Monday, June 10, 2013

Where the Wild Things Are - Videos

Today's Google logo is a tribute to Maurice Sendak. Sendak would have been 85 today. As a child I loved Where the Wild Things Are and I'm looking forward to reading it with my nieces when I see them later this month. If you would like a video version of this story, take a look at the videos below.

Four Reasons Your Students Should Join the Quest2Matter

Choose2Matter is a start-up founded by my good friend Angela Maiers, a former teacher well known for her TedXDesMoines speech; Jennifer Bowden, also a former teacher; and Mark Moran, creator of SweetSearch. Choose2Matter challenges people to accept that they matter and to contribute their unique genius to solve the world’s problems. The Company is sponsoring the Quest2Matter, which invites students to share their ideas and actions for solving problems that have meaning to them.

Here are four reasons your students should join the Quest2Matter:

1. Students want to matter.
For all the talk about student engagement, what really matters is that students believe they matter – that their actions have consequence. When they do, they think that school matters. Watch this amazing video of Angela Maiers asking students at a #140conference what they want most from their teachers.

2. Share Your Students’ Genius
The Quest2Matter offers platforms for students to share, with the web and the world, the actions they have taken, or ideas they have, to change our world. This is a way to take hallway displays, badges and ribbons and magnify them dramatically. In addition to posting all of the quests in a database, the Company will highlight many of them on its blog and on partner websites.

3. Authentic Learning
The Quest2Matter challenges students to solve real-world problems, which by definition requires that they use relevant, real-life skills.

4. Learning from Mentors
Some entrants will have the opportunity to be mentored by members of the Business Innovation Factory (“BIF”), a community of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and innovators. Three students will have the opportunity to share their quests onstage at the BIF Summit in Providence, RI in September. Another student will be honored with the first Bammy Award for Student Initiative in Washington, D.C. in September.

Click here to learn more about the Quest2Matter.

8 Overlooked Useful YouTube Tools

When most people think about YouTube they think sharing videos and or about all of the videos they can discover. Most people don't think about the useful editing tools that are built into YouTube. The YouTube video editor has some useful features for teachers and students.

1. Create photo slideshows. The YouTube photo slideshow creation tools allow you to specify the length of time that each image is displayed for. After uploading your images you can use the annotations tool to add as much text as you like to each frame of your video. Directions for creating a YouTube photo slideshow are available here.

2. Create slow-motion videos. The most recent addition to the YouTube editing tools is an option to record videos with a regular speed camera and then turn that into a slow-motion video. Directions for doing this are available here.

3. Use annotations to create a linked series of videos (or choose your own adventure videos). Directions for doing this are available here.

4. Blurring faces in your videos. Directions are available here.

5. Stabilizing shaky footage and adding color/ light filters to your videos.
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6. Add captions to your videos.
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7. Add a music track to your video. 
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8. Hide your video from public search results.Under the privacy settings select "unlisted" or "private."
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Greenwood, Maine where I'm relaxing for the weekend before heading out on a ten day trip to conferences in Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio. This week I had the privilege to visit Carondelet High School in Concord, California. I took a detour on my way back to the airport and glimpsed the Golden Gate Bridge, but did not get a good picture so the picture you see to the left is from Pixabay.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Feedspot - A Simple Google Reader Replacement
2. DNA Explained Visually
3. Three Places to Find Free Online Courses
4. 29 Games Kids Can Play to Try Engineering
5. 30 Free Teacher PD Courses
6. What QR Codes Can Do For You!
7. 5 Free Services for Helping Students Learn To Spell

Would you like to have me visit your school? 
Click here for information about my professional development services.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Remind 101 offers a free tool for sending text message reminders to students.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Fresno Pacific University offers online courses for teachers.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology. is hosting workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston this summer.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Watch2Gether - Watch and Discuss Videos Online

Watch2gether is a neat site through which you can watch YouTube videos and host text chats about them at the same time. I've written about the service in the past, but it just got a facelift so I'd like to point it out again.

It is really quite easy to use Watch2gether. To get started enter a nickname for yourself (it could be your real first name) then search for a video or enter the URL of a video that you have previously bookmarked. When you have found the video you want a chat column will be present on the right side of your browser. You can invite others to chat with you by sending them theURL assigned to your chatroom. Together you can watch a video and chat about it at the same time.

Applications for Education
If you frequently use video clips in your classroom, Watch2gether could be a nice tool to use to have students share observations, ask questions, and answer questions while watching those clips.