Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
1, 2011 - Volume 9 Number 6
by Paul and Vicki
Cheyenne River Youth Project®: Developing Potential
The Cheyenne River Youth Project® (CRYP), established
in 1988, has become an essential youth and family services
organization, integral to the Cheyenne River Reservations
support system, in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Our organization
has become vital not only because we provide innovative youth
programming and family services, but also because we are a
grassroots initiative tailored to meet the needs of our community.
With over 369 family memberships reservation wide, CRYP represents
local problem solving for critical community concerns.
FIRST NATIONS FILMS distributes and creates award-winning
television Aboriginal documentary films and videos for, by
and about First Nations people. Our exclusive educational
native programs are shared with schools, universities, libraries,
organizations and other groups and institutions throughout
the world. Please visit our website for a complete list and
video highlights from each film. Buy online at the website.
The Iroquois are the originators of the modern day game of Lacrosse.
Shrouded in time, Lacrosse was played among the Confederacy
long before the coming of the Europeans to the shores of North
America. It can be said that when the Europeans first came to
America, Lacrosse was one of the most popular and widespread
games played across the continent and with many variations.
The long stick game played internationally today belongs to
Move! in Indian Country
Lets Move! in Indian Country is a comprehensive initiative
dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation,
so that children born today will grow up healthier and able
to pursue their dreams. Sure, this is an ambitious goal. But
with your help, we can do it.
Nike N7 is our commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits
to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the USA and
Canada. Through activity, competition and play you can unleash
the power of your generation. You can grow up active and healthy.
Sport gives you self-confidence, enabling you to be a force
for positive change in your community.
Lets Move! in Indian Country!
Throughout the history of our Nation, Native communities have
provided some of the best examples of healthy lifestyles. To
build on the strength of this tradition, and to promote good
nutrition and physical activity across Indian Country, the Lets
Move! in Indian Country collaboration was formed as a part of
First Lady Michelle Obamas Lets Move!
If you've ever thought about dipping your toe into the blogosphere,
there are dozens of free blogging platforms to choose from.
I've rounded up my five favorites for your consideration.
Blogging can be a tool of self-reflection, or a way to express
your talents. There are almost as many reasons to blog as
there are blogs. So pick a platform, and explore, but proceed
carefully with children, as many blogs are not G-rated.
The free Blogger/BlogSpot platform is owned by Google. It is
very easy to use, has great analytics, and excellent photo gallery
integration with Picasa. Another feature they offer is the ability
to use your own domain name such as "example.com"
instead of "example.blogspot.com." Although Blogger
doesn't charge for this, it will cost you an annual fee (around
$12 depending on where you purchase it) to own your domain.
"LiveJournal is a community publishing platform, willfully
blurring the lines between blogging and social networking."
And the social aspect of LiveJournal is its strongest feature,
because it is very easy to keep up with recent posts from your
LiveJournal friends. But some consider it a gated community
that doesn't interact much with the outside world. With a directory
of schools listed by country and state, classrooms can reach
out to each other via this blogging tool. But my usual note
of caution is still applicable, as many blogs that are listed
by school are still not child-friendly.
Although Squidoo doesn't offer traditional blogs with time-stamped
posts appearing in reverse chronological order, they do offer
a free platform for self-expression in the form of one-page
micro blogs. First step at Squidoo is getting acquainted with
the lingo. Each Squidoo article is called a lens, authors are
lensmasters, and each lens must contain a minimum of three modules.
When setting up your lensmaster account, be sure to leave Safe
Browsing set to G (which is the default.)
Tumblr is a relatively new platform that encourages "reblogging"
as a way to build community. About half of the posts at Tumblr
are photos. The other half are a mix of text, links, music,
quotes, and video. Tumblr has good integration with Facebook
and Twitter, supports hi-res photos, and has great tools for
mobile and email posting. As with almost all of the Internet,
you need to be cautious of age-inappropriate content here, as
there is no built-in G-rating filter.
"We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless
at the same time." Wordpress.com is a free online hosting
service for blogs, while it's sister site (Wordpress.org)
provides a downloadable open-source software package for hosting
elsewhere. I like their free hosted version for students and
other beginner bloggers because WordPress skills learned here
can later be applied to any blog running WordPress software.
And because WordPress is the world's leading blogging platform,
there are millions of them!
What's happening in online education is earth-shattering.
If you have the motivation and desire to learn, you can now
audit free classes taught by distinguished professors at many
of the world's most prestigious universities. In addition
to the fly-on-the-wall experience of watching a lecture on
video, many of these courses include exercises, reading assignments,
and online discussions with other students. And today's selections
are not limited to college-level material, as some of these
sites also provide middle-school and high-school classes.
