Communication Skills, Interpersonal & Collaborative Skills

Collaborative Projects

Future City Competition

National History Day


Video Conferencing Database Sites:

Global and distance connections are very popular right now due to it being an inexpensive way of taking a field trip. Live two-way interactive video conferencing and live or delayed web based conferences can provide curriculum enrichment opportunities for your classroom. The following sites are great resources for connections that can be made using distance learning equipment. Several of these you could connect to using or other video connections.

Two-way video conferencing:
  • SNDLC Programs - The Southeast Nebraska Distance Learning Consortium has partnered with the following national park systems to provide virtual field trip experiences. At each national park, an education coordinator will share about K-12 programs they have created. The link that is attached to the site provides contact and program information.
    • Henry Doorley Zoo - The zoo can bring live programs and engaging activites diretly to your students through video conferencing. Visit the Lied Jungle, Desert Dome, Scott Aquarium, Hubbard Gorilla Valley, and Genetics. Discover the importance of desert adaptations, rainforest life, oceans, penguins, genetics, conservation research and more. Programs are 30-60 minutes in length and are offered on Tuesday through Frirday between 1 and 4 pm. Contact 402-738-6903 or email to
    • Homestead National Monument - Homestead will tailor a conference to support your curriculum interests. Enrichment areas include tall grass prairie which representa a living laboratory for science activitiess, a visit to Freeman School which is a one-room school built in 1872, the history of the homestead act, and a visit to the museum with over 50,000 artifacts. Contact information 402-223-3514. Education director is Tina
    • Badlands - Over 240,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires make up South Dakota's Badlands National Park. Rangers can use a special spotting scope to give your students a view of this unique landscape. Enrichment sessions can focus on fossils and sedimentary rock formations, extinct ancient animals and even one of today's endangered species.
    • Brown vs Board of Education - Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, is not the only site where the story of Brown v. Board of Educationcan be told. There were many segregated schools throughout the country, and countless parents who disliked the segregated system and wanted something better for their children. (785-354-4273 x247)
    • Little Rock Central H.S. - The site of the first important test for the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education, your students can explore topics of segregation, integration and civil rights. (501-396-3000)
    • Minuteman Missle Site - One of the nation's newest national park areas, this site illustrates the history and significance of the Cold War, the arms race, and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) development. The facilities represent the only remaining intact components of a nuclear missile field that consisted of 150 Minuteman II missiles, 15 launch control centers, and covered over 13,500 square miles of southwestern South Dakota.
    • Mount Rushmore - - The sheer size of the mountain carving on Mount Rushmore evokes a sense of awe. Add depth to your classroom discussions of these four presidents, or explore the math necessary to create these large-scale carvings. Art students may be interested in watching repairs in progress.
    • Nicodemus National Historic Site - - This site in Kansas preserves and protects the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Explore the role that African-Americans played in America's story of westward expansion! (785-839-4233)
    • Stones River National Park - Rangers from Stones River National Battlefield present two distance learning presentations in cooperation with the Instructional Technology Support Center and Middle Tennessee State University. Next live session is October 7 - 9 to 10 am CST.
    • George Washington Carver - George Washington Carver National Monument is the first National Park site dedicated to an African American. The park preserves the birthplace and childhood home of George Washington Carver, the inspirational educator, scientist and humanitarian. Educational programs focus on Carvers determination to overcome racial obstacles and pursue a life of service to his fellow man.
    • Hovenweep - Located in Utah, this park protects six prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages. Your students can learn about dryland farming practices from 750 years ago; a spotting scope allows your students to view multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders.
    • Biscayne National Park - Join Ranger Maria on an underwater ecosystem adventure! Tour the mangrove shoreline, the shallow bay and the northern portion of the third largest coral reef tract in the world. This program focuses on the Park's four ecosystems and how they are integral to each other and to us!
    • Black Canyon of the Gunnison - The shows featured Park Rangers from the Park and 10 Gunnison Middle School students exploring the ecosystem, geology and history of the area. The program also featured comparisons from around the world like Petra canyon in Jordan, the Three Gorges in China and even a canyon on Mars.
    • __Everglades National Park__ - Teachers are invited to have their students explore all things scaley and slithery in our online e-field trip. Students will have the opportunity to view an interactive slide presentation showcasing some of our most intriguing residents. They'll even have the chance to e-mail questions to our rangers!
    • Grand Canyon National Park - "Geology of Grand Canyon" and "Life on the Edge" ecology programs are designed to mesh with state standards of learning and are appropriate for 4-7th grade levels. The programs are free and are a great way of introducing your students to this amazing national park and to a variety of scientific studies.
  • NASA - Listing of all Distance Learning Network Video Conferencing Events
Live One-way video stream events over the web:

