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Gabcast

What it is: Gabcast is a podcasting and audioblogging website that offers an easy way to create and distribute audio content. The most amazing part of this resource is that students can actually use a touch-tone cell (yes I said cell phone, put them to good use!) or land line telephone to make their recordings. Gabcast also provides worldwide access to the sevice through VoIP. Once a student has mad a recording and had it published, a newsfeed is automatically updated to alert subscribers (like other classrooms, students or parents) to your channel. How to integrate Gabcast into the classroom: What makes Gabcast so ingenious to me is that there is no need for fancy equipment (i.e. immediate computer access or microphones) to record a quality podcast. If you don’t have a classroom computer, or want to be using the computer for other activities or centers, Gabcast is a perfect solution for creating podcasts. Gabcast is an outstanding alternative to more ‘traditional’ methods of podcasting. Students could also easily create podcasts from home since the only equipment needed is a telephone. Use Gabcast to create a weekly radio type broadcast for the rest of the school or learning buddies, create audio books for other students, or for interviewing others. Bring along a cell phone on field trips and record audio clips (like of animal sounds at the zoo). This tool would be wonderful for auditory learners. The possibilities with Gabcast are nearly endless. Tips: Gabcast is a toll free call, visit the overview page for the toll free phone number for your country. You can embed Gabcast on your school, or classroom website or blog.

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TimeMaps- History of World 3500BC to 2005AD in interactive maps

Posted by admin | Posted in Evaluate, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 05-04-2012

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What it is:  TimeMaps is a fantastic site I learned about from an email I received today.  TimeMaps lets students look at every nation, empire and civilization as one story through maps. This is the history of the world from 3500BC to 2005AD!  There are pinpoints on the Atlas that let students drill down into specific areas, nations and civilizations.  Students get a story about what is happening in this portion of the world, as well as opportunities to explore even further.  Below the map, students can change the date on an interactive timeline.

I really like TimeMap as a way to explore history.  As I have mentioned in the past, history was not my subject in school.  I made good grades, but was never interested by it.  It wasn’t until I was adult, that I began to appreciate history.   In school, history was always just presented as a collection of facts.  I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around how they were all related or why I should take up valuable brain space memorizing them.  As an adult, I came to realize that history is really all about stories.  I love stories!  TimeMap’s brilliance is in the way it unfolds the stories in history with the visual of the map.  Not only are students getting a good understanding of how civilizations shaped the world, they are also learning geography.

How to integrate Time Maps into the classroom: The best way for students to interact with this site is to just give them the freedom to explore.  I know for most, this isn’t always an option.  There are certain time periods and portions of the world that you are responsible teaching in your grade level.  For those that fall into that category, let students go to those specific places within TimeMap. 
If you have an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, you can explore as a whole class, reading the stories together.  The nice thing about this option, is that you can pull in other videos, music and resources for the whole class to experience.  How great would it be to combine this site with History for Music Lovers on YouTube?  TimeMap will give students context for other exploration.
TimeMap can be set up on classroom computers for students to visit as a supplement to the other work they are doing.  It can act as a research center for students to visit as they are working and learning.
If you teach World History, students could use TimeMap as a place to gather information.  Each student could select a different civilization from one time period or explore the same place and the change throughout time.  Students can create trading cards, videos, comics, non-fiction, a song, etc. to present their findings to the class.  It would be fun to have a movie premier night or a read-in comic day to view all of the students projects.
Tips: I’m really impressed by the comprehensiveness of this site.  The only thing that would make it better are images and video embedded with the map!

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

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