Monthly Archives: September 2011

Brush off the Dust Best of the Web, 9/26-9/30/11

Ready for some great reading, video, even an online game?  Good check out this week’s Best of the Web.  There is a pretty heavy book theme this week, so enjoy that!

1. Historic fountains rot away in a local national park

and

Give us back our fountain

In the end, these two posts became a joint-operation.  The first is from the DC blog GREATER Greater Washington and the second from the Blog of the Courtier, who writes in Georgetown–once its own independent city of the District of Columbia, and now just the oldest neighborhood in the district.  There is some detective work here and plea to do better!  This is a nifty story about an old part of the country–also a great candidate for my new favorite site (which I apparently cannot shut up about!), Historypin, if some original pictures could be found.  Click on the titles above to read the original posts.

2. Drama of Game 162 never seen before and likely never will again

I’ve been hearing how this week was a) evidence that baseball is the best game on earth (I’ll let that go) and b) the last night in the baseball season this year was the best/most astonishing/meaningful in baseball’s LOOONG history.  This read is from Sport Illustrated’s Tom Verducci–a great sports writer.  To read about sports history being made before our eyes, click on the title above.

3. AbeBooks.com Rare Books

Any book lovers?  Then you need to check out the Rare Books department of the online bookseller, AbeBooks.Com.  They have highlighted features in this section for specific types of rare books–such as embroidered covers–and often have short and quick articles about the style and history, followed by gads of beautiful pictures of books.  Of course, one can also purchase First Editions and rare works of book art, but even if you aren’t in the market there is a lot one can learn by browsing through what they have to offer.  To drool–er–I mean, view and read click on the title above.

4.  SFSignal Presents a Guide to NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy

If you aren’t into this branch of literature, then this may not interest you much–although the flow chart is set with some fine wit.  If you are interested, or dabble occasionally, then this is a fantastic and entertaining flow chart that is sure to provoke some debate but also inspire further reading… and isn’t that really what is most important!  To go with the science fiction and fantasy flow (chart), click on the title above!

5. Staying awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading

and

The Book Bench: Changing reading forever, again

Another twofer.  From Haprer’s Magazine and The New Yorker’s Book Bench.  The first is a piece by Ursula K. Le Guin in Harper’s from February 2008 questioning how important reading really is.  The second piece was published September 23 of this year:  Good news!  Reading is up!  Is that really important?  This is an interesting discussion and deserves some time and consideration as the world of books and technology is changing.  (Let me make a note that the assertion attributed to Ursula K. Le Guin, that books were never read for pleasure until the 19th century is completely false, but consider what she says about reading and power in this conversation.)  I choose not to evaluate these arguments, but hope people will take the time to think them over–and their implications for society.  To read the discussion, click on the titles above.

6.  When ideas have sex

7.  400 Years Old and Ageless

So, I confess to not being a huge fan of the translation, but appreciate the heritage and the art of the King James’s Bible. The exhibit is reviewed by the NY Times Arts section.

8.  Find The Future at NYPL (New York Public Library)

The New York Public Library has unleashed an interactive online game enlisting some if its treasured artifacts… and you!  It is really an exciting way to inspire creative writing.  Participating in it will make the Library a must-see in New York City.  See the trailer below:

 

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Collecting from the attic onto the web – Historypin

Wisconsin State Capitol

The name of this blog is based on the concept of exposing the past to the present, dusting it off and sharing it.  Sometimes, I share ways that one can do that.   Sometimes, I write about the past or review other presentations of the past for modern audiences.   Sometimes, I actually dust something off from the proverbial attic and share it.  As cool as I think my blog is, I have found someone who does what I aspire to do in a completely cool and techy way: Historypin (online at http://www.historypin.com/).  See the “trailer” below.

This is a fantastic way to explore one’s neighborhood, city, state, country or vacation spots through time!  Additionally, there are incredible visuals for showing how a community has evolved over time, by actually embedding a picture into a Google street view (see the picture above).  There are endless possibilities with this kind of tool.  With a little preparation and computer connected to the web, one can create an instant lesson about a favorite lunch spot, neighborhood or travel destination.  Couple this with an older local’s narratives and you have some low-cost, local history lessons for your own backyard, or you have a great opportunity to create a dramatic back drop for your next destination.

Below, is walk through of what you can do with the program.  Check it out and please share your a) experiences on the site and b) creations on the site in the comment section below!

