The Digital Textbook
Full credit for this concept and these resources goes to Jim Burke of The English Teacher's Companion. Use these resources to choose a "text" (may be film, image, video, poem, article, etc.) for reflection in your Weekly One-Page assignment. For a more extensive list of options, resources, and examples, go to the original Digital Textbook site.
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design): "TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. Our mission: Spreading ideas. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."
Time Magazine's Photo Essays: Time magazine offers a compelling visual documentation of the week through photographs. The site also includes easily accessible archives of past weeks. Every picture here is worth…well, you guessed it: a thousand words
The Newshour Essays: "These five-minute video essays appear regularly at the end of The Newshour. They are wonderful commentaries on our society, but more importantly they are good. They incorporate words and images to help us understand art, sports, politics, and ourselves. You can view the actual video-essays through the web site. When you go to this page you see a nicely organized list of topics, complete with descriptions of what they talk about in the essay."
American Rhetoric: "Years worth of great speeches are captured here, as well as some interesting exercises for students of speech and American History. Check out the Daily Speech or the Most Requested Speeches or dig deeper and look at the searchable database or the 100 Great Speeches."
War Letters: "Launched on November 11, 1998, the Legacy Project is a national, all-volunteer initiative that encourages Americans to honor and remember those who have served—or are currently serving—this nation in wartime by seeking out and preserving their letters and e-mails home. We believe these personal messages offer unique insight into warfare and the thoughts and perspectives of those who have experienced it firsthand. Wartime letters and e-mails are also powerful reminders that U.S. troops are not just soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen; they are husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. Every one of these individuals has a distinct voice and personality, and our mission is to preserve their stories—as expressed in their own words—for posterity."
Poetry 180: "This site is devoted to high school students. US poet laureate Billy Collins feels that poetry must be read and enjoyed, not constantly 'tied to a chair and beaten with a hose until it says what it means.' Here you will find 180 poems, one for each day of the school year, that you will enjoy and want to write about."
Favorite Poem Project: This page offers a list of Americans' favorite poems; each poem is available in written form but also as a video (never more than five minutes) based on the poem.
Found Magazine: "We collect found stuff: love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles—anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's life. Anything goes. We certainly didn't invent the idea of found stuff being cool. Every time we visit our friends in other towns, someone's always got some kind of unbelievable discovered note or photo on their fridge. We decided to make a bunch of projects so that everyone can check out all the strange, hilarious and heartbreaking things people have picked up and passed our way. "
Daily Word: "Every word they choose is worth knowing, but what is interesting is the story behind the word. Every day you get a word and its history. For those who like language or want to improve their vocabulary, this is a fun pick."
Daily History: "This site is part of the Library of Congress's American Memory Project. Each day they create a remarkable page about an important person or historical event related that date. For those interested in looking further, each page also includes many additional links for further study. Each day you will find an image, a story, and an important piece of information about your own country."
Most of the above are borrowed from Jim Burke's excellent Digital Textbook. For additional information and feedback from a vibrant community of English Teachers, consider becoming a member (free) of The English Companion Ning.