Showing posts with label Teaching with humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaching with humor. Show all posts

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Geography Matters - A Video & Video Project

Why Geography Matters is a video produced by Google employees. Clearly the video is a promotion for Google Earth, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have some educational value. The video features Google employees and students sharing their thoughts on why geography matters.

Thanks to Sylvia Tolisano for sharing the video on her blog.

Applications for Education
This video could be a model for a classroom video project in which students share their thoughts about why geography matters. You could do this at the end of a semester as a way for students to review the things they've studied in your classroom. If you don't have access to video cameras for your students, try one of these
Six Easy Ways for Students to Create Videos Online.

Monday, September 7, 2009

This We Know - Government Data About Your Town

This We Know is a search engine for US Government data about your community. To find data about your community simply enter your community's name or enter your community's zip code. This We Know draws its data from Some of the data that you will find include the number of factories in a community, rate of violent crime, and demographics.

Applications for Education
This We Know could be the starting place for a student research project comparing communities. Students can compare communities and then present a case, based on the data, for which community they would most like to live in.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
How Americans Spend Their Time Makes Raw Government Data Accessible

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Poe and Hemingway Animated

Here is an animated telling of Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart.

Here is an animated telling of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.

I posted these videos last year, but it's a new school year and there are roughly 8000 more subscribers now than there were when I originally posted these videos so I thought it would be worthwhile to post them again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Need My Teachers to Learn - Great New Edu Video

I saw a few people post this on Twitter then I saw it on Wesley Fryer's blog. Kevin Honeycutt with the help of some friends has put together a new song and video about the need to teachers to change their methods to meet the needs of today's students. The video is well-worth 3.5 minutes of your time.

Applications for Education
I can see this video becoming a good companion to Did You Know for use at the opening of the school year or at the opening of a professional development day.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Online Art Education - Smithsonian Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum offers thirteen fantastic online activities for use in art and history classes. The activities range from topics like Cleopatra Lost and Found to Picturing the 1930's to Exploring Whitehouse Craft.

I spent some time today exploring the Picturing the 1930's exhibit and activities. In Picturing the 1930's students can walk through a virtual museum exploring paintings, documents, music, and film. While walking through the virtual museum students will be greeted by "tour guides" who will explain various aspects of the exhibit. The virtual museum is easy to navigate by using the arrows at the bottom of the screen or clicking through doorways. After exploring the art work in the virtual museum, students can create their own documentary-style film using images, text, and narration using the Picturing the 1930's film editor.

Applications for Education
I'm a big fan of online activities that provide students with learning materials and provide a place for students to immediately use their new knowledge. Picturing the 1930's does just that. Picturing the 1930's could be used in an art class or in a US History class. The other activities provided by the Smithsonian American Art Museum look just as promising as Picturing the 1930's.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
ArtsEdge - Podcasts and Lesson Plans
Blogs for Art Teachers
Kodak Lesson Plans

Want to Know What My Classes Are Doing?

In the style of Dan Meyer and Larry Ferlazzo, I share with you the link to my classroom blog for the year. is where I will be posting the videos, articles, and other materials that I use in class throughout the year. This year I'm teaching 11th grade US History and an elective Civics course. If you're interested in what my students and I are doing, feel free to take a look at anytime.

43 Things - Goal Setting and Progress Tracking

I've written about 43 Things in the past, but as school starts again I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit it. 43 Things is an interesting way to track goals and achievements. 43 Things is not a personal organizer, it's a goal tracker. The service is simple, users enter a list of things that they want to accomplish and other users can "cheer" them on until the goal is reached.

Applications for Education
43 Things might be an interesting way for parents to cheer and encourage their students to complete long-term assignments or other goals like making an athletics team or completing an independent study.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Track Class - Assignment Tracking for Students
Deadline Helps You Meet Deadlines
IzzyToDo - Easy To Do List Builder

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Masher - A Great Video Creation Tool

Masher is a great, free, tool for creating video mash-ups. Masher offers a large collection of video clips from the BBC's Motion Gallery and Rip Curl video. There is a large music library, an effects library, and a good selection of video player skins. If you don't find content that you like in Masher's library, you can add your own images, video clips, and music clips through the Masher uploader. Masher also gives you the option to insert text throughout your videos.

Creating with Masher is a simple matter of dragging elements from the media gallery into the timeline editor. From there you can arrange the sequence of elements using the drag and drop interface.

Here is a sample Masher video from the Masher public library.

Here is a sample Masher video that I made.

Applications for Education
Video mash-up tools like Masher are great tools for students to use to showcase knowledge they've gained and information they've found. Masher allows students to create work they can be proud of. The work they create can be showcased in a blog, wiki, or website.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Animoto Now Accepts Video Clips! This Is Awesome!
Stupeflix - Free Video Montage Creator
Vuvox - Create Multimedia Panoramic Slideshows

Freezly Helps You Locate Free Stuff

Last week my blog post 5 Ways to Get Free Stuff for Your Classroom was the most popular post of the week. That tells me that there are many of you like me that relish the opportunity to get free things. Freezly is a new service that searches Twitter for free product give-aways. Some of the give-aways are contests while others are just straight give-aways. I read about Freezly on Mashable and I encourage you to check out Mashable's post for more information about how Freezly finds these freebies.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Museum of Humor Offers Fun Lesson Plans

The Museum of Humor appeared today the Delicious "most popular" RSS feed. I had never heard of the Museum of Humor prior to today, so I had to check it out. One aspect of the Museum of Humor is a large collection of lesson plans for teaching with humor. In this collection there are links to fun and humorous lesson plans for every content area and grade level. In addition to the lesson plans you will find links to printable fun activities. If you're looking for a fun way to introduce a new topic or review before an assessment, check out the Museum of Humor's lesson plan database.

A quick note about the Delicious "most popular" feed; it's a good place to find new resources, but it does populate quickly and is most commonly populated with links not related to education. That said, if you're willing to sort through the list, you can find some real gems.

Applications for Education
By my nature, I use a lot of humor (okay, cheesy jokes) in my instruction. For some people though, making lessons fun and humorous is not always easy. For those people, the Museum of Humor's lesson plan database could be a valuable resource.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Comprehensive Lesson Plans for Teaching Copyright
Writing Den - Writing Tips
Free Worksheets for Elementary Classrooms