Friday, September 23, 2011

Video - The Last U.S. Veteran of WWI

Frank W. Buckles was the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I. He passed away in February of 2011 at age 110. In the video below, which I found via Open Culture, Mr. Buckles talks about his life, experience in WWI, and shares his thoughts on the state of war in the 21st Century.

Buckles from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
For teachers of US History this video could definitely be worth sharing with your students to give them some first-hand information from a veteran of WWI. Not to mention offering the advice of someone who spent an extraordinarily long time on this Earth.

The Nature of Things: Man and Dog

I'm a little late this week in posting it, but here it is. This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is The Nature of Things: Man and Dog. This forty-five minute documentary explores how the relationship between humans and dogs has evolved over centuries from one of confrontation to one of collaboration and companionship. The film examines two theories about the origins of domesticated dogs.
My loyal companion Morrison
Click here to watch the film and find the discussion questions.

Food for Thought - Schools for Tomorrow

Yesterday, The New York Times hosted their Schools for Tomorrow Conference. I'll admit that I don't know as much about it as I probably should, but I am looking forward to learning more through the recordings of yesterday's panel discussions and presentations. The panel discussions and presentations are now available online at the Schools for Tomorrow website. The first one that I plan to watch/ listen to tomorrow morning while drinking my Saturday morning coffee is the school environment panel moderated by Ewan McIntosh whose blog I have followed for quite a while. The video of that panel is embedded below.

Watch live streaming video from schoolsfortomorrowa at

Are You On Google+

Earlier this week Google opened up Google+ to the world. I've been on it since late July but now that it's really open, I plan to spend more time on it. I like that it offers the option for conversations of a longer form than that which can be held on Twitter. So are you going to join? Are you already on it? If so, you can find me here.

Reel App - Share Your Slides and Get Feedback Online

Reel App provides a nice service for sharing your PPT, PDF, and image files with the world. A lot of other services do the same. What Reel App adds to it is the option to get feedback from your audience on each slide or image in your shared file.

Here's how Reel App works. Upload your file to have Reel App provide  you with an unique url for sharing of your file. Send your audience to that url to view your presentation. Your audience can view your presentation on their laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. As you go through each slide, your audience can give it a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" to provide you with instant feedback. After everyone has gone through the presentation you will get summary page containing the overall feedback.

Applications for Education
Reel App could be a good way for students to get feedback on presentations that they give in your classroom or that they give online. Teachers could use Reel App to perform quick checks of understanding on each slide in a deck. Have students use the "thumbs up" if they think they understand the topic of the slide and have them use the "thumbs down" if they aren't sure that they understand the topic.

Reel App is produced by the same folks who created Bounce, a collaborative screen capture tool that I reviewed last year.