Social Studies

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Art in the Era of the Internet | Off Book

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The Internet has created connections between people across the planet. In this episode, we take a look at the impact of this new interconnectivity on the art world. Traditional funding models are dissolving, new forms of expressing ownership have arisen to accommodate for remix culture, and artists are finding ways to connect physical art experiences and traditions to the Internet. In the digital era, the experience of art from the perspective of the artist and the art audience is shifting rapidly, and bringing more people into the creative process.

Singing with Angry Bird | Lesson Plan Clips: Cultural Competence and Cultural Humility in Cross-Cultural Exchange

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After he retired from his career in opera, Jae-Chang Kim relocated to the Indian city of Pune where he started the Banana Children’s Choir for children living in the city’s slums. Affectionately nicknamed Angry Bird by his students, Jae-Chang Kim is not attempting to train his youth choir members to work as professional musicians; instead he wants to introduce them to the world beyond Pune through music and performance. But the children’s parents, who are struggling in the economic margins, wonder if the time spent at choir practice could be better used studying and helping to earn money for the family. 

The film Singing with Angry Bird follows Jae-Chang Kim for a year as he attempts to involve the parents in the choir by inviting them to rehearse for and perform in a joint concert with their kids. As the project intersects with the choir families’ daily challenges, Angry Bird and the singers must collaborate to find new strategies to make space for the singing they love while respecting the demanding economic and cultural responsibilities of Pune’s community. 

Through the following lesson for Singing with Angry Bird, students will understand the significance of cultural competence in cultural exchange projects like the Banana Children’s Choir and assess its benefits and limitations. They will also explore the related concept of cultural humility and consider how they would integrate these approaches into theoretical cultural exchange projects of their own.

Art and Transformation | Waste Land Film Module

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In this Waste Land film module, students will meet some of the residents and works of the world’s largest landfill, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This module speaks to the theme of transformation, the power of art to transform society, and the connection between human dignity and human rights in Brazil.

Will Kickstarter Replace Hollywood? | PBS Idea Channel

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You may have heard about the recent overwhelming success of the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter, or you might have contributed yourself. This is a big moment for fan communities, with Kickstarter giving them the opportunity to challenge the closed gates of the Hollywood system. Although its funding is nowhere near the amount Hollywood invests in moviemaking each year, crowdfunding is a much better indicator of what the audience wants to see, the one area in which Hollywood has failed in time and time again.

Presenting Princess Shaw | Lesson Plan Clips

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“A free culture is one where everyone thinks of themselves as a voice in a huge choir, whose power and beauty comes from its size and diversity—where the many don’t bow to the few and the few aren’t responsible for the many.” 

- A definition embraced by the Free Culture Movement

This lesson will explore creativity and self-expression and the ways online culture has created new forms of artistic expression. Sharing and using online content in creative and new formats raises numerous ethical dilemmas regarding conditions and permissions, making it a ripe topic for classroom conversations. Through the lens of the free culture movement (sometimes identified as the open source movement or remix or hacker culture), students will explore how freely sharing music and other kinds of art on the Internet works with the notion that new art emerges from collaboration and iteration. Specifically, in the example of this film, an original song written and published on YouTube by Samantha “Princess Shaw” Montgomery is built upon by Israeli sound artist Ophir “Kutiman” Kutiel to create something new and different that is then shared and celebrated around the world. 

Gator Farm | America's Heartland

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Cattle, horses, or pigs are usually what you think of when you think of livestock. Well, in Florida this farm raises Alligators. Take a look at this unique niche farm and how they operate. 

Niche Farming | America's Heartland

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Learn how agriculture is feeding the demand of the country's growing diversity. Visit one of the county's successful niche farming operations. Over 3-dozen varieties of crops are grown here, tailored to a fast growing ethnic market. 

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | The Decline of Railroads and Streetcars

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Discover how the building and use of railroads declined due to the popularity of automobiles and trucks. One effect was the development of regional and short line railroads that served smaller communities. Several larger cities used local electric streetcars until the automobiles took over.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | In Mid-continent and “The Holy Dog”

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Discover how transportation has affected every step of North Dakota history. North Dakota’s position in the center of North America has always made transportation a challenge with even the earliest peoples seeking ways to cover large distances of land. The arrival of horses to the Northern Plains had a radical effect on the Native American culture and way of life.

The History of the Bobcat

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Learn about how the Keller brothers from Minnesota invented the first Bobcat loader, and built it using scrap metal.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Road Improvement

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Learn how by the 1910s, state government began making an effort to improve roads by financially aiding counties, and the federal government began assisting with funding. The economic hardships of the 1930s meant less funds, but the state authorized the state patrol and began issuing drivers' licenses.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Howard Klug (Future)

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Learn about Howard Klug, a Williston city commissioner and local business owner, who understands that some people think that people in the oil patch should have known the boom was coming, but he disagrees. The magnitude was unexpected, and he predicts that there will be more wells in the future. This boom won’t be over for quite awhile.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Pudge Brewster

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Learn about Pudge Brewster who moved to North Dakota after working an oil boom in Colorado. His company began by hauling equipment to the Williston area and has since contracted with companies to haul gravel.

E-Business | Web Security

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Learn about the importance of web security which becomes top priority with more information changing hands electronically.

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