Now that I’ve left schooling, it’s wonderful to explore things for teaching. Case in point: Annenberg Media / Learner.org’s A Biography of America series. It’s an astonishingly media-rich 26-part series – count ‘em, 26 half-hour PBS episodes featuring leading US historians, plus transcripts of each episode, plus interactive maps, photos, primary sources, and more for each episode – that covers US history from pre-Columbian times to the present. And it’s free.
(Click screenshot for full-size view, including “chapter” headings.)
Can somebody remind me why, with free online resources like this, schools are spending tens of thousands of dollars on short-shelf-life textbooks, often dumbed-down and intellectually neutered (or worse, downright propagandistic) due to the textbook industry’s fear of alienating their biggest markets in conservative Texas and California?
[Update: I should have mentioned that the US History resources are only one example of Learner.org's offerings. They have full-year courses in just about every subject area imaginable, k-college, plus professional development courses for teachers. Browse them here. Amazingly good use of US tax dollars at work via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.]