Monday, March 26, 2012

Videos - What is Fracking? What is its Impact?

Fracking to access natural gas seems to be in the news frequently these days. So this morning when I was on Explania and saw the video What is Fracking? I got the idea to search for some more videos about fracking and its impact on the environment and the economy. Here's some of what I came up with in my search.

What is Fracking? is a short music video that includes animations showing how fracking works. It is decidedly anti-fracking in its message so you'll want to talk about bias with your students before and or after showing it to them.

Last fall CBS News had a short segment about the job creation potential of fracking.

After the Gas Rush is a two part series from National Geographic's Journey on Earth Series. The videos are available on Snag Films.
Part 1

Part 2

And in the interest of attempting to balance this collection, here's a video that explains the fracking process with a decidedly pro-fracking bias. Again, this is a good opportunity to talk with your students about bias in media.

Automatically Improve the Quality of Your Videos

If you're shaky like me when capturing video on a cell phone or handheld video camera, YouTube has help for you. Last week YouTube released a new feature for the YouTube video editor. Now when you upload a video to your YouTube account, if the video is too shaky or dark you will be notified that YouTube can improve it for you. To help you decide if you want to use the automatically enhanced video, you'll see a preview of the improved video next to your original video file. The short video below offers a preview of the new service.

Applications for Education
If your students are creating "one-take" videos for a video blogging project, creating records of field trips, or you're just trying to capture a great moment in your classroom, the YouTube video editor is helpful for making quick enhancements to that footage.

What About Me? - Create an Infographic About Yourself

What About Me? is a free infographic generator from Intel. The purpose of What About Me? is to create infographics based on your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube activities. The infographic created includes parts of your recent Facebook posts, when and what you post about on all three networks, and What About Me? even evaluates the average tone of your messages (mine are neither angry nor overly happy in tone). When your infographic is complete, you can download it from What About Me?

Applications for Education
What About Me? could be a good tool for getting students to look at their social media footprints. This could be particularly important for high school students applying to college as well as for students looking for jobs. Have students create an infographic to analyze what they're sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

H/T to Cool Infographics

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.