Monday, October 31, 2011

Episode 125 - Veterans Day 11th hour 11th day 11th month

It’s Monday, October 31, 2011 and welcome to episode 125 of TechTalk4Teachers, I'm Tom Grissom. Well you can probably tell by the intro that today marks Halloween in the United States. Many cities have already hosted trick or treat nights around the country where children (and adults) dress up in their costumes and visit neighborhood houses for the annual ritual of trick or treat night and/or attend Halloween parties. Tonight is the official night for Halloween so if you see a few characters dressed up in some unusual costumes don’t be too afraid.

Right Click Here to Download MP3
(24 minutes 15 seconds)

In a couple of weeks we will observing Veterans Day here in the United States so we have invited Dr. Cindy Rich back with us today to discuss and share some of the patriotic music resources that are available from the Library of Congress. Dr. Rich is the Director of the Teaching with Primary Sources program here at EIU and her office has created a couple of web pages with resources to share with us this month related to Veterans Day as well as information about some of the patriotic music that is available at the Library of Congress website.

Veterans Day Interview Show Notes:

Theme Intro: Observing Veteran’s Day and Teaching with Music
On 11/11/11 we will observe Veterans Day. Many schools are choosing to have students attend classes on this day to use this opportunity to celebrate our Veterans, connect with communities and focus on topics and themes that may otherwise not be in curriculum. Regardless of whether we are looking at nationally discussed topics like progressions in medicine resulting from war, geographic influences on military strategies with maps, individuals that played important roles in our history, songs by the military and civilians or deeply personal stories of veterans, their correspondence home, drawings and photographs and diaries.

Veterans Day
To provide teachers with another tool to use in their classroom as we observe Veteran’s Day, TPSEIU created two pages on our site within our Special Projects area. The first is titled Veterans Day and provides links to many resources within the Library of Congress, the most poignant being the Veteran’s History Project

In addition, our Patriotic Songs has become really popular because we highlight official songs of branches of the US Armed Forces. The songs are shared through sheet music, audio, and information from the Library of Congress and links to the official website of that military branch.

Teaching with Music - Types of Primary Sources
Music created at a specific place or point in history is a powerful primary source. Students know that they are drawn to particular songs, artists or types of music. We can use this information to encourage them to analyze the lyrics and music from other times and places to gain a better understanding of life at that time.

Music is available at the Library of Congress site in the form of audio, sheet music and lyric sheets.
1. Sheet music is typically found in in jpeg and PDF format for printing.
2. Lyric or Song Sheets are also found in jpeg and PDF format and were often distributed to gatherings for sing-alongs.
3. Audio may be found in RealMedia or MP3 format. This audio can be downloaded and saved.

Performing Arts Encyclopedia
A search from the homepage will let you look for topics and type of resource. A wonderful area is the Performing Arts Encyclopedia Look at the Special Presentations for prepared sets with background information and highlighted items.

One of my favorites is Patriotic Melodies that tells the stories behind some of our countries most recognized songs.

Yankee Doodle - is available in sheet music from 1845 and 1862, song sheets and sound recordings as early as 1897.

God Bless America - You can find Irvin Berlin’s handwritten lyrics, however you will only find 30 second MP3 and RealMedia audio due to copyright restrictions.

Be sure to look at the BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION for the primary source - you will find restrictions and more!

Copyright and Primary Sources from the Library’s Teachers Page offers questions and answers about copyright and fair use.

Taking the Mystery out of Copyright is an interactive page for teachers and students

One key point to remember is to always cite your sources. It is important that we model this for students and show that we are respectfully giving credit where credit is due.

Technology Pick of the Week

I have two Technology Picks for this week, the first marks another milestone in human history. The United Nations has estimated that the 7 billionth human will be born today, October 31, 2011. With the world population continuing to grow it is evident that our collective actions have an increasing impact on planet earth. I have provided a link in the show notes to a United Nations website called where you and your students can learn more about population growth and how it impacts all of us.

United Nations - 7 billion actions website

This website provides plenty of topics for you to use with your students to discuss population growth and what we can do as individuals to reduce the detrimental effects that population growth upon planet Earth.

My second tech pick this week is a mashup of Google Maps and the local newspapers. A link is provided in the show notes.

Newspaper Map with Google Maps

This site presents a Google map of the world with place markers for many of the worlds newspapers. This is a great site to use for current events as you are able to select a newspaper in another part of the world and get the perspective of that locality. The markers are color coded by language. Many times I am interested in a story I briefly hear about in the news but would like to learn more about. For example the recent earthquake in Turkey was briefly mention by American news rooms but provided little detail. I went to the Google Newspaper map and clicked on a marker in Turkey that brought up the local newspaper but it was not printed in English. This was no problem as this site also uses Google translate to translate the pages to English. It is true that the translation is not perfect but it gives you enough information that you can learn more about whatever article you are interested in. Give it a try the next time you are looking for something specific about another country in the world.

That wraps it up for episode 125 of TechTalk4Teachers. I want to thank Dr. Rich for being a guest on todays show and sharing patriotic music available from the Library of Congress and for providing an over view of Veterans Day. 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. Until next time, this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.