Here’s one more in my series of mid-year “Best” lists (you can see all 1,600 of the lists here).
You might also be interested in these previous posts:
Here are my choices for The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2016— So Far (the beginning of the list contains links to several Social Studies related posts I’ve published this year):
TIME has published its choices for The Most Influential Images of All Time. It includes a variety of features, including videos and a timeline. I’ve added it to The Best Sites To See “Photos That Changed The World,” which I’ve just updated and revised.
The Uprooted is a useful interactive map demonstrating the extent of today’s world refugee crisis. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day.
You can find lots of great post-election lesson resources at the bottom of The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections.
The New York Times has created a great learning “game” to help people understand the difficulties many face when they want to vote in the United States. Check out “The Voter Suppression Trail,” done in the style of the classic Oregon Trail game.
How Kids Learn Prejudice is the headline of an important New York Times column. It’s worth reading – not just for what it says, but also for the links it contains to research. I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More.
Gapminder, the great data visualization site led by Hans Rosling (see The Best Hans Rosling Videos) has unveiled Dollar Street, which I think is an extraordinary site. They have collected 30,000 photos from 46 countries that allow you to compare, as they say, “how people really live.” You can compare bathrooms, toys – you name it. It has so much potential for so many lessons — exploring different cultures, economic analysis, geography, compare/contrast, etc. I’m adding it to:
Raising Barriers is a three-part interactive video series from the Washington Post that’s appearing this week. It examines the rise of border fences and walls throughout the world. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Walls That Separate Us.
NLP’s checkology™ virtual classroom is a place where students discover how to navigate today’s challenging information landscape by using the core skills and concepts of news literacy.
The virtual classroom brings this vital skill set to life through a series of engaging digital experiences that use real-world examples of news and information and guided instruction from journalists and other experts.
You can sign-up for it free to project on a screen and use it as a whole-class exercise, which seems very doable, especially if you have small whiteboards that students can use or, in a higher-tech setting, “clickers.” The program basically a combination of short video clips with interactive questions. You can pay if you want to create a virtual classroom, though the site doesn’t say how much that premium addition would cost. I’m adding it to The Best Tools To Help Develop Global Media Literacy.
Vote Compass is a new interactive from Vox that provides an accessible, though surprisingly sophisticated, way for anybody, including students, to determine where their political beliefs place them on the political spectrum. You can find the tool here and an explanation of it here.
Watch The Debates lets you view all the Presidential debates since 1960, including clips categorized by subject. You can then indicate your thoughts about what is being said, and compare your reactions to others.
The famous New York City Tenement Museum, located near where my father was raised, has just expanded its facility and website. You can read more about it at NBC News, NYC’s Tenement Museum Will Now Showcase a Puerto Rican Migrant Family . Its website has had a somewhat useful activity for quite awhile that’s been on the The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States list. Here’s how I’ve described it:
From Ellis Island To Orchard Street is a simulation from the Tenement Museum in New York City. In the online interactive, users play the role of an early immigrant to the United States. It provides good information about the immigration experience, though I wish the navigation was a little more clear. It might be tricky for English Language Learners.
Now, though, they’ve added some addition very nice resources:
It also has a number of lesson plans and resources related to learning to use primary sources.
I’m adding this info to:
Free School publishes very good short educational YouTube videos twice each week. The narration is at a reasonable clip, and it has good subtitles, as well.
I don’t think it gets a whole of attention in U.S. school history books, but the Great Fire of London was a pretty big deal. A bunch of groups, including museums and the city of London, have cooperated to create The Great Fire of London interactive, which includes what they call a “children’s game,” a Minecraft resource, and a lot of other features. The game part includes simple text with audio support, so it’s particularly accessible to English Language Learners.
Google unveiled called The Hidden Worlds Of The National Parks. It’s pretty impressive. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Yosemite & Other U.S. National Parks.
Newsela, the exceptional reading site offering the same article written for different reading levels (see The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”) has unveiled a new “Library” feature offering similar “levels” of primary source documents. Access is free to all Newsela resources, though you have to register on the site. A fee is required, though, in order to use advanced features like a virtual classroom. You can read more about it at TechCrunch. I’m adding this new resource to The Best Resources For Using Primary Sources.
I haven’t always been the biggest fan of iCivics, the popular learning games site begun by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. I’ve thought that many (but not all) of their games have been overly-complicated, and they really put their foot in it with a horribly-done one on immigration (see Sandra Day O’Connor’s Site To Change Immigration Game Because Of Your Comments). But they seem to have really stepped-up their “game” recently. Now, teachers can easily create free virtual classrooms and monitor student progress on the site.
The part I’m really excited about is a tool called DB Quest (you can go to the link, but it won’t let you access it until you register, which is free and easy). It’s an interactive to access and learn about primary source documents, and I like it a lot. They only have one lesson there now – on the Nashville Civil Rights Sit-Ins – but have just received funding from the Library of Congress to expand it (I just received that info via a LOC email, but there’s no way to link to it). I hope they develop many more lessons using that DBQuest tool, and I suspect many teachers will agree with me.
Metrocosm has created another neat and simple geographic interactive. It lets you visualize the world in six ways – GDP, government debt, population, births, wealth and billionaires.
Clint Smith has written an important and heavily annotated article in The New Yorker headlined Racism, Stress and Black Death.
Q-Files is a new-to-me free online illustrated encyclopedia with very accessible text and images. It seems quite extensive.
The British newspaper, The Telegraph, has just begun what appears to be a weekly series of videos called Telegraph Time Tunnel. They are publishing two minute videos with images and simple text reviewing major events that occurred that same week sometime within the past one hundred years. It’s not as complete as the other resources on The Best “Today In History” Sites, but it could still be useful. They also have a YouTube playlist for the videos, but it seems to have a delay to adding new ones there. So it might be better to view them off the Telegraph site itself.
What did I miss?