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Teaching Online: Content, Curriculum, Culture

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Active Learning while Physically Distancing
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We are all looking for practical strategies to make our teaching engaging and impactful during these unusual times. This crowd-sourced document outlines some common teaching goals and the face-to-face (F2F) active learning techniques often used to achieve those goals, along with corresponding approaches for online synchronous, online asynchronous, and physically-distanced settings.

Subject:
Education
Educational Technology
Higher Education
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
Jennifer Baumgartner
Date Added:
07/05/2021
African Ethnography Collection
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This online database of our African Ethnographic collection includes artifacts that were found throughout the continent of Africa, from The Gambia to Madagascar, from Algeria to South Africa. The database allows you to see all artifacts for a country by clicking on a map or list of country names, search by object type, culture, and keyword find out what items are currently on display, and learn about recently acquired artifacts. There are two ways to search the collection as a picture-only gallery, or as a catalog that describes each artifact's provenance (country, locale, culture), materials, dimensions, and year of acquisition.

Subject:
Anthropology
Ethnic Studies
Social Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
American Museum of Natural History
Provider Set:
American Museum of Natural History
Date Added:
10/09/2020
Agricultural Trends in America Part 2
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Second of two lessons on agriculatural tends in America. This one uses ArcGIS online that follows simple step-by-step directions to create a web map. Students will learn how farm size, average farm output, and type of farming vary across the U.S.

Subject:
Cultural Geography
Social Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson
Provider:
Virginia Geographic Alliance
Provider Set:
2018 AP Human Geography Academy: Changing Patterns of Agriculture
Author:
Kameron Schaefer
Date Added:
05/27/2018
Animal Minds: Puzzling over Puppies and Parrots
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For much of modern science, since the Enlightenment, animals were generally thought to be automatons: materialist robots programmed to behave in certain ways. Rene Descartes drew a sharp distinction between thinking beings, humans, and everything else, matter. 20th Century behaviorism continued to think of animals in this way but added humans to the mix. “Mind” was a myth, a “ghost in the machine“, and did not really exist. All that counted was behavior and we did not think to complicate science by positing a “mind” behind the actions.
But in recent decades the question of the animal mind has come to the fore again. The question of an animal mind is a difficult one:
You want to avoid anthropomorphizing species by claiming similarities to our experiences simply on the basis that they look similar.
You want also to avoid denying similarities just because they are, well, animals and not humans.
Connected to this are a set of wonderful questions about consciousness, the marks of mind, intentionality, self-awareness, and the basic challenge for us of understanding a being which is not completely analogous to a human and may be quite alien. Think: snakes, mosquitos, fish.
This lesson will introduce students to a reading from National Geographic online on animal minds and a TED video on animal awareness by Franz DeWaal. Use these two sources to get students discussing the criteria for a mind, the scientific process of testing hypotheses, and the important questions about how we can know.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Philosophy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO)
Provider Set:
PLATO Philosopher's Toolkit
Author:
Wendy C. Turgeon
Date Added:
04/27/2020
The Art of Decisionmaking Online Course for Teachers and Students
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If you look at what psychologists consider to be high-level stressors, you'll find a list of about 40 life events. We have no control over many of these events, but for more than half, we do. So much of our stress and success in life depends on the decisions we make. In this short course, your students will learn the economic underpinnings of the need to make decisions, why every decision bears a cost, and how to make informed decisions.

Subject:
Economics
Social Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
04/03/2020
Asian Ethnography Collection
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This online database of our Asian Ethnographic collection includes artifacts that were found throughout the continent of Asia, from Russia to Indonesia, from Turkey to Japan. The database allows you to see all artifacts for a country by clicking on a map or list of country names, search by object type, culture, and keyword, find out what items are currently on display and learn about recently acquired artifacts. There are two ways to search the collection as a picture-only gallery, or as a catalog that describes each artifact's provenance (country, locale, culture), materials, dimensions, and year of acquisition.

