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Edistorm

What it is: The name Edistorm is a mash-up of the name Thomas Edison and brainstorm, it is inspired by Edison’s idea factories.  Edistorm is an incredible brainstorming and collaboration tool that, on the surface, reminds me of Wallwisher.  Edistorm has some additional features and abilities that make it very useful in the classroom.  Just like Wallwisher, you brainstorm and collaborate using virtual sticky notes.  Edistorm gives you a place to organize ideas in a real-time interactive wall.  Virtual sticky notes can teach have their own color and can be organized in vertical or horizontal groupings.  Edistorms can be created independently or with others in a collaborative effort.  Edistorm features an idea bot that works at the bottom of the screen offering suggested ideas based on what students add to the sticky notes in the work space.  There are a variety of bots including a rhyming bot, thesaurus, and related words. Public and solo Edistorms are free to create, premium accounts are available for  private Edistorms.   How to integrate Edistorm into the classroom: Edistorm offers an exceptional opportunity for students to brainstorm, collaborate, and group ideas.  Students can use Edistorm to brainstorm ideas for writing, research, for grouping ideas, and collaborating on group projects. Create an Edistorm for your students and ask them to group like ideas, sort, and expand on thoughts.  This could be done for any historical event, literature, science concept, and even phonics.  Students could practice spelling by typing out their spelling words along with a sentence or synonyms on sticky notes.  Then, they can group words by spelling pattern or common phoneme blends.  Create an Edistorm of sticky notes with English words and sticky notes with a foreign language word on them.  Students can work together to group words with their meanings.   In math, create Edistorms with word problems on one color of sticky note and answers on another set of sticky notes.  Students can work to create groups of problems and their solutions.  Edistorm can be used for whole class activities using an interactive whiteboard, the class can brainstorm together and collect ideas or use the grouping feature in an activity created by the teacher or students. Tips: Edistorm requires an email address for sign up.  If you teach younger students, you may want to create classroom Edistorm sessions that you have control over. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Edistorm in your classroom.

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Critical Past

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 10-08-2010

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What it is: Critical Past is a website I learned about today from Tom Boito’s great blog EDge 21 in his Catch of the Day.  The resource is too good not to share again here!  Critical Past is a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos.  All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage.  Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources.  All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook.  The videos and photos are also available to purchase for download.

How to integrate Critical Past into your curriculum: Critical Past is an incredible collection of historical videos and pictures.  The site is easy to search either by decade and topic or keyword.  The clips and photos on Critical Past will bring historical events alive for your students.  Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history.  Ask students to be “eyewitnesses” of history and watch a video before they have context for it.  Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing, afterward they can research the event more in-depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip.

** Check out this awesome lesson that @pharesr created based on this post. So cool!

Tips: Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find “related videos.”  Students can watch a clip and the related videos and reflect on how the clips are related.  Sometimes it is a similar time period, sometimes a related event, other times it is a related location.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Critical Past in your classroom!

Comments (14)

I love this website! Thank you so much for sharing!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Maryna Badenhorst, njbrand, Rita Simons Santiago and others. Rita Simons Santiago said: RT @ShellTerrell Critical Past http://bit.ly/cDR8S4 by @ktenkely #edtech […]

Wow – what an amazing resource. I will use this to help my kids find primary sources for the projects they do for the National History Day contest. It will be especially useful for those making documentaries or websites as for a small fee they can get video footage and photos.

[…] Past Critical Past is a great site that I just learned about from iLearn Technology. This is a site that is dedicated to showing excellent historic photos and videos. It works very […]

This is a tremendous resource! I will definitely use it for our U.S. History Documentary film project. There are lots of newsreels here, and it’s the best source of Bob Hope/USO footage from WWII I’ve seen in one place. Thanks for posting!

Thanks for the mention!

Great Primary Source for showing what the world looked like at various years. Lots of background information for Social Studies and some chapter books.

I agree, this would be a great way to enrich text and chapter books!

You bet!

Great idea Meryl! I hope you will share the projects with the rest of us, I know I would love to see them!

This site is amazing! I’m passing this along ASAP to all of the teachers in my district. Thanks Kelly!

It would be a great service if only they weren’t ripping people off. The pricing is ridiculous considering they are selling footage paid for by US taxpayers. To charge $170 for a 50 second clip recorded in the 1940′s is a joke. This information should be available at a decent price…it’s OUR history.

Hi Matt, agreed! The service USED to be completely free of charge. Not such a great service when it is expensive beyond reason.

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