Thursday, April 14, 2011

YouTube Launches Copyright School

Today, YouTube launched a redesigned copyright center and a brand new Copyright School. These new services are designed to educate YouTube users about what is and is not a copyright violation. According to their announcement, users who have a video flagged for copyright violations will be required to attend Copyright School before being able to upload more content. Copyright School is essentially a video explanation of copyright accompanied by a series of questions. You can watch the video below.

Study Boost Adds Useful Options for the End of the School Year

Study Boost is a service designed to help students study through the use of text messaging and instant messaging. I originally reviewed the service shortly after it went public. Since then Study Boost has added a couple of useful features just in time for the end of the academic school year.

Study Boost recently added the option for student users to combine sets or batches of questions into one or more larger sets. If they have been creating small batches of study material along the way, this new batch combination option could be very useful in preparing for final exams. The other new option that grabbed my attention is the option to embed batches of study questions into your blog or website. If you maintain a classroom blog or website you could post review material for your students.

Watch the video below to learn more about Study Boost.

Inventing the Digital Camera

Photographer David Friedman has published a series of thirty-two profiles of modern inventors. Earlier this week he published the following video profile of Steven Sasson who invented the digital camera. This brief profile features Sasson explaining the challenges of developing a digital camera and showing off the first digital camera. That first camera actually used a cassette tape. Watch the video below.

Inventor Portrait: Steven Sasson from David Friedman on Vimeo.

H/T to Open Culture.

Images All About Sugar Consumption

This morning I Stumbled Upon a New York Times article titled Is Sugar Toxic? The article is about the potential effects on the body of excessive consumption of sugar in its various forms. While the article itself is interesting, that is not why I'm mentioning it. The article contains a couple of nice images that illustrate how much high fructose corn syrup the average person consumes in a lifetime and how much sugar the average person consumes in a lifetime.

The images associated with Is Sugar Toxic? reminded me of a great site called Sugar Stacks that I discovered a couple of years ago. Sugar Stacks is a good website for understanding how much sugar is in the food and beverages that we consume. Sugar Stacks lists popular food and beverage items in ten categories. Every item is pictured with a stack of sugar cubes. Each sugar cube represents four grams of sugar. This is a great way to see just how much sugar you really consume in your favorite snack or beverage.
Image credit:
Since the last time I visited Sugar Stacks they've expanded a bit with a new section called Carrot Stacks. Carrot Stacks illustrates how many carrots you would have to each to equal the sugar content of popular beverages and snack foods.
Image credit:
Applications for Education
Sugar Stacks provides good effective visuals that health teachers could use to show students just how much sugar they consume. Teachers could also the concept of Sugar Stacks and Carrot Stacks to have students create their own visuals.

US Gulf Coast One Year Later

Next week will mark one year since the start of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Today's episode of CNN Student News offers a short report card on the condition of the water and wildlife one year later. And on a related note the episode also features a segment explaining some factors contributing to rising gas and oil prices.

3D American Civil War on Google Earth

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter, the first battle of the American Civil War. Through the Google Earth Blog I learned about a great source of Google Earth files and Google SketchUp models related to the American Civil War. 3D American Civil War is all about sharing and producing SketchUp models to use in Google Earth to illustrate places and events of the American Civil War.

The Google Earth file and 3D model that drew my attention is this one featuring the Battle of Fort Sumter. The file contains the following:

  • 3D version of Fort Sumter before it was attacked
  • 3D version of the Floating Battery of Charleston that was used to fire on Fort Sumter
  • Historical map overlays of the locations of various Confederate Batteries that fired on Fort Sumter.
  • These maps come from Library of Congress and the National Archives 
  • Geo-located Civil War Era photos of the damage Fort Sumter endured and the locations of the Confederate batteries. These photos also come from Library of Congress and the National Archives
  • Twitter Feeds of the Washington Post's twitter campaign of the Civil War
  • Links to Qwiki and Wikipedia articles and media about the Battle and various locations 

Enter to Win a Free Lenovo M90z ThinkCentre

After months of waiting the day is finally here for you to enter to win a free Lenovo M90z ThinkCentre. I've been using this 23" all-in-one desktop for two months now and have to say that it is sweet. The touch screen aspect is not only convenient, it also opens up a new way of interacting with educational games. You can also read two of my previous posts mentioning the M90z here and here.

Enter to win now!
Here's how to enter. Leave a comment on this post. Share your thought(s) about how you might use a touchscreen computer in a classroom. The contest is open to everyone. Only one entry per person. On April 18, I will randomly select a winner from all of the entrants. Go ahead, enter now! Entries are now closed. A winner  has been chosen, but there are still 25 more opportunities to win from one of the other bloggers participating in this Lenovo promotion.

Here's a little video about the Lenovo M90z ThinkCentre.