Monday, March 24, 2008

Northwest Passage 2.0

I'm currently working on our upcoming edition of BITE: Beaver Information for Teachers and Educators, just give me a shout if you would like to subscribe. The feature article is a great piece by Ken McGoogan on the opening of the Northwest Passage, so I've been searching around for some additional information to provide background for the story.

I found a great video on YouTube from a European voyage through the passage in 2004. What is so terrific about YouTube, Flickr, and other resources is that they allow students to get a first hand perspective of far away places and histories. While these videos don't have the trumpets and drums of National Geographic, but they are a great way to add life to the classroom.

This particular YouTube video gives a good account of the conditions early explorers must have also faced: chipping ice away from the deck, snow covered ships, and mammoth icebergs. I found a lot of these videos for Expo 67 as well.

Flickr provides the same documents when exploring the beaches of Normandy, providing countless images and stories from European battlefields. These programs provide a great way to add life and cool interfaces to your classroom.

I understand why school boards often ban access to programs like YouTube, but at the end of the day they are doing a disservice to their students. Educators need new and original ideas to create engaging classroom content. These free programs will never replace teachers and chalk, but they provide unique opportunities not only for teaching, but for learning about the past.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I though this might appeal!