Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Speaking of volunteers, that's who makes The Gutenberg Project work: hundred of folks scanning, proofreading and publishing public domain texts. Forget about a class set of Romeo and Juliet texts, read them online or download them to be able to search and annotate. Over 100 new books are added per week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I just finished reading The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester which describes the history of the Oxford English Dictionary. What an undertaking that involved hundreds of volunteer readers who found quotes and hunted down word histories. In our own time, we have something similar: a free online encyclopedia that is entirely published by volunteers, including students. It's the Wikipedia and if you've never visited a Wiki, don't wait a minute longer!

Monday, February 23, 2004

The SOL Writing test is coming! There are plenty of website about writing but I'm going to highlight two that encourage publication and peer comment and review. Fan Fiction offers writers a place to publish pieces written in the style of their favorite authors. While JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame certainly tops out as the most popular, literally hundreds of other writers are represented. The other site that was just added to the VCOL database is Elite Skills, an online writing club. All varieties of writing are accepted.

Friday, February 20, 2004

For general history including information about the presidents--both past, present, and future (when I visited they had an article about John Kerry)--as well as all other things historical, visit TheHistoryNet. It's "where history lives on the web." The site includes a "today in history" feature, a photo of the day feature, and a daily quiz.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Yet another website that doesn't have anything to do with presidents but teaches about biodiversity with fun games and interactive online activities. Biodiversity 911: Saving Life on Earth

I know I am supposed to be blogging about the Presidents this week but this was too good to wait. Crittercam is sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Scientists attach cameras to animals and you can watch excerpts from the narrated videos online. VHS tapes of the programs are for sale as well. Very cool! National Geographic Channel USA: Crittercam

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I wear several different hats. I am the regional director for the Virginia Initiative for Technology and Administrative Leadership. In that capacity, I publish a monthly newsletter. This month's newsletter features websites related to the upcoming election: Newsletter

Monday, February 16, 2004

From CSPAN, a website dedicated to the Presidents. You can tour Presidential Gravesites, view video clips and find lesson plans: American Presidents: Life Portraits

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Happy President's Day! All this week, the VCOLBlog will be featuring sites dedicated to the Presidents and the upcoming elections. This page, hosted by the National Archives, has links to all ten of the Presidential Libraries. Presidential Libraries

Monday, February 09, 2004

The Library of Congress is just an incredible resource that even if I've blogged it before, it's worth doing again. This link takes you to the WISE Guide that is published monthly and features various LOC offerings. I browsed for about a half hour today and found a variety of resources: I watched old Coca Cola television advertisements, listened to the voices of former slaves, looked at Civil War pictures, and read letters from Jackie Robinson to Richard Nixon. America comes alive at this website! The LOC.GOV Wise Guide : Home

What a wonderful idea! This blogger is publishing an appropriate passage from Samuel Pepys' famous diary online each day. You can jump right into the story or learn more about Pepys and read the story so far. An exciting use for a blog!

Friday, February 06, 2004

It's a rainy day and I thought it would be fun to think about a springtime topic. In this lesson plan, students create butterflies that are either "hiders" or "trickers." It includes a printable worksheet. Scholastic's The Magic School Bus: Butterfly Activity As part of the lesson, you might check out the Journey North website that allows schools to help track migratory creatures as they progress through their regions. And for some beautiful pictures of butterflies, be sure to visit Mikey on the web.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

If it weren't for the flashing banner ad at the top of the page, this would be a GREAT site. It's still pretty cool though. I love to color and this site lets you pick textures and patterns, to. Have some fun! Choose another picture

P.S. For $5 a month, you can have it turned off.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

There are just a few days left to enter the Crayola DreamMakers online art exhibit that features children's artwork. Guidelines are available online and artwork must be submitted by February 15. If you can't do it this year, put a note in your calendar to check this out for next year. Crayola Creativity Central

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

It's the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Exhibition so great websites abound. Here's one from Missouri Historical Society that includes video interviews and an online interactive guide to the journey of discovery:

Monday, February 02, 2004

I think I mentioned that I've been cleaning out old file and found a print copy of the University of Virginia's Multimedia Guide to the Virginia Standards of Learning. It is very well done and helps locate and organize primary sources on the web for 11th grade history teacher in Virginia. SOL Guide

I spent some time at the vendor booth for the American Museum of Natural History when I was at FETC. They have an excellent website full of educational resources, interactive activities, as well as curriculum materials. American Museum of Natural History Resources for Learning

Sunday, February 01, 2004

From University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, lesson plans and other resources for all content areas: Center for Technology and Teacher Education: Content Areas

A website for Mathline episodes of XY Encounter, an adventure for elementary and middle school students that focuses on graphing, geometry and fractions: TeacherSource . Math . XY Encounter Teacher Home | PBS

A great example of problem solving using digital video to create a case study. The students follow an asylum officer as he makes decisions about who gets to stay in the United States: P.O.V. - Well-Founded Fear | PBS

The website that accompanies Ken Burns' series about the two key figures of the women's suffrage movement. Includes a nicely done video segment: PBS: Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Resources from the NewsHour including lots of video clips: NewsHour Extra Teacher Resources

The website for the PBS television show Media Matters. It includes transcripts and video clips. Be sure to check out "A Trip to the Blogosphere." MEDIA MATTERS | PBS

I am heading to DJ Montague Elementary School tomorrow and gathering a few new web resources to share. This online exhibit is lots of fun and allows students to easily interact with maps of Colonial America. Colonial Williamsburg Online Museum Exhibits