Medieval Studies Quizzes

I'm marginally involved with an IB DP  History Medieval Options - Route One course, finding resources, videos, minding a wiki and a Paper.li aggregation for the subject. One of the sites I subscribe to is Medievalists.net, a very rich source which "provide(s) the most comprehensive coverage of news, book reviews, articles, games, movies, pop culture and more."

One of Medievalists.net's editors, Peter Konieczny (@medievalicious) has been busy creating Medieval quizzes on Playbuzz.com.  Like so many sites where anyone can create a web-based media product, Playbuzz is a mix of useful academic quizzes and pure pop. It's almost impossible to search efficiently. Once you find one that interests you, try clicking on one of its tags to find more.

Konieczny's Medieval quizzes are fun, and academically valid.  Multiple choice, per force, but still - useful if you're reviewing for an exam. Click on the links below to go to the quizz on the Medievalits site.

Medieval London Quizz

The First Crusade Quizz

Kings of Medieval England Quizz
(Scroll within the quizz below to continue to the next question, or click on a number at the top of the first screen.)

On a fun, but less "factual" quizz, is What is Your Medieval Profession?

(My results pinned me as a Witch Doctor)
Screen shot from http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/24/medieval-profession/

Teachers live in media, too

I've a new post over on the OSC IB Blogs site: Teachers live in media, too, which I've re-posted here. Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest. 

We live in media
Poster created by Tom Woodward
A few weeks ago I wrote a post for students about using Twitter.  I urge you to read it, and then continue on with this new post.

  "Quick catch up, or background info: "Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called "tweets". Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them." Wikipedia About Ted Nelson, whose quote is illustrated in the poster at the left: "Theodor Holm Nelson is an American pioneer of information technology, philosopher and sociologist. He coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia" in 1963 and published them in 1965." Wikipedia"
Nothing on the web is static, especially in the realms of social media.  Since the post for students about using Twitter linked above, Twitter has re-designed their users' profile page.

Lance Ulanoff wrote about the changes on Mashable, Twitter's New Profiles: Everything You Need to Know: "...I look at other users' profile pages fairly often. It's where I learn about who they are through their profile picture and their brief description of themselves, which may include details like job, location and a link for more information. In other words, profile pages are important, especially for brands, celebrities and new users." and, I would add, teachers.  Ulanoff describes how to create a new Profile Page that represents you, but does not give too much away.

While the Twitter blog  gives a simple explanation of the new look, and how to use it, on Wired, Kyle Vanhemert writes an in-depth article about the changes, and why you should pay attention to them: "...The new profile design, though, is a slightly different play. It does make Twitter easier for newcomers to understand, offering a shinier, more product-like public face to people who arrive directly at a user page. "But it also positions the Twitter profile as a destination unto itself, apart from the newsfeed entirely. It’s a concession to an entirely different use case than the one Twitter was built upon. “For some people, it’s all about that real-time newsfeed,” Bellona says. “For some, it’s just like, ‘I want to see what a celebrity is up to.’ Both should be really great..." If you're a habituĂ© of Twitter, go now to update your profile page.

If you're a new user, or have been thinking of investigating Twitter, read on.

Anatomy of a Tweet
Image cc: http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/twitter-edu/
Read Twitter EDU, by David Truss, about getting started with Twitter - it's an excellent "why", and "how to guide".

Read what Mark Anderson, at the ICT Evangelist, has posted about #MyTop5Tips for creating a Twitter PLN:  He begins, "There doesn’t really seem to be a clear common consensus as to whether a Twitter PLN should be a professional or a personal learning network. Certainly I think it should probably be a bit of both. Also, as when dealing with all social media, you should be mindful of your school’s social media policy. You should also be mindful of protecting your own professional identity when posting online."

 Mike Reading, at Education Technology Solutions, writes about "How to use Twitter in the classroom without compromising your professional relationship with your students". He ends his post "Twitter is a fantastic tool for building your professional learning network and finding resources and teaching ideas."
Are you wondering how you might use Twitter in your teaching?  Read this extreme case from the University of Windsor, Using Twitter in the Classroom for Student Engagement and Exchange. "Professor Ryan Snelgrove teaches Ethics in Sport, a required first-year course, to 225 students in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. Reflecting the University’s emphasis on student experience, Dr. Snelgrove wanted to foster classroom engagement, but realized the limitations of time for verbal engagement. However, with almost all students arriving in class with a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, he decided to take advantage of these tools, using Twitter as a tool for contributing opinions and comments."

Have a look at 10 Amazing Ways For Teachers & Tutors To Use Twitter In Education by Saikat Basu on MakeUseOf. First,  Basu outlines reasons why Twitter is a good study tool:
  • Teachers can connect to their students on a wider level as well as on a personal level.
  • Interactions can be taken beyond the classroom as Twitter is omnipresent in our smartphones and laptops.
  • Twitter allows for customization of learning depending on the student i.e. differentiating learning for different students.
  • Twitter can be used to quickly connect to multimedia resources (e.g. YouTube or Vine) and turn education into edutainment.
  • Twitter gives new opportunities to connect to other learning communities and new educational content.
  • The very nature of Twitter – brief and to-the-point makes for rapid broadcast of learning.
He then outlines and illustrates 10  methods of learning with Twitter:
  • Hashtags
  • Quickfire recaps and quizzes
  • Language Learning
  • Twitter as a Bulletin Board
  • or as a Wall
  • Role Play on Twitter
  • Create Class Newspapers with Twitter Streams
  • Seek Mentors with the Help of Twitter
  • Parent Teacher Meet with a Tweet
  • Take a Break
I leave you with a video, Using Twitter in the Classroom, by Alice Kassens. "A tutorial showing how to use Twitter in the classroom based on my experiences in my Principles of Macroeconomics courses at Roanoke College."


I have to go update my Twitter profile page...

Should we have a pedagogy of technology?

Sharing a slide stack from Ashley Casey, a University lecturer, PhD in Physical Education, which contains some beautiful slides, and remarkable metaphors.


Risktaking and discovery

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo
shared by 
I urge you to read a recent feature article from The Atlantic, The Overprotected Kid, by Hana Rosin. It's very long, but well worth reading to the very end.

Being a teacher, as I read this article I thought about how Rosin's ideas relate to my experience: school playgrounds I've seen; the reality of school recess on those playgrounds; thinking about the new  IB Learner Profile attributes; and with the concept of the PYP (and MYP) curriculum model in mind. 

I wonder, can the "inside" of the school-classroom-curriculum propose that
  • "We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
  • We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global signi ficance.  
  • We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
  • We express ourselves con fidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate e ffectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
  • We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
  • We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
  • We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive di fference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
  • We understand the importance of balancing di fferent aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
  • We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development." (The new IB Learner Profile)
After reading the Atlantic feature about how "a preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer", I  thought about how this relates to what goes on inside a classroom. Considering all sorts of contrasts current in current educational writing led me to the idea that perhaps the emphasis on testing, scores and accountability inside a school is the mirror of "safe playgrounds", and another aspect of a childhood under control, as described by Hana Rosin in her Atlantic piece.

And that led me to wonder about discussions within the PYP  community as to how the play facilities provided by a school outside the classroom, outside the school building, reflect the PYP framework for learning. Does the concept of "recess" or "break" often become simply a timetable consideration, rather than a part of the pedagogical picture, with a continued emphasis on learning?  Does the play space and equipment provided reflect what is expected, or affordable, rather than provide an environment that would encourage critical and creative thinking? I think that sometimes a school's support for  Learner Profile begins and ends at the school door.