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Distinguishing characteristics of change and continuity among periods

Despite the changes from one era or culture to the next, there are often similar types of texts that show up throughout different periods.  The way that these texts evolve is reflective of the culture producing them, as such they can be really useful tools in charting change and continuity over time.  A compare and contrast exercise of this type is also valuable for reviewing past material.  Texts can include laws, speeches, biographies, histories, fiction, etc.  It can also be applied to art or music, whether religious, public or private.

There are different ways to do this.  One is to send your students off on a scavenger hunt in the library to find the primary sources and to write a compare and contrast essay, asking them to identify the features of the text that place it in a particular time, era or culture.  If you have been working with these sorts of texts all along than you can include a review assignment.  Venn diagrams can be used, but I also am a big fan of students writing in the cultural style of one or another, or switching styles within in a story.  Possibly, my favorite is a Mad Libs exercise.

The Mad Libs has the advantage of emphasizing certain vocabulary, while being a shorter, more condensed assignment than a larger writing project.  For example, in my Western Civilization class, I assigned excerpts from Roman Vitae (Lives) which were biographies of various famous men (for the most part) extolling or castigating their virtues and actions, thus revealing the societal mores.  Romans wrote about everyone from Alexander the Great to Hannibal to Julius Caesar.  Early Christians, living under Roman rule, adopted this practice for holy men, writing sacred Vitae.  These differed in several identifiable ways: 1) Early Christian Vitae were, well, Christian while Roman Vitae were pagan (until the conversion of Constantine); 2) Early Christian samples were typically shorter than their Roman counterparts; 3) Early Christian virtues included martyrdom, ascetic living and often included desert seclusion or giving up Roman secular living and offices for roles in the church, whereas Roman virtues were concerned with leadership; and, 4) the “characters” surrounding the Early Christian subjects were also slightly different, involving Church officials, than the Roman subjects who typically involved soldiers and senators.

The evolution of the Vitae continues into the Late Antique era and then the Early and Late Medieval eras.  The Late Antique stories focus on conversion and monastic withdrawal, with less emphasis on martyrdom, though it remains a theme.  By the Early Medieval, particularly surrounding Charlemagne, there is a revival in the Roman style of Vitae, but with Christian markers, such as churches, church hierarchy and, of course, certain Early Medieval realia and institutions instead of some Roman examples.  The Late Medieval, meanwhile, describes a new type of Christian living, the Vitae Apostolica, which is patterned on the apostles in the Acts of the Apostles and Jesus in the Gospels.  These Vitae stress preaching, serving the poor and sick and active involvement among God’s flock instead of withdrawal and seclusion.  Below are some examples of different Vitae from these different eras that I have used (typically in excerpts):

ROMAN

  • Plutarch’s Lives
  • Suetonious’s Lives

EARLY CHRISTIAN

  • Eusebius on Constantine (in his ecclesiastical history)
  • The Lives of Desert Fathers
  • St. Anthony

LATE ANTIQUE

  • Sulpicius Severus’s Life of St. Martin
  • Gregory of Tours on Clovis’s conversion
  • Bede’s Life of Cuthbert

EARLY MEDIEVAL

  • Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne
  • Notker’s Life of Charlemagne

LATE MEDIEVAL

  • Life of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Life of St. Roch

The Mad Libs looked like this:

Vitae Mad Libs

Roman               Late Antique                   Carolingian

_______1_______

Adj. (describing the individual of the Vita)

_______2_______

Adj. (describing the individual of the Vita)

_______3_______

Vb. (describing an action of the individual)

_______4_______

Vb. (describing an action of the individual)

_______5_______

N. (person, deity, group)

_______6_______

N. (person, deity, group)

_______7_______

N. (situation, event)

_______8_______

N. (time of day, event)

_______9_______

Vb.

_______10_______

N. (person, deity, group)

Vita

The _1_ man was _2_.  He _3_ other nations.  He always ­_4_ to _5_ in the morning earning the admiration of _6_.  When _7_ happened in the _8_ he was the first to _9_ his _10_.

This was a short exercise, part of a larger homework assignment, that asked the students to think about the differences in vocabulary that marked this largely laudatory style of composition.  It asked them to further assess the different values of each society.  Students can be asked to select one time period, or can be asked to create separate samples for each period—particularly in this case, as there are only ten words to supply for each sample Vita (singular of Vitae).

