BY BILL FERRIS

As further proof that my pop-culture awareness stopped sometime in the mid-90s, this month’s random roundup features Indiana Jones, apparently Instructify’s go-to reference to convey that a history or archaeology tool is exciting or adventurous in some capacity.

Of course, now that they’re making a fifth Indiana Jones movie, I don’t feel quite so dated.

National Geographic’s Explore a Pyramid: Archaeology with No Risk of Snakes or Nazis!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones and I dreamed about being on Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple. Sadly, I’m not currently exploring foreign lands for ancient artifacts and getting chased by Nazis, nor did I ever get the chance to be a Blue Barracuda. But with National Geographic’s Explore a Pyramid, your students can have the opportunities that I never did, and learn while doing it!

Crack the Case with HSI: Historical Scene Investigation
Apparently the term “historian” isn’t cool enough to excite kids about history, so dubbing them “detectives” is the proverbial sugar to help the medicine of historical inquiry go down. With the one-two punch of HSI and the new Indiana Jones movie this summer, studying the past may become kids’ career of choice.

Uncover Thousands of Years of History at Kidipede
If you’ve got any aspiring history buffs, or even a few kids who are keyed up about history after watching the Indiana Jones trilogy, they can find plenty of material to sate their appetites. Take advantage of Kidipede’s guides for teachers and parents for ideas on incorporating content into your lessons.

Explore Early Civilizations with BBC Ancient History
I saw the new Indiana Jones movie last weekend, so I’m suddenly keen on history and archeology. That’s what drew me to BBC Ancient History. This site provides a close-up look at several ancient civilizations, including the Mayan Empire, Mesopotamia, Rome, Greece, India, and several others.

Stock up on history resources at the National History Education Clearninghouse
The site’s creators realize exploration and discovery are what makes history seem fun. Indiana Jones probably gave a lot of lectures as a teacher, but it’s the action sequences that the movies focus on. Learning by doing can get students to care and, dare I say, actually get excited about history class.

Archaeology’s Top 10 Finds (Monday by the numbers 12/29/08)
While most of us are content not digging in the earth for relics of history, there are many who go in search of our world’s buried treasures to discover more about the past. The real life Indiana Joneses at Archaeology Magazine have compiled their top 10 finds for 2008, and amongst the list are such wonders as the Masked Mummy and, erm, “Brown Gold” in Oregon. Check out the rest at MSNBC’s CosmicBlog.

Photo credit: Don Solo on Flickr.