This collection of fantastic old images was shared with me by my father-in-law, and is too good not to share onwards. Sadly, I could not find a web-based version of the list, so I have decided to host them here. Enjoy, a visual feast of 20th century history.
Credits: Most of these images are old enough to be out of copyright and so are free to use. For the newer ones, I am sharing them under assumed fair use for educational purposes. The text has been copied from the original email. If you feel this post infringes your copyright, please let me know.
A boxing match on board the USS Oregon in 1897.
Construction of the Statue of Liberty in 1884.
The construction of Disneyland .
The Beatles meet Muhammad Ali.
Leo Tolstoy tells a story to his grandchildren in 1909.
Steamboats on the Mississippi River in 1907.
Construction of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
New York ‘s Times Square in 1911.
Child laborers in 1880.
The first photo following the discovery of Machu Pichu in 1912.
Elvis in the Army.
Bill and Hillary Rodem Clinton playing volleyball in 1975.
The 1912 World Series.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand with his wife on the day they were assassinated in 1914, an event that helped spark World War I.
The Beatles in 1957
Fidel Castro lays a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.
The first McDonalds.
Disneyland employee cafeteria in 1961.
British SAS back from a three month long patrol of North Africa , January 18, 1943.
Hitler in Paris .
The original Ronald McDonald — played by Willard Scott!
A Japanese plane is shot down during the Battle of Saipan in 1944.
Winston Churchill out for a swim.
The Great San Francisco Fire and Earthquake of 1906.
A Native American overlooking the newly completed transcontinental railroad in 1868.
Nagasaki , 20 minutes after the atomic bombing in 1945.
Martin Luther King, Jr removes a burned cross from his yard in 1960. The boy is his son.
The London sky following a bombing and dogfight between British and German planes in 1940
A different angle taken of “Tank Man,” the man who stood against a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square .
The last known Tasmanian Tiger photographed in 1933. The species is now extinct.
The Microsoft staff in 1978. (Bill Gates lower left, Paul Allen lower right)
A shell shocked reindeer looks on as World War II planes drop bombs on Russia in 1941
Remix is one of my favourite contemporary art forms, and something that all of my students study. What could be better than making something new out of someone elses media creations? If you get into remix enough, you even find yourself starting to agree with Kirby Ferguson’s assertion that Everything Is A Remix.
Today I was updating my remix playlist, which I show students at the start of year. I thought I would share some of my favourites. Please feel free to add suggestions in the comments section:
Earlier this year I asked my Year 8 students to record a 2 minute warning to their parents, aiming to highlight risks which they might face online. This piece of work followed several smaller tasks (such as Me vs Me), and lots of discussions, regarding digital citizenship, what being online means and how we can stay safe. Of all the excellent pieces submitted, I was most taken by work of Chloe, who I believed manage to convey a lot of meaning in an easy to understand message:
Chloe runs a nice blog where she posts some of her other work, if you are interested in taking a look.
The older I get the more interested I seem to become in the history of the place where I grew up: Hong Kong. Having read a few books on the subject (Hong Kong, History of Hong Kong, Diamond Hill and Gweilo), I am always delighted to find video footage to put images to text. Despite not being born until 1980, I feel a strange affinity for images and footage from the 1950s and before. Recently, my father-in-law (a Hong Konger from way back) shared the presentation below with me, and I thought it was worth sharing:
Whilst searching for an embeddable version of this file online, I also found the videos below, which are very interesting. Sadly, the two best videos, could not be embedded, but you can watch them here and here.
Last night I was lucky enough to play host to the very knowledgeable and laid back Alan Levine (aka @cogdog on Twitter) as he presented to a group of 50 educators. With teachers from 12 schools from around Hong Kong, and a few intrepid students, we had a small, intimate group, an excellent speaker and a fantastic location (the Assembly Hall at LPCUWC). Over the course of 2 hours Alan presented a wide range of ideas, which were eagerly noted down for later application in the classroom. The list below is a summary of some of the ideas I picked out, and my take on them, but it is by no means exhaustive or authoritative.
True Stories of Internet Openness
For the first half of the show Alan focused on the theme of Internet openness, but from a social/content point of view, rather than the more traditional hardware/protocols angle. Through the use of a range of resources, anecdotes and ideas, he weaved a compelling prompt to share what we do online.
The Internet Is So Big- even bigger than the Grand Canyon (which has been Google Maps Streetviewed, as one example of just how big the Internet is). It is so big we simply cannot comprehend it, or in some ways, even understand how just big it is.
You Can Get Lost – there is so much data and so much detail (often in one place, such as in this 320 giga pixel panorama of London), that it is incredibly easy to lose yourself. But we often also find the unexpected, because we simply don’t know what is out there.
All Because People Share – and because there is such a variety of people on the web, you get a huge variety of sharing. Take for example Into The Continuum, a website which shares crazy Mathematica formulas for creating art.
