Friday, February 17, 2012

Apply for the Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Forum

Microsoft is currently accepting applications for their 2012 Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. The forum is designed to be a time for educators to share their innovative ideas and create new ideas in collaboration with each other. Educators accepted into the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum to be held July 31- August 1 in Redmond, WA will have their expenses paid by Microsoft. You can learn more about this exciting opportunity on the US Forum Facebook page and on this Partners in Learning page.

Thanks to Lee Kolbert for posting this on Facebook this week. 

What's Your Story? - Internet Safety Video Contest

What's Your Story? is a student video contest being hosted by Trend Micro. The contest asks students (age 13-18, in the U.S. and Canada) to produce a short video on the topics of taking action against bullying, maintaining a good online reputation, and wise use of cell phones. The producer of the overall winning video will receive $10,000. Smaller category prizes will also be awarded. Videos should be no longer than two minutes and must be submitted by April 3.

Here's a sample contest video.

Applications for Education
Producing videos for What's Your Story? could be a good way to get students to stop and think about what good digital behavior is.

H/T to Jackie Gerstein for sharing this on Twitter.

Create Videos and Posters on the U.S. National Archives Digital Experience

This afternoon as part of a Primary Resources 2.0 workshop that I conducted (workshop outline here), we explored some resources on the National Archives Experience Digital Vaults. The Digital Vaults offers three good tools that students and teachers can use to create content using images and documents from the National Archives.

The National Archives Digital Vault poster and video creation tools allow students to drag and drop digital artifacts into a poster or video. The National Archives provides images, documents, and audio in an easy to use editor. When making a poster students can combine multiple images, change background colors, and create captions to make collages of digital artifacts. See the screen capture below for a demonstration of poster editing.

Creating a video is just as easy as creating a poster in the Digital Vaults. To create a video simply drag your selected images on to the editing templates, type image captions, select the duration of display for each image, and select audio tracks. See the screen capture below for a look at the video editor.

Applications for Education
The Pathways tool in the Digital Vaults can be used to create small quizzes that ask students to identify the connections between two or more images or documents. To start, drag one image to you Pathways menu then select a related item to add to your Pathway. Type in a clue for students to use to help them make the connection. When you share your Pathway with others, they will see only your first image and your connection clue, they have to find the image that connects. Take a look at a sample Pathways challenge here.

Virtual Jamestown

Virtual Jamestown is a nice site for teachers of U.S. History who would like their students to explore some digital recreations of Jamestown. Virtual Jamestown features a mix of modern 3D tours (Unity browser plug-in required) and older static timelines, images, and articles. The video below provides a 3D fly-over of Jamestown Native American village (the video does not have sound).

Virtual Jamestown: The Paspahegh Site from Dane Webster on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
In addition to the 3D virtual tours, Virtual Jamestown provides teachers with ten inquiry-driven lesson plans about Jamestown.

The Science of Jeremy Lin

This morning I had the television in my hotel room on ESPN. As Sports Center replayed for the third time I noticed that they were playing a Sport Science clip about Jeremy Lin. The science in the clip isn't terribly in-depth, but the video could still be useful for talking to students about the difference between quickness, acceleration, and speed. Embedding is disabled for the video so you'll have to check it out here on