Thursday, June 18, 2009

FRONTLINE - Breaking the Bank

Breaking the Bank is a FRONTLINE production that aired earlier this week. The video examines what went wrong with the mortgage industry, the stock market, and the economy in general. The video does have a bias to it, but is still good for getting perspective on the causes of the economy's downturn. The video is embedded below.

One of the companion features on the FRONTLINE website is a timeline of the events contributing to the economy's downturn.

Applications for Education
Breaking the Bank could be a good video for use in an economics or other social studies course.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Debt Ski - A Personal Finance Game
Simple Lessons in Saving and Borrowing Money
Understanding the Financial Crisis - Say It Visually

Google Books Now More Accessible

Google Books announced seven improvements today. Two of these improvements immediately jumped out as useful for educators and students. First, it is now as easy to embed a Google Book as it is to embed a YouTube video. Simply copy and paste the code and the book appears in your blog. I've embedded Moby Dick below.

The second improvement of interest to teachers and students is an improved text search. Now when you search for phrases within a book, the search results will display a larger chunk of context.

Applications for Education
Being able to embed a book into a class blog or website could make reading assignments more accessible to students. If your students are already in the habit of checking your blog for assignments, they will be able to complete their reading assignments in the same place.

Twelve Essentials - The Slideshow Version

Since I published Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration earlier this month, I've had a few requests for a slimmed-down slideshow version of that guide. What you'll find in this slideshow are all of the resources mentioned in the original guide. Reflecting my style of presenting, I kept the words on each slide to a minimum. Each slide highlights three key points of each resource and includes the url of each resource. You can view the SlideShare version of the presentation below. When I get some time, I'll do a voice-over and post this on SlideSix.
RSS Readers will need to click through to view the presentation.

Something to Watch for from Animoto

In an article on TechCrunch about Animoto's most recent round of funding, it was hinted at that there are some more improvements coming to the video creation service. The most exciting of those prospects is the capability for inclusion of video clips within the video you're making. In other words you could mash-up still images, image captions, video clips, and music into one high-quality video. Watch this video from the Webby Awards for an idea of what this possible feature could look like.

On a related note, if you, your students, or your children are looking for a last-minute Father's Day idea, Animoto has created some Father's Day card templates that you can use to create a Father's Day video. You can read more about that on the Animoto blog.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The End of Slide Shows - Animoto
Animoto for Education
Stupeflix - Free Video Montage Creator

Twitter's Development from the Founder's Mouth

I've written about Twitter's uses for educators numerous times because it is a great way to connect with other teachers, share ideas, and get ideas. A couple of days ago I likened it to a "staff meeting without an agenda." Evan Williams hints at this same idea when he says in this TED talk, "when you give people easier ways to share information, more good things happen."

This TED Talk was given in February, 2009 by the founder of Twitter, Evan Williams. In this seven minute talk he gives a brief overview of how Twitter has evolved over the last three years.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Cable in the Classroom's "Must-Read" Blogs
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
Twitter Search in Plain English