AcademicEarth is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to
a "world class education." College-level video classes
and supplemental materials (such as exercises and reading
assignments) are available from universities such as Berkeley,
Columbia, Harvard and Yale. They are listed by subject, university,
or instructor, and are also available as Playlists. Playlists
are themetic collections of lectures (usually from a variety
of colleges) picked by the AcademicEarth editors. Recent playlists
included The Sound of Music, Money Makes the World Go Round
and You Are What You Eat, with about a half-dozen lectures
in each list.
More than 400 universities (including Stanford, Yale, MIT,
Oxford, and UC Berkeley) distribute classes and lectures through
the Apple iTunes Store. Additionally, you'll also find content
from organizations such as MoMA, the New York Public Library,
Public Radio International, and PBS stations. And it's not
just MP3 audio files, either. Classes can include PDFs, ebooks,
slideshows, and movies. To get started, download the free
iTunes software (for Mac or PC) or to learn about mobile access,
watch the video "Learn how to access iTunes U on your
iPhone or iPod Touch."
Kahn Academy is a non-profit educational organization that
began simply enough in 2004 when founder Sal Khan was remote
tutoring his cousins in middle-school and high-school math,
and found that making YouTube videos to explain the concepts
was the best use of his time. Now, seven years and 2100 videos
later, Khan Academy has delivered more than five million lessons
all around the world. Topics include all levels of math and
science, although they are working to expand into other subjects
such as history.
Course Ware Consortium
The Open Course Ware (OCW) Consortium site is a directory
of courses housed at member's websites, so there is a lot
of diversity in layout and formats. But the concept is great,
and participating American institutions include MIT, Tufts
University, and University of Michigan. The mostly college-level
courses can be searched by source, subject and language, but
there is a warning that not all OCW sites are included in
the search database, so if you are looking for a specific
class from a specific source, it is better to visit the directory
of OCW websites, and search directly from the member's website.
"Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a
selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished
teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project
is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish
to learn." Remember the use of the word "introductory"
is relative! Classes include Freshman Organic Chemistry, The
American Novel Since 1945, and Roman Architecture. Some classes
include study groups (an online discussion board with other
virtual students) through the third-party site OpenStudy.
Spiders are eight-legged creatures that produce silk and have
venomous fangs. They are found in every continent expect Antarctica,
and rank seventh in species diversity among all organisms! Although
frequently associated with webs, there are some spiders that
do not spin webs. Learn more at today's site picks
Museum: Spider Myths
Spider expert Rod Crawford, Curator of Arachnids at Burke Museum
in Seattle, WA, says that nearly all "widespread information
about spiders is false." This collection of spider myths,
misconceptions and superstitions has grown out of his desire
to educate us. The first myth he tackles is that spiders are
insects. Spiders, however, have eight legs and belong to the
Class Arachnida, while insects have six legs and are in the
Class Insecta. "Arachnids are as distant from insects,
as birds are from fish. It really is not a trivial distinction!"
For young explorers, Enchanted Learning has dozens of spidery
crafts, rhymes and printable worksheets. My favorite clicks
are the Label the Spider Anatomy printout (with definitions
for spider parts such as spinnerets, pedicel, abdomen and cephalothorax)
and the Tarantula fact sheet. "The biggest tarantula is
Pseudotherathosa apophysis, which has a leg span of about 13
inches (33 cm). These arachnids have a very long life span;
some species can live over 30 years."
Kidzone has lots and lots of spider activities (worksheets,
printable puzzles, coloring pages) plus an excellent Spider
Fact slide show and cool, creepy photo gallery. "All spiders
are predators and many will eat other spiders. Scientists have
found spiders in amber (Did you watch Jurassic Park?) that dates
back to about 2 million years. Because spider's skeletons are
quite small and fragile it is difficult to find whole fossilized
"Several families of hunting spiders, such as jumping spiders
and wolf spiders, have fair to excellent vision. The main pair
of eyes in jumping spiders even see in color." Australian
teacher and webmaster Glenda Crew publishes the huge Spiderz
Rule site that is chock-full of spider facts, photos, spider
bite first aid, spider Q&A, poems, stories submitted by
children, worksheets, art projects, and even recipes (for chocolate
spiders and spider cookies!) For classroom activities and printable
worksheets, look in the left-hand menu for Spider Lessons.
This site provides an identification guide to American spiders
from the dangerous and venomous (such as brown recluse and
black widow) to low-risk spiders (such as the huntsman and
trap-door spiders. In addition to details about each spider's
toxicity, physical description, and habitat facts, there is
a first-aid page that describes spider bite symptoms and gives
illustrated first-aid instructions. Termite.com also offers
free printed copies of their spider chart via mail (if you
live in the States.)
This week's site selection is dedicated to improving search
skills. Some of today's sites feature a single daily question
(or search challenge), and others offer topic-based research
questions often called online scavenger hunts. Good hunting!
