visualisation

Animated Bayeux Tapestry

I came across this video on the site Smart Teaching.org and their listing of 100 best Youtube videos for teachers. Technology and internet brings so many fantastic opportunities of giving life to history and for simply making things more fun. Having an internet connected projector with a large projection screen in the classroom is for me the most important of teaching aids. Easy to install and relatively inexpensive (compared to for example Smart boards). For students who has a hard time digesting written text visualisations through film and pictures are of course very valuable.

Like Bruce Dixon put it in his lecture at the “Framtidens lärande” conference last May: “Technology in the hands of an educating professional, of a teacher, increases pedagogical capacity. It increases your capability to reach more young people with a deeper understanding of a broader range of subjects than you could without. Simple as that!”

What is Your Dark Ages Character?

rubrikThis post is written in relation to the previous. At History.com there are lots of fun things to do and learn. One of them is all about interactively creating your own medieval character. Pedagogical winnings would be learning medieval vocabulary while at the same time learning facts about life in the Middle Ages. I feel that this is an exercise that would suit students of all ages.

The procedure of creating your character takes you through steps where you after choosing the gender and social position of your character first is given a name. Then you upload an image of your face to be used after which you add hair, clothes and accessories.
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When your character is ready you can so read about his or her situation of life in connection to the picture. I find the texts to be both informative and suitably condensed.

Here are some of the characters I had a great time creating:

Me as a monk
Me as a man peasant
Me as a woman peasant
Me as a nun
Me as a knight
Me as a lady

Chemistry Comes Alive!

The “Chemistry Video Collection from the Journal of Chemical Education.”

I am neither a science teacher, nor very interested in chemistry, but this site really seems like a gold-mine to me. It explains a number of exciting experiments, some of them probably to dangerous for the classroom, in a very pedagogical way. In many of the cases the experiments are followed by topics for discussion.

I am sure there are proper grounds for the slogan of the site to come true : “Bring chemistry to life – spark an interest”.
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Create Your Own Interactive Timelines with xtimeline.com

Picture 6Xtimeline is a tool for creating interactive timelines, with added text, links, photos or videos within each entry. The timelines are very easy to create and I can see foresee myself using them in all types of different projects. Both for my own presentations and as student projects. It can be a useful tool wherever one needs to present a series of events such as of technical advancements, developments within religions, biographical work etc.

I think the greatest pedagogical winning with the timelines lies within the process of actually creating them. Of course they are also pedagogically useful in that they comprise legible visual presentations – something that also makes them a tool when it comes to working with children with special needs. Xtimelines also includes a social scene where users are invited to discuss each others timelines. Something which in turn is useful for practising language skills.

To make a timeline one starts of by collecting all the data needed, including dates, facts, photos, videos etc. Then one just add event after event to make the actual timeline. Each timeline gets it’s own URL and can hence be embedded in other web sites or linked to from other presentations such as for example Glogster posters.

Some examples:
Biography of James Joyce
Timeline Of Chemistry Discoveries
History of India (1526 – 1818)
Timeline Of Nintendo

Timelines – a History of Britain

Timelines – a History of Britain by Andrew Chater comprises four series of documentary videos arranged chronologically. Three about British history; social, political, and imperial and one about the American West in the 19th Century. At the bottom of the page there is a timeline where you can browse for videos. Very neat indeed!

timelines

(via New Technology For Teachers)