Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Seven Videos All Educators Should Watch

Summer is a time when many of us are thinking about and planning professional development workshops for our schools and for other schools. I've always found that a short 3-5 minute video can be a good introduction to a PD sessions and or make for a nice thought-provoking break during a PD session. Here are seven videos that I think serve those purposes well.

The "classic" of course is the various incarnations of Karl Fisch's and Scott McLeod's Did You Know? Version 4.0 is embedded below, but I still prefer this version.

Educational Change Challenge is a video that I came across just last week on the first day of ISTE 2010. It presents some good questions that teachers and school administrators should consider as they prepare for the 2010-2011 school year.

Here's another "classic" in the field. A Vision of Students Today, created by Michael Wesch, presents some important statistics about our students.

Social Media Revolution is a must-watch for all of those who think social media is nothing more than a time-sink. Here's a quote from the video that school administrators should take note of, "2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction." Read all of the statistics in the video here.

And when you're wondering what teachers make, Taylor Mali has some answers for you.

Here's a good one produced by Kevin Honeycutt about the need for teachers to continuously improve, adapt, and adopt new strategies for reaching their students.

Finally, on a lighter note for fans of The Office. Don't let your classroom become like this one.

Easier Resizing of YouTube Videos

A few months ago I wrote a post that contained directions on how to resize a video from YouTube and other video sharing services to fit into your blog's main column. I wrote that post because I often come across, generally new, bloggers posting videos that are cut-off because they haven't been resized to fit in the blog's main content column. It's a fairly simple process for which you can get directions here.

To make it even easier to resize a video, last week YouTube introduced a built-in capacity for resizing videos before embedding them. Now when you locate the embed code below a YouTube video you can resize the video be simply entering new dimensions into the customization field. If you're worried about maintaining the correct height and width ratio, don't. If you enter only the width you desire for the video, YouTube automatically generates the height in the correct ratio. (click to view the image in full size)

Video - Mahatma Gandhi in First Film Recording

Through Open Culture, I've just found this video of Mahatma Gandhi speaking in a "talking picture" for the first time. Watch the video to hear Gandhi's response to the question, "do you intend to have complete prohibition in the new Indian state?" and other questions about the future of India post independence.

By watching the video, I also discovered the Gandhi Serve Foundation. The Gandhi Serve Foundation has an extensive collection of audio, video, photograph, and text media that teachers can use for developing lessons about Gandhi and his work in leading India to independence.

Applications for Education
I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but a four years ago when I was teaching a world studies course, I made my students sit through the entire length of the movie Gandhi. I think that a more effective use of everyone's time would have been to use some video clips such as those that can be found through the Gandhi Serve Foundation.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ancient Web - The Ancient World's Great Civilizations - Maps, Timelines, and More
Atlas of WWII

How Wild is North America? - Infographic

Canadian conservation organization, The Big Wild, has an interesting infographic depicting the amount of wild lands in North America, the ecological footprint of humans, potable water availability, and the ratio of humans to four different animal species in North America.

How Wild is North America?
The Big Wild asks "How Wild is North America?"

Thanks to Cool Infographics for the link.

Applications for Education
How Wild is North America could make a nice classroom poster for teachers of environmental science. For teachers of geography, this infographic could also make a nice classroom poster. As a kid I remember being astonished at how big Canada was relative to the continental US. This infographic does a great job of showing not only how big Canada is relative to the continental US, but also how "wild" it is relative to the continental US.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Video - Two Cases of Global Warming
Climate Change, Wildlife, Wildlands Lesson Plans
Infographic World - 12 Interesting Infographics

EdTech Open Mic Night

Shelly Blake-Plock and Will Richardson are hosting an online open mic night on Wednesday, July 14 at 7pm EST. They'll be facilitating discussions about all things ed tech and education. Currently, Shelly is looking for topic suggestions. You can leave your suggestions here. Check it out, I think there will be some great conversations emerging from this open mic night.