Monday, June 23, 2008

Regina Public Library goes Web 2.0

There are not a lot of organizations in Canada really pushing the edge of what you can do with web 2.0. So that's why I was so excited to find that a hot bed of work is being done at the Regina Public Library.

Not only are they on Facebook with a pretty sharp looking page, but they are also on Flickr with great sets of images available for use in the classroom. They even have a nice little RSS feed and Blog on Prairie History with updates on new books and events.

If your in Regina stay close to these guys, they are setting the bar and moving some great fun projects forward. Well done!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

National History Education Clearinghouse

The Centre for History and New Media is a leader in online programs. They have just launched a new National History Education Clearinghouse that is a great website for history teachers.

The website has connections to History Content, Teaching Materials, Best Practices, New Research, Grants and Professional Development.

The program is based out of George Mason University so the programs aren't specific to Canadian history, but the website is still a really valuable resource that should be explored by all educators.

Connecting The Dots Of The Web Revolution - Publishing 2.0

As you may or may not know when I'm not blogging here I'm working away for The Beaver and Kayak magazine in the publishing world. I've been following a series of posts online by Scott Karp who has been examining newspaper and magazine publishing.

What this all has to do with Digital History Education is that Scott just put up a great post about how searching for sources and reading (i.e. learning) is changing online. If you have a chance I would suggest reading the entire post which I think captures in a nut shell what your students probably already know, but can't vocalize in opposition to old learning techniques.

"Nobody has really been able to conceptualize yet just how dramatic the change is in our traditional systems of information, media, publishing, reading, writing, relating ideas, and thinking itself. Nick Carr has come close with his recent writing, and he’s brave enough to try, but he gets too distracted by his nostalgia for a simpler age.

Nick argues that we are losing our ability to “read deeply,” e.g. read a whole book and contemplate it, without “distraction.” The problem is he’s using an antiquated yardstick to measure the quality of thought."

You have to keep reading for all of the details, but suffice it to say things have changed. We can't know how they have changed yet, or what all the results will be, but we still know that change is there.

I have to admit since publishing my little digital history package, which really is the sum of about two years worth or work, I've been searching for where to go next in the digital history world. As you can tell the last few posts have been a bit random.

I know there is more out there, but not sure how much more can be done from here. Will have to spend the next few months developing Digital History 2.0.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Copyright rewrite war rages on Prentice Wikipedia page Copyright rewrite war rages on Prentice Wikipedia page

You should probably keep this article on hand for discussing Wikipedia in your classroom. It describes the battle between warring government staffers and a collection of Wikipedia reviewers over the qualities of the Honorable Member of Parliament and Industry Minister Jim Prentice.

Interesting because it shows you what Wikipedia looks like on the inside. But also interesting because it shows you what government is like on the inside as well.

Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives

For those of you teaching world issues or twentieth century history the Centre for History and New Media has created an excellent new exhibit entitled Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives.

The online exhibit uses video and primary sources to explore the horrific experience of the Gulag. I know it would be a great resource in the classroom for any teacher.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


The June/July issue of The Beaver features a story on the origins of Oil development in Petrolia, Ontario. Between this article and the first two hours of There will be Blood that I managed to catch on a flight, I've been thinking a lot lately about how much society has changed in the last 100 years and home much a culture of oil has been a part of that.

That's why I find Ciclovia and the work of StreetFilms so interesting. They have hundreds of videos online about the wonderful transformation that has taken place in Bogota, Columbia. Millions of people of each week cycle, walk, and enjoy thousands of miles of roads. It's a bit like looking into the future at what a world without oil might look like.

Certainly it's the type of community that I would like to live in. It's not really a digital history project but a great online video collection for social science teachers, especially those teaching World Issues.