Monday, December 19, 2011

Explore and Watch Polar Bears on Explore.org

It is frigid here in Maine (6F when I took my dog out last night) which might be why I found myself watching a bunch of short videos about Polar Bears last night on Explore.org. I've written about Explore.org and their lesson plans before so I won't rehash that post. I just want to point out that they continue to add great video footage like the Polar Bear footage that you can watch here. I've embedded one of the videos below.



Applications for Education
Polar Bears International has some lesson plans for teaching about climate change, ecotourism, and conservation. You will also find links to a slideshow on Polar Bears and nice PDF about Polar Bears that contains an educational game.

Life Inside North Korea

By now you've probably heard the news that North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il died over the weekend. There are plenty of good news sources on the story, here's CNN's story, here's the BBC's story. CNN also has a biographical video about Kim Jong Il. But if you want to know more about what life is like inside North Korea, I have some resources that you can use in your classroom.

The BBC has a great set of fact sheets for every country in the world. Their Guide to North Korea is no exception to that pattern. Life Inside the North Korean Bubble is an article and fifteen minute video (viewing may be restricted in some areas) on daily life in North Korea.

Eight years ago Mike Wallace did a 60 Minutes story about life inside North Korea. You can see the video here or as embedded below.


CNN has a sixteen image captioned slideshow about life inside North Korea.

And here is a video of North Korea's military on parade.

North Korea's Military parade in Slow Motion from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Snag Films has a three part documentary on North Korea.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Videos - Dinosaurs Through History and Walking With Dinosaurs

This morning's CBS News Sunday Morning Almanac was a short feature on how dinosaurs have been displayed in museums and depicted on screen since they were first named by Sir Richard Owen who died on this day (December 18) in 1892. We also get a quick glimpse of the latest developments in the study of Dinosaurs. The video can be found here or watched as embedded below.


For a slightly more serious look at Dinosaurs check out the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs playlist on YouTube.

Picozu - A Nice Free Online Image Creation and Editing Tool

Picozu is a free online image editing tool. Using Picozu you can touch-up existing images or you can create new images from scratch. In the Picozu editor you will find tools for adjusting color saturation and clarity. The editor also includes tools for creating images containing multiple layers. And if you want to include text in your image Picozu has options for that too.

Picozu offers the option to register and join their community or you can use the editing tools without creating an account. If you do choose to create an account you can save your images on Picozu and add them to the community albums. If choose not to create a Picozu you can save your images to your computer, send them to your Facebook account, or send them to your Dropbox account.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a nice tool for students to use to create images for their digital presentations, Picozu is worth giving a good look.

Arkive - Great Videos, Images, and Lesson Plans About Animals and Plants

This morning as I was browsing my favorite fly fishing message board, Fly Fishing in Maine, I came across a video from Arkive featuring an Osprey catching fish. That video prompted me to explore more of Arkive's content.

Arkive's main feature is the extensive collection of videos and images of plants and animals. The videos and images are cataloged according to animal, plant, eco-region, and geo-political region. You can navigate the galleries by selecting one of the broad categories then choosing a subject within that broad category. For example, choose the Antarctica eco-region and then you can explore all of the images and videos about plants and animals found in that eco-region. Videos on Arkive can be downloaded to for your classroom use.

Arkive offers a dozen online games for kids. The games collection is a mix of quiz games and problem solving games. One of the games that I tried out is Animal Survival that required me to keep a Sand Lizard alive by correctly answering questions about Sand Lizards' daily lives.
ARKive video - Osprey - overview


Applications for Education
Arkive has a nice collection of free lesson plans based upon the images, videos, and games found on Arkive. The lesson plans include PowerPoint files, instruction sheets, and links to online resources as needed. The lesson plans are arranged according to student age from 5 to 18. The bulk of the free lesson plans are targeted for 7 to 14 year old students. Here's a sample of some of the topics covered in the free lesson plans: classification, adaptation, and observation.