Live Video Activity Using Skype:

Skype Demo Video Conference Demo

Skype In Schools Powerpoint
Video Conference with National Archives
Primary Source Documents with David Rosenbaum

David L. Rosenbaum is an education specialist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. He has been with the agency since September 2007. His primary duties include videoconferencing, conducting teacher workshops & outreach presentations, providing tours for educational groups, and researching/creating teaching activities which focus on the use of primary sources. He co-wrote an article, “Letter to, and Paintings by, George Catlin” published by Social Education in May 2008. David made a presentation at the National Council of Social Studies national convention in Houston last fall on videoconferencing. A native of Albion, Nebraska Rosenbaum is a long time educator, having taught Social Studies and coached in Nebraska for 27 years at Tri County Schools in DeWitt. He obtained his BA in Secondary Education/Social Sciences and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. David is married to Sandy Rosenbaum, a technology coordinator in Bethesda, Maryland, and has two daughters, that live in the Washington, DC area. The Rosenbaum’s reside in Rockville, Maryland.

Library of Congress Free Video Conferences

Example of a virtual tour from Nebraska

Video Collaboration opportunities




Blogs are very easy to create and edit. Lots of free blogging services are available. Right now I am a WordPress fan, but has been a favorite for years too. You can create individual or group blogs. Blogs by their nature are more private then wikis. Blogs also offer the ability to make comments if you have that option turned on, but other net readers cannot edit your web pages, like a wiki. Wikis are wide open social spaces while blogs are one person or one groups to edit. The neat thing about a blog is that is can be used for students to write their paper, get comments/feedback from other students and faculty and use this as their rough draft process.

My Favorite History Blog WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier

Transcripts of Harry Lamin's letters from the first World War, posted on a weblog exactly 90 years after they were written.


For an interactive, dynamic look, feel, and experience, wikis are perfect. I like wikispaces a little better, but wetpaint is another great free wiki service that is worth exploring. Wikispaces lets you create simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together.
You can add people to your wiki to edit and make comments. Most wikis have discussion tabs too, where your students can discuss aspects of your lessons or share information.

K-12 Help for Wikis from Wikispaces


Google Docs for Group Document Collaboration

Why would I want to use Google Docs?
  • To create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF's and forms online
  • To collaborate and share documents in real-time
  • To access your files away from home without using a thumb drive
  • To increase students' ability to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations
  • To make ALL students in a group accountable for the group work
  • To peer edit documents
  • To create professional documents using templates
  • To expand "gadgets" to a full sheet

What do I need to create a Google account?

All you need is an e-mail address to create your Google account.

How do I create a Google account?

Follow the Google link and click on "Get Started//."

How do my students create a Google account if the student does not have an e-mail account?

Student accounts may be created through the use of the teacher's e-mail account. This way all of the mail received will be sent to the teacher's e-mail account. Also, consider using a username and a password format that is specific to your class. An example is as follows:


password: MrThomson

Remember to save the usernames and passwords in a safe place in case you need to refer to them at a later date. For the safety and security of the student, do NOT use the last name of a student in a Google account.

Where can I go to learn more about Google Docs?

Take a Tour of Google Docs

Overview for Educators
Using Google Docs in the Classroom: Easy as ABC
Tips and Tricks
Basic Introduction Videos
Basic Editing Videos
Advanced FeaturesVideos

What are some examples on how to use Google Docs in the social studies classroom?

Students keep track of grades
Plan a trip to another country and record expenses to visit the country
Peer editing
Collaboration on writing a paper
Country presentation
U.S. Census Data

What are the limitations of Google Docs?

Google Docs will NOT accept files from Microsoft Office 2007.
Although documents can be shared with up to 200 people, documents may be edited/reviewed by up to 10 people at one time.
Spreadsheets may be edited/reviewed by up to 50 people at one time

USTREAM Experience live video. In just minutes, you can broadcast and chat online with a global audience. Completely free. All it takes is a camera and Internet connection.

Ustream Video Broadcasting Demo

Speaking of History Blog and USTream of presentation


Sharing class notes or student products of Powerpoint slideshows
Slideshare Presentation Sharing

Overview of 21st Century Skills | Online Video & 21st Century Skills | Information & Media Literacy
Communication & Collaboration Skills | Critical Thinking & Problem Solving | Creativity & Intellectual Curiosity | Closing