Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Create and Locate Standards-Aligned Video Playlists on OpenEd

OpenEd is a new site that claims to be the world's largest educational resource catalog. On OpenEd you can search for videos, games, and other educational materials. Your searches can be conducted according to content area, grade level, Common Core standard, or a combination of those factors. You can also search according to keyword although when I tried the keyword search option it didn't work well.

As a registered OpenEd user (registration is free and takes less than thirty seconds to complete) you can create courses and playlists of videos and other materials that you find in the OpenEd directory. You can align your courses and playlists to standards. If you choose to align your course to a standard, OpenEd will suggest materials to you.

Applications for Education
The biggest benefit of OpenEd seems to be found in the search tools. Rather than searching and hoping to find a video on YouTube that matches the standard(s) you're addressing in a lesson, you can start with the standard and have OpenEd locate videos for you.

Animated Maps and Timelines of the U.S. Civil War

The Civil War Trust offers many fantastic resources for teachers and students. One of those resources is a set of animated maps and timelines of significant battles of the Civil War. Each of the maps includes video clips, a timeline, and placemarks indicating troop positioning in the battle depicted. The more famous battles the most content included in the maps. I recommend starting with the Gettysburg map and timeline to get an understanding of what the Civil War Trust's maps offer.

Applications for Education
The teachers section of the Civil War Trust's website includes excellent lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The teachers section also includes a helpful glossary of Civil War terms and a selection of primary sources appropriate for middle and high school students.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Mapping the Bible In Google Earth

A few years ago I shared a small collection of interactive maps based on Biblical stories. Recently, through the Google Earth Blog, I learned about a collection of Google Earth files that map Biblical stories. The blog Biblical Studies and Technological Tools put together a collection of seven Google Earth files. A couple of the files that I downloaded from the collection were a Complete list of Bible Place KMZ and Biblical Rivers and Bodies of Water (both links trigger KMZ/ KML file downloads).

Applications for Education
These files follow the same format that can be applied to mapping any book. The correlation between place and text can help students have a better understanding of the complete context of what they are studying.

These maps might be useful for anyone teaching a course on religion. The maps also provide a model that students can use to create their own maps of religious stories.

A Lesson Music and Baseball

The Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing right now (I'm hoping that the Red Sox can win tonight). If you teach elementary school music lessons you might want to take a look at this activity that uses a baseball background to teach students about pitch. Perfect Pitch is a nice little game produced by the Kennedy Center's Arts Edge. Perfect Pitch teaches students about the instruments in an orchestra through a baseball game setting. The game introduces students to four eras of orchestral music and the instruments used in each. Students can create their own small orchestras and virtually play each instrument to hear how it sounds. After building an orchestra students then test their knowledge in short quizzes about the instruments and their sounds.