Saturday, January 29, 2011

Qwiki - An Amazing Classroom Ready Resource

What is a Qwiki?

A Qwiki is hard to explain, you'll just have to see it for yourself.
It's an amazing amount of information, communicated in a concise and entertaining way.

According to the Qwiki founders a Qwiki is information turned into an experience that you can watch...
It's a marriage of Art and Science...

It's a platform you'll love to use in your classroom.  You can have your students type in any content...and learn in a fun way.  Perhaps you can give them a broad topic, say... the Silk Road, and from there they can explore for themselves anything having to do with the Silk Road.

With each experience you can click on a picture to learn more, or wait for related Qwikis to hatch after viewing the Qwiki.  For example, the Han Dynasty, Cities along the Silk Road or Roman Chinese relations.  The possibilities are endless.

Try it out, you'll be impressed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Byzantine Podcasts: Lars Brownworth's Lost to the West

In doing some De facto research on the Byzantine Empire I found an excellent series of podcasts from author Lars Brownworth.  The site was set up as a means to promote his book Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

Besides making his lectures accessible in this way, Brownworth makes them palatable and entertaining for the layman.  My wife thinks I'm cute for listening to history lectures while doing the dishes, but hey, I'm a world history teacher.  It's my job, but I love it.  My point is that with a little knowledge of Roman history, even mechanics and marketing execs would benefit from his lectures.   

I've already listened to two of them...  The introduction is a great as a follow up to the Roman Empire and an introduces the Byzantine Empire from a straightforward approach. 

Tonight I listened to Diocletian.  Again, Brownworth's tone and cadence are pleasing.  It sounds like he's talking to you, instead of lecturing at you.  A conversational style, if you will.  His theory on Diocletian and why's he's responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire is interesting.  Can't wait to listen to more...

If you've the time, Brown explains things in such a way that it's palatable to most.
Enjoy the link.

Brownworth introduces his book with a short video on Amazon, which you can see here: