Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Best of 2022 - Free and Customizable Clip Art

As I do at this time every year, I'm taking the week off to ski and play with my kids, shovel snow, and generally not think about work. I have some of the most popular posts of the year scheduled to republish this week. New posts will resume in the new year.

CoCoMaterial is an online library of almost 2,500 drawings that you can download and re-use for free. I've been using it for about a month and I really like the style of the artwork found on CoCoMaterial. It has been a hit with the folks participating in my Animated Explanations course this month. This week one of those people, Sarah G, pointed out that the drawings in CoCoMaterial can be customized before you download them. I'm not sure if this is a new development or just something that I've been overlooking. Either way, it's awesome!

In this brief video I demonstrate how you can use CoCoMaterial to find, customize, and download free clip art to use in your multimedia projects. 



Applications for Education
The drawings that are available on CocoMaterial are clean, simple, and easy to see. They could be great for use in classroom projects like simple web design, infographic design, or to just brighten-up the newsletters that you send home to parents.

Best of 2022 - My Favorite Chrome Extensions

As I do at this time every year, I'm taking the week off to ski and play with my kids, shovel snow, and generally not think about work. I have some of the most popular posts of the year scheduled to republish this week. New posts will resume in the new year.

After seeing my browser in one of my tutorial videos or one of my presentations, people often ask me about the extensions that I have installed. Here are five Chrome extensions that teachers should try.

1. Nimbus screenshot - I use this to create annotated screenshots. It can also be used to make screencast videos, but I only use it for that when I'm working on a Chromebook because I prefer to use Screencast-o-matic for my desktop screencast videos.

2. Screencastify - Screencastify is great for creating screencast videos. The feature that keeps it in my web browser though is the option to add must-answer questions into your screencasts

3. Mote - I like using Mote to add voice comments to Google Docs and Slides. Here's a demo of how it works

4. Google Keep - This has been my preferred bookmarking and note-taking tool for many years.

5. OneNote Web Clipper - I use OneNote's web clipper whenever I want to save a clean, clutter-free copy of a webpage.

Best of 2022 - The Science of Winter Olympic Sports

As I do at this time every year, I'm taking the week off to ski and play with my kids, shovel snow, and generally not think about work. I have some of the most popular posts of the year scheduled to republish this week. New posts will resume in the new year.

The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to start in a little less than one month from now. I'm looking forward to sitting on my couch and drinking some hot chocolate while watching the world's best in alpine and Nordic skiing. I also enjoy watching curling even though I don't always understand all of the rules of that game. There's a whole lot of science behind all of the Winter Olympics events that we see on our screens. If you have students who are interested in the events, capitalize on that interest and share these Olympics-based science lessons with them. 

The National Science Foundation offers a YouTube playlist of sixteen videos on the science of Winter Olympics events. These short videos teach lessons on the physics and engineering behind the events we see on television. The videos are a decade old, but the science concepts covered are just as relevant to these Olympic games as they were to previous Winter Olympics.
 

It's hard to host skiing and snowboarding events without a lot of snow. That's why a lot of the snow we'll see on television during the Winter Olympics is human-made snow. How to Make Snow (If You're Not Elsa) is a short video produced by SciShow that explains how snow is made at ski resorts by using cooled water and compressed air.


 
In the United States NBC owns the rights to nearly all Olympics-related footage and logos which is why it's a little disappointing that they don't offer more student-focused resources than this PDF guide to the Winter Olympics and some YouTube videos that aren't well organized beyond this playlist. I went through the NBC News Learn channel and highlighted a few favorites and included them below.  

Science of the Winter Olympics: Building Faster & Safer Bobsleds



Science of the Winter Olympics: Banking On Bobsled Speed



Sliding Down At 90 MPH: The Science Behind The Fastest Sport On Ice



Science of the Winter Olympics: The Science Friction of Curling



Science of the Winter Olympics: Figuring Out Figure Skating



Science of the Winter Olympics: The Science of Snowboarding

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