Mar 31, 2010

New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War

Slavery in New York and New York Divided are exhibits by the New York Historical Society about slavery and the impact it had on the city. 

Slavery ended in New York State in 1827, yet this victory did not sever the city's connections to enslaved labor. New York City capitalized on the expanding trade in southern cotton and sugar to become the leading American port, a global financial center, and a hotbed of pro-slavery politics. At the same time, it nurtured a determined anti-slavery movement. In less than half a century, abolitionists convinced many northerners that American slavery could not be reconciled with American freedom. Conflict between the two sides, one favorable to slavery and one opposed, was all but inevitable.

These virtual gallerys provide information from multiple perspectives, primary source documents, and information about the ties the city had to the south and the fight against slavery.  There are also additional resources for educators on the websites.

State of the Internet

The internet is changing at a rapid pace and it is an integral part of our lives.  The statistics and information in this video created by Jesse Thomas are staggering and eye-opening. 

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.

Mar 30, 2010


Determining what to write about is often the most difficult part of the writing process.  PicLits is a creative writing site that allows users to choose an image, then select words that go along with the picture. Users can choose words from a word bank or they can choose the freestyle option and work on your own.  PicLits has a variety of pictures for users to select from.  Users can also browse the PicLits Gallery to view work that others have created.

PicLit from

Also, here are a few websites with writing prompt generators:


With students spending an increasing amount of time online and communicating digitally, cyberbullying is becoming more and more of an issue. 

What is cyberbullying?
"Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.   -- Stop Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is even more damaging because it can happen at any time.  Many students today are creating new lives online through various social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.  Children interact in many different ways throughout the day digitally including texting, messaging, and e-mail.  The internet gives children power through anonymity and gives them more independence than they may be ready for.  They do not always believe that what they type or post is just as damaging as what is spoken.

Frontline's Growing Up Online program addresses issues regarding how the internet is transforming children's lives.  The sixth section of the video is about a 13-year old boy who was a victim of cyberbullying who took his own life in 2003.  There is also an interview with his father in which he discusses the role of cyberbullying played in the death of his son.

What can be done to help stop cyberbullying?

It is important that teachers, administrators, and parents work together to help keep students safe online and prevent cyberbullying.  Students need to be taught how to safely use technology and how to deal with situations that are inappropriate.  A few tips for teachers and parents are below.
  • Teach students how to use technology to block cyberbullies.
  • Monitor student use of computers both at home and at school.
  • Tell students to never forward harmful or cruel messages or images.
  • Encourage students to report instances of cyberbullying to a parent, teacher, or trusted adult.
  • Raise awareness in the schools and community about cyberbullying.
Other resources about cyberbullying: