Thursday, May 12, 2011

An Invitation to World Literature

Invitation to World Literature is a thirteen part series of videos about classic works of world literature. Each video guides viewers through the themes and nuances of each work. The videos are accompanied by timelines and maps placing each work in its historical context. A text overview and short slideshow about each work is also provided by Invitation to World Literature. Watch the video trailer for the series below.

Applications for Education
Invitation to World Literature could provide students with some good information to support reading the thirteen works featured in the series. Explores Gorillas - Lesson Plan & Video is a host of high-quality documentary videos covering a wide range of topics. offers a series of lesson plans to accompany some of the videos in their collection. One of the videos and lesson plans that looked at today is Gorillas...98.6% Human. Gorillas...98.6% Human chronicles the work of Craig Sholley who guides the film crew to document four families of mountain gorillas in the wild. Sholley explains how mountain gorillas are identified, what makes each one unique, and how they interact with each other. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
The lesson plan (open pdf here) accompanying this film is designed for use with middle school students. As you might expect, the lesson plan includes discussion questions for use before and after viewing the video. The lesson plan also outlines an activity in which students have to design a plan to draw positive attention to the mountain gorillas of Rwanda.

The Google Teacher Academy Heads to Seattle

I'm often asked how one goes about becoming a Google Certified Teacher and if I know when the next Google Teacher Academy will be held. The first question is relatively simple to answer, be an active user of Google products in your classroom, be willing to share what you've learned, and be willing to learn more. Then apply to the Google Teacher Academy. The question of when the next one will be held is hard to answer because there isn't a set schedule (that I'm aware of anyway) for holding the Google Teacher Academy. Today, I'm happy to share that Google is hosting a Google Teacher Academy on July 28 in Seattle, Washington.

Applications are now being accepted for the Google Teacher Academy to be held on July 28 in Seattle, Washington. 50 applicants will be selected. To apply you will need to complete the form found here and submit an original 60 second video about "motivation and learning" or "classroom innovation." If you're interested in applying, but are concerned about the video creation aspect of the application, please read my thoughts and advice on the process.

For those considering applying to the Google Teacher Academy, please keep in mind that if accepted you are responsible for the travel and lodging costs associated with attending GTA. That said, Seattle is a beautiful city so maybe you can stretch your trip into a nice vacation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Google Search Tips Posters

Do you teach web search techniques? If so, here are some good free posters that you can print and display in your classroom, computer lab, or library. Google for Educators offers five free posters that feature instructions for making the most out of a Google search. The posters are available in two different sizes. You can view one of the posters below.

If you're viewing this in RSS, you may have to click through to see the poster.

Applications for Education
These posters provide helpful reminders that you can post in the areas near where students are using computers in your school.

Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the Classroom

In my on-going quest to learn more about the possible uses of iPads in the classroom I was happy to see that Tom Barrett has an interesting ways presentation about iPads. There are currently 55 ideas in the slidedeck (embedded below). I was particularly interested in the suggestions for using "hinge" questions, getting 4 year olds blogging, and mind mapping on the iPad. Take a look at the slides and if you have something to add, contact Tom to make your contribution.