Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The United Nations Explained for Kids

A couple of weeks ago I discovered CBC Kids News and I shared a great video that explains what the word indigenous means when referring to people. This afternoon I browsed through CBC Kids News again and found a nice animated video that explains the United Nations to kids

United Nations Explained is a short video designed to help elementary school students understand the basics of what the United Nations is, it's purpose, how it functions, and what it says about kids. Watch the video right here or as embedded below. 



Applications for Education
The video is good on its own as an explanation and introduction to the United Nations. You could have students answer some basic questions about the U.N. after watching the video. But I'd prefer to have students write down lists of questions that the video raised in their minds while they were watching. Questions like, "what if the countries don't get along?" and "what happens if they break the rules?" could lead to some great classroom conversations and lessons.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow - Timeline Extended

On Tuesday I published a blog post about Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest that is now open for entries. This afternoon it was brought to my attention that Samsung has extended the judging period for initial entries. Initial entries are still due by November 8th (it only takes a few minutes to enter) but the state winners will now be selected in early December instead of on November 18th as I wrote yesterday. 

I should point out that everything else that I wrote about Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest is still correct. State winners will receive one Samsung Video Kit (approximate retail value $2,600) and a $6,500 prize package to be redeemed through DonorsChoose. National finalists win $50,000 in classroom technology prizes and the overall winner receives $100,000 in classroom technology prizes.

The contest is open to sixth through twelfth grade public school students and teachers in the United States. You can learn more and enter here.

Disclosure: Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is an advertiser on my blog.

I'm Feeling Lucky - A Google Earth Lesson

From voyages to games to simple measuring tools, the web version of Google Earth has a lot of neat features that can help students learn about the world. One of those neat features is the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button that is found on the left hand toolbar in Google Earth. Clicking that button will take students to a randomly-selected place in the world. 

On its own the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button provides a good way for students to discover new places. That said, students learn more through the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button  if you give them a little more direction than just "click the button and look around." That's why I created a little question sheet to prompt students to do a little research about the places they discover in Google Earth via "I'm Feeling Lucky." My question sheet can be found here as a Google Doc. 

This short video demonstrates how students can explore Google Earth in more detail after clicking "I'm Feeling Lucky."



To learn more about using Google Earth in your classroom, take a look at my Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies.

Five Ways to Use Wakelet in Your Classroom

Yesterday's blog post about using Wakelet to create instructional videos got me thinking about other ways that Wakelet can be used in classrooms. Here's an overview of five ways to think about using Wakelet in your classroom. 

Create an Instructional Video



Prompt of the Day.
If you're not using a learning management system that contains an easy way to post daily prompts for your students to reply to, consider using Wakelet. You can post a prompt in the form of text, picture, or video and then have your students reply by writing a reply, recording a video, or by uploading an image. Just make sure you've enabled collaboration on your Wakelet collections.

Video collections.
Want to do more than just make a playlist in YouTube? Consider making a collection of videos in Wakelet. You can include videos from many sources besides YouTube and organize collections by theme or topic.



Organize Research
With Wakelet's browser extension it's easy to save links and files to then organize into collections for a research project. Here's a video on how to use Wakelet's browser extensions.