Archive for October, 2009

Quiztory: Week of Oct. 24

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with the Quiztory—a quiz on important events in history. A new Quiztory will run every Friday.

1. When did British Lt. Gen Lord Cardigan lead the cavalry charge made famous by Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”?

2. Who read H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” on the radio on Oct. 30, 1938, causing panic and alarm?

3. On Oct. 28, 1886, which gift from the people of France was officially unveiled to the public by President Grover Cleveland?

4. How long did it take to complete the first transcontinental telegraph?

5. Constantine had a vision on Oct. 27, 312, assuring him of victory in which battle?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will examine Martin Luther and his role in the Protestant Reformation, an assassination attempt on President Harry Truman by Puerto Rican nationalists, and the first and last flight of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose. We’ll also take a look at the Iran-Contra scandal, the Iran hostage crisis and Guy Fawkes’ plot to kill the King of England.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Dulcinea Media to Exhibit at NCSS Annual Conference

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The 89th annual National Council for the Social Studies conference takes place Nov. 13 – 15, 2009, in Atlanta, Ga., at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. The conference is an opportunity for social studies educators to share their expertise, research and ideas.

FindingEducation is excited to be part of this year’s conference. With a theme of “Dreams and Deeds: The Civic Mission of Schools,” the conference is focusing on helping students “to make a better world.”

We think an important part of making a better world for the future is taking stock of the past—having knowledge of important events in history and an understanding of our current place in history.

That’s why we started our “On This Day” column, a daily feature that provides a well-researched exposition of a significant event in history for each day of the year.

Still, we wanted to get students not only learning about history, but actively engaged in 21st century learning. How could we inspire students to take stock of the past while practicing their critical thinking and problem solving skills? While utilizing the tremendous amount of information, media and technology available online? While analyzing and writing about history in a thoughtful and creative way?

We issued the On This Day Challenge: an invitation for students to write their own “On This Day” column. The challenge asks students to not only learn about important events in history, but to take their Web research and critical thinking skills to the next level.

Do you think having knowledge of our shared history can help “make a better world”? Then bookmark “On This Day,” get your students involved in the On This Day Challenge and visit us at the NCSS conference at booth #218 on Nov. 13 and 14. See you in Atlanta!

Related Link Resources
On This Day column
On This Day Challenge

Educators That Rock!: David Lee King

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

taken by Amy Miller

David Lee King by Amy Miller Photography.

In Topeka, Kan., the library is the second favorite place for teens to hang out. “We’re sort of kicked out at the mall,” they tell David Lee King, the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s digital branch and services manager. As a result, the building, particularly the new media area and gaming room, are a little noisier than your average library. But King, a former DJ and assistant recording engineer, and now an author, blogger and librarian thought leader, takes pride in all the bustle. “Not too many people can say, ‘Yeah, teenagers think that the library’s cool.’”

On Oct. 28, King is launching the Library 101 Project with fellow information specialist Michael Porter. The project will include a music video, educator essays and 101 resources.

(more…)

Related Link Resources
The Library 101 Project
Chris Brogan
walkingpaper.org
Libraryman
Copyblogger
davidleeking.com

The Answer Sheet: Week of Oct. 17

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. On Oct. 18, 1867, the United States purchased what piece of land from Russia? The Alaskan territory

2. Which Allied ship was attacked by the Japanese on Oct. 21, 1944? HMAS Australia

3. Where did Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour plane crash in 1977, killing 6 of the 26 people on board? Mississippi

4. When was Al Capone convicted of income tax evasion? Oct. 17, 1931

5. Which United States president placed a trade embargo on exports to Cuba in 1960? President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Related Link Resources
On This Day: United States Assumes Control of Alaska
On This Day HMAS Australia Struck in First Kamikaze Attack
On this Day: Lynyrd Skynyrd's Tour Plane Crashes
On This Day: Al Capone Convicted of Income Tax Evasion
On this Day: Eisenhower Places Embargo on Exports to Cuba

Quiztory: Week of Oct. 17

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with the Quiztory—a quiz on important events in history. A new Quiztory will run every Friday.

1. On Oct. 18, 1867, the United States purchased what piece of land from Russia?

2. Which Allied ship was attacked by the Japanese on Oct. 21, 1944?

3. Where did Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour plane crash in 1977, killing 6 of the 26 people on board?

4. When was Al Capone convicted of income tax evasion?

5. Which United States president placed a trade embargo on exports to Cuba in 1960?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will take a look at the first transcontinental telegraph, the disastrous cavalry charge lead by British Lt. Gen. Lord Cardigan and the Canon City meteorite. We’ll also examine one of America’s most infamous gunfights, the Volstead Act of 1919 and the stock market crash of 1929.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Educators That Rock!:Josie Carbone

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Josie Carbone, founding principal of Girls Prep Bronx.

Josie Carbone, the founding principal of Girls Prep Bronx, an all-girls charter school for pre-K through first-grade students in the Bronx, New York, got involved in teaching while volunteering to teach Spanish at a local elementary school during high school. After graduating from college in 1997, she worked with Teach For America in New York. Carbone taught for six more years before becoming involved with the New York charter school movement in 2003.

fE:  Why did you choose teaching?

JC: The main reason I chose teaching was because I felt that there is a real disparity in this country between who has access [to good schools] and who doesn’t.

