Classroom Blogs

I’ve had students write blogs as individual assignments, however, hearing all about blogging from Dr. Adelman has made me begin thinking about trying to implement some sort of classroom blog that students could participate in throughout a unit, term, semester, or even the whole year. Has anyone had any experience with this? How did it go, and what site(s) do you use to have the students blog on?

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Excited about Digital Maps

Some of the digital maps and tools we just saw presented were really intriguing. I’ve been trying to think of more ways to incorporate maps into my history classes, since the couple of times I’ve used them students have been really interested in them. I have a historic map of Dedham in my classroom, and it’s always a conversation piece for the students. Now I’m starting to think that these tools may be useful to develop some sort of lesson using that map.

On a side note, the Stanford History Education Group, or SHEG for short, has some amazing lesson plan resources. There were a couple that used maps that I used this year and were some of the students’ favorite lessons this year. Here are the links…

http://sheg.stanford.edu/mapping-new-world

http://sheg.stanford.edu/manifest-destiny

Students can use whaling logs to become “citizen scientists”

The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an interesting crowdsourcing project called Old Weather that we’ve recommended to teachers and students in our climate change curriculum. The museum is inviting the public to become “citizen scientists” and help transcribe logbooks, extracting information about weather observations. Scientists will use these transcriptions to improve their climate model projections and knowledge of past environmental conditions. Historians will use them to track past ship movements and tell the stories of the people on board. Even if students don’t spend time going through logs, I think just knowing about the project is neat— a great intersection of history, science, and geography that shows how historical documents can be useful in all sorts of ways!