IWitness: Holocaust Archive for students and educators

Many of the students in my school are fascinated by military history. It is not just the weaponry or the battle descriptions but they love to research the idea of strategies, the personal stories, the heroism and the villany. The ethics of warfare is also a topic debated by the boys. Themes are covered in the history classes and in English, when in Year 10 they read “All quiet on the Western Front”. Novels set in times of war are perennially  popular and in RE the boys undertake studies on morality and ethical decision-making.

Always looking for resources to assist in our students’ education I was very interested to look through the IWitness site which I found from the AASL’s Best websites for Teaching and Learning. This is a good list if you are looking for useful sites/tools to use in schools

IWitness is a testimony archive that allows students and their teachers/educators more than 1,000 video testimonies to view, search and learn from.

The video clips offer very rich and comprehensive accounts told by Holocaust survivors. The videos allow the survivors talk use “their own voice” to describe a number of Holocaust topics. You can search for videos on 52 topics including: Anti-Jewish laws, Antisemitism, Auschwitz, Choice/dilemma, Courage, Daily life (wartime), Fear, Hitler Youth, Justice, Kristallnacht, Prewar life, Postwar Life, Reflections on the Holocaust, Stereotypes, War Crimes Trials to name just some. Click on the topics listed and you get a description and thumbnails.

Open up a video and you can listen to the subject recount their experience. Each of the videos has information about the person talking and, below the video, a list of related links. Each of the clips are usually about one-minute long and are part of much longer testimonies given by the subjects.

You can search a topic or concept, for example Bergen-Belsen. This search brought up a lot of hits and had various options for me to filter or refine my search.

At the moment IWitness is still in Beta form so if you want to go further in this part of the site you have to be able to login. Educators can apply to gain access to the fuller version of the site.

There are additional links to information via the resources page and a useful FAQ page.

The testimonies available on IWitness are part of around 52,000 testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses archived on a website that is maintained by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute, which was established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg.

I like that the voices of survivors will be able to be heard into the future. I believe it is important that our students will be able to hear real-life stories of people from many countries, both the survivors of and witnesses to, the Holocaust. Students need to be able to understand how many different ways, large and small,  people were impacted by this major 20th century occurrence. Personal stories help our students better comprehend the impact on both the individual and society.

Useful links (Weekly)

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

Useful Links (Weekly)

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

Useful links

Ken Robinson on creativity by ecastro, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  ecastro 

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

Useful sites (weekly)

  • 10 Technology Enhanced Alternatives to Book Reports – TheApple.com The post offers alternatives to the more traditional book reports. “Writing book reports are often dreaded by students after reading a book. They can kill a book or kill a love of reading. Alternative include: creating a cartoon, creating a short video clip about the book, or advertising the book in their own way.

  • Article on 7 Jun 2011 by John Hattie (Director of the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education) He was formerly a Professor of Education at Auckland University where he produced the high influential book ‘visible learning’ “Finally we need to consider alternative ways of teacher education. The current teacher training model is bankrupt and a disruptive model is needed to show a better way. Maybe it is the Melbourne MTeach model, but whatever the new model there is a need for more exciting and effective ways to educate teachers across their teaching life. After school sessions, warm tea, and cold seats are a poor basis for learning. Perhaps those claiming to be involved are funded only if they can show, with the teachers, that they have demonstrable gains on the students’ learning from the professional development provided. John Hattie is the Director of the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education he was formerly a Professor of Education at Auckland University where he produced the high influential book ‘visible learning’.

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

Useful sites (weekly)

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

Book covers – a history

I recently found the Cover Archive by Alexander S. Budnitz.

I am always fascinated by the covers chosen for books and how why they change with new reprints and editions. The styles over the years also changed with the societal changes. There are some lovely early covers and some of the 1960’s and 70’s covers now appear to be just plain awful/garish to me.

This is a great site that displays the changing styles in book covers from the early 1920’s up to the present day, and it shows not only how they developed but also how many of those from a particular period were so similar in style.

This archive is about graphic design. I’ve attempted to label each cover with a date and, where possible, a designer (or design firm). The designs are the publisher’s property, and are here as an educational tool and as things to be enjoyed.

There were many covers were not familiar to me, even into later ones but that is to be expected because these were covers for the US editions and until recently we had little access to them as our editions were from the “Commonwealth” publishers. It is well worth having a look at the site that is constantly being updated.

Use the drop-down navigation above to browse covers by year, by select designers, and by other more ‘synthetic’ categories. Only the ‘Time Flies’ chronological section is fully updated. There are well over 1,000 covers in the archive. I keep adding to the collection, but can only ever represent a fraction of what’s out there.

Using the drop down list, the covers from 1900-1949:


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