Sunday, March 25, 2012

Videos - Why Do We Dream?

My dog dreaming
As some of you know, I don't have a television at home. That means my screen entertainment comes in the form of watching Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. This evening as I was bopping around YouTube like I do sometimes, I came across a short video titled Why Do We Dream? The video is a short explanation of some of the theories and science of the human sleep cycle.

After watching Why Do We Dream? I clicked over to a much longer BBC production on the topic. The BBC production, also titled Why Do We Dream? is a 55 minute documentary that includes interviews with researchers who are trying to answer the questions where do dreams come from and why do we dream?

Both videos are embedded below.

Applications for Education
Some of the content in these videos might be classified as pseudo-science. They are still interesting looks into how our brains work. These are exactly the type of video that I liked to show in my non-instructional homeroom time as a way to spark discussions from intellectual curiosity.

And now I'm going to sleep...

US National Archives Gallery of The Way We Worked

The Way We Worked is a small collection of images from the U.S. National Archives. The collection is designed to show the way that work evolved over the 130 year span from 1857 to 1987. The collection is divided into five parts; How We Worked, What We Wore to Work, Where We Worked, Dangerous and Unhealthy Work, and Conflict at Work. There is a short silent film of people at work in various occupations to introduce the galleries.

Applications for Education
The Way We Worked could be a good resource to use as part of lesson on the history labor and labor rights in the United States. Put some of the images into a slideshow to spark discussion and inquiry about the types of jobs blue collar workers have done over the years. Have students go through the galleries on their own and identify jobs that no longer exist. Then ask them to identify jobs that exist today that might not exist fifty years from now.

The Way We Worked images are public domain images that could be used by students as part of multimedia project like those found in the National Archives' Digital Vaults.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Great Free Summer PD from C-SPAN Classroom

I just received an email from C-SPAN reminding me of a great free PD opportunity that they offer for teachers in the U.S. during the summer.  The Summer Educators' Conference is a free event happens on July 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C. You do have to apply to participate. If accepted, C-SPAN covers all costs of attendance including airfare and lodging. The focus of the conference is on using C-SPAN's vast digital archives to develop lessons for social studies. You can find all of the details including the application, here.

3 Places to Find Online Talking Children's Storybooks

This post is born out of a request for help from someone that I met at the Teacher 2 Teacher conference in Bow Island, Alberta. She was looking for some free online talking storybooks to use in her grade 1 class. I didn't have anything coming to mind right off, so I searched Diigo and my blog archives to find these three places to find and free online talking children's storybooks.

MeeGenius is a nice source of free and paid ebooks for kids. There are lots of sites that offer the same thing as MeeGenius but MeeGenius distinguishes itself with one excellent feature. That feature is automatic word highlighting to accompany the narration of each book. When children open the ebooks online, on an Android tablet, or on an iPad they can choose to have the story read to them or to read the story on their own. When the story is read to them each word in the story is highlighted on the page. This should help children follow along with the story.

The Woodlands Junior School is a school website based in the UK. I've previously featured their site as a good place to find educational games for elementary age students. In my search yesterday, I discovered that they also have a nice collection of links to free online talking storybooks.

Magic Keys is another site with a good collection of talking picture books for children. Magic Keys seemed a bit tricky to navigate at first so I would recommend that you use it to find storybooks for your students rather than sending your students to the site on their own.

I know there are a lot of good iPad and Android apps for talking storybooks, but web-based versions are a little more elusive. If you have a site that should be added to this list, please leave a comment.

The Week in Review Featuring the World's Biggest Pinto Bean

Good morning from Calgary where I'm getting ready to head home after a great week during which I attended Discovery's Beyond the Textbook Forum, went hiking near Banff with Jen Deyenberg who taught me all kinds of fun facts about Canada, and I presented at the Teacher 2 Teacher conference in Bow Island, Alberta. Here's a fun fact, Bow Island, Alberta is the home of world's largest pinto bean. I saw the bean two years ago but didn't get a picture so this time I made sure to grab a picture.

As I do every week regardless of where I am in the world, I've compiled a list of this week's most popular posts. I make these lists because they provide a quick way to see what other educators were interested in and talking about this week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. ScreenLeap - Instant Easy Screen Sharing
2. 5 Ways You Can Use Wikis
3. Create Hashtag Infographics With
4. Attend an EdCamp This Spring
5. WeVideo Now Offers an Android App for Collaborative Video Creation
6. Zopler - Collaborative Storytelling
7. This is Cool! Albert Einstein's Library Online

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MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
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The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers. In April I will be holding another free public webinar through UMBC.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools.

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