Monday, June 10, 2013

Elephants in the Classroom

In National Geographic's video section I recently found this cute and interesting video about elephant communication. The video features elephants at play. The video is narrated by Joyce Poole who is a co-director of Elephant Voices. Elephant Voices has a couple of offerings for teachers. First, you can find a short online quiz about elephants here. Second, Elephant Voices appears to offer Skype sessions for schools.

Back in February PBS aired Battle for the Elephants which documents the challenges facing elephants and conservationists today. The video is available here.

Watch Full Episode on PBS. See more from Battle for the Elephants.

Where the Wild Things Are - Videos

Today's Google logo is a tribute to Maurice Sendak. Sendak would have been 85 today. As a child I loved Where the Wild Things Are and I'm looking forward to reading it with my nieces when I see them later this month. If you would like a video version of this story, take a look at the videos below.

Four Reasons Your Students Should Join the Quest2Matter

Choose2Matter is a start-up founded by my good friend Angela Maiers, a former teacher well known for her TedXDesMoines speech; Jennifer Bowden, also a former teacher; and Mark Moran, creator of SweetSearch. Choose2Matter challenges people to accept that they matter and to contribute their unique genius to solve the world’s problems. The Company is sponsoring the Quest2Matter, which invites students to share their ideas and actions for solving problems that have meaning to them.

Here are four reasons your students should join the Quest2Matter:

1. Students want to matter.
For all the talk about student engagement, what really matters is that students believe they matter – that their actions have consequence. When they do, they think that school matters. Watch this amazing video of Angela Maiers asking students at a #140conference what they want most from their teachers.

2. Share Your Students’ Genius
The Quest2Matter offers platforms for students to share, with the web and the world, the actions they have taken, or ideas they have, to change our world. This is a way to take hallway displays, badges and ribbons and magnify them dramatically. In addition to posting all of the quests in a database, the Company will highlight many of them on its blog and on partner websites.

3. Authentic Learning
The Quest2Matter challenges students to solve real-world problems, which by definition requires that they use relevant, real-life skills.

4. Learning from Mentors
Some entrants will have the opportunity to be mentored by members of the Business Innovation Factory (“BIF”), a community of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and innovators. Three students will have the opportunity to share their quests onstage at the BIF Summit in Providence, RI in September. Another student will be honored with the first Bammy Award for Student Initiative in Washington, D.C. in September.

Click here to learn more about the Quest2Matter.

8 Overlooked Useful YouTube Tools

When most people think about YouTube they think sharing videos and or about all of the videos they can discover. Most people don't think about the useful editing tools that are built into YouTube. The YouTube video editor has some useful features for teachers and students.

1. Create photo slideshows. The YouTube photo slideshow creation tools allow you to specify the length of time that each image is displayed for. After uploading your images you can use the annotations tool to add as much text as you like to each frame of your video. Directions for creating a YouTube photo slideshow are available here.

2. Create slow-motion videos. The most recent addition to the YouTube editing tools is an option to record videos with a regular speed camera and then turn that into a slow-motion video. Directions for doing this are available here.

3. Use annotations to create a linked series of videos (or choose your own adventure videos). Directions for doing this are available here.

4. Blurring faces in your videos. Directions are available here.

5. Stabilizing shaky footage and adding color/ light filters to your videos.
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6. Add captions to your videos.
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7. Add a music track to your video. 
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8. Hide your video from public search results.Under the privacy settings select "unlisted" or "private."
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