Massively Collaborative – mix this sharing with some imagination and you get some crazy, massive online collaborations, from which emerge ways of interacting never before possible or conceivable. Take for example The Johnny Cash Project or In B Flat.
And The Tools Are Evolving – with new standards, such as HTML 5, we can create ever more interesting things on the web. A great example is Snow Fall, an interactive story from the NY Times. Another great (self-referencing) example of this is Evolution of the Web, which uses a very innovative interface to help explore the progression of web technology, using some of the latest HTML 5 and CSS 3 techniques.
But Think Of The Children! – and yet, with all this positive potential, we too often focus on the negatives of our new found connectivity. How about spending more time looking at the amazing new ways we have to inspire each, such as 25 Days To Make A Difference.
It Has Become Our Lives – and whether you like this connectedness or not, it is inescapable. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web (not to be confused with the Internet) hoped that it would become not only an information share, but also “a realistic mirror of the ways in which we work and play and socialize”. And he was right.
The way we worked before the Web doesn’t exist any more, especially in creative fields. Do we fight it, or accept and adapt? #cogdoghk13
CogDog Responds – one of Alan’s reactions to all of this, is to share what he calls True Stories of Internet Openness: these are video-based personal anecdotes of amazing things that have happened to people who have opened up and shared online. And the message, if it needs to be stated again is this: share, share and share some more, you never know what amazing things might happen. True to this message, Alan even found some time to record some true stories from the audience during his talk.
Launching into the second half, Alan stepped up a gear as he moved into what I guess is his main passion: digital storytelling.
Getting Started – for those new to digital storytelling, Alan recommended reading The New Digital Storytelling by Bryan Alexander, and in doing so made some links back to the age-old oral tradition of storytelling.
Improv -moving deeper into storytelling Alan made a connection to the art of improv as a way to get creativity started, and to help people lower their inhibitions. He showed us one of his own tools, PechaFlickr, which facilitates improv based on random images based on a keyword. We played a couple of rounds of this (well done to Charlotte, Katrina and Alex), and it really energised the room. Alan did mention that the “Pecha” part of the name comes from Pecha Kucha, which is another really interesting line of investigation (for another day). Another one of Alan’s interesting Flickr API creations is 5 Card Flickr, which is another way to build a narrative, but a little more structured than PechaFlickr.
Narrative – really firing on all cylinders by now, we moved onto narrative structure, and how we can tell compelling stories. How do we hook people, so they are interested. The following videos were all viewed and discussed in this light:
Just Like The Pros – in approaching our own digital storytelling, it is useful to consider some of the models and approaches used by the professionals. One such model is the BBC’s 5 Shot Method, another is the Three Act Structure. These can help us to engage the audience, using formulas which work, and which are familiar. A member of the audience (a Media teacher from RCHK, whose name I do not know) mentioned the following fantastic video, which plays on such models, showing just how familiar we are with them:
Teaching & Learning – having convinced us of the importance of narrative, and shown us what it looks like, Alan introduced Dan Meyer’s Three-Act Maths (each of the items in this spreadsheet links to a page with more detail), which is a way of using movie narrative to get students engaged in solving math problems. Another example, MinutePhysics, gave another example using narrative in teaching and learning.
Simplicity – wrapping up a 2-hour mind explosion, Alan closed with a disarmingly simple thought on narrative, storytelling and hooking your audience: “Arouse and fulfill“. Whether you are teaching school kids, selling a product or just telling a story: first arouse the interest of your audience, and then fulfill it. Easy!
After saying various goodbyes, I was fortunate enough to snag Alan for dinner and drinks, which we had in a small restaurant in the village in which I live. It has taken almost a full 24 hours for most of the buzz to wear away, during which I have tried to record as much as I can. My own personal and professional thanks go to Alan for a fantastic time, sentiments which I am sure will be echoed by other participants.
Credits: cogdog image by Alan Levine, shared under CC BY SA (just a guess on the license, but sure it is right ; ). Thanks to Nick Cotton, Kalpana and LPCUWC for their help in hosting the event.
Paradoxes are a great way to get student thinking and talking about thinking. The initial state of confusion, followed by the illusive, enigmatic feeling of understanding is somehow enticing and enjoyable. I spent a little pastoral time discussing the following paradoxes with a group of Year 8 students, and the result was a palpable buzz in the classroom.
They are all taken from the excellent list of paradoxes on Wikipedia, and ordered (roughly) in ascending order of confusion generation:
Socratic paradox: “I know that I know nothing at all.”
Liar paradox: “This sentence is false.” This is the canonical self-referential paradox. Also “Is the answer to this question no?” And “I’m lying.”
Ship of Theseus (a.k.a. George Washington’s axe or Grandfather’s old axe): It seems like you can replace any component of a ship, and it is still the same ship. So you can replace them all, one at a time, and it is still the same ship. However, you can then take all the original pieces, and assemble them into a ship. That, too, is the same ship you began with.
