With the new A level and AS courses beginning this September, casahistoria is producing resource sheets for teachers showing where casahistoria provides web resources and support for specific units of study. The first of these, for Edexcel and OCR are now complete and have been posted on the relevant casahistoria support pages. Hopefully they will be helpful for departments designing their courses and seeking out resources.
They can also be accessed by clicking on the images alongside. IB and other boards are to follow.
Casahistoria is being made more user friendly for mobile users. A new homepage has been designed to open up automatically on mobile devices instead of the desktop version. This should make it much easier to find the page you want when you are using a small screen.
For the moment, links from the mobile homepage lead to the main desktop site, but this site itself has been tweaked a little to make it more user friendly for phones and tablets when first opened.
Rather belatedly, casahistoria has its own presence on Twitter with buttons appearing on all the pages so that you can tweet your newly found resource to friends and family...... Also use the button to tweet me with any suggestions or new links you have found yourself!
With the updating and refreshing of the Cuban pages, attention has now turned to some of the admin pages. Both pages (the casahistoria main one and the more compact young-casahistoria version) dedicated to looking at where to search on the web for individual research have been revamped.
However whilst doing these and the Cuban pages I saw that Spartacus educational has in the recent past gone in for a major site rename. I realise that at times this may be needed but why were no automatic forwarding links provided?
When sites like the Internet Sourcebook changed they forwarded all existing links to the old. Goodness knows why Spartacus did not do the same (or if they did it is not working now! There is a pop-up to tell you to change your bookmarks but you have to be on the new page to see it!). Casahistoria is not the only site to link to their pages. Many teachers will also have given out links to their sites on the original addresses. All of these will now end up with an error page and no way of getting to the intended page without googling away at random.
Spartacus is one of the key history resources online, so this confusion is unhelpful to say the least. in the meantime as I get round their affected links on casahistoria I will put a work-around on the site 404 page:
"In the address box replace the existing prefix, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ with http://spartacus-educational.com/"
If you are presently studying for a Edexcel, AQA or OCR GCE A level history course as well as working towards the IB you will find the revision pages and pdf guides have now been updated and links checked to make them as useful as possible to you. It is also hoped to produce resource guides for the new GCE schemes in the near future.
For those looking at Cuba for the IB a new page has been posted on Cuba after Fidel Castro to bring the existing Cuba pages up to the present and to "bookend" the Fidel era.... The remaining Cuba pages are currently in the process of being updated.
Recent changes to the way chrome and internet explorer display websites has led to a few issues with the rendering of casahistoria. Text is a little smaller (but that probably makes for easier reading on mobile devices) but the size of ad boxes has grown larger in proportion to text (could this be a deliberate ploy....) so that in some cases they overran text beneath them.
Hopefully this has now been prevented by the new presentation of cafe posts at the top left of each page. These now come with thumbnails and should make them easier to read as well as click on! At the same time the posts continue to take a more streamlined form. News items will now appear in a single, updated post during the course of a month with each item having its own link.
Between April 17th and April 22nd, the company that hosts the café, Typepad, experienced a service interruption due to a series of large, sophisticated denial of service attacks against their infrastructure which meant sites hosted online with Typepad like the café could not operate to their normal level. Access to the cafe was blocked on some days for hours at a time. It seems that the attacks were designed to extort a ransom from Typepad. You can read more about the attacks here.
Hopefully the matter is now resolved but there may still be breaks in service as the attacks could continue. Access may also be slower at times and any feeders/widgets designed to read the cafe are being blocked for the time being.
Looking forward to the restoration of normal service!
Fancy being a retronaut? Over 35,000 already are. But are what? Retronaut is a photographic time machine. It is a digital collection of tens of thousands of pictures from across the past. The collectors - retronauts - mine archives online and offline placing what they find in "time capsules". Results can be displayed in various ways, such as on a map or as a collage of pictures and videos. These collages are arranged in concentric rings with more relevant results at the centre. A time line stretches into the screen allowing people to go back in time, like flicking through pages in a Rolodex.
I have just been looking at one of these groupings, a set of photos taken of the Beatles as they get ready to cross Abbey Road in September 1969 to poses for the Abbey Road LP cover. This led me to a set on 1970's men bad hair days.... It is easy to move around - capsules are linked alphabetically, by theme, and into chronological periods. The site tself is on a lavish scale, thanks no doubt to what seems funding by National Geographic.
Retronaut is not alone in tapping into this boom for photo-led nostalgia. IndiaHistorypic and HistoryinPix tap into the same desire to look at the past. Retronaut is the grandest though.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, non-essential images are being removed from casahistoria to help usage on mobile spaces and cut down on the real estate they occupy on smartphone screens. it also gives pages a leaner, crisper (dare I say more minimalist?) feel......
Just in case you were wondering which individual pages of casahistoria are most visited at the moment here is the rundown for the last month (I have excluded returns for Revision pages):
First World War
The USA & Latin America
The Origins of the Cold war
Slavery & the Slave Trade
Women in Totalitarian States
Quite an eclectic mix but over the last couple of years there has been a change in popularity. Imperialism continues to figure in the top ten but what is surprising is the complete disappearance of Russia/USSR. Two years ago the pages on the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin in particular were all much more prominent. Similarly Hitler and Mussolini are nowhere to be seen. Hopefully this suggests a move away from "Hitler with everything" syllabuses. (Mussolini does still top a poll, but in relation to a post on cafehistoria. By far the most popular post - streets ahead of any other - is one on Ida Dalser from 2007(!): Mussolini's Tragic Wife whom he married in 1914, then later discarded along with their son. Mother & son were hounded by Fascists until dying in asylums in the 1930's. Quite why this is so appealing is difficult to fathom...)
Franco's emergence close to the top is a surprise (the source of visitors suggests it is becoming a more popular choice with universities - language departments especially) and the longevity of Castro's Cuba (it has always been amongst the most viewed) is intriguing.
As for underperformers The Middle East is in less demand suggesting it remains a difficult subject to tackle. No surprise there then......