Monday, July 09, 2007

Podcast #107 - Constitution Workshop Day 1 - Touring the Old City, Constitution Center and City Tavern

Hello. We started our NEH Landmark Workshop today in Philadelphia - "A Revolution in Government" with the National Constitution Center. Today we met the other participants - 40 teachers from all over the United States. We did a quick tour of the Constitution Center, a mini tour of Old City in downtown Philadelphia, a lecture from John Murrin of Princeton University and a presentation on creating classroom ready lesson plans by Eli Lesser, Director of Teacher Education for the National Constitution Center. The entire staff from the Constitution Center that we will be working with this week in fantastic - Eli Lesser, Laura Keenan and Patrick Spero.

Tonight a group of us went to City Tavern - a historic eating establishment here in Philadelphia that sits on the exact location of the tavern where the Founding Fathers went to eat and drink after a hard day of debating and creating our Constitution. It was good food and even greater conversation about teaching history. It was a very full first day of the workshop and I think this group has a great energy that should make it a super week.

If you have any comments please leave a comment on the blog or email me at Also, don't forget you have until July 31, 2007 to e-mail me your name and city to be eligible to win a copy of Manhunt or Guerrilla Season - check out episode #100 for more details.

Podcast #107 Show Notes :

Podcast #106 - Valley Forge, Washington's Crossing and an Interview with George Washington

Hello. Today was a free day in Philadelphia before the Constitution Center workshop begins on Monday. When I teach the American Revolution to my 8th graders I have always wondered what Valley Forge and the location of Washington's Crossing would look like in person. Today I was able to see both sites. Pat Hughes, the author of Guerrilla Season and a resident of Philadelphia, was nice enough to share the day with me and offered to drive - a huge relief to me who would have been lost about a dozen times on the way there had I driven!

We wanted to see both locations so we didn't see everything at both locations, rather we saw the things we really wanted to see at each in a very busy day. The rest I'll see on my next trip to the Philadelphia area. Valley Forge was great and I have interviews with a couple of soldiers in the encampment. Then at Washington's headquarters I was blown away by the amazing living history portrayal of George Washington. This guy was awesome in appearance, voice, mannerisms, etc. - check out the photo. I did an interview with him and I swear I was visiting with ol' George himself! I also interviewed a slave that prepared the meals for George Washington and his staff at the headquarters. We finished up the day with a trip to Washington's Crossing State Park, including a tour of McConkey's Ferry Inn where Washington made the final plans for the crossing and attack on Trenton.

A very full but exciting day. I look forward to returning some day with my family and taking time to soak in the entire site. The podcast is a little longer this time - a little over 50 minutes - but I think there is some great on site audio.

If you have any comments please leave a comment on the blog or email me at Also, don't forget you have until July 31, 2007 to e-mail me your name and city to be eligible to win a copy of Manhunt or Guerrilla Season - check out episode #100 for more details.

Podcast #106 Show Notes:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Podcast #105 - Walking Pickett's Charge at Sunrise in Gettysburg

Hello. Saturday was our last day at the Gilder Lehrman Institute on Lincoln located on the campus of Gettysburg College. Basically all we had to do on Saturday is eat breakfast and check out of the dorm rooms that had been our home for the past week. Earlier in the week Terry had mentioned that he wanted to get up early one morning and walk the location of Pickett’s Charge on the Gettysburg Battlefield – this was our last chance. Four of us – Terry, Chris, Steve and I – rustled ourselves out of bed early to reach the start of Pickett’s Charge at 6:00 AM. On the way to the battlefield Steve read the famous passage from Faulkner and it set the perfect mood.
The sun was just starting the rise of the eastern horizon as we looked out over the open plain before us. It was perfect. The sun was poking through the top of the trees, a light and misty fog hung close to the ground. The only sound to break the pristine morning was that of songbirds in the trees, and that was a welcome interruption. Chris noted that if you listened carefully you could hear the morning drums of a nearby reenactment camp preparing for the large activity later in the later outside of Gettysburg. It was the kind of moment that you knew you would carry with you for a long time. After taking some pictures we set out to walk up the field before us just as the confederates had on that afternoon 144 years ago. We talked about what it must have been like on that hot afternoon and the placement of regiments and cannons.
It’s almost as if there were no winners or losers here. The sacrifice for both sides was heavy and yet the outcome helped forge a nation dedicated to democracy we all benefit from today. It was a spiritual morning, my farewell to Gettysburg.