While an assignment like this can be modified to work really well with young students focusing on unit vocabulary, who may need to be reminded that ancient Romans did not have cell phones, it also works really well with more advanced students who can read more complex primary sources.  It is a simple way to explore societal norms, but it can also be a way to highlight someone who was bucking the trend if enough primary sources are engaged.  In this way, it is easy to see how this might be developed into a larger project that would cover more ground and call for a deeper analysis.  Not only that, but such an analysis may also reveal which authors were emulated.  A perfect example of this is the Roman historian Livy who is repeatedly emulated during the Middle Ages—especially the Late Medieval—and later in the Italian Renaissance.

Speaking of the Italian Renaissance, this is also an exercise which can emphasize that these eras we use are largely conceits, created for convenience.  The need to break the vastness of the world’s history down into easily manageable units led to the creation of all of these periods and eras.  But, they are also misleading.  Seldom does a culture in history end and abruptly shift to a new culture.  Sometimes there are momentous or catastrophic events that seem to bring to an end one era and make way for another, but it is often difficult to discern how sweeping such changes actually are at all levels of a society.  The Italian Renaissance is often advertised as one such abrupt change, but it is more often than not greatly exaggerated.  It was, for example, far less sweeping than the Muslim acquisition in the matter of a century or two of the Near East, northern Africa and Spain.  All of the attributes of the Italian Renaissance began their development in the 1100s, from cities to economics, and from Roman revival in learning to art.  The biggest difference would be revealed in the artwork and the development of the humanistic attitude that identified everything before it as lacking, until one got so far back as the Romans themselves—an attitude adopted by many subsequent generations of scholars.  Europe never let go of Rome, however, and it continually returned to Roman writers and precedent.

Another challenge of eras and periods is the experience of those living in the different eras and periods.  That is, did everyone experience the Carolingian Renaissance?  How far reaching was it in its society?  What about the people of the 12th Century Renaissance, or the Italian Renaissance?  Did the experiences of women change?  What about slaves?  None of these considerations damns the usage of periods and eras, but they should encourage us not to be slaves to our constructs.  This is a useful challenge for students and can be introduced in different ways.  These can build off exercises like those suggested above, or can be independently employed.  One way to do this is to emphasize who is writing the sources in the unit’s corpus?  Some of the eras I mentioned were limited in authorship to Church officials—monks, bishops, etc.  Others are more broad.  Also, who was the audience?  By the Late Medieval and the 12th Century Renaissance, women are already increasingly being included in both authorship and audience.

These sorts of source exercises really challenge students to think about our ability to access different members in society and the limits of the sources perspectives.  It is useful as a thought experiment to ask students to think about what other types of sources a culture might produce—and then supply some samples for review.  Court records, for example, are often a good way to access the experiences of the illiterate, but these have their limits, too.  Archaeology also provides added perspectives.  As do art and music to a degree.

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Word of the Week, 9/26-9/30/2011 – idiot


idiot –

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Ralph is an idiot.

idiot –

An epithet that describes anyone but you.
It is a statistical certainty that there is someone out there in the planet who considers you an idiot. That person doesn’t matter, of course — he’s an idiot.

idiot –

A person who occupies a position or opinion opposing your correct one.
People who think x are idiots.
~ Urban Dictionary, (online, *language and content warning)
Idiot is a word deeply embedded in the vernacular, but is much older than most people realize.  Today, we use the word to reference deficiencies in mental acumen, although the implication from some of the above samples, in fact, mock those who use the word.  Idiot, though frequently used in the ways described above by the contributors to the online Urban Dictionary, has a more particular, though related definition.

idioteia – private life  or business, Xenophon, Plato  uncouthness, want of education Lucian; and

idioteuo – to be a private person, i. e. to live in retirement, Plato, Xenophon:–of a country, to be of no consideration, Xenophon.  II. to practice privately, of a physician, Plato  III. to be unpracticed in a thing.  From

idiotes – a private person, an individual,  II. one in a private station, opposed to one taking part in public affairs, Herodotus, Attic Greek; opposed to strategosa private soldier, Xenophon.   2. a common man, plebeian, Plutarch.  3. as Adj., id- Bios (life) a private station, homely way of life, Plato.  III. one who has no professional knowledge, as we say ‘a layman’, Thucydides; opposed to a poet, a prose writer, Plato; [as opposed] to a trained soldier, Thucydides;  [as opposed] to a skilled workman, Plato.  2. unpracticed, unskilled in a thing … 3. generally a raw hand, an ignorant, ill-informed man, Demosthenes.

idotikos – of or for a private person private, Herodotus, Attic Greek.  II. not done by rules of art, unprofessional, unskillful, rude, Plato:–Adv., … i.e. to neglect gymnastic exercises, Xenophon.

