I love the internet.
It’s true. Sure, just like everything else touched by humanity, the internet has awesome places and very, very dark places. Here are my picks for the best places for personal or educational growth.
Life and Education Inspirations
Planet Money podcast
I can’t get enough of this fantastic podcast. When I first started listening, my knowledge of economics was shakey at best. After listening for 4 years, I can understand conversations about quantitative easing, discuss the global impact of cotton subsidies and can identify the “new” ways to hit the top of the pop music charts. The bite-size 20 minute segments twice a week make listening manageable.
This year I asked my grade 12 Challenge and Change students to use analyze an episode and apply a socio-/psycho-/anthro- logical lens. They ate it up like candy. Many have become obsessive listeners. (assignment here: Plant Money podcast analysis.)
This American Life podcast
This show from NPR is representative of all that is good in public radio. Clever reporting, heartbreaking and heartwarming storytelling and the delightful charm of Ira Glass makes this the best hour on radio ever week. Don’t let the name of this show turn you off, Canadians. These stories are stories of humanity, not just Americans.
bonus: sometimes they have David Sedaris read his stories. *squee!*
The Story Globe is an awesome resource for a geographer like myself. I use it for my Challenge and Change class.
Here are two of my favourite episodes.
#1: Nummi (Episode 403) – if someone had said, “Here’s a really great podcast about a car manufacturing plant, it’s awesome!” I would have laughed in their face. I believe I did (sorry, @gduncanclark). This episode is a testament to the outstanding journalism and storytelling I’ve come to know and love with This American Life. It is a fascinating (and awesome) episode.
#2: I now hesitate to eat calamari at restaurants. Episode 484: Doppelgangers
I can’t say enough about my favourite website, Sociological Images. This site is curated by Lisa Wade, a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Numerous other academics contribute to the ever-growing bank of social scientific reflections on the world around us.
#2: Pointlessly Gendered Products (with a contribution from yours truly!)
#3: Rebranding the Prune (because nothing escapes the sociological lens)
Youtube for Learning
My favourite channels:
1) Crash Course: The Brothers Green have outdone themselves with this fantastic series of videos covering World History, world religions, American History, Science, Psychology and Literature.
2) PBS Idea Channel Check out “Bronies Redefining masculinity” and “There’s no Such thing as offline”
#3 Vihart – A beautiful union of math and art.
Great Places on Twitter
I didn’t know I like astronomy. I have @Failedprotostar to remind me daily that space is cool.
Love Ottawa? Love Local History? Love Art? Love local Ottawa artist and amateur historian, Andrew King.
Russell Tarr @russelltarr – This British Ex-Pat in Toulouse, France exemplifies the marriage of History and Technology in the classroom. He loves “sharing creative ideas on Twitter & offending Mr. Gove [British British Conservative Party politician, the Secretary of State for Education].” He can also be found on Tweets as @activehistory and @classtools.
Megan Valois, @msvalois, is a local Ottawa teacher extraordinaire. She considers herself a “21st century teacher/learner.” Check out her Twitter feed or her website at meganvalois.com for great ideas for History and English as well as differentiated instruction, assessment for learning & #edtech!
The Good Doctors:
I’m pretty lucky to know some very intelligent people who have the degrees (and peer reviewed journals) to prove it! Beyond their talents in their respective fields, these Drs are also fascinating and humourous folk. Check out @thejennye (Canadian History, Women and Sport), @postWarHist (Canadian Cold War Military History) and @mittenstrings (Canadian Literature) for musings and links to amazing places and discussion about historical and contemporary issues.