With the availability of additional web 2.0 tools I've finally figured out a way to make a site like this useful in a more direct instructional way . This in keeping with my concerns about gaps in social studies knowledge, especially local geography. I make reference to that in the "original" text segment below. Many of the posts now have questions that can be answered by exploring the panoramas and google maps provided. By using my "home made" google maps that are linked to the posts one has plenty of historical content to make use of. (Note: It's best to use the full size version of those maps) My Lower East Side Map Battle Of Brooklyn Map Harlem History Map Panoramas also provide stimulating visual clues through the use of depths of field that stills and movies can't provide. Also unlike movies there isn't the distraction of sound. Students also have the ability, using the zoom and pan and hot spot tools, to manipulate the movie for their own use. They are already familiar with these skills from playing video games. All in all there's a lot of "bang for the buck," especially in terms of school computer constraints of file size and memory. It is also relatively easy and inexpensive to teach students how to create their own panoramic movies. In order to do digital movies with students you have to rely often on one dedicated digital movie camera and one station to download and edit the movie. Without an up to date computer hard disk space and memory become key issues as well as the lag time it takes to render. Students can be directed to write their own stories using the panoramas. It could be narrative in terms of "what's going on here," or more imaginative in terms of what do you think may happen next to the characters or objects in the scene, or how did this scene look like in the past.? There are virtually endless possibilities and all of them linked to environments that students may already have knowledge of as well as environments that you may want them to explore in a more creative ad more motivating way.
A Quote From The Original Give Us Each Day...
It's url is here: In March of 2006 I started reacquainting myself with QuickTime VR movies. I remembered how relatively easy they were to make and how their file size was relatively small. Susan Abdulezer, distinguished Apple Educator, media developer for District 75 (NYCDOE) and QuickTime guru, taught the CSD1 tech staff the basics of the program about 6-7 years ago. At that time we used QuickTime VR 2.0. This time in OSX I experimented with VR Worx. Panoramic movies are used extensively in real estate and tourist sites. I often felt it's potential has gone untapped for social studies education. By linking one panorama to another, using hot spots, you can explore a given scene's both indoor and outdoor environments. You can also connect two or more outdoor environments with a kind of leap frog effect to help explore larger geographic areas. I've found in my years as a NYC public school teacher that many kids' knowledge of the city only extends to the 10 square block area of their neighborhoods. Perhaps the creation of libraries of city-wide quicktime vr movies can provide some help in broadening their horizons. Certainly the kids can be taught the basics of the program as well and they could be turned loose to create their own portfolios. All you need is a digital camera and a tripod. Freeware and shareware VR programs are readily available. There is also a vast potential for literacy education as such movies can inspire students to write about the neighborhood scenes that they create and explore. Liz Sevcenko, from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, many years ago had introduced the term "Mapping Memories" to a group of CSD1 teachers with pencil and paper and Tom Beller from his excellent site "Mr. Beller's Neighborhood" has employed such a technique digitally with a NYC base map. I felt that these movies that I was creating needed a home of their own, rather than being thrown into the chaotic mix of my blog, pseudo-intellectualism. Synchronicitiously came along another great Google For Educators innovation called Google Pages, which allowed me to do this as well as link to such helpful tools and widgets such as Google Maps and YouTube. It also allowed me to place an mp3 player below the image above for a musical dedication to my parents Sol and Eva Bellel and to my Uncle Hyman Genee
One of the many things I learned in reading Striver's Row was the pressure to end some of the humiliations of segregation while Black America's was enlisted to defeat fascism abroad. I was aware of the struggles of the Tuskegee Airmen, but that was tame compared to some of the actual incidents of race wars in southern bootcamps. Above is a picture taken in 1942 on 119th Street. I found at the inmotionaame site Here is a link to a larger image of that site with more background information