~ Greek-English Lexicon, [Middle] Liddell & Scott

It enters English from the Romance languages.  It comes from the Greek with two understandings: 1) a private person as opposed to a public person, or, in other words, someone who is not participating in democracy, either by choice or status; 2) an unskilled or untrained individual incapable of a professional trade–typically, thus, a common man (who could not vote).  In Latin, the word is streamlined to mean an uneducated man, an outsider or a lay person (Elementary Latin Dictionary, C T Lewis).  By the end of the sixteenth century, “idiot” was a legal designation for someone “deficient in mental or intellectual faculty”, but it was already used thus in the written vernacular English as of 1300 (OED).

The legal definition is a tricky thing.  It is always dangerous labeling people as “deficient” before the law, because it usually impedes their legal rights.  For example, a speech disorder might make one sound as though he is mentally slower, but it does not necessarily reflect their mental acuity, and in fact might cloud the perception of a person who is perfectly competent.  Also, at various times, the criteria has been deliberately discriminatory, assessments based on race, ethnicity or poverty.    On the other hand, a definition that can legally protect someone who is not capable of fully understanding the consequences of his actions,  someone who requires special care and someone who needs reasonable societal accommodations (such as sidewalk ramps for wheel chairs) in order to function, is an important legal designation–and idiot is no longer an appropriate application.  Of course, we do not use idiot as a legal definition, anymore, precisely because it is an unscientific definition of someone’s capabilities and denigrates people unfairly and unwisely.

The Romans, whose government was a more limited republic than Athenian democracy (and which also governed a much larger territory and population than that of Athens), largely abandoned the private, as opposed to public, connotation.  Personally, I think this is its most valid modern application today: an idiot is a person who chooses not to pay attention to public life–that is, the government’s actions and the politicians who promote or refute those actions.  As such, I guess it would make labeling politicians as “idiots” a complete misnomer, but that does not mean that all politicians are smart or competent, just that they are involved–and, not necessarily for the right reasons!

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My Favorite Posts that don’t make the Top Ten

Below are my personal top ten favorite posts that didn’t make yesterday’s top ten most popular posts–in no particular order.  Click on the post title to view it in its entirety.
 

And for the World Cup . . . QATAR???

Clearly one of my funnier posts, I enjoy it because it makes me laugh.  You may want to take that as a cue, since it is not one of my more popular posts and I am essentially laughing at my own cleverness, but in truth there is good information and wit . . . it practically wrote itself!

Visiting the Civil War in Frederick, MD

This was one of my first genuine and earnest ventures into travel literature, and while I might always nitpick what I write, I was really proud of this piece.

Harry Potter and a Look at Hogwarts in History

This should really be self-evident, right?  I consider the information provided by Professor Binns in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and place Hogwarts in the historical world from which it was founded.

Remembering MLK, A review and reflection on the new memorial

I really like this piece because it represents the sort of thing I should do well: reflecting on how we remember the past.  In this case, it is a challenging memorial to consider an important life in American history.

Dehumanizing words and writing the “other”

This post considers work of two scholars on the impact of words in creating toleration for intolerable acts by a society against a particular group of people.  These reflections on [mostly] historical atrocities highlight those instances in which words instigate and justify society’s use of sticks and stones.

How it all began: My love affair with History

A personal account of my journey to loving history, this was an essay recounts history’s long patience wooing of me.  Complete with embarrassing pictures!

A paper vs. digital rant

One of my favorites, not least because of the awesome pictures I included from the artwork of Brian Dettmer and Book Autopsies series–art that highlights the beauty of books through their aesthetics.  As much as I love technology, the dismissal of printed and bound books appalls me on more than one level–despite the obvious convenience of the e-book.

Holy Relics: highlighting sacred objects left by holy lives

This post grew out of two disassociated but coinciding events:  1) a Walter’s Gallery exhibit on holy relics and 2) a National Geographic documentary on the scientific examination of two sacred relics in Italy.  The post is intended both to define and contextualize relics.

The Northwest Passage: It’s On!  (Again…)

This is one of those perfect intersections between the past and present.  Due to climate change, the Northwest Passage, long ago sought after by the Northern European countries following the financial success of Spain and Portugal, has finally opened.  Just as then, competing claims for shipping rights have erupted, but unlike last time there is actually a lane to ship through!

