTube

Believe it or not, but a fellow chair asked what we are doing for our end of the year project.  Some of my students will be looking at an immigrant in their family and writing an original essay on that person, but they also need to have a narrated video on the person.  So I am toying with them using YouTube to edit it since they now have access to accounts in it.  Above is a video explaining how to use it. 

Saving Twitter & Other Sites to Storify

So I am sitting in a library trying to finish the third editing of my book and dealing with a peer review comment that asked how we can save Twitter.  So to show that I too can learn new tricks, Frank Franz mentioned Storify to me and instantly you can drag in the Tweets you want as well as any website and create a story you can refer to later.  I must admit I am the kind of teacher who goes to an in-servicest and immediately comes back to my classroom and sift through the notebooks taking out only what I want to keep.  These items I scan and put in my in-services' folder on Google Drive (yes I am a minimalist and my classroom only takes 30 minutes to pack up each summer!).  So what I like about Storify is that I can essentially do the same, but even better I can delete items I do not want later.  You can collect Twitter, YouTube, Google+, websites, etc. to your hearts desire and create a storybook that you can edit later.

Above is a how to video.  If you are like me and try lots of sites online, you might want to consider having a "trash" e-mail for everything.  If I need the site to email me I can easily go to the trash site, but that way any extra email I might get because of signing up for so many things goes to the aforementioned site.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Remind101 Adds Attachments

If you follow this blog, you know I use Remind101 every day of the week to remind my students about their homework.  Simply put it is has greatly improved my students ability to complete homework, but also to communicate with them, especially this year when I had to put up with eleven snow days and ten delayed openings.

Above is a video giving you the highlights and below is one teaching you how to use it.  The latest addition to the service is that you can now text an attachment.  Of course you can use Tinyurl or to shrink a link to a Google Drive document which is what I often do. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pussy Riot on Colbert Report

I think it is fair game to assume that Pussy Riot or using it as an example of repression in Russia on one of the free response questions on the  AP Comparative exam.  Here is part one from their recent appearance on The Colbert Report and here is part two

European Energy Dependance on Russia

We just finished Russia in my AP Comparative class, but with the ongoing Crimea issue and its relationship to the European Union, we will probably circle back more than once.  For now, above is a graphic from the NYTimes (and accompanying article) on the dependance on oil by Europe from Russia.  It is somewhat staggering and explains the small measures instituted by the EU so far.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The College Application Process

This post is a little different than normal as it deals with the college application process.  But all of us are involved in it whether it is in writing reference letters, giving grades, talking to our students, etc.  The video above and this WashPost article that goes in depth on the college admittance process is very revealing and might even help you counsel students in the future.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

538 is Back!

Nate Silver rode to fame in the 2008 election campaign by barely missing the electoral college results using data driven polling.  In 2012 he did even better missing just one state.  Now his 538 blog (which was owned by the NYTimes and is now owned by ESPN) is back.  Like his book, The Signal and the Noise, the blog aims to go beyond just politics.  For our purposes it also includes economics.

To give you a taste, here is an article looking at the correlation between national results (election years) and off-year elections and here is one on the Republican field for president. 

Same Sex Marriage Map

This is a great map showing where gay marriage is allowed by law or court decision.  For the court decisions, you can roll your cursor over the state to find out more about it.  If you need a recent article on it for your students here is the latest ruling from a district court judge in Michigan.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Iran's Dismal Economy

It seems like a lifetime ago and really since I lived there in 1969-1973 it really almost is.  But I have very fond memories of looking out our window at the mountains in the this picture back when Tehran was much much smaller.  Perhaps the memories of waking up early to the call to prayer or just plain living in a society so different than my own, makes it a real pleasure to teach it as one of the comparative countries.

At any rate life there is not nearly as nice today as it was when I was there as you can see from this NYTimes article on the amazing inflation and tremendous economic problems in Iran.  

