Sunday, February 24, 2013

Baby Tigers and Other Wonders on BBC Earth

This evening while some people were watching the Oscars I was watching baby tigers. Thanks to this post on The Adventure Blog I rediscovered the BBC Earth YouTube channel. After watching the baby tigers I found myself sucked into lots of short, educational clips on the BBC Earth channel.



wireWax - Create Interactive Videos and Play Videos Within Videos

wireWax is a new service that takes the concept of YouTube annotations and makes it much better. On wireWax you can build interactive tags into your videos. Each tag that you add to your video have another video from YouTube or Vimeo or an image from Facebook, Flickr, or Instagram. A tag can also include an audio track from SoundCloud or a reference article from Qwiki.

What makes using wireWax different from using the YouTube annotations tool is that clicking on your tags (what YouTube calls annotations) does not send you outside of the video you're currently watching. This means that you can watch a video within a video or view a picture or listen to a different audio track within the original video. When you click a tag in the original video the video pauses and the tagged item is displayed.

wireWax allows you to add tags to any YouTube video that is publicly viewable and has not had embedding disabled. I tried wireWax with this five minute video. It took a while (15-20 minutes) for the video to process for tagging, but once it was processed it was easy to create a tag. To create my tag I just advanced the video to the spot I wanted to tag, drew a box around the person I was tagging, then selected the wireWax YouTube app to put a video within the original video. Check it out below by advancing to about the 1.5 minute mark.


Applications for Education
wireWax could be a great tool for adding new layers of information to educational videos. If you're creating videos for your students or your students are creating videos to share with others consider tagging key points at which viewers might have questions. At those points insert tags that reveal clarifying information in the form of a video, an image, or an audio recording. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why Word Order Matters in Google Searches

Google's Search Anthropologist Daniel Russell recently shared a short video demonstrating why word order matters when formulating your search terms. In the two minute video we learn how and why reversing word order can affect the outcome of your search. The video is embedded below.


Applications for Education
Add the information from the video above to this list of 10 Google search tips and you will have the basis for a nice lesson on how to search.

The Week in Review - Thank You Guest Bloggers

Good morning from Greenwood, Maine where it is snowing again! This week started out with some excellent guest posts from folks who filled in for me while I was off on my annual ice fishing and snowmobiling trip on Moosehead Lake. Judging by the comments and the traffic, the guest posts were well received. Thank you to my guest bloggers.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How Many Minimum Wage Hours Does It Take to Survive?
2. Using Class DoJo to Motivate Students
3. Programming Is Not Just for Programmers
4. Use Strikingly to Create Beautiful Webpages
5. Create Animated Videos With Wideo
6. It's Official, Posterous Is Shutting Down - Get Your Data Now
7. You Can Never Be the Expert In Your Own Backyard

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ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
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EdTechTeacher.org is hosting iPad Summit USA in Atlanta this spring.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Tips for Writing DBQ Essays

Keith Hughes, history teacher extraordinaire and producer of the excellent Hip Hughes History videos, recently published a new video for students who need to write document based question (DBQ) essays. In DBQ Essays for Dummies Keith offers five helpful essay writing tips for students.