Word of the Week, 7/25-7/30: ballad

Only the second post in my Word of the Week series, this one was a lot of fun–well, actually they’ve all been a lot of fun!–but, this one got into some pretty cool music history, including some of the best modern reworkings.  Music included!  If you like it, check out other words in this series by searching the category.

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Visiting the museum with (educational) purpose

Museums offer a visual impact, usually accompanied with some sort of audio presentation, whether in the form of a tour guide, docent or audio device (including cell phones and apps).  As such, a museum exhibit falls within the middle of Dale’s Cone of Experience:

“People generally remember 50% of what they see and hear | Attend exhibit/sites; Watch a demonstration | People are able to (Learning Outcomes): – demonstrate, -apply, -practice” [Incidentally, you would expect films to fall within this range, but they do not.]

So, museums are potentially very useful educational tools, but there is a point at which one can be overconfident with this utility.  In the case of museums, and other field trips, educators cannot assume that students will make connections between class material and museum visits.  If a student has been learning about the Peloponnesian War or Persian invasions of Greece, and he is looking at a bust with a facemask sitting back on his head—does he make the connection?  He may walk right past Pericles, whose funeral oration he read in class, and miss him.  How do you make this a moment of impact?

Context for an exhibit such as the Smithsonian's 9/11 "Remember" exhibit is essential for students

Let’s say, extravagantly, that the visit is to the enormous, wonderful Metropolitan Museum in New York.  In the Iliad, there is a prophecy that the first man to set foot upon the beach will die.  A brave captain accepts the role to fulfill the prophecy.  In the Greek gallery, a large hall full of statues, there is a marble Roman-made statue of a struck soldier.  The marble copy in the Met was made by a Roman between 138-181 AD.  The original was a bronze statue, finished ca.  460-450 BC.  Scholars believe it is a statue of Protesilaos who stepped first off the boat.  By making specific use of this statue in connection to the material being studied, a deeper connection is made to the piece and thus deeper thinking and reflection is achieved.  Make the link to the epic—even reread them while standing next to the statue.  Take the time to build on the importance of the Roman remake of the Greek statue.  (http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/Greek/greek11.htm)

To get the most out of a museum visit emphasize three learning phases: 1. anticipation (before the visit), 2. contemplation (during the visit), 3. reflection (after the visit).  Each of these needs to be worked the day of the visit.  The class material begins well before the visit, any and all of these phases should build off of class material.  I like to make-up a worksheet—I have a template, but then customize for specific learning outcomes or to accommodate the exhibits.  The activities can vary according to need: compare two pieces in one exhibit, compare two pieces each from a different exhibit, analyze a specific exhibit—special exhibits, in particular, often have story arcs or a similar sort of rubric—scavenger hunts or other searches, document-artifact match and more.

 

How can exhibit on the Apollo Theater in Harlem NY enrich students? Use an exhibit such as this to augment units on American history and segregation.

Anticipation (before the visit)

The students should consider what they are going to see at the museum exhibits.  This can be done the night before if they are assigned a project or reading from the museum’s website as homework for the trip—it should be a directed assignment on the web, not “go review the website”.  The important thing is that the students are actually actively thinking about the sorts of things they can expect to find in a museum.  This forces them to think about what they already know and to engage their imagination in an attempt to fill in gaps in their knowledge.

 

Contemplation (during the visit)

At this point, you want to add to student knowledge.  The idea is to get them to really take time and consider some of what the museum offers and not just glaze over and glide through.  I’ve already mentioned some of the activities, above, that work well, but it depends on what you are doing in class and the sorts of connections you wish to make.  The museum’s education departments are an essential resource, too.  They are there for the exact purpose of liaising between the museum and educators.  In this capacity they often already have some stuff in place, including tours and free materials.  My advice is to explore these options, take advantage of them where you can, but don’t blindly follow them—adapt to the learning outcomes and goals that you are pursuing.

TIP: Given that museums are educational tools and have the power to inspire individuals in ways a teacher or parent cannot predict, try to make time for students to explore the museum beyond the exhibit or exhibits that you wanted to focus on.  The older the students the easier this is to do.  Encourage curiosity!  If students have their own interests in something that the museum offers, try to accommodate that.  Those are special moments and you don’t want to lose them because they had to be at the docent’s art class—this is where chaperones for school groups can be a real asset and where parents who are flexible in their timing can do themselves and their families a real service.  The most important thing to have when you visit a museum is purpose, but curious interest can trump that in terms of making it a lasting educational experience—otherwise most people just get overwhelmed with the magnitude of many museums.

