Thursday, June 30, 2011

Episode 121 – Teaching with Primary Sources Podcast

It’s Thursday, June 30th 2011 and welcome to episode 121 of TechTalk4Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. We have another great interview lined up for you and this month we will be talking about using primary sources with your students and where you can find millions of resources to use with your classes. This episode mentions a few links throughout the interview so be sure to check out the show notes to learn more about all the resources that are shared.

Right Click Here to Download MP3
(32 minutes 13 seconds)

For those of you wondering about the adventures of Brian Poulter and his motorcycle trip following the Oregon Trail be sure to checkout his blog at Seems Brian has run into a bit of a snag and the best laid plans have hit a glitch. I hope to talk with Brian again soon so until then you can follow his blog to find out the latest.

End of the Trail

We have a lot of resources to share with you today so let’s get right to it.

TechTalk4Teachers Links for Episode 121
Teaching with Primary Sources

Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Illinois University

Library of Congress

American Memory

Presidential Inauguration

After the Day of Infamy Man on the Street Interviews

Ansel Adams’ Photographs of Japanese American Internment

Veteran’s History Project

Childhood Lost: Child Labor during the Industrial Revolution

Follow the Evidence: The Trial of the Lincoln Conspirators (Lincoln CSI)

Central Illinois Teaching with Primary Sources Newsletter

Teacher’s Page

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Gas station price analysis

Civil War Maps

Patriotic Melodies

Stars and Stripes Forever

Technology Pick of the Week

My Technology Pick of the Week this week is a very affordable MP3 player that is working very well for my renewed interest in My Media Mall and the free audio books that can be checked out from this site. Back on episode 119 of TechTalk4Teachers we explored the topic of ebooks and also talked about a service called My Media Mall and the Overdrive software that is available at many local libraries across the nation. Using this free service from my local library I can checkout up to 5 audio books for a period of up to two weeks. After that time the digital rights management scrambles the files so the titles become unusable.

I recently needed another MP3 Player and came across the Sansa Fuze 4GB model that is currently available at for approximately 60 dollars. This MP3 player also has expandable storage that I use with microSD cards to add capacity when I need it. Being able to add storage on-demand is a very nice feature and it helps me manage audio and video content by keeping different categories of audio or video on different microSD cards. The Sansa Fuze also has a nice display that is easy to use and you can easily navigate through your content using the scroll wheel. The Sansa Fuze can also play videos but I find the 1.9 inch screen too small for video viewing so I will stick with my netbook or other computer connected to my HDTV for video viewing. A link is in the show notes to the model I purchased. I also purchased an arm band so I can strap it on my arm when exercising or moving about. It is advertised to have a 24 hour battery life but I have not come close to running out of battery before I recharge it so I will just have to take their word on that.

Sansa Fuze 4GB Model – works with My Media Mall with Windows 7

Technical Details
• Listen, watch, and play all day with 24 hours of battery life and room for up to 1,000 songs
• Watch your favorite video clips or share your photos on the 1.9-inch color screen
• Digital FM radio with 40 preset stations
• Voice recording with built-in microphone
• Expand your existing 4 GB memory with the microSD/microSDHC slot

Since I already had the Overdrive software program loaded on my PC all I had to do was go to My Media Mall and checkout the audio books that I wanted then downloaded them to my computer. Once they were downloaded on my computer I simple connected the USB cable that came with the Sansa MP3 player then opened Overdrive and right-clicked on the title of the audio book that I wanted to transfer to the device and clicked on transfer. I have already listened to several titles and would recommend Blink and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell to either put on your summer reading list or listening list, whatever medium you prefer. I often prefer the audio content as I can be doing other things while listening.

Here is bonus tech pick for you. I am also an outdoors type of person and have a small farm where I am often out on a tractor doing various chores. I often use a special headset that has earmuffs to help with the engine noise but the headset also has a MP3 Jack that I can plug in a MP3 Player like the Sansa Fuze and listen to audio books or podcasts like this one while I am out plowing the fields or mowing the lawn. A link is in the show notes to the headset I use.

WorkTunes Headset with MP3 Jack

That wraps it up for episode 121 of TechTalk4Teachers. Show notes for this episode and archived episodes are available on the web at the EIU Instructional Technology Center website at To leave a comment or suggestion, please send an email to or leave a comment on the Tech Talk for Teachers blog. I would like to thank Dr. Cindy Rich for taking the time to talk with us about Teaching with Primary Sources and encourage everyone to go to the websites she mentioned and check them out further. Until next time, this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning…