Tag Archives: Social Studies

6th graders are uploading/sharing their finished StoryCorps-esque interviews today

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StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

Students interviewed someone at home and used Garageband to extract a 2-3 minutes story. These audio pieces were exported as .m4a files and then converted to either .mp4 or .mov files that were then uploaded to TheTube (our internal video server powered by Drupal). Finally, students gathered links to their audio files, a description of their piece, a direct quote from the story, and an image. These were added to a table on a collaborative GoogleDoc to loosely model how StoryCorps organizes their files.

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Just learned about the new Google Docs Research tool via @moniamaro59

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I’m collaborating with 6th grade Social Studies teacher Monica Amaro ()  on an iMovie project where here students will research topics about the culture, religion, architecture, medicine, food, language, politics, etc. of Tenochtitlan, Mexico. They’ll be gathering their research in Google Docs. Monica just showed me something that one of her 6th graders showed her: Google Docs now has a Research Tool that allows embeds a right-side column for you to google websites, images, quotes, and scholarly writings about the topic.

The most satisfying feature for us so far is that when you located images, they are embedded into your Google Doc and their location is cited in a footnote at the bottom of the page. There is no excuse for forgetting to cite your sources anymore!

I found the article below about using the embedded Google Doc’s new Research Tool here:

How to use Google Docs’ new Research tool: New feature automates research process, making it easier for everyone

By Leslie Meredith

Whether you’re a student facing final papers or a parent helping kids with research assignments, Google has just made the process a lot easier with a new tool that automates the research process.

Simply called “Research,” the tool lets you conduct searches for terms related to your document or search for just quotes or images from a panel that appears to the right of your document.

Searching for a location automatically brings up a Google map that you can insert as is or edit by zooming in or out. Photos can be filtered to include only those that are licensed for free use — a good idea to avoid copyright problems.

For Web page results, hover over the link to see a preview of the page. Like what you see? Click “insert link” to add it to your text.

Further, the Research tool lets you insert a citation, automatically formatted, into your document.

Here’s how it works: After you’ve inserted a link, click “cite.” Google will add a superscript footnote number to the link in your text and generate a properly constructed footnote at the bottom of the page.

There are three ways to activate the research panel. Within an open document, go to the “Tools” menu at the top of the page and select “Research.” You can also use a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+R on a PC and Command+Option+R on a Mac. To jumpstart the process, you can right-click on a word or highlight a phrase to launch a search for your term.

Copyright 2012 TechNewsDaily, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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“I gotta go back, back, back to school again.”

This first week back was nuts. After days of meetings and heavy lifting, I finally had a chance to talk curriculum with the 8th grade team. It was such a thrill to listen to them discuss ways to integrate pieces of their curriculum, starting with the first project of the year and looking towards January: Apartheid and governance in Social Studies, To Kill a Mockingbird in English, the Empty Bowls Project in Art… It’s one of my favorite parts of my job.

Besides having way too little time to discuss upcoming projects, I had a crash course in TeacherEase, an online grading/communication tool we’re piloting across the middle school. It looks pretty powerful, as you can track grades, attendance, comments, send email alerts to students and parents, and log in as a teacher, student, or parent to access performance assessments.

I spent a long time researching iPod and iPad storage/syncing devices from Parat, Tribeam, Cambrionix, and Bretford. We ended up buying the 20-slot Bretford iPad cart, but I’m torn about what to get for our iPod Touches. I almost purchased a couple of docks from Parasync, but it won’t house the new iPod Touches without some retrofitting to accommodate the slightly different shape of the updated device. And while the Bretford case houses multiple generations of iPods, I prefer the look and design of the wireless Parasync tray. Suffice it to say, we didn’t make a decision.

In addition to physically and mentally preparing for Tuesday’s arrival of students, I’ve been emailing, meeting, and teleconferencing with other organizers of EdCampNYC (on 12/4/10)  and TEDxNYED (in March of 2011) and finding hosts for my monthly NYCIST meetings. I find it remarkable I have a social life sometimes.

While I didn’t have much time to check out my Twitter feed much, I did forward a bunch of gems to my faculty. I’ll try not to have anxiety over all the resources I missed:

 

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