Recently I have taken interest in integration the curriculum with Social Sciences so I started doing a websearch. Its amazing what treasures you come across when you do that. After looking through and bookmarking an enormous amount of sites including the Edublogs 2011 winner sites, I came across a social studies Ning site that had won one of the Edublogs awards.
After looking around the Ning I came across a family, the van Soyes, who will be taking a 400-day around-the-world journey to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students. They will be publishing emails, photos and video from 50 counties and 6 continents. Wow, they already have an enormous collection of amazing stuff from just preparing for their travels and they have documented it so well. I thought I would record some of it here as it gives great ideas for the classroom.
Embed PDFs into blogs or wikis
Here is a sample from where they plan to be in February. They have created their documents colourfully in a word processor it seems, and have then converted them to PDFs. They then embedded them into their website.
Actually it looks as though they have been very busy with their planning as they have already done all their research and documented it ready for when they actually get there.
This gives me the idea of getting the learners to study a country using a programme like Microsoft Word to record the details details. They then turn it into a PDF and place it on a blog or wiki.
Make use of podcasts
The van Soyes have a beautiful website for recording their travels with podcasts, webcasts etc. This will be a good website to keep in mind. They would also like to visit schools along the way. I have just checked and they won’t be visiting South Africa unfortunately or we could have arranged for them to visit a school or two!
This gives me the idea that using audio podcasts and getting the learners to make short videos about various aspects of a trip can add great interest to classroom work.
Make use of webcasts
I see on their website that they made a webcast giving background to their intended journey. You can view it here:
This gives me the idea of using a programme such as Spreecast for webcasts, (http://www.spreecast.com) I have just taken a look at it, and it is a social video platform that allows people to broadcast together. It says:
Up to 4 people on camera at once.
*Unlimited number of people can view (can also be private).
*Recorded live and immediately available for playback.
*Viewers: Chat, ask questions, join in on camera!
*Creators: You control who goes on camera and when.
Well, this is a project I for one will take a great interest in next year. Why not join me?