Subject:
Anthropology
Ethnic Studies
Social Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
American Museum of Natural History
Provider Set:
American Museum of Natural History
Date Added:
10/09/2020
Big History: Between Nothing and Everything
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Since the early modern era, history has been largely viewed through an anthropocentric lens, skewing towards the involvement of humans. David Christian (National Humanities Center Fellow 2006–07) flips this narrative by zooming out to see history—specifically, Big History—on a larger scale, measured by geological and cosmological time. Big History is a model that embeds human history within the history of the larger universe, including the biosphere, the Earth, and the solar system. Interdisciplinary in scope, it brings together fields as seemingly disparate as cosmology, anthropology, and geology. In terms of narratology, Big History offers what Christian calls “a unifying origin story” that explains our origin and place in the universe, bridging together the humanities with the social sciences.
Turning to pedagogical implications, Christian also discusses how we can harness technology to help younger students conceptualize various time scales—human, geological, and cosmological—in mapping a digital landscape. Ultimately, the teaching of Big History raises crucial epistemological questions about how we attempt to make sense of our place in the world.
David Christian (D.Phil. Oxford, 1974) is by training a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, but since the 1980s he has become interested in world history and in history at very large scales and across many disciplines. In 2004, he published the first monograph on Big History, “Maps of Time.” With Bill Gates, he is co-founder of the Big History Project (school.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive), which has built free online high-school courses in big history. Since 2013, he has been Director of Macquarie University's Big History Institute (bighistory.mq.edu.au), and led the collaboration of twenty academics across all faculties to develop Macquarie University's MOOC on Big History, “Big History: Connecting Knowledge” (www.coursera.org/learn/big-history) on the Coursera platform.

Subject:
Education
Educational Technology
History
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
National Humanities Center
Provider Set:
Discovery and Inspiration Podcast
Author:
David G. Christian
Date Added:
06/21/2017
Big Paper (Remote Learning)
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A virtual Big Paper can be used to help students explore a topic in-depth, slow down their thinking, and focus on the views of others. In a virtual Big Paper discussion, students respond to a stimulus, such as an interview audio clip or historical document, using a collaborative digital-tool (such as a Google Doc, Google Jamboard, Padlet, or VoiceThread).

Learning is social, and taking Big Paper online provides an opportunity for students to exchange ideas and extend their thinking. You can use Big Paper to engage students who are not as likely to participate in verbal discussion and to make sure that students who are eager to talk carefully consider others’ ideas. Big Paper also creates a visual record of students’ thoughts and questions that you can refer back to at any time.

Subject:
Education
Educational Technology
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
Facing History and Ourselves
Date Added:
03/09/2021
Building Community in an Online Environment
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This collection of readings supports Professor Joosten's synchronous session titled Building Community in an Online Environment in the 2020 Virtual Graduate Student Summer Residency hosted by the National Humanities Center.

Subject:
Educational Technology
Higher Education
Material Type:
Reading
Author:
Tanya Joosten
NHC Education
Date Added:
07/09/2020
Building an Online Learning Environment: Human Essentials
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This collection of readings supports Jennifer Brammer Elliott's synchronous session titled Building an Online Learning Environment: Human Essentials in the 2020 Virtual Graduate Student Summer Residency hosted by the National Humanities Center.

Subject:
Educational Technology
Higher Education
Material Type:
Homework/Assignment
Reading
Author:
Andy Mink
NHC Education
Jennifer Elliott
Date Added:
07/09/2020
Can You Spot the Troll?
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The Spot-The-Troll quiz is an educational tool to help the public learn to spot the markers of inauthenticity in social media accounts.
Remember to be careful when engaging online. The great majority of social media accounts are genuine, but if you aren’t sure, it is usually best not to engage. Trolls want influence. They can only have that if you follow them and share their messages. They will only drive us farther apart if we help them.

Subject:
Business and Communication
Communication
Material Type:
Interactive
Author:
Clemson University Forensics Media Hub
Darren Linvill
Date Added:
09/21/2020
Capital Markets Online Course for Teachers and Students
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Capital markets include the stock and bond markets, and this is where businesses turn for funding when they need investors. In this course, students will learn how capital markets keep the economy moving and how they provide opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs and investors to achieve their goals.

Subject:
Economics
Social Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
04/03/2020
Cards, Cars, and Currency Online Course for Teachers and Students
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Cards, Cars and Currency is a set of personal finance programs that encourages participants to learn about three areas of personal finance: credit cards, debit cards and purchasing a car. Cards, Cars and Currency includes five individual programs that can be used together or individually to enhance personal finance learning.