 

What has a student already learned that will help make this piece resonate? How does this piece build on that knowledge?

Reflection (after the museum)

The reflection should facilitate some deep thinking about what the students saw and include tools and questions to make connections to their current knowledge—this usually means providing just enough direction to trigger their brains to do the rest; they don’t always realize that they already have the knowledge.  There needs to be a sense of timeliness, here.  The longer the space between the visit and the reflection, the harder it is for students to accurately recall and make connections.  Without this aid, students will often miss what may seem obvious to instructors.  It is also a good point to challenges students to contemplate what is foreign and familiar.  A reflection in two stages, thus, can be employed: 1) ask one or two stimulating questions that help students take the next analytical step—their answer can come in a variety of forms: narrative, story, essay, skit, letter to historical figure, etc.; 2) supply a compare and contrast exercise—this can be with a previous culture that students have studied or with their own culture, or some other variant that encourages thought about change and continuity.

 

Prompt reflection that expands on the students analysis and analytic skills--compare and contrast the past with the present.

This model is adaptable for other activities, events or programs besides museums.  It can be applied to a novel, theater performance, documentary or lecture.  Part of the purpose is to make the content memorable, but it also provides thinking exercises for developing brains—the muscles we want to be strong and flexible in adults.

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Top Ten Most Popular Posts – Korea, Baseball, Beowulf, Soccer, DC and MORE!

Click on the post title to read it.

1. Korea–a really brief look at how we got here

Surprisingly, my most popular post by over 4000 hits!!  This post is a brief summary of the events that brought us to the point last fall when Korea fired its missiles.

2. Opening Day thoughts about baseball and history

A short post written during the Opening Day week of the current MLB season, this has been a surprisingly popular post, for what is essentially a missive supporting the inclusion of sports–specifically baseball–in our understanding of history.  It is also a panegyric for baseball’s history, the only American sport with such old roots.

3. Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon experience

One of my favorite posts!  In this post, I explored the Anglo-Saxon experience through literature, both modern and Anglo-Saxon.  By following the link, down the page, to the Norton Anthology you can listen to Seanus Heaney read excerpts from his edition of Beowulf; before you start the recording, cue up the video of the fire to recreate the Anglo-Saxon experience.

4. Cover the Earth — Early Modern Red!

Another of my favorite posts, this was written up as a review of a Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin.  It is literally a history of the color red and it’s development in the days when one paid extra for dye–sometimes quite a bit extra!  The history hinges on the discovery of a South American species of insect that produces the color scarlet red.  It is fascinating!

5. Soccer and World History?

In reading The Ball is Round, A global history of Soccer, I stopped to ask whether the author’s claim that soccer, or football, belonged on the modern world history stage was really a necessity.  In the end, while I found different points in his argument compelling, I am not sure that it is quite the requisite he claims it to be.  Still, demonstrating a point by using real events in sports can often make it more memorable and accessible to students.  I think it certainly bears consideration and one should at least take the investigation under advisement and explore the argument and its evidence.

6.  I. Introduction: Spaces and Places | Washington DC, the Place and Space, Series

This was the opening post in a series I wrote up about Washington DC based on the Washington Historical Society’s 2010 conference.  The workshops I attended set up a nice program considering some different themes surrounding the capital city.  In this first post, I introduce that program for the week of blogs that follow, including Washington DC’s spaces and places.

7.  Lessons for History Teachers: How to tell a story through photos

I was stimulated to write by an article for photojournalists and others who establish article and photo-editing.  (Good advice for a blogger, too.)  It spurned me to think of a number of ideas about how to adopt pictures into a more coherent and deliberate teaching strategy.  This post is the result.

8.  It’s Constitution Day!!!

A timely post that picks up traffic in an anticipation of the Robert C. Byrd-created day of Constitution-learning.  It is mandatory that educators spend time on the Constitution every September.

9.  Visualizing Early Washington: A Digital Reconstruction of the Capital ca. 1814

This post really took off in one day when it was StumbledUpon.  Highlighting a brilliant enterprise of collaboration: IT geniuses came together to recreated a historical 3-D representation of Washington DC throughout its eras.  Watch the flick and read about the creation process.

10.  IV. The Capital’s Space | Washington DC, the Place and Space Series

The fourth piece in this series featured a look at the National Mall.  This is a short piece, but popular because of the provided images.

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