Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Huzzaz - Create and Discuss Collections of Educational Videos

Huzzaz is a new site (still in private beta although you can request an invitation) for organizing and sharing collections of educational videos. It's a bit like EduClipper or Pinterest, but it has some unique features that could make it a fantastic discussion tool too.

The basic purpose of Huzzaz is to help you create and organize collections of videos. In your account you can make as many thematic collections as you like. To add a video from YouTube or Vimeo to your collections you can search within Huzzaz, use the Huzzaz browser bookmarklet, or copy and paste video URLs into your collections. Once you have some videos in a collection you can organize them by simply dragging and dropping them into a sequence. Your collections can be shared with others. Likewise, you can share individual videos.

When you share an individual video from a Huzzaz collection you can host real-time discussions about it. To do this simply click the "comments" icon while the video is playing to open a live chat box.

Applications for Education
Teachers that are using the flipped classroom model could find Huzzaz to be an excellent tool for organizing the videos that they plan to share with students.

Students may find Huzzaz's real-time chat feature to be useful for holding online review sessions that are based around the videos their teachers have shared with them.

C-SPAN Classroom Releases an Improved Lesson Plan Collection

C-SPAN Classroom offers a lot of excellent resources for U.S. Government and History teachers. In the past I've featured their interactive timeline of Supreme Court rulings and their classroom deliberations lessons.

C-SPAN Classroom Lesson Plans section has been re-organized and new materials have been added for the new school year. When you log into the new section (C-SPAN Classroom accounts are required for access, they're free) you will notice that the lesson plans are organized into sixteen thematic sections. Some of the thematic sections are Constitution, Political Parties, Comparative Government, and Economics. Within each section you will find detailed lesson plan frameworks that include video clips, vocabulary lists, and assignment suggestions. Each section also includes PDFs to print and distribute to students.

If you're looking for some new lessons on government and history to try this year, you'll be pleased with the updated C-SPAN Classroom Lesson Plans.

A Street View Corn Maze

There are lots of great places that students can explore in Google Maps, the new Google Maps Views is a great place to find things like virtual tours of zoos around the world. One of the fun Street View uses that I discovered yesterday on the Google Earth Blog is a virtual corn maze in Edmonton. While there isn't a ton of educational value to going through the Edmonton Corn Maze, going through the virtual corn maze could be a fun way for students to learn how to navigate Google Maps.

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Live Lessons from Epic Failures

This afternoon at 1pm ET National Geographic is hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air with three adventurers and scientists who will share their stories of epic failures and what they learned from those failures. This could be a great opportunity for your students to learn about the value of taking risks as well as how to learn from failure. You can learn more about this Hangout and join the Hangout here. If you cannot attend the live Hangout, you should be able to watch the recording later.

Search 80,000 Media History Digital Library Artifacts

The Media History Digital Library is a massive archive of documents about the history film, television, and radio. The library can now be searched and the documents viewed online through MHDL's new site called the Lantern. On Lantern you will find reviews and critiques of movies, books and playbills, many periodicals about the movie, television, and radio industries. Your search can be refined according to date, language, and publication type. You can also browse through collections curated by MHDL.

Applications for Education
Two thoughts came to mind as I browsed through MHDL's Lantern. First, it's obviously an excellent resource for students studying the history and development of media. Second, through MHDL's Lantern you could find some good examples of how to write a critique. Your students could use those as models for writing their own critiques of movies or even of books.

H/T to Open Culture