COVID-19 & OER Project

 All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

  • OER Project & standards alignment

    Click on a highlighted state to see standards alignment materials!

    The OER Project team has been hard at work making sure both our courses—the World History Project (WHP) and Big History Project (BHP)—align with state standards. Thus far, we’ve created standard alignment crosswalks and executive summaries for 10 states and the District of Columbia including Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan…

    • 26 May 2020
  • Bake like a Roman

    Bennett Sherry, OER Project Team
    Maine, USA

    As quarantine drags on, a lot of people have turned to bread making. Seriously, do a quick search for “sourdough starter” on Twitter or Instagram—people are getting weird about their bread.

    Water, flour, and time. That’s all you need to make bread, though humans have added flourishes through history. Bread making is an old art. How old? You might think that…

    • 21 May 2020
  • It ain’t the 5G, people!

    Trevor Getz, OER Project Team
    San Francisco, USA

    What causes COVID-19?

    Is 5G radio technology causing or exacerbating the epidemic of COVID-19 that is currently sweeping the globe?

    Of course not. 

    We know 5G isn’t the cause because we can use the scientific method to establish a chain of evidence that connects a corona-shaped virus—SARS CoV-2—to the symptoms that we experience as COVID-19. The scientific basis for establishing…

    • 14 May 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 8

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the eighth and final episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. …

    • 13 May 2020
  • Student Responses to COVID-19 and Distance Learning

    While our students are focused on learning history, they are also living it. And the first few months of 2020 have proved to be quite the time to live through. We reached out to a few Big History and World History Project teachers who had asked their students to journal about their experiences with COVID-19, sheltering in place, and distance learning. The comments we received floored us, it’s clear that students are thinking…

    • 7 May 2020
  • The Classroom in Your Home(Room) – Week 7

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the seventh episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (You can read…

    • 6 May 2020
  • What's next?

    Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, BHP Team Member
    Louisiana, USA

    In the words of the ‘90s band Blur, “And it looks like we might have made it / Yes it looks like we’ve made it to the end.” It’s certainly been a strange school year. For some, it might be a more welcoming or disheartening sight than usual, considering the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this blog post, we’re going to do something different and transform…

    • 5 May 2020
  • Introducing our free, online PD: Teaching World History!

    WHP Team
    Washington, USA

    Everyone—from Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa to Frodo from Lord of the Rings—would likely agree: When you’re about to embark on an exciting journey into new waters, it’s good to have a map. Imagine if our fearless protagonist had a map of Middle-earth rather than having to consult the creature named Gollum for directions to Mordor. It would have been a game changer.…

    • 4 May 2020
  • A Raise? In This Economy?!

    By Bennett Sherry, WHP Team
    Maine, USA

    There’s a myth about this pandemic. You might have heard news anchors or politicians mention that COVID-19 is “the great leveler,” that it makes no distinction between rich and poor. But that’s nonsense. Evidence suggests that the poor are more likely to catch COVID-19, and they’re more likely to die of it. In the United States, people of color suffer disproportionately…

    • 30 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 6

    OER Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the sixth episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (You can read Episode…

    • 29 Apr 2020
  • A Splinter-Free History of Toilet Paper

    By Bennett Sherry, WHP Team
    Maine, USA

    Life under a pandemic is serious. We're all dealing with difficult times right now. The WHP blog provides plenty of serious material on COVID-19, but we also want to leave room for levity from time to time. So keep an eye out for the occasional lighter post, where we dig into the history behind some of the more surprising human reactions to the pandemic.

    This pandemic is a bummer…

    • 23 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 5

    OER Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the fifth episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (Find past episodes…

    • 22 Apr 2020
  • “Continuity and Gains Over Time”: An OER Project Fitness Series

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    As we all spend more time at home, you might find yourself doing something you don’t do much as a teacher: sitting. Get up and move!

