From part of the Google News app, the newspaper archives contains digital versions of various newspaper editions from around the world from various points in time. Search the archive by keyword or alphabetically, or if you know the specific newspaper by name use the ‘Find’ command (Ctrl+F or Cmd+F) to quickly locate the newspaper in question. Each newspaper listing shows the number of issues contained within and the time span covered (note that there may be gaps within the timelines).
Clicking on a newspaper will take you to a new window with a horizontal timeline organized by year. You can adjust the display settings so that the timeline is organized by day, week, month, year, or decade. At the top of each column you will see the number of available issues. Clicking on an issue will bring up a page-by-page view with options to scroll, fit to height, and view fullscreen. Use the ‘Link to Article’ tool to generate a link to a specific article within a specific newspaper issue.
- Compare and contrast news headlines from different newspapers from different places around the world.
- Compare writing styles from different time periods.
As the school year comes to a close, many teachers and librarians especially try all kinds of techniques to get their students to continue reading over the summer break. Keyana Stevens over at Edutopia has put together a playlist of 10 videos that might help prevent the “…summer learning slide.” NOTE: Some of the videos in the playlist may be geared to older audiences, so please remember to preview any videos before sharing them with students.
Ducksters – Safe research portal for students
Ducksters is a safe, educational research site designed with students in mind. The site is pretty basic without a lot of flash and fanfare so students can focus more on the content they are consuming. There are no ads on the site.
To get started:
- Choose from one of the five content category buttons at the top of the site.
- Choose a more specific topic from the available links in the center square of the site.
- Use the Search box in the top-right corner if you have a specific topic in mind. Note that while the search results may look like a standard Google Search they are in fact a custom search that shows results only from Ducksters.com
Twitter is one of many social networking services out there on the web that teachers have realized has possibilities for classroom integration. Resources have cropped up to help teachers, students, and parents learn how to use Twitter and the positive ways that it can be applied to teaching and learning. Edutopia recently published a great article containing two such resources:
The first is a special hashtag used within Twitter itself by users who want to share helpful tips, guides, and resources for teachers and parents new to the Twitter-verse. If you already have an account then you can perform a search using the hashtag #Nt2T (New Teachers to Twitter) in the website’s search bar to view this ever-growing list. If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, you can still access the hashtag resources by clicking here.
The second is a Twitter 101 eCourse by Joe Mazza. There are five parts to the eCourse, starting with the basics and working up to finding and connecting with others in the Twitter-verse. Each part contains an embedded YouTube video to walk you through the information.
A final resource is one that I’ve blogged about in the past: Mom, This is How Twitter Works. This site explains the vocabulary, how replies work, what it means to retweet, hashtags, and more. Each description comes with clear examples to illustrate the term and/or concept. Check out my blog post here or go directly to the site.
Book Drum – All the knowledge behind your favorite books
The website Book Drum is a digital library containing a wide variety of book titles that can be searched by keyword, title, or genre. Where the site really shines is in the additional search tools and information provided. For example, search for book titles by geographical location using a Google Earth interface. All book titles provide a traditional text-based summary, but more and more contributors are adding multimedia components to the entries including photos, videos, and maps that can be both digital and scanned in paper. Many entries include a glossary section defining important words and phrases used in the book, as well as an about-the-author tab as well. Finally, if you’re favorite book isn’t listed, send a request to the site to have a book profile created. You can even volunteer to be a contributor and provide the profile content yourself!
- Students can use the bonus multimedia content to help them select the next book to read.
- Students can use the site while they are reading the book to help them with vocabulary, visualizations, and understanding the point of view from the book’s author.
Thanks to TeachersFirst for sharing this resource.
Provided by the website Scholastic.com, Character Scrapbook is an online tool for students to document information they have on a character from a book that they are currently engaged in reading. First, students provide the book title and the name of the character they wish to profile. On the next page of the scrapbook students use the interactive tools to construct a visual portrait of their character, assigning features such as hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and clothes as well as modify the skin tone. Once the portrait is complete, the scrapbook has six pages within which students can provide additional biographical information on their character:
- ten things I know about the character,
- ten words that describe the character,
- ten details about his/her appearance,
- ten facts about his/her personality,
- ten challenges he/she faced,
- ten accomplishments he/she achieved.
