Monday, January 31, 2011

Every Third Bite - A Video All About Bees

Every Third Bite is a short (9 minutes) video all about the rapid disappearance of millions bees. The video, hosted on Snag Learning, examines some possible causes of the decline in the bee population and the ecological and economic impact of the bee population decline. As with all videos on Snag Learning the film is accompanied by a short set of discussion questions.

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If you're interested in a much longer and more in-depth film about the decline of the bee population, Nature's Silence of the Bees (preview embedded below) is worth investigating. The video takes you inside bee hives and inside the labs of the scientists who are trying to figure out the cause of the bee population decline. The homepage for the episode offers links to additional scientific resources about bees.

CNN Student News - Protests in Egypt

Over the last few days I've had a lot of people ask me for resources about Egypt. The last 72 hours have been kind of hectic for me and I haven't gathered links like I normally would so I've been telling people to check out Larry Ferlazzo's list of resources. If you haven't been to Larry's blog, go look at his list now. One resource that I would add to Larry's list is today's episode of CNN Student News which leads-off with a good overview of the causes of the protests in Egypt and the names you need to know related to the protests. Watch the video below.

Blogging Challenge - Widgets, Widgets, & Widgets

Today, activity 7 was posted on the Edublogs Kickstart Your Blogging Challenge. Activity 7 is all about widgets and sidebar content for your blog. In the directions for the activity, Sue Waters offers good advice about the type of widgets and number of widgets a blogger should utilize. Sue also includes directions for adding widgets to an Edublogs blog. But since the Kickstart Your Blogging Challenge isn't just for Edublogs users, I've included below some directions for adding widgets to a Blogger blog.

(Click all images to view full size and read the directions)
Step 1.

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Step 4.

Step 5.

Disclosure: Edublogs is a paying advertiser on this blog. But even if they weren't, I'd still think that the Kickstart Your Blogging Challenge is worthy of passing along to you.

The Story of Bottled Water

A recent post on the Environmental Graffiti blog, Where Does Drinking Water Get Its Taste? reminded me of the Story of Bottled Water video produced by Annie Leonard and her team at The Story of Stuff. The Story of Bottled Water takes a look at the environmental and economic impacts of bottled water.

Applications for Education
The Story of Stuff and The Story of Bottled Water do have critics that accuse them of being "too liberal" and or not tell the whole story and or being too critical of industry. I've had high school (18 years old) students watch the Story of Stuff and have those criticisms of the video. That said, the videos are thought-provoking and became the basis of a great classroom discussion about the role of media in shaping citizens' thoughts about economics, the environment, and politics.

Book Lamp - A Book Recommendation Engine

Book Lamp is a new service that aims to help readers find new books that they might enjoy. Once you've registered on Book Lamp you can enter the title of a book you like or the name of an author you like to find a new set books you might also like. Book Lamp rates books by pacing, density, action, description, and dialog. Based on those characteristics Book Lamp suggests books you like might like. You can learn more about Book Lamp's rating system by watching the video on their homepage (warning, the video is kind of boring). Book Lamp also offers a book discussion forum which seems to have a fairly active community.
Applications for Education
Book Lamp could be a good service for reading and literature teachers to use to locate books that are interesting and appropriate for their students' age and reading abilities.