• Introducing Project X and Project Score

    Know a teacher on the fence about trying OER Project? Our new standalone course extensions are a great way to sample what we do.

    If you logged into the OER Project platform recently, you probably noticed two new course offerings: Project X and Project Score. You might be asking yourself, “What ARE they and who should use them?”

    At OER Project, we've been working hard to make great content easily accessible…

    • 17 Dec 2020
  • Lunchtime! What are OER Project teachers eating in 2020?

    By OER Project Staff

    Lukewarm coffee, anyone? Brewed just two class periods ago!

    Between teaching (virtually, in person, or hybrid style), the holidays, good old winter, and, of course, the pandemic, who has time to think about lunch?!

    Thank you so much, everyone, for sharing your midday routines—whether it’s a quick eat-at-your-desk salad, or a hopefully-not-still-ice-cold frozen dish. We have loved reading about your…

    • 15 Dec 2020
  • OER Project at NCSS 2020: A quick recap

    By the OER Project Team

    While we were really looking forward to a trip to the nation’s capital for this year’s National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), 2020—as we all know too well—had different plans for us. Despite the move to a virtual format, we were excited to see many faces, familiar and new, in three OER Project sessions during NCSS, December 5 and 6. Here’s a quick recap of the fun!…

    • 15 Dec 2020
  • December Community Highlights

    By the OER Project Team

    Whether you’re looking for that next great activity to “wow” your students, novel ideas for distance learning, or some extra help with a specific teaching topic, the OER Project Community is a great place to collaborate with fellow teachers and scholars. Here are a few exciting discussions taking place right now!

    What legacy will your art leave?

    Here’s a very engaging activity…

    • 3 Dec 2020
  • Historicizing holidays

    By Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, OER Project Team
    Louisiana, USA

    The arrival of colder temperatures, at least in the northern hemisphere, means it’s holiday season! Our students start to get excited for this time of year—I mean who wouldn’t, right?! They get to dress up for Halloween, enjoy the lights of Diwali, stuff themselves for Thanksgiving, and celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa with family. And, of course…

    • 1 Dec 2020
  • “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…. and you helped create him.”

    By Trevor Getz, OER Project Team
    San Francisco, USA

    History, it is sometimes claimed, is the study of continuity and change over time (CCOT). Most historians and teachers demote CCOT to just one among several core competencies in the formal study of the past. They place it alongside other skills with labels like sourcing, historical empathy, comparison, and causation. Even put in its place among complementary skills, the…

    • 1 Dec 2020
  • November Community Highlights

    By the OER Project Team

    It’s been a busy month in the OER Project Community, a virtual space where teachers and scholars can share ideas, ask questions, and find inspiration. Here are just a few of the important conversations happening right now. Check out the topics below and don’t be afraid to add your voice to the discussion! 

    “Jamboarding the EP Notebook,” with Angela Flakker 

    How can your students…

    • 17 Nov 2020
  • What’s in a workspace? A glimpse into some OER Project teacher setups!

    By the OER Project Team

    We have had a blast peeking into your virtual and in-person classrooms—what an inspiring collection of workspaces! Thanks to all of you who shared your classrooms and corners, your tips on how to get the most out of an adjusted setup, your best Zoom backgrounds and costumes, and your sanitizing stations.

    Check out some of the highlights below: we’ve chosen a couple of winners in some unusual…

    • 17 Nov 2020
  • One-vote margins and coin flips: Putting the 2020 election count in context

    By Trevor Getz, OER Project Team
    San Francisco, USA

    So that was a pretty close election, eh?

    Or… was it?

    As of the writing of this blog post, Joe Biden has 75,641,852 votes, while Donald Trump has received 71,252,741. That’s a difference of 3.0%, with the gap expected to grow. Even if we focus on the Electoral College, which is what really counts in American presidential elections, we’re looking at a projected total…

    • 10 Nov 2020
  • Assessment at a distance: Not so different from assessment in person

    By the OER Project Team

    By now, you may be settling into the new routines and practices that come with teaching at a distance. Just as you do when you teach in the physical classroom, you likely have a “am I ready to teach today?” checklist you go through each morning:

    • Camera on, audio working, and light good? Check.
    • Zoom room ready? Check.
    • Lesson plan revised for teaching at a distance? Check.
    • Business on…
    • 3 Nov 2020
  • October tips & tricks for distance learning

    By the OER Project Team

    At the OER Project, we’re always eager to collect feedback so that we can best support you. Considering how new Teaching at a Distance is for all of us, we’d love to hear what you think about our TaaD materials. What’s working? What’s not? What would you like to see? Let us know here!

    At this point in the school year, teaching remotely may still feel brand new—or, it may…

    • 2 Nov 2020
  • “Urbanization from the Bottom-Up”

    By Bennett Sherry, OER Project Team
    Maine, USA

    I want to tell you a story about cities. It’s a story about the challenges of urbanization, and it’s a story about the modern advances that allowed cities to grow. It’s a story from the bottom up.

    If you live in a wealthy nation, you probably don’t think about this story. You conduct your business and flush it down unseen pipes, not worrying about what comes…

    • 2 Nov 2020
  • Writing historical essays—not as easy as it sounds!

