Monday, November 9, 2009

A Simple Plug for a Great Ed Tech Podcast

It occurred to me recently that the last time I plugged Wicked Decent Learning, there were about 10,000 fewer subscribers to this blog than there are now. Therefore, I just want to pass along to those of you who might not be familiar with Wicked Decent Learning my strong endorsement of it.

Wicked Decent Learning is hosted by two Maine educators, Jeff and Dan, and recorded roughly every seven to ten days. Each episode includes a discussion of a current topic in education philosophy, new technology resources, books reviews, and plenty of witty banter. They occasionally have guests like Liz B. Davis, Mark Spahr, and myself. The episodes are roughly an hour long depending upon how sidetracked Dan gets. :)

If you're looking for something new to add to your ed tech podcast playlist, check out Wicked Decent Learning.

Full-Length PBS Documentary - After the Fall

I don't know why I didn't look on Snag Films earlier today, but if I had, I would have found this PBS documentary about the Berlin Wall. Here's how Snag Films describes the video: How could the most important artifact of the last half century completely disappear? A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, virtually nothing of the concrete structure has been left. Gone is the barrier between East and West, Communism and Capitalism, but not the conflict. This documentary searches for the Wall’s traces and the psychological scars upon those who lived in its shadow.
The film is embedded below.

60 Second Recap - Short Summaries of the Classics

60 Second Recap has been circulating around the edu-blog-o-sphere for about a week so I decided that I had to check it out. 60 Second Recap provides book summaries in sixty second video segments. There is a sixty second summary of each chapter of each book. Along with the chapter summaries there is a general overview of each book.

60 Second Recap
offers registered users the option to record a video response to each video summary. The service is new, but the concept has the potential to be a good way for users to extend the summaries found on 60 Second Recap. If you don't have access to a web cam, you can record a simple text response.

Applications for Education
60 Second Recap is a very new service still in its alpha phase of development with only a couple of dozen book titles in its library. That said, the concept of 60 Second Recap is a good one that could prove very useful for middle school and high school literature students.

The concept of 60 Second Recap could be the basis for a student project in which they create their own video recaps of the books they read. If you don't have access to video cameras, your students could use a service like Animoto or Stupeflix to create their video recaps of the books they've read.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Guys Read - Getting Boys to Read
AdLit - Strategies for Teaching Adolescent Literature
Shmoop - Study Guides for History and Literature

Creating an Online Personal Learning Network

Through a Tweet by Steven Anderson (follow him if you don't) I learned about a great slide presentation created by Bethany Smith (another person you should follow on Twitter) about creating an online personal learning network (PLN). The presentation tells the story of how Bethany created her PLN before moving on to showing you how to create your own online PLN.
The presentation is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Some of the best lesson plans I've developed over the years have been the result of exchanging ideas and collaborating with other teachers. Building an online PLN is a great way to exchange ideas with other educators and to collaborate with other educators.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
How to Build a Personal Learning Network

More Videos About the Berlin Wall 20 Years Ago

Perhaps because it was one of the iconic television moments of my childhood (I was into the news even as an 11 year-old), but I have become very interested in finding videos from the Fall of Berlin Wall twenty years ago. Here are three videos of ABC News reports from November 9th and 10th (I remember watching these because at the time one of my uncles was a producer for ABC News).

November 9th, 1989 - The Berlin Wall Falls

November 9th, 1989 - Beyond the Brandenburg Gate

November 10th, 1989 - Celebration at the Berlin Wall

Applications for Education
None of our K-12 students today remember anything of the Cold War or a divided Germany. These videos could be useful for showing students how relieved some people felt when the Berlin Wall came down.

Documents and Videos from the 1960 Presidential Election

Yesterday's document from the National Archives daily document feed was an image of the Massachusetts Election Ballot from 1960. Seeing the ballot reminded me of a good resource for teaching about Presidential campaigns and elections. The Living Room Candidate has videos of almost every Presidential campaign commercial from 1952 through 2008. A video of one of Kennedy's campaign commercials from 1960 is embedded below.

Applications for Education
The Living Room Candidate is a great resource for teaching lessons about the role of media and advertising in political campaigns. The Living Room Candidate has a good resource page for teachers which provides a series of eight sequential lesson plans.

The Living Room Candidate could also be a good resource for anyone that teaches a media studies course as your students can easily watch the evolution of television advertising through the 20th Century.

More on the Berlin Wall from CNN Student News

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Last week CNN Student News had a video tour of the remains of the Berlin Wall. Yesterday, I posted a video produced by CBS News about the Fall of the Berlin Wall. This morning's episode of CNN Student News contains another segment about the Berlin Wall. Today's segment is about the Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie. The video is embedded below.