CTRL-ALT-DELiver 12 looks at the new Metro update and media center expansion of the XBox 360. For teachers and students, we look at one of my favorite ways to enhance Social Studies with This Day in History.
XBox and Microsoft are releasing a new update that puts the XBox into the running as a cable cutters dream. One box for video games, DVDs, and now for Internet TV viewing. They continue the easy to use Metro Interface that is running into all of their devices and will be in Windows 8. There is even voice control to pull up your shows, although you have to be in the particular hub, such as video or tv for it to work. You can even use Bing with voice control, although the results will not be as narrowed, giving you results that contain key words but not necessarily what you want.
I am a ROKU user, but we also have an XBox connected to the system. I am looking forward to finding out the offerings for channels and to watch as it grows. This past weekend we scrambled to find a place to watch Party at Tiffany’s on the Oprah Network because we don’t have cable. (My daughter is in the show). How nice it will be when you have access, ala carte, to just the cable channels that you want. XBox Update
My website for this week is actually going to be more of websites. As I plan for my week, one of my absolute favorite things to do is to prepare my morning work. (No- I do NOT have too much time on my hands..far from it.) The thing that I enjoy doing the most is a new thing to my routine this year. I do a “This Day In History” Section and include important things from our Social Studies curriculum, which covers from the Civil War to the Present. For example, today in History, Dec. 5.
- 1848 – California Gold Rush: In a message before the U.S. Congress, US President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.
- 1893 – 1st electric car (built in Toronto)
- could go 15 miles between charges
- 1932 – German physicist Albert Einstein granted a visa
- 1933 – Prohibition in the United States ends: Utah becomes the 36th U.S. state to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, thus establishing the required 75% of states needed to enact the amendment (this overturned the 18th Amendment which had made the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol illegal in the United States).
Having had a tremendous success last year with Math Spiral sheets that provide a constant review of content, I decided to try a new tactic with Social Studies, which is traditionally one of our weaker scoring areas in the US. Rather than only introducing Civil War facts during the first half of the year, when we are actually studying the Civil War, I have introduced them to dates and concepts from World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, as well. I feel that my kids have a pretty good concept of the timeline now, and we have also been able to make connections across history with things like human rights. Only time, and the end of the year tests, will tell, but I feel that it will have proven to be a great benefit to the kids. And so, as I search for the facts, I use several sites.
- I, of course, use The History Channel at This Day in History
- It is a great resource and has a great video overview that I will sometimes take the time to show the students.
- New to me, is History Orb at Orb Today . I go to the History Channel for a quick hit and a reference to mainly US events. With History Orb, I not only get a more global feel, but it also includes Literary and Theatrical information that is fun to follow.
- The New York Times Learning Network Page is something that I mainly use for for the reproduction of the days NYT front page, although there are a lot of teaching tips for using the page. NY Time On This Day
- There is also History NET that I like for its History Subject Locator at the bottom of the page.
- Since I often use Ask.com for searches (keeps it kid friendly at home), I also like their wiki on This Day in HistoryBeing a search engine wiki, references within the items of the day often have links that help to enhance the item for the students. (As always, check them out first before springing it on your kids.)
And so, spend a little time looking into our past and see how that can become a part of YOUR students’ futures.