March 2009 Blog Posts (13)

New Web Adventure

I'm exploring this site as part of a course with the University of Missouri. This is my first visit.

Added by William G Covington Jr PhD on March 31, 2009 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Protest music video

In 1915, as war raged in Europe, lyricist Alfred Bryan and composer Al Piantadosi released a popular protest song urging Americans to stay out of the war. The song was called "I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier."

You can listen to it here (from the Internet Archive -online).

A short… Continue

Added by John Lee on March 30, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Globalism, Milton Freidman, and a flat Earth

Three decades ago the free Market economist Milton Friedman started presenting this simple anecdote about the diversification and complexity of global markets. Telling the biography of a pencil, Milton Friedman describes the flat Earth almost thirty years before that other Friedman got around to it. See the complete series that includes this short video at… Continue

Added by John Lee on March 21, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

John Stewart and literacy

Jim Crammer of the CNBC show Mad Money appeared on John Stewart's Daily Show March12, 2009 - covered here at Huffinton Post. The appearance came on the heels of a testy long distance exchange between Crammer and Stewart over the role of Crammer in the financial crisis that has unfolded over the last six months. The previous week, Stewart ripped Crammer and Rick Santelli, another CNBC commentator, on… Continue

Added by John Lee on March 14, 2009 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Digital historical narrative

Meghan Manfra has a very helpful and interesting description of how to produce digital historical narratives on the University of North Carolina Documenting the American South website. In this presentation, Meghan highlights a a heuristic developed b Glen Bull at University of Virginia that suggests five for digital historical videos.

1. Dramatic question

2. Point of view

3. Emotional content

4.… Continue

Added by John Lee on March 11, 2009 at 7:57pm — No Comments

SITE 2009 Student Outcomes and Digital Documentaries


Added by Meghan Manfra on March 5, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

SITE Presentation Thursday March 5, 2009


Added by John Lee on March 4, 2009 at 1:30am — No Comments

ELA 8th grade scenario using ThinkQuest to collaborate with students from other countries

Classroom Scenario. An 8th grade ELA class is using ThinkQuest to collaborate with students from other countries on topics of mutual interest. ThinkQuest is an interactive online tool that allows students and teachers to create projects, collaborate with others to conduct research, generate innovative content, and share their products worldwide. One 8th grade ELA class decided that they wanted to answer the question: Why is Tolerance Important? The teacher posted their project idea in… Continue

Added by Hiller Spires on March 3, 2009 at 12:09am — No Comments

TPACK example in Mathematics

In ubiquitous computing environments, students have constant access to technology tools for gathering and sharing information, exploring mathematical objects and relations, formulating conjectures, creating justifications or proofs, and presenting findings to peers.

Imagine the following scenario: The bell rings, students walk into the classroom, start up their computers, go to the course wiki to see what conjectures were posted by peers last evening related to an investigation about… Continue

Added by Karen Hollebrands on March 2, 2009 at 9:34pm — No Comments

1:1 vingnette for science

In the NC Standard Course of Study for secondary Earth and Environmental Science is the goal:

2.07 Analyze the sources and impacts of society's use of energy.

* Renewable and non-renewable sources.

* The impact of human choices on Earth and its systems.

Here is a possible Problem-based Inquiry activity that the students can engage in.


Deforestation is a major issue on many of the tropical and subtropical parts of the world, where forests are… Continue

Added by Eric Wiebe on March 2, 2009 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Ways of Knowing Through Videography

The following information will be presented at the SITE conference on March 5, 2009, during the New Literacies Collaborative Symposium on Digital Video and New Literacies:

ECI 513 is a graduate course taught in NC State's College of Education called "Videography in Education." Teachers taking the course learn to integrate a variety of student-centered video projects across the curriculum and acquire skills with video capture and editing to facilitate these lessons. Teachers also… Continue

Added by Kevin Oliver on March 2, 2009 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

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Learn Digital History Blog

Teaching about Historical Reconstructions using the Vail Telegraph Key

The reconstruction of historical inventions can provide a powerful context for students to explore how inventions affect society. In fact, the social impact of the invention of the telegraph ripples through to today. It set the stage for the invention of other communications technologies such as radio, television, and the Internet. The ability to send messages across wires in a fraction of the time humans were accustomed had a profound impact on society. Rossiter Johnson captured the spirit of that change in an 1882 poem written in tribute Morse and the telegraph. The poem describes limits of humans imposed by nature, but imagines that with the invention of the telegraph those limitations begin to fade away.

But one morning he made him a slender wire,
  As an artist’s vision took life and form,
While he drew from heaven the strange fierce fire
  That reddens the edge of the midnight storm;
And he carried it over the Mountain’s crest,
And dropped it into the Ocean’s breast;
And Science proclaimed, from shore to shore,
That Time and Space ruled man no more.

Students often have myopic views about how technologies impact their own lives. While it is true that students today seem to live in a constant state of ‘revolution’ regarding new technologies, an understanding of history can temper our enthusiasms. By studying records and relics from the past, such as Johnson’s poem, students can build up a long view of technological innovation and understand how the telegraph fits in that history.

Students can also use these experiences to explore important historical skills related to cause and effect. A reconstruction of the Vail telegraph key provides students with an opportunity to examine the development of scientific knowledge and challenge the narrowly constructed textbook history of the telegraph.

The history of the telegraph is typically transmitted to students as a neat and tidy story about Samuel Morse and the 1844 transmission from Baltimore to Washington DC of the message “What hath God wrought?” But, history is never so simple. Behind the story of Morse is the complex history of the invention of the telegraph, and that story is impossible to tell with Alfred Vail.

A social studies activity exploring this complicated history might begin with the simple question – Who was on the other end of the message sent by Samuel Morse on May 24, 1844? Of course, it was Alfred Vail. From there, students might explore Vail’s 1845 book length survey of the history of the telegraph, The American Electro Magnetic Telegraph: With the Reports of Congress, and a Description of all Telegraphs Known, Employing Electricity or Galvanism.  The book, which has three parts, includes a detailed description of the telegraph system developed by Vail and Morse; letters, reports, and other correspondences about the development of the telegraph system; and a contemporary history of the telegraph. Students can analyze this source to develop questions for inquiry about the development of the telegraph in the 1830s and 1840s.

From Hathi trust and Harvard Library at

The Lincoln Telegram project provides another avenue for exploring the newly invented telegraph and, specifically, how it affected the course of the Civil War and its participants.

The Lincoln Telegrams Project

The Lincoln Telegrams project ( includes digital versions and transcriptions of 354 telegram memos written by Lincoln from March 10, 1864 to his death in April of 1865.  The telegram memos function as source material for helping students and teachers understand how to analyze historical sources using the Hicks, Doolittle, and Ewing’s SCIM-C method ( Direct access to the telegrams, either via the web or through an iPad app with the same content, allows students to explore the historical context and follow the ways in which the telegraph affected communications during that era.

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