Sorites paradox (also known as the paradox of the heap): One grain of sand is not a heap. If you don’t have a heap, then adding only one grain of sand won’t give you a heap. Then no number of grains of sand will make a heap.
Crocodile dilemma: If a crocodile steals a child and promises its return if the father can correctly guess what the crocodile will do, how should the crocodile respond in the case that the father correctly guesses that the child will not be returned?
Barber paradox: A barber (who is a man) shaves all and only those men who do not shave themselves. Does he shave himself? (Russell’s popularization of his set theoretic paradox.)
Backchanneling is an idea that has been around for a while, and is something that I have encountered at various education conferences. Despite the technical-sounding name, a backchannel is simply a real-time conversation, happening online in parallel with some kind of face-to-face communication. For example, a keynote speaker might advertise a Twitter hashtag for their session: as they are talking, participants conduct a conversation using tweets, which are grouped together using the hashtag.
So, what’s the point? Is it just more needless technology, or is there something to be gained? What a backchannel provides is a way for your audience to make extra meaning based on what you are saying. For example, they may require clarification or extension on a particular point, or they may wish to contend an assertion or add a meaningful anecdote. This added dialogue is available to everyone with access to the backchannel, and can be responded to in order to help out or further the discussion. A savvy presenter will keep an eye on the backchannel, and deviate from their plan according to what the audience is saying.
Of course, a backchannel can be a distraction, or might even be used to subvert a presentation (a good presenter should welcome this, I guess). One danger in the classroom is that inexperienced or immature students might get carried away with excessive off-topic chat, with all the LOLs and OMGs that that entails.
On Friday my school is hosting the Global Issues Competition 2013, an event for students in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. Our aim is to encourage a backchannel with the aim of helping the students learn and make new connections. Originally we were going to use Twitter, but have now settled on a less public platform called TodaysMeet. Another good option is Backchannel Chat, which is specfically designed for education, and has some cool features, such as liking posts.
There is plenty of speculation that technology is making us less intelligent. Certainly, in the classroom, I am seeing evidence that it is hindering the development of social skills, especially in boys. As per usual, it seems like Einstein knew exactly where we were headed:
Note: image of unknown origin, not covered under this site’s Creative Commons license.
Personally I really like asking students to observe two artifacts or phenomena, and ask them to compare and contrast what they have encountered. I have found that students usually come up with excellent observations, and that these can be used to prompt further discussion and to encourage deeper, more critical thinking. This is especially true when the observations are visual in nature, such as a videos, physical artifacts and real-life events. I recently did this with my Year 8 pastoral group, using 15 minutes to watch and discuss the following two videos:
I find these two videos fascinating on their own, but together they let the students cogitate on and discuss some of the following ideas:
Times have changed – look at the advancement in materials, tools, techniques, and compare the resulting products: what a different 70 years can make. It seems white work overalls are here to stay though.
Media has changed – the way we tell stories has become more sophisticated and much more subtle. Less use of voice, and more use of imagery, implying a more sophisticated/educated audience capable of making their own deductions.
Technology obsessions – the two videos show how much technology amazes us, and how we marvel at pushing boundaries and creating new things. Both focus on technologically-empowered people (“wizards”) at work, as these are people that are held in high esteem.
The cutting edge – what seems advanced and sophisticated at one point in time (e.g. the planes and music in the first video) soon becomes outdated and comical to some degree. The same will happen to the second video over time, even if that seems unlikely to contemporary viewers.
Non-metal – both videos celebrate the use of non-metal materials, which flies in the face of what we see every day in terms of how most cars, planes, trains and boats and constructed.
Purpose – media is made for different purposes: in the first case it is as propaganda to boost moral and promote unity, in the second it is to further brand image and as artistic/creative expression.
There are a myriad other ways to look at these two clips, but this article is limited to a narrow point of view: can any readers suggest alternative perspectives or ideas?
Friday mornings are a great time to try new things in form time: students are ready for a change, and it helps get a slow day off to a better start. This morning I was thinking about giving a quiz to get things going, but struggled to find something that students could relate to, and which might be within their general knowledge. What I did find, though, was a collection of 10000 General Knowledge Questions And Answers from http://www.cartiaz.ro. Looking down the list, there are a lot of questions that are far from contemporary, but which are really interesting nonetheless.
I decided to run a quick quiz, with the students split into two teams. I borrowed another teacher and his class (thanks Ben), to make sure the room was full of kids. To make it really interesting, students could use their laptops to search for answers online. The test, then, would be not who knew most, but who could search best. To answer, students just had to shout out the answer (it took them a while to get used to this, with many raising hands and waiting patiently). In the end we played for 15 minutes, and one team came out a few points ahead. The atmosphere in the room was pretty good, which most of the students getting into it and trying their best. Leaving the room, students seemed energised and ready to get on with the day.
Note: thumbnail courtesy of Tantek on Flickr, shared under Creative Commons BY-NC