You can comment to this podcast by posting a comment to this blog or by e-mailing me directly at

Direct link to Podcast #105 – Gettysburg Day 5 – Walking Pickett’s Charge at Dawn – MP3 Format – 7:41 minutes

You can subscribe directly to the Speaking of History podcast on i-Tunes here

Podcast #105 Show Notes:

Friday, July 06, 2007

Podcast #104 - Gettysburg Day 3 and 4 - Evergreen and Gettysburg Cemetery

Hello. Our work at the Lincoln institute on the campus continued on Wednesday and Thursday with some more excellent lectures and a field trip to the Evergreen Cemetery and Gettysburg Cemetery. The Evergreen Cemetery was already established at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. We toured the cemetery and the Gatehouse - a famous historical landmark featured in many early photographs taken after the battle, including the few pictures remaining from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Listen to podcast for details of our tour of these Gettysburg cemeteries.

If you would like to comment on this post, or the podcast in general, please leave a comment on this post or e-mail me at

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Podcast #103 - Gettysburg Day 2 - A Trip to Washington DC and Eating Period Food

Hello. Day 2 at the Gilder Lehrman Institute on Lincoln was a field trip to Washington DC. We loaded up the bus with the 30 or so teachers participating in the workshop and headed off to visit a few specific Lincoln sites in the nation’s capital. Sites included the White House, the Soldiers Home and Lincoln Memorial. The Soldiers Home was basically Lincoln’s summer White House and I plan to do a future podcast on this site, which will open to the public in February of 2008.

I also ate an authentic Civil War era dinner at the Historic Farnsworth Inn in Gettysburg, picked up a few items to bring back to the classroom and walked through the cemetery at sunset. It was a full day to say the least. We also saw President Bush – sort of – and his entourage. Listen to the podcast for more details.

Direct link to Podcast #103 – Gettysburg Day Two – A Trip to Washington DC and Eating Period Food – MP3 Format – 15:17 minutes

You are welcome to leave a comment on the blog in the form of a comment or e-mail me at You can also register to win a book in the Listener Appreciation Give Away – see episode #100.

Podcast #103 Show Notes:

Podcast #102 - Celebrating the 4th and Remembering My Grandpa - Henry C Langhorst

Hello. Today’s podcast is a special July 4th podcast recorded at Gettysburg College as I attend the Gilder-Lehrman Institute on Lincoln. I took a little time off from the workshop to share a special memory that I have of the 4th of July. The podcast today is a story about my grandfather – Henry C Langhorst – as a German immigrant on July 4, 1923. I do think of fireworks and picnics on the 4th but my dad told me this story about grandpa when I was small and to this day it is the thing I think about when the July 4th comes study American History this July 4th in a place that was so critical to creating the America that he risked everything to live so many years ago.

Podcast #101 - Gettysburg Day 1 - Battlefield Tour

Hello. Today's podcast is about an incredible opportunity I had while here in Gettysburg at the Gilder Lerhman American History Institute on Lincoln. We listened to some amazing lectures on Lincoln and then in the afternoon had some time to visit the Gettysburg Battlefield site. It was extra special because Monday was the 144th anniversary of the battle. The day was beautiful - mid 70s with a blue sky and slight breeze. We sat on Little Roundtop at the exact time of day that the Union took the position. It was a spirtual experience. I discuss the day in this podcast. I have also included some of the pictures I took on the battlefield.

Podcast #101 Show Notes:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Apply for the 2007 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum

Hello. Just a reminder - you have until July 11, 2007 to apply for the 2007 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum - held in Redmond, Washington on September 27-28, 2007. I have been selected to attend this forum the past two years and it is a great collection of teachers sharing ideas on education and technology. Unfortunately I will not be able to apply this year due to some other planned events in the family.
Last year we had some great speakers and the group project I worked on visited the Pike Market and learned about how it runs as a community for our project. Discover more about the forum and check out the application here. Good luck.

