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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ecosystem Explorer - Activities for Learning About Predators and Scavengers

Ecosystem Explorer, produced by PBS Learning Media, is a nice collection videos, images, and games designed to help students learn about the roles of predators and scavengers in ecosystems. Three animals are featured in Ecosystem Explorer: wolves, sharks, and vultures.

Launch the Ecosystem Explorer and select one of the three animals to get started. After choosing an animal in the Ecosystem Explorer you will see three new sections appear. Each of those sections about your chosen animal will include a short video, text, and a game to play to reinforce the lesson of the video and text.

Feed the Dingo is another fun game from PBS Learning Media that students can play to learn about the importance of maintaining balanced ecosystems. I reviewed Feed the Dingo last month.

The Science of Kissing and The Odds of Finding Love

With Valentine's Day just around the corner this is a good time to take a look at the science of kissing. The following video from It's Okay To Be Smart (produced by PBS Digital Studios) explains why humans kiss, the history of symbols associated with kissing, and some cultural views of kissing. When I saw this video I immediately thought of my friend Jeni who teaches high school health.


The following fun video, also from It's Okay to Smart, attempts to use math to determine the odds of a 25 year old woman finding love in New York. (Remember, the video is just for fun).

Create Valentine's Day Video Greetings With Animoto's Sweetheart Video Themes

Valentine's Day is less than 48 hours away. If you need a quick way to send for your kids or students to send Valentine's Day greetings to family members, take a look at the Valentine's Day themes offered by Animoto. Have the kids grab a handful of family pictures and put them together with some cute text to form a video greeting that can be emailed to family members.
Applications for Education
In addition to being helpful in bailing me out on Valentine's Day in the past (that's a story for another time) I've always liked using Animoto as a way to introduce some basic video creation methods to students and teachers. I often use Animoto at the beginning of my introductory workshops on classroom video projects because it gives first-timers a quick boost of confidence before we delve into more challenging video creation projects.

How to Create a Connect Fours Review Game

Over the weekend I shared the latest educational game creation tool developed by Russel Tarr at Classtools.net. Connect Fours is a game in which that you have to create four sets of four related terms from sixteen terms displayed on the game board. I've received a few emails with questions about how to create a game on Connect Fours. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Connect Fours to create your own review games.