    Join Mike Skomba (OER Project teacher extraordinaire and the 2020 New Jersey Strength Coach of the Year), along with other OER Project teachers and team members, for a weekly movement session. Mike is hosting a free, 4-week online fitness series for World…

    • 20 Apr 2020
  • Calculating Coronavirus: Simple Steps to Reading Data

    Marissa Major, OER Teacher
    Santa Cruz, USA

    What are you doing during this “shelter in place” crisis? Maybe you’re watching a lot of Netflix, or working—from home or out in the world in an essential job. Maybe you’re avoiding the news. If you’re anything like me, you’re reading, watching, or listening to a lot of news, and in the process, you’re probably seeing a lot of charts that represent data. Some of these charts can…

    • 16 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 4

    OER Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the fourth episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (See the first post…

    • 15 Apr 2020
  • Wash Your Hands! Our Collective History of Hygiene

    Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, WHP Team
    Louisiana, USA

    Everyone—and I mean everyone—is telling you to wash your hands. And yes, handwashing and social distancing will help keep you healthy and prevent the spread of this coronavirus. But have you ever thought about why we wash our hands in the first place? The normal story we learn is that humans in the past were dirty, and we became cleaner over time as society became…

    • 9 Apr 2020
  • WHP: Now Available on Khan Academy!

    WHP Team

    We’ve got some exciting news! You can now find a version of the World History Project Origins course on Khan Academy. Before you dive in, we want to say something up front: WHP was designed for classrooms run by teachers. At the OER Project, we believe firmly that education is intended to happen in a classroom, with educators like you leading the way. But we recognize that there are times—such as now—when…

    • 8 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 3

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the third episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. See prior posts…

    • 8 Apr 2020
  • What’s New: A WHP Update

    Coming Soon: For the 2020/21 school year!

    Writing assessments: If you’re familiar with the Big History Project (BHP), then you know how much we emphasize the importance of writing as a historical thinking practice. WHP will be no different. We are creating a series of writing assessments, which will be offered at the end of each era/unit, and will alternate between document-based questions (DBQs) and free-response…

    • 3 Apr 2020
  • Community Responses to Pandemics

    Bennett Sherry, WHP Team
    Maine, USA

    Pandemics are scary. People don't act like themselves when they're scared. Think about some of the things you or your family and friends have done during the current pandemic. Maybe you noticed that a dear family friend now guards a dragon's hoard of toilet paper. Individuals act in odd ways when they’re scared. And when fear is strong enough, like during a pandemic, it can make whole…

    • 2 Apr 2020
  • To what extent has the Modern Revolution been a positive or a negative force?

    Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, BHP Team Member
    Louisiana, USA

    Well, we’re all probably in some weird limbo land at the moment with the spread of the coronavirus shutting down schools across the nation and the world. And while it can be a pretty scary time for kids (and adults!), there are lots of connections that can be made in Unit 9, which focuses on globalization, to what is happening in our world right now. Another…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) – Week 2

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the second episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (See the first…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • Answering Questions Using Historical Inquiry

    Trevor R. Getz, WHP Team
    San Francisco, USA

     It took me a long time and a lot of hard work to figure out how to think like a historian, but it’s been worth it. I use those skills every day, to orient myself to the world around me, to figure out what’s going on, and to make plans for the future. Probably the most important historian’s practice I’ve learned is the skill of conducting historical inquiry.…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • The Naming of Diseases: Why It Matters

    Trevor R. Getz, WHP Team
    San Francisco, USA

    What’s in a name? Somewhere between 1493 and 1495 CE, the disease we know as syphilis began to spread rapidly across Europe. When a person became infected, first they developed sores, then a rash, sore throat, a fever, and eventually such terrible symptoms as brain damage and blindness. Nobody really knew where it had come from (there are still debates today!), but the Italians…

    • 26 Mar 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) – Week 1

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    For the time being, we’re at home, as are our students. For those of us that haven’t taught at a distance before, this can be a little daunting.

    We know it isn’t as simple…

    • 21 Mar 2020