Podcast #100 - Listener Appreciation Book Give Away

Hello. Today is a very special podcast for me - #100! I would have never imagined almost exactly two years in 2005 when I started this podcast that I would one day have 100 episodes. This is a a very short podcast but from a very historic site - Gettysburg. I am in Gettysburg for the week attending a Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History this week and taking an in depth look at Lincoln and Race. I will have more on what will be a very exciting and full week in Gettysburg but today I just wanted to say thank you to all that listen to this podcast. The topics vary greatly from show to show and often there is little reason to the topic selected other than it somehow relates to education, technology or history. Thanks for all the e-mails - I try to answer them all and am still working through a few. This podcast has been a sort of audio journal for me over the past couple of years and I thank you for going along with me.

As a small, very small, token of my appreciation I will be giving away two great books to listeners of the Speaking of History podcast - Manhunt - The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson and an author autographed copy of Guerrilla Season by Pat Hughes. Manhunt is a favorite of mine and of course Guerrilla Season is the basis for our book blog project and I'll actually be visiting Pat next week when I'm in Philadelphia for a Constitution Center workshop.

To enter the drawing all you need to do is send me an e-mail at and include your name and city. I will accept all names and cities until August 1, 2007. On August 1st I will place each name on an index card, lay them all out on my living room floor and have my 3 year old daughter select two cards as the winners. I will then announce and contact the winners to obtain their mailing address so that I can send them their book. I have no idea how many people will send in their name but hey, if there aren't many names you have a great shot at winning a great book for free.

Thanks again for listening to the podcast. I have a ton of fun doing it and I look forward to continuing the produce it. I hope to have some great episodes over the next two weeks from Gettysburg and Philadelphia.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Podcast #99 - 2007 Atlanta NECC Interview with Kelly Haun of Electronic Field Trips from Ball State

Hello. Today I have an interview with Kelly Haun - Registration Coordinator for the Electronic Field Trip Program. Ball State University has an incredible opportunity for teachers to take their students on exciting and engaging field trips from the comfort of their own classroom. This program has had some great trips in the past and this year they return with four more opportunities.

October 16, 2007 - Tails from the Tetons - Witness the Return of the Great Predators: The Wolf and the Grizzly - Grades 3-8

December 4, 2007 - The 9 Who Made A Difference - Commemorating Courage Against Segregation - Grades 7-12

February 26, 2008 - A Whale Story - A South Seas Adventure - Grades 3-8

April 1, 2008 - Field of Colors - Flying Objects on the National Mall - Grades K-5

Listen to the podcast interview and then check out the web site for more information. There are a number of opportunities to take your students on the field trip for free with a Best Buy scholarship. These field trips have won numerous awards and teachers around the country have raved about them. You can also purchase a DVD of electronic field trips from previous years to use in your classroom.

If you have any comments or questions please leave a comment on the blog or send me an e-mail at

Podcast #99 Show Notes:

Friday, June 29, 2007

Podcast #98 - 2007 Atlanta NECC Interview with Teacher Tube Co-Founder Jason Smith

Hello. In Atlanta at NECC on the exhibit floor I was able to visit and chat with one of the co-founders of Teacher Tube - Jason Smith. We had a great conversation about the current state of Teacher Tube and what might happen in the future. I have been a big fan of Teacher Tube since they launched this past spring and have several videos currently hosted on their site. I think it is an incredible opportunity for teachers to post content, free of charge and reach a global audience. It is also very easy to embed the video you have posted to Teacher Tube on your blog or web page. I think it's a great service available to teachers and I think there will be some great things to come in the future. Enjoy this quick interview with Jason Smith and thanks to the people at Teacher Tube for providing this service to teachers.