Subject:
Economics
Social Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
04/03/2020
Collections Up Close: The Digital Collection as a Tool for Close Examination
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This program explores how educators, librarians, curators, artists, writers, and students can harness the power of digital archives and storytelling at a time when many of us are missing the hands-on experience of using library collections. Attendees learn about free online storytelling platforms that can be repurposed for immersive narratives such as virtual collection show-and-tells, digital exhibits, and close reading tools. Presenters build a case study example using an object from The Huntington’s collections—a Japanese map illustrating topics of interest to the Japanese visitor or immigrant to Hawaiʻi. This event is part of an ongoing webinar series presented by the Library's Reader Services Department, the Multi-Storied Library.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Cultural Geography
Social Science
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Author:
Holly Mendenhall
Jackie Beckey
Li Wei Yang
Date Added:
12/10/2020
Crash Course? (ScienceWorld)
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This online article is from the Museum's Science Explorations, a collaboration between AMNH and Scholastic designed to promote science literacy. Written for students in grades 6-10, this article from Science World magazine has an interview with AMNH astrophysicist Mike Shara, in which he explains what space objects are and what happens when they collide. There are Web links that offer further opportunities for learning about space objects and their collisions.

Subject:
Astronomy
Physical Science
Material Type:
Data Set
Provider:
American Museum of Natural History
Provider Set:
American Museum of Natural History
Author:
Nancy Honovich
Date Added:
10/09/2020
Credit Cred Online Course for Teachers and Students
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Credit can be a powerful tool in your financial toolbox if you understand how to use it wisely. In this course, you'll learn about different types of credit and the costs associated with using credit. You'll learn the importance of building strong credit by borrowing wisely and paying promptly, arranging credit for making major purchases like a car or home, avoiding common credit mistakes, and monitoring your own credit. You'll also learn about credit reports, your credit score, and steps you can—and should—take to build your own credit cred!

Subject:
Economics
Social Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Provider Set:
Economic Lowdown Lessons
Date Added:
04/03/2020
Cultivating Spaces of Expression
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"In preparation for teaching online during the 2021 summer semester, I have been thinking about how much group discussions are transformed by digital platforms. In reflecting on the vulnerabilities that are required for students to discuss challenging topics (particularly feminist activist work) I was wondering how students will respond when they find themselves isolated in different physical spaces, but working together to create a community online. I often discuss these questions with my fellow teachers, and I received a recommendation to watch a short web-series titled GROUP." This Humanities Moment was collected as part of the 2021 Graduate Student Summer Residency Program.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
National Humanities Center
Provider Set:
Humanities Moments
Author:
Joanna Cromik
Date Added:
07/03/2021
Darwin: Voyage of Discovery (ScienceWorld)
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This online article is from the Museum's Science Explorations, a collaboration between AMNH and Scholastic designed to promote science literacy. Written for students in grades 6-10, this article from Science World magazine has an interview with AMNH paleontologist Niles Eldredge, in which he explains how the eye-opening sights Charles Darwin encountered during his five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle inspired his thinking about the diversity of life on Earth. There are Web links that offer further opportunities for learning about Darwin and his years after the voyage.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Data Set
Provider:
American Museum of Natural History
Provider Set:
American Museum of Natural History
Author:
Mona Chiang
Date Added:
10/09/2020
Deeper Class Discussions with the TQE Method
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So much of the learning we do comes from texts: articles, textbooks, novels, and all kinds of online publications. Sometimes, those texts come in less traditional forms; in fact, our use of the word “text” has broadened over time to include things like films, images, and even diagrams. Regardless of what form they come in, texts make up the bulk of how our students experience learning.

But too often, when we assign texts to students, we find that they don’t experience them with much depth. One reason for that may be that we don’t set them up to do that. In many text-based classes (English, history, science), the learning cycle often consists of (1) consuming a section of the text, (2) answering teacher-created questions about the text, (3) taking a test after several sections have been completed.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Literature
Material Type:
Reading
Author:
Jennifer Gonzalez
Date Added:
03/09/2021