Useful links

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Using photos to understand history.

We had some geography units for our students based around how areas have changed over time. Many of our students enjoyed comparing historical photos I found for the local areas they knew and current photos that I took of the same places.

There are a few opportunities to make this a real life project and add to a global history project.

The tools below could be  useful for either history of geography if they were focusing on local studies.  I also see potential for the information to be used in our language classes where they also look into the culture of the country.

 1. History Pin 

historyPinHOME

Back in 2010 I wrote about a tool called History Pin. It was created  by “We Are What We Do”, a social action movement based in the UK (London) which is now known as Shift. History Pin was created in partnership with Google and is a tool looking at history with a timeline of photographs.

Still supported, it allows users to upload photographs, date them and then slide the timeline through history to see the changes over time. Whether you are interested in buildings, transport or “life” from a particular time, History Pin offers you a glimpse into the past.

It offered our students a great opportunity to do their own research and spend time with older members of their family, talking about the old photos in their family and making sure the stories they hear are kept for posterity. Some used it as a basis for family histories as they did the technical work and the older generations telling their stories/history.

Getting started 

To begin you will need to:

  • collect your own photos and it is recommended that they be outdoor shots.
  • know the location for each photo (the street rather than town or suburb)
  • scan your photos onto a computer

You can register by going to the homepage and clicking on the join button. You will need a Gmail address (you can get one from here) and once you have joined you use will use Google’s Picassa site for sharing photos.

2.  What Was there?

WhatwasThere

What Was There is a free online tool that makes use of Google Maps and the ability for people to upload old pictures of any location, add the date, and then pinpoint the location on a map and match it to the same view today. It provides a brief history of buildings that have long gone or still exist today. You can even look at a building or street via ‘street view’ and then it will overlay the old photograph on top, allowing you to fade the photo to reveal what it looks like today.

It is simple to adjust the view to match the view in the old photograph as it uses eye-level street view tools. When uploaded you can fade from one view to another so you can see the changes appear before your eyes.

This would be useful for pupils to see how streets around their home or school may have changed over time. They could contribute photographs or link from those elsewhere. It is being updated constantly with new photos.  There is also an iPhone app available as well.

 

Useful links

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

The more you read Dr Seuss-web
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Debbi Long 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Quote-Creativity is contagious, pass it on – Albert Einstein-web

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Color Oracle

Color OracleRecently one of our student support teachers did some testing on the students who struggle with the demands of the secondary school curriculum. She was testing how different colour filters affect the ease with which these can read. There was an amazingly high percentage of these boys who suddenly realised that they were not seeing text as others did.

It made me think about how many students (we are a boy’s school) might be colour blind, to varying degrees, and they may not be aware of this. Research has shown that many more males are prone to colour blindness, especially red-green. I have also seen some research that states that women, as a whole, can differentiate  between different shades of colours much better than men.

I like to use images and colour when I am presenting to classes. All sorts of information – be it graphical, maps, whatever – are in colour. How inclusive is this material? Are the colours I am using making it easier or more difficult for my students?

This led me to have a look at the tool Color Oracle, which is a color blindness simulator. It is a free,  runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems.

When it is installed and you run it, a small icon installs itself on the menu bar. To see your screen the way that a color blind person would, you simply click on the icon and select one of three types of color blindness. You can easily toggle your screen colors to simulate three color blind conditions, deuteranopia, protanopia and tritanopia. By  toggling between the various view modes, your screen is transformed to a new colour palette so you can evaluate how visible the colours you chosen are to everyone.  Once you have done this it is a simple to click on any key to return to normal mode.

Will this make it easier for many of the students at my school? I don’t know but it can only help me make sure that the resources I create offer anyone the best chance of  using them.

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