Question of the Day
These are fun, topical questions, but often very easily answered
with a single search. For example, on the day of the royal wedding,
the Ask Question of the Day was "Will Kate Middleton become
Queen?" To see the answer displayed along with the Ask
results, simply click on the question or the "See the Answer"
button. Oh, and the answer is "If Prince William does become
King, she would be the Queen Consort."
Best: Internet Scavenger Hunts
Vicki Blackwell brings us lots and lots of scavenger hunts.
A few have fallen victim to link rot (URLs that no longer work)
but there are so many goodies here, I just had to ignore the
few problems. The first batch (listed at the top of the page)
is hunts created by teachers in the Tangipahoa Parish School
System in Louisiana. Next comes a PowerPoint presentation that
consists of research questions called "mini-hunts."
The third section is a collection of both on-site and off-site
scavenger hunts, some from sites such as Education World, Scholastic
World: Internet Scavenger Hunts
Education World has organized their large collection of printable
scavenger hunts (in PDF format) by month. For example, May includes
Memorial Day Memories, April Showers Bring May Flowers, Honoring
our Veterans and fourteen other topics. In addition to the one-page
activity sheets with questions and links to web resources, Education
World provides online answer keys.
Google a Day
"There's no right way to solve it, but there's only one
right answer." This fun, daily scavenger hunt from Google
is special for several reasons. First, the daily questions are
created so as not to be easily found with a single search; it
usually will take at least two searches (sometimes more) to
find the answer. Another unique part of Google a Day is that
it is powered by Deja Google. Calling it a "wormhole inspired
time machine", Deja Google is a snapshot of yesterday's
Google results, so that other players will not spoil your fun
by having their answers appear in your Google results.
Café: Question of the Day
"What is the name of the metallic alloy composed of copper
and zinc?" "At the age of twenty-three, in 1740,
she became Empress of Austria. During her forty year reign
she had sixteen children, one of whom was Marie Antoinette,
future Queen of France. Who was she?" With both daily
and weekly trivia questions, along with subject categories
(such as Animals, History, Mathematics) there are abundant
opportunities for search practice here at Trivia Café.
Computer Questions and Answers
Oh, the joys and terrors of technology! We've all been through
it. Sometimes computers can be so useful, and other times they
can be so frustrating. To help with your technology hurdles,
here's my personal list of favorite tech gurus, each with a
huge online archive of questions and answers. Like the Internet
itself, these free websites run 24/7 to help find answers when
you need them. Each guru also sends a free newsletter to keep
you updated on new topics. I recommend signing up for a few
Dave Taylor covers a lot of territory, answering questions about
iPhones, Facebook, Unix, Limewire, HTML, blogs, CSS, building
websites, Mac OS, and even "D) None of the Above."
Site search is located in the right-hand menu, where there is
also a listing of popular articles, a category listing, and
a big red Ask Dave button. When you get to the Ask Dave page,
you have three choices: search his site, post your question
at a for-a-fee site endorsed by Dave, or scroll all the way
down the page to send Dave a question for free (as long as you
don't check the "Help! I need immediate assistance"
button, which is fee-based.)
"Helping people with computers ... one answer at a time."
Leo Notenboom is a retired Microsoft software engineer who has
been answering tech questions online since 2003. Best way to
find an answer is to use the search function (scroll down the
front page to see it.) Popular and recent answers are listed
in the right-hand column, or peruse answers listed by category
(look for the Categories link near the bottom of the page.)
Although Leo does cover a variety of Apple topics, and many
questions are applicable to all platforms, he fields a lot of
Microsoft, Hotmail and Windows questions.
Ludington's Digital Lifestyle
Jake Ludington is a multimedia expert, and answers questions
about digital video and podcasting, as well as computer productivity
tools, Macs, iPhones, and social media such as blogging and
Facebook. His "Ask a Question" form is easy to find
(in the upper left-hand corner of every page), as is his site
search (upper right-hand corner.) Many of his tutorials include
"Get the most from your Mac, iPhone, iPod and Apple TV"
with Gary Rosenzweig's huge library of how-to videos, podcasts,
and articles. Gary is a computer book author, computer game
programmer, and producer and host of the MacMost video series.
With more than 550 video episodes on topics such as security,
connectivity, backing up and GarageBand, you are very likely
to find the Mac answers you need. In addition to using the site
search to find your answer, be sure to check out the MacMost
forum where you can ask your own question, or help other visitors
by answering their questions.
Computer book author Allen Wyatt runs a network of helpful
sites focusing on Microsoft Word and Excel. Since the format
of this review only allows me to display one URL, I chose
the Word Tips site for versions 2007 and later (also known
as Ribbon Interface Word.) To access the other sites, mouse
over the Tips.Net tab in the horizontal menu near the top
of the site.
Students And Teachers Against Racism
announces their new website that offers insight into the Native
American perspective to teachers and educators.
Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund
raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek
to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination,
racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.