80 Ways to use Google Forms in Classroom

This is a great slideshow of ways to use Google Drive forms in the classroom and includes links to examples.  Thanks to @rroysden for the Tweet on it. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Yellen Speaks, Stocks Stumble

This is a PBS evening news clip from tonight that shows Janet Yellen slipping today in her press conference and the explanation of her definition of "considerable" indicating that rates might go up in six months.  The point for your students is to show the power of the Federal Reserve chairperson's enormous power.  Notice the dip below just after Yellen gave her decidedly explicit answer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Twitter Accounts of AP Comp World Leaders

My students discovered Putin's Twitter account (he only follows his Russian language Twitter account!) today in class.  We have found others such as Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and the kids have fun seeing a small connection to the world leaders even if the leaders aren't actually doing the Tweeting.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

China Taunts Ambassador Gary Locke: Calls Him "Banana"

Ambassador Gary Locke, a third-generation American, got a strange send-off from China. The state-run China News service called him a "banana,"  a term, notes the Seattle Pi,  that is considered offensive my many Asian-Americans,  suggesting they  are"yellow on the outside and white on the inside."

The New York Times notes that the parting shot was inspired by Mao, who in 1940, slammed Ambassador Leighton Stewart.

The clip below comes from the Asia Society. Novelist Amy Tan and Orville Schell discuss what it means when you are Chinese-American, especially in light of these recent slurs.

Friday, March 14, 2014

US Budget Spending Video Over Time

This is a great short video from The Economist as it explains discretionary, mandatory, entitlements, interest and defense over the last five decades.  It would be a good short exercise to explain the terms above (actually you would have to add in "entitlements" even though it explains it.   

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Back Story on Between the Ferns Interview

The Between the Ferns interview with Obama above is getting a lot of play, but you might not have read the story behind how and why it came about.  It actually was an attempt by Obama to reach younger viewers who might sign up for Obamacare.  Thanks to my colleague Doug Zywiol for both of them. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snagit & Screen Cast for Chrome

Google just released Snagit for Chrome and the really cool thing about it is that it has a screencasting feature. Although the feature is still in beta, it works very well and allows you to publish your video to YouTube . The video clip above shows you how to enable, but first you want to install both the app and the extension, both of which you can get at the Chrome store.

Every time you capture a picture with Snagit, you can share it and Google deposits the picture in Google drive.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Primer on Putin

We begin Russia in a few days in my AP Comparative so the short video above will be a nice primer on Vladimir Putin. 

Inside the Supreme Court

This is a terrific view of the inside of the US Supreme Court.  It literally goes into all of the major rooms including the library, dining rooms, conference rooms and the actual court.  It is put together by CSPAN.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton's Super PAC

Here is the top story from Time magazine on Hillary Clinton's newish Super PAC that already has ads out (see above) and is collecting money and volunteers.  With Citizens United v. FEC, super PACs have become a real force in politics.  With the decision in the McCutcheon case due in June, the question is whether individuals will now have the same rights as corporations and be able to give unlimited donations to super PACs.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hip Hughes Constitution for Dummies Series

Just in time for my kids to go in depth on Civil Liberties, Keith Hughes is finishing up his Constitution series.  Above is a cool way to remember amendments and here is his series. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kahn Academy - SAT Prep

Time will tell if the SAT is being dumbed down or going to become a much better reflection of learning in high schools today.  Either way if kids want to do well on them, they need to use Kahn Academy's site which you can find here.  But since the changes won't occur until 2016, here is where you can find tutorials for the SAT today from Kahn.   Above is the announcement about the SAT-Kahn merger. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Russia, Ukraine and Crimea

Since I imagine the crisis in the Ukraine will not go away very quickly, those of you who teach AP Comparative might want to use the New York Times' "Lede" which is an amazing blog that has almost real time video and coverage coming from people on the scene.  While not limited to this coverage, you can be sure it will have a lot of the Russian troop movement into Crimea in the upcoming weeks.

Hip Hughes, in his usual timely fashion, has a new flipped video on Russia and Crimea which he put up yesterday and you can see below.