If you have any comments or questions please leave a comment on the blog or send me an e-mail at

Podcast #98 Show Notes:

Podcast #97 - 2007 Atlanta NECC Poster Session - Using Web 2.0 Tools in the Social Studies Classroom

Hello. Today's podcast is a personal reflection on the poster session I presented at NECC 2007 last week in Atlanta - "Using Web 2.0 Tools in the Social Studies Classroom" .I had a great time meeting and discussing educational technology with all the fine people who stopped by and really enjoyed meeting some listeners of the podcast. I have created a page for the poster session with some links to articles that further describe how we use web 2.0 tools in my classroom. Thanks to all the people who visited my poster session and I hope to continue the conversation with many of you from around the country.

If you have any comments or questions about this episode or the podcast in general please feel free to leave a comment to this blog post or e-mail me at I would enjoy hearing from you.

Show Notes for Podcast #97:

n07s366, necc2007, necc07

Podcast #96 - 2007 Atlanta NECC Overview - A Peach of a Conference

Hello. Well, I have returned home from Atlanta and a great 2007 NECC Conference. My hat is off to the people at ISTE and all the hosts this year - I heard very few comments, if any, which is pretty incredible when you consider that 13,000 people attended. This podcast will be an overview of the entire conference. There will be some specific podcasts to come including interviews, session information and the audio from an entire session. I have also included some pictures from the week and some of the highlights from NECC 2007 for me.

If you weren't able to attend in person you can still catch many of the conference sessions and keynotes as podcasts or videocasts. There are some sessions I was unable to attend and I plan on downloading them to my i-Pod for great listening later in the summer.

If you were at NECC 2007 and have any comments or just want to put your two cents in please feel free to add them to this post or you can e-mail me at
Note - I did mention eating at a Brazilian churrascaria steakhouse and mentioned not being able to pronounce it correctly because I know very little "Spanish", of course I also understand very little Portuguese- sorry for the error.

Podcast #96 Show Notes:

necc2007, necc, necc07, presentations, conferences, n07s688, n07s740, n07s863, n07s573

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Podcast #95 - Is Classroom 2.0 Possible Without a 1 to 1 Ratio?

Hello. I have been listening to Ben Wilkoff's podcast Discourse about Discourse recently. He is doing some amazing things with his 7th/8th grade language art class in Colorado. On his podcast from June 19, 2007 "The 1.0 to 2.0 Transformation" he asks an open ended question about the difference between Classroom 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 etc. I've been thinking a lot about Classroom 2.0 lately and this podcast tries to answer Ben's question and then also asks a few more.

Some of the questions in today's podcast:

- What is the difference between Classroom 1.0 and Classroom 2.0?

- Is there such a thing as Classroom 1.5? If so, what does it look like?

- What is the definition of a true 2.0 Classroom?

- Is Classroom 2.0 possible without a 1 to 1 ratio for students to laptops?

- Is there a tipping point at which Classroom 2.0 will become a norm in the United States and what is that tipping point?

- How does NCLB fit into Classroom 2.0?

Please add your comments to this blog post. I don't know the answer to these questions but would really like to hear what others in the edu blog community think about these topics. If you would like to contact me via e-mail instead you can do so at

You can subscribe directly to Speaking of History via i-Tunes here

Direct link to Podcast #95 - Is Classroom 2.0 Possible Without a 1 to 1 Ratio? - MP3 Format - 14:48 Minutes

Podcast #95 Show Notes:

- Ben Wilkoff's "Discourse About Discourse" Podcast

Podcast #94 - Day Two in Chicago - The Museum of Science and Industry and Tommy Guns Garage

Hello. Today's podcast describes the adventures of my wife and I in Chicago on Day 2 of our vacation. We did two major things during our second day in the Windy City - a trip to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and a dinner theater experience at Tommy Gun's Garage.

The highlight of our trip to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry was seeing the U-505 Submarine - a captured German submarine from World War II. I remember seeing the submarine in the mid 1980's as a child visiting the museum while on vacation with my family. At the time it was sitting outside and didn't have much of a exhibit to go with it. Today it has been restored and is one of the best museum exhibits that I have ever seen. We were able to tour the submarine to learn it's incredible history and then learned more about submarines in the high tech and interactive exhibits. We also sent through the CSI Experience temporary exhibit at the museum. The CSI exhibit is at the museum until September 3, 2007.

