Category Archives: Australasia

Smarthistory: Khan Academy for Social Studies

Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr

Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr

Khan Academy is popular in math for its brief lectures and interactive modules. However, you can also use it in the Social Studies. Check out Smarthistory, a free multimedia platform for student and teacher of history, archaeology, museum curation, and art history.

It includes an interactive timeline, in-depth yet easy to understand articles, vibrant images, and videos about topics throughout history and around the globe. Check out “Teach with Smarthistory” for ideas on how to incorporate it into your classroom. If you are a historian, archaeologist, museum curator, or otherwise involved in the social science consider contributing an article or multimedia content. Additionally, Smarthistory contributes videos to Google Art Project.

Australia’s Prisoner Past

Most people are familiar with Australia’s criminal foundations. Botany Bay┬áremains one of the most infamous penal colonies of the past and its history remains etched in the imaginations of most of us modern ‘colonists.’ Sydney was the most remote region of the British Empire; it saw over 170,000 male and female convicts between 1788-1868.

Today, archaeologists continue to excavate its foundations, finding numerous artifacts and remains that inform about the harbor’s past. Today, the hostel in Sydney Harbor is famous amongst backpackers for its historical setting and museum; it even sets aside a portion of its fees for conservation.

To read more about the history of the prisoners at Botany Bay, read this article at Archaeology or check out the gallery of the famous convicts.