My parents are immigrants. My mother had an elementary school education. My father was unable to go to college, because he had to make some decisions to help support the family.  But all through my childhood, no matter where we moved, he always sought out areas where the public schools were strong. And so the message that education is important is something that has been instilled in me since I was very young. (more…)

Related Link Resources
Girls Prep Bronx

Take a Leap Beyond Google to Other Search, “Knowledge” Engines

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

When Wolfram|Alpha announced its first-ever Homework Day, we took notice.

Homework Day is a live, interactive Web event that will feature step-by-step tutorials showing educators how to use Wolfram|Alpha in the classroom. It will also present panel discussions on the future of education. The event takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 21, starting at noon CDT.

What is Wolfram|Alpha, you ask? That’s the best part: Rather than a search engine, it calls itself a computational knowledge engine that makes “it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.” By collecting and curating objective data, models, methods and algorithms, the site aims to provide “definitive answers to factual queries” in the areas of math, physics, chemistry, geology, geography and even history. Simply enter your “completely free-form input” and the site promises to deliver “powerful results … with maximum clarity.”

The news media loves to ponder whether Bing or anyone else can ever dislodge Google as the top commercial search engine. But as Wolfram Alpha’s promise of “definitive answers to factual queries” shows, while Google may forever be the best search engine to use in most cases, there are a number of specialty search engines that will almost always produce better search results than Google in particular cases.

That’s why we created SweetSearch. It’s a more selective search engine that was built with students and academic research in mind. All of the 35,000 Web sites included in SweetSearch have been evaluated for content, quality and reliability. By combining human insight with search engine technology, SweetSearch excludes distracting clutter. It allows students to focus on determining which results are most relevant to their research, rather than waste time evaluating sites that are not worth their consideration. Due to the fact that SweetSearch only searches a small slice of the Web, sometimes a broader search engine will be a better place to start a search. But for research queries, SweetSearch will often display on the first page a “Eureka” result that may be buried many pages deep in a broad search engine.

Now educators and students have two tools to add to their online research arsenal, for times when a broad, commercial search engine doesn’t quite get the job done: Wolfram|Alpha for computations and SweetSearch for information.

Related Link Resources
Wolfram|Alpha
Wolfram|Alpha
www.sweetSearch.com

The Answer Sheet: Week of Oct. 10

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Did you take the Quiztory last week? Now it’s time to check your answers:

1. What did Christopher Columbus name the island he landed on in October 1492?  San Salvador

2. Who piloted a U-2 spy plane and spotted suspicious activity in Cuba in October 1962? Maj. Richard Heyser

3. What was the name of the militant Quebec separatist group that kidnapped Quebec Minister of Labor Pierre Laporte in 1970?  The FLQ

4. When did Italy declare war on Nazi Germany?  Oct. 13, 1943

5. On Oct. 16, 1968, which American athletes gave the black power salute while standing on the Olympic podium in Mexico City?  Tommie Smith and John Carlos

Related Link Resources
On this Day: Columbus Lands in Caribbean
On this Day: Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
On this Day: Quebec Official Kidnapped by FLQ
On this Day: Italy Declares War on Nazi Germany
On this Day: American Athletes Give Black Power Salute on Olympic ...

Quiztory: Week of Oct. 10

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Test your students’ knowledge of the notable events covered in findingDulcinea’s “On This Day” column this week with the Quiztory—a quiz on important events in history. A new Quiztory will run every Friday.

1. What did Christopher Columbus name the island he landed on in October 1492?

2. Who piloted a U-2 spy plane and spotted suspicious activity in Cuba in October 1962?

3. What was the name of the militant Quebec separatist group that kidnapped Quebec Minister of Labor Pierre Laporte in 1970?

4. When did Italy declare war on Nazi Germany?

5. On Oct. 16, 1968, which American athletes gave the black power salute while standing on the Olympic podium in Mexico City?

What’s Coming Up?

Next week, “On This Day” will take a look at Chicago gangster Al Capone, the United States’ purchase of the Alaskan territory from Russia, and Eisenhower’s decision to place a total embargo on exports to Cuba. We’ll also examine the Battle of Leyte and what is believed to be the first kamikaze attack, and profile American preacher William Miller, who predicted a Second Coming of Christ in 1844.

Related Link Resources
On This Day column

Educators That Rock!: Joyce Valenza

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Joyce Valenza in a photo by Jim Graham.

This week, findingEducation spoke with Joyce Valenza, an information specialist and author who manages the Springfield Township High School Library in Erdenheim, Pa. Valenza is also a blogger for School Library Journal, a former tech columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a lecturer on education issues and technology.

Valenza sets the bar exceedingly high for librarians. Inspired by the benchmarks set by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), she recently published “14 Ways K-12 Libraries Can Teach Social Media” (Tech & Learning, 21 Sept. 2009) and her own Manifesto for 21st Century School Librarians, which calls for librarians to acquire the necessary skills to guide learners in new and emerging information and communications landscapes.

“If you call yourself an information professional, you have to be a professional in the information landscape of your time,” says Valenza.

(more…)

Related Link Resources
American Association of School Librarians: Standards for the 21st-Century Learner
Springfield Township Virtual Library
Springfield Pathfinders
School Library Journal
Tech & Learning
Information Fluency Wiki
New Tools Workshop
The Future of Education