Friday, April 16, 2010

Best of YouTube According to Open Culture

I've mentioned Open Culture in numerous posts in the past because of the excellent videos, podcasts, and articles that they consistently post. Today, I was reminded that Open Culture has a YouTube channel in which they catalog all of the videos that appear on their blog. If you're searching for educational, inspirational, or thought-provoking videos, the Open Culture YouTube channel probably has something for you. The video below is included in Open Culture's YouTube channel.

How Wealthy Countries Tax Their Citizens

Visual Economics is a provider of articles and infographics about various economics-related topics. Yesterday, I came across an infographic they produced titled How Wealthy Countries Tax Their Citizens. The infographic depicts how the world's 29 wealthiest countries tax their citizens and how that money is spent. Some of the other infographics from Visual Economics are Timeline of the New Healthcare Bill, US Trade Bans Across the Globe, and A Detailed Look at TARP.

Applications for Education
How Wealthy Countries Tax Their Citizens could be used as a conversation starter in a civics class or in an economics class. You could assign each student a country to research to find out why they spend their tax revenues on different expenditures.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English
A Pictorial History of Money

Building a Video Collage With Wallwisher

Today, I showed my special education students a short (18 minutes) video about cultural changes that took place in the US during the 1920's. After the video we discussed what they saw. Then I had students search online for other examples of cultural change in the 1920's. When they found examples they put them onto a Wallwisher wall that I projected onto a wall in my classroom. The wall started with just text being added to the wall and quickly progressed to YouTube videos being added to the wall. Once every student had contributed a video we stopped, watched the videos, and discussed.

At first my students were a little unsure of what Wallwisher is all about, but they quickly figured it out and they all enjoyed the class. The two comments in the screen capture below capture the vibe of the room.

For those who have never tried Wallwisher before, it is very easy to use. To get started simply go to and click "build a wall." Then title your wall, choose a URL for your wall, enter your name and email, and start adding sticky notes to the wall. Sticky notes added to a Wallwisher wall can contain up to 160 characters of text plus links to images and videos. You can choose to make your wall private or public. If you choose the public option anyone can quickly add sticky notes to your wall. If you want to approve additions to the wall before they appear, that's an option too. Choosing the public settings is allows for the quickest set-up and use of Wallwisher as you only need to give students the URL of your wall in order for them to add notes to the wall.