Mapwing: A Virtual Tour of Prague

Hello Bloggers!  This week in my Learning Technologies class I learned about Web 2.0 Tools and how to integrate them in the classroom.  We had to pick our favorite tool, create a product using that tool to use in the classroom, and make a screencast of how to create using that tool.  I have become an expert on Mapwing, a site that help you create virtual tours to tell a story.  I choose to create a product based on a lesson I gave on the causes of the Cold War.  Using Mapwing, I created a virtual tour of the city of Prague in the Czech Republic to help students peek behind the Iron Curtain.  There is a link to my tour above.

The lesson I designed is based off of the following Standard, Topic, Indicator, and Objective of the Maryland Common Core:

Standard 5: United States History

Topic: A. Challenges of the Post War World

Indicator: Analyze the causes, events, and policies of the Cold War between 1946-1968 (5.4.1)

Objectives: a. Describe the response of the United States to communist expansion in Europe, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift (1948), and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Political Science, Geography, Economics)

My lesson focuses on the events immediately following World War II, and how the US-Soviet relations quickly disintegrated from allies to enemies.  By using the tour of Prague as an anticipatory activity, I wanted to introduce students not only to a place affected by this divergence, but also introduce the complexity of the conflict.  I wanted students to think about how the Cold War affected world history and US history.  I wanted them to understand the “communism” was not a united front against “democracy,” just like many countries did not appreciate the US’s endeavor to “make” them democratic.  Thus, the tour is attempting to have students to put himself or herself in the place of someone living behind the Iron Curtain.  Then, in the lesson, I want to explain how the Cold War unfolded, giving students the opportunity to evaluate the US’s policies throughout this period.  There are two sides to every conflict, and I want the tour to take them “behind enemy lines” in order to effectively evaluate the key players and their reactions at the time.

“Using the State Curriculum: US History, High School.” School Improvement in Maryland. Maryland State Department of Education, 27 February 2006.  Web.  1 April 2013.

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