In the evening we had made reservations at Tommy Gun's Garage - a dinner theater style event that plays up the 1920's Chicago gangster type atmosphere. After giving the secret password to the man guarding the door we were treated to a great dinner - I had the lasagna and my wife had the salmon. The atmosphere is awesome - you are in a 1920's speakeasy complete with a 1920's automobile, pictures of famous gangsters in Chicago history, etc. After dinner we were treated to dancing, singing, and a comedy routine. When we were raided by the police in the middle of the show we had to act as though we were at a church revival! Overall it was a great evening and something I would suggest to anyone traveling to Chicago.

If you have any comments about the podcast you can leave a comment to this blog entry or you can e-mail us directly at

Podcast #94 Show Notes:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Podcast #93 - Day One in Chicago - Millennium Park and Cubs Game at Wrigley Field

Hello. Last week my wife and I spent a few days in Chicago on vacation. We had a great time and wanted to share our experiences in the Windy City. We took the train from Tinley Park to downtown and set out to explore the city. On our first day we took a tour of Millennium Park and took in the Bean, ate a sandwhich in the park and saw the Crown Fountains. In the afternoon we took the L to Wrigley and watched the Cubs beat the Mariners 3-2. You can listen to what happened on our trip - it may save you some time and money on your next trip to Chicago.

You can comment to this podcast by posting a comment to this blog entry or you can e-mail us at

Podcast #93 Show Notes:

Podcast #92 - Getting Ready for NECC

Hello. Getting ready for NECC and can't wait. I have been very lucky to attend NECC on two previous occasions - New Orleans (2004) and San Diego (2006). This year the Liberty district is sending a delegation of around eight people.

I will be presenting a poster session entitled "History 2.0 : Blogs and Podcsts in Social Studies" in the Galleria from 12:00 noon through 2:00 PM on Wednesday, June 27th. If you happen to be attending NECC please stop by and say hello. If you would like to blog about my poster session please remember to tag it with "n07s366" and it will show up on all RSS feeds for NECC sessions.

One of the great things about NECC is the chance to test the water on what ed tech topics people are discussing. In the past it has been podcasting and blogging. I think this year the hot topics will be Second Life and a continuing theme of Web 2.0 but now with more practical examples and less of a "wow" factor. Our district will be building a new high school in 2010 and it looks like it will have a 1 to 1 laptop ratio for students so many of us will be attending sessions on that topic. I think podcasting will continue to be a strong draw - last year many of the podcasting sessions were standing room only. I also think that sessions discussing the use of games in the curriculum will be well attended as well.

Also on the agenda for me while in Atlanta is a tour of the CNN Studio arranged by the great people at Cable in the Classroom, a Braves game on Monday night and a dinner sponsored by School Library Journal. I will try to blog, podcast and post pictures from Atlanta as often as possible.

Below is short listing of some of the sessions that I hope to attend and have found interesting as I browsed the online catalog. After my first sweep through the online planner I had a ton of conflicts so there are a ton of great offerings. My comments about the session (in advance of attending) are in red.

MONDAY - JUNE 25, 2007

Learning with Blogs: Bringing the Read/Write Web into the Classroom [Session : Hands-on Open Source Lab]
Will Richardson, Connective Learning Group
Monday, 6/25/2007, 8:30am–9:30am; GWCC B308
Weblogs are blooming in schools as teachers and students are realizing their powerful learning potential. Find out how blogs are transforming classrooms around the globe.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s688
I have been able to listen to Will several times but I also learn something new. He really has the pulse of ed tech and always seems to have a fresh take and what is happening right now. Read his blog everyday and look forward to hearing him again in person.

Voices from the Past: Fictional Blogs of Historical Figures [Session : Lecture]
Herman Wood, Cobb County School District
Monday, 6/25/2007, 11:00am–12:00pm; GWCC B303
See how students step into the mind and become the voice of historical figures from the past with the help of blogs.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s740

As an 8th grade history teacher who uses blogs this one struck me as very interesting. I wonder what an Abe Lincoln blog would have looked like during the Civil War........

