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December/January Issue of #ProjectPLN

This is one of my favorite issues of Project PLN yet.  This issue was particularly near and dear to my heart because it was such a revealing activity when I did the exercise with my own students.  We asked teachers to engage their students in the question: “What would your dream school look like?”  Students of all ages dreamed with us and shared their ideal school.  It has been a lot of fun to see what students have dreamed up! This is an issue not to miss, if you haven’t done an exercise like this with your students all ready, I highly recommend it.  I found it fascinating that EVERY student in 3rd-5th grade that I did the activity with included an animal of some sort in their dream school and included something about no bullies.  (If you think about it, animals are easy. They never judge and they don’t bully.) To education decision makers: Take note, there is something to be learned from these dreams! An ENORMOUS thank you to @thenerdyteacher, he has totally been picking up my slack this year as I squeak in to be helpful last minute…A.K.A. it has already been taken care of.  Thank you Nick!  You are classy with a capital C. Project PLN is moving to a bi-monthly posting schedule in 2012 to keep the editors (us) and the contributors (you) sane. So, what is first up in 2012? We want to know what books/reading has had the most impact for you as an educator.  These could be books about education specifically, or books that have given you a new outlook on education, learning or teaching.  If you are anything like me, everything you read, see, encounter is filtered through your education lens and adds something.  We want to hear about all of those things! When I pitched the idea of this month’s issue to Nick, his first response was “awww not a book report” in a super whiny, high-pitched voice….okay I made that part up, we were actually texting and the whining was implied.  Book report is not exactly what I had in mind (although if that jives your jets, by all means be our guest).  One of the things I have been particularly bad about is keeping track of the books and recommended readings from those in my PLN. They fly through my Twitter stream, get favorited in my Reeder or scribbled on a nearby piece of scratch paper.  The result: very few of them ever see the light of day again and I forget.  I also know that books (and blogs) have had a profound impact on me as an educator.  If not for Seth Godin encouraging me to “Ship it”, I might not have taken the leap to start a school.  If not for Sir Ken Robinson, I might not have had such conviction to help every child realize their “Element”.  For this issue, your posts can be in the form of top 10 lists of your must reads.  A bucket list of things you want to do as a result of books you have read (with reference back to the original inspiration).  A blog post you have written as a reflection on something you have read. A link to your bookshelf in Shelfari.  For those of you who are feeling really ambitious, a book trailer.  Really it can be ANYTHING, we just want to know what you are reading/have read that has impacted the way you think about or do education. As always, feel free to email posts to ProjectPLN10@Gmail.com, check in on us at Twitter @ProjectPLN or say hello on Facebook.  Please get us your posts in February so we can work on publishing them for the March issue!  

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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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