Students can type right into the book and can flip through the pages as they work, deciding under which page a particular fact or observation would best be listed. When complete, the scrapbook pages can be printed like a screenshot.
- Unfortunately, the scrapbook is not designed to be printed as an actual book, but is still a great artifact to include in a portfolio.
- Some characteristics may fit comfortably on more than one page. As a result I found it challenging at times to come up with ten entries for each page, forcing me to think deeper about my character and flush out additional and more specific descriptive words.
- Each page does not require all ten entries to be filled. Also note that each entry is programmed to allow for up to two lines of text comfortably.
Thanks goes to FreeTech4Teachers.com for sharing this find.
Clouds Over Cuba – A documentary of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Produced by the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Museum, this interactive site chronicles the events leading up to and following the Cuban Missile Crisis that took place in the early 1960’s. The site tells the story via a 25-minute documentary video, divided into seven chapters. Of particular note is chapter six ‘What If?’ where they look at an alternate future when we were unable to avoid a nuclear conflict. Where the site really shows its strength is in the supplemental material provided which includes documents, photos, audio clips, and film footage of people, places, and events. As you progress through the documentary, the site will add these items to your dossier for reference later. In addition, the site has a mobile component so that, with a special pin number from the site, you can access the film and items in your dossier from your mobile phone.
- This is an amazing primary reference resource for students researching topics from this era. The potential for numerous class discussions surrounding the decisions made, the people involved, and the consequences are almost boundless.
- The chapter about an alternative ending to this conflict is very powerful and emotional at times. As always, it is recommended that teachers preview the content and use their own judgement in how to use this and if any preparation should be done prior to student access.
Pictolang – Language and cultural learning content through authentic imagery
Pictolang is a site dedicated to helping students with their language studies using real images from locations where the particular language is used. The site is broken down into four activity levels:
- Visual Word Trainer – See the word, see the corresponding image
- Picture Match Game – See the word, choose the correct matching image
- Word Match Game – See the image, choose the correct matching word/phrase
- Analyst Game – See the image, identify the language/culture it comes from
Once you choose a game type, you are asked to make a language selection, choosing from up to 15 possible choices including Arabic, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Ukrainian. You will also be asked to select a category topic such as clothing, food, nature, house & home, sports, and more. Your score in both number and percentage correct are kept track of at the bottom of the window.
- This site is an obvious choice as a review tool for students to test their vocabulary acquisition while at the same time be exposed to authentic images from locations around the globe.
- Have students create their own visual vocabulary guides from their own culture(s) using images from their communities.
Provided by the site Code.org, this YouTube video talks about the potential available to our students who are exposed to the world of computer programming and coding. Listen to interviews from high-profile players in the technology world such as the makers/creators behind Microsoft, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, and more. Watch as educators, athletes, and musicians talk about common misconceptions and barriers that people have created around computer programming, why they got into coding, and how you can get started. If you are looking for resources to support a STEM initiative, this video would be a good addition to your toolbox.
Watch the video here (9:34)
Slide Speech – Presentations with voice
Slide Speech is a free, web-based tool that allows you to add voice narration to a presentation using their text-to-speech engine. Presentations usually provide only key points and concepts with the presenter providing the narration to fill in the details and help connect ideas and concepts during the event. This web tool allows the presenter to include those narrations by adding them as text to the Presenter Notes area on each slide within the presentation. Slide Speech will read the text entered into this area and covert it to speech, with you selecting which computer-generated voice you’d like to have narrate. Once this is complete, you have several options for how you’d like to share this with your audience including by link, embed code, video, social media, and/or QR code.
- Use this site to add your classroom narration to your presentations. You can then make both items available to students to use when they need to review content, need extra support due to a reading deficiency or ELL challenges, or need to catch up on class developments due to an absence from illness.
- The site will only accept Microsoft PowerPoint-formatted presentations, but other applications like Keynote and Open Office can export their projects to .ppt format prior to uploading. Here is an example of a presentation I put together on how to get started with Slide Speech where Keynote was the presentation tool I used..
Thanks to TeachersFirst for sharing this resource.