PrimaryAccess: Creating Digital Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom [Session : Hands-on BYOL]
Glen Bull, University of Virginia with Tom Hammond and Meghan McGlinn
Monday, 6/25/2007, 12:30pm–1:30pm; GWCC B305
PrimaryAccess, a Web-based tool designed expressly for the creation of digital documentaries in the social studies classroom, will be demonstrated with student and teacher examples.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s863
The description mentions the use of audio, video and other media to create a finished product you can use in the history classroom. High interest level for me with the use of media and another great social studies specific session. It is also a BYOL - Bring Your Own Laptop!

TUESDAY - JUNE 26, 2007

Broadband Adventures: Online Learning Modules from Cable in the Classroom [Poster : Traditional]
Frank Gallagher, Cable in the Classroom
Tuesday, 6/26/2007, 10:00am–12:00pm; GWCC Level 5, Galleria
Online adventures with weather, elections, and Shakespeare combine interactivity, streaming video, educational games, and rich content into memorable, engaging activities and are free to all.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s329
Cable in the Classroom has some amazing online games that I use in class - eLections is awesome. I think this is the same time that I will be on a CNN tour but check this session out if you want some great online simulations to use in the classroom.

New Tools, New Schools: Starting the Conversation about Web 2.0 [Session : Panel]
Gwen Solomon, with Timothy Magner, Will Richardson, Lynne Schrum and David Warlick
Tuesday, 6/26/2007, 12:30pm–1:30pm; GWCC B207
Let’s discuss how schools can start the conversation about using the new Web-based tools that allow us to communicate, collaborate, and create content.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s702
What a panel - including Will and David! This is like the All-Star team of Web 2.0. I will just be getting back from the tour at CNN but hope to catch as much of this as possible. Is anyone podcasting this session - please?!

Podcasting for Professional Development: Innovative Strategies for Syndicated Success [Session : Lecture]
Mark Gura, Fordham University with Kathy King
Tuesday, 6/26/2007, 2:00pm–3:00pm; GWCC B208
Learn easy-to-implement podcasting approaches and resources to provide inexpensive, high quality, customized professional development to audiences big and small.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s699
I want to attend this session in part because I listen to Mark and Kathy on a regular basis via their Podcast for Teachers podcast. High interest level for me on a personal level and I think podcasting has great potential as an option for professional development.

CNN Student News: Broadcast, Webcast, and Podcast [Session : Lecture]
Donna Krache, CNN with Lisa Porterfield, Audrey Schewe and Gerald Smith
Tuesday, 6/26/2007, 3:30pm–4:30pm; GWCC B211
Use technology to turn news into knowledge! Get the download on CNN’s free programs and curriculum. Learn how to tie current events to classroom content.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s857
I use CNN Student News in my classroom on a regular basis and am interested in any additional ways that I can use their content with my students.


Digital Game-based Learning in American History [Session : Lecture]
Dale Van Eck, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Wednesday, 6/27/2007, 8:30am–9:30am; GWCC B301
You can engage students in the study of history utilizing online games and explorations. Participants will examine a variety of simulations, Web adventures, and videoshops.
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s573
I was able to catch part of Dale's presentation last December at NCSS in Washington DC but it was packed and they weren't letting any more people in the room. Colonial Williamsburg is doing some amazing things with online simulations and game based learning. If you teach social studies this would be a great session to start off the day with on Wednesday.

TWIRT: Video Podcasting in Action on a Shoestring Budget [Poster : Traditional]
Will Blaylock, Rockwood School District with Chris Beeson and Mark Pennycuick
Wednesday, 6/27/2007, 9:00am–11:00am; GWCC Level 5, Galleria
See how easy it is to create a video podcast on a Windows-based system! Using inexpensive software and hardware—it can be done!
Blog Tag(s): necc, n07s434
A group of fellow Missouri teachers! I have heard some really great things about their video podcast and the poster session will allow for the opportunity to ask questions and find out how they create such a great product on a limited budget.

Hope to see you at NECC. Please feel free to leave a comment to this blog post or send me an e-mail at

Podcast #92 Show Notes :