    By Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, OER Project Team
    Louisiana, USA

    This was a difficult blog to write—go figure that the “writing” blog post would be the hardest to write! The problem is that historical writing is hard for anyone—whether student or adult—to master. That puts a lot of pressure on us in our role as teachers. On top of that, historical writing requires so many different elements that students often struggle…

    • 2 Nov 2020
  • Humans ARE world history: Introducing WHP graphic biographies!

    By the OER Project Team

    Where do you and your students fit in world history?

    The history of the world is an immeasurably large topic spanning millennia of time and huge stretches of land and ocean. A person, by contrast, is usually between three and six feet tall and generally lives for less than a century. It follows that humans fit into world history in such a way that they basically disappear in the vastness of space…

    • 13 Oct 2020
  • Teaching at a Distance framework – I do, we do, you do

    By the OER Project Team

    This blog provides an explanation of our guiding Teaching at a Distance (TaaD) framework, but we've got many more TaaD materials for you! Head on over to the TaaD Center for more (make sure you're logged into your OER Project account).

    I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!! That’s not just a fun childhood saying…it’s also a great mnemonic device for remembering the general…

    • 5 Oct 2020
  • Time for history: OER Project Periodization

    By Bennett Sherry, OER Project Team
    Maine, USA

    What. A. Year. If you’re like me, time has felt weird in 2020. It’s flown by and yet slowed to a crawl. The drudgery of quarantine day-to-day is punctuated by the sudden, all-encompassing horror that—holy...! Summer’s over? How?!

    Can you do me a favor? (You’re not busy this time of year, are you?) If you assigned the History of Me or the Draw…

    • 1 Oct 2020
  • Foraging or farming? Two visual answers to an age-old question.

    By Trevor Getz, OER Project Team
    San Francisco, USA

    It used to be such a simple story. Humans started out as dirty, primitive, cave people. Then they learned how to use tools. Stones to hunt and dig and cut with. Fire to cook with, making edible the inedible. Pottery to store provisions in. But food was still sometimes scarce. So they innovated. They found ways to grow their food, and keep and domesticate animals for their…

    • 1 Oct 2020
  • We'll see you (virtually) at NCSS 2020!

    By OER Project Team

    We all know 2020 has thrown more than a few curve balls our way. The daily routines of educators and students have been upended. But, not surprisingly, we see teachers continue to do what they’ve always done when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles: keep on. Keep on teaching, keep on caring, and keep on learning. So we’re pretty sure a professional development opportunity as cool as…

    • 21 Sep 2020
  • Developing classroom culture at a distance

    By OER Project Team

    It’s more important than ever to foster a positive classroom culture. We’re all facing new challenges and a huge amount of uncertainty in our lives. Before we can even get to teaching and learning, we must attend to our students’ well-being and make sure we’ve established a safe and comfortable learning environment. This helps engage students, makes them more open to sharing their successes…

    • 21 Sep 2020
  • Teaching at a Distance Center Overview

    This blog provides an explanation of what you'll find in our TaaD Center. Don't forget to log in with your OER Project account to access the TaaD Center itself!

    As many of us transition into the wild west of teaching in 2020, we’re confronted with what feels like a million different models of teaching: teaching in school; teaching from home; teaching from school while some students are there and some are at home;…

    • 10 Sep 2020
  • Drum roll please: WHP writing activities and assessments are here!

    By the OER Project Team

    It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for—well, maybe not the moment you’ve been waiting for because an end to the pandemic would be way better, but it is pretty exciting news. The World History Project (WHP) writing progression activities and assessments are now live on the OER Project website! To mark this event, we thought that a blog post explaining the progression…

    • 4 Sep 2020
  • Three Close Reads: A powerful tool for training students to read critically—for life

    By Eman Elshaikh, OER Project Team
    Chicago, USA

    Whether your classroom is a physical or virtual place, keeping students engaged can be tricky, especially when it comes to reading. But we all know there’s no way to achieve learning unless students are engaged with both the content and skills. The OER Project’s answer to this problem? The Three Close Reads approach. We use this approach across the Big History Project and…

    • 1 Sep 2020
  • A world on the move

    By Bennett Sherry, OER Project Team
    Maine, USA

    When you tell someone about your day, where do you start? What elements do you focus on? What about the story of your life?

    I’m willing to bet that your stories emphasize movement. Where did you go? How did you get there? Where are you from? What journeys changed your life, and what people did you meet along the way? When you ask your students to envision their future, do…

    • 1 Sep 2020
  • Practice makes perfect: Practice Question feature now available!

    By the OER Project Team

    We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Practice Questions feature, available now in all OER Project courses! If you’re a veteran of Big History, you may be thinking “Oh, you’ve just moved the unit quizzes to the new platform.” Not quite – they’ve gotten an upgrade! We partnered with Khan Academy and incorporated their deep understanding of assessment to create these questions. Our writing…

    • 28 Aug 2020
  • Keep learning going: The OER Conference for Social Studies

    Watch Yohuru Williams discuss what he describes as "The Lewis Doctrine" and the gift John Lewis left for social studies teachers.

    Spring 2020 was a difficult period for educators determined to keep learning going. By the end of March, it was clear that even by fall, students would not all be back in classrooms learning as usual. In conversations with groups like the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS…

    • 13 Aug 2020