Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Two Video Guides to Website Evaluation

Writing the previous post about RADCAB reminded me of a Common Craft video about website evaluation. That video is embedded below.


Common Craft videos are free to watch for evaluation purposes, but to share them you do have to be a subscriber to their service (I am). I realize that not everyone can or wants to convince their schools to pay for a Common Craft subscription so I went to YouTube to look for some free videos about website evaluation. Sadly, many of the videos that I found on YouTube either promoted .org domains as being automatically more valid than .com domains. Other videos on the topic were so dry that a student would never watch them all the way through. Eventually, I did find one that I think students would watch and is accurate. That video is embedded below.


RADCAB - A Website Evaluation Framework for Students

Thanks to Patty Eyer today I learned about a great mnemonic acronym to help students remember a process for website evaluation. RADCAB, which you can learn about at RADCAB.com, stands for relevancy, appropriateness, detail, currency, authority, and bias. The RADCAB website provides a short explanation of each of the aspects of evaluation and why they are significant.

Applications for Education
Teaching students about RADCAB could be a great way to help them remember what to look for when they are evaluating websites. The RADCAB website provides an information assessment rubric that you can download for free.

How to Use B-Roll Footage In Videos

Earlier today at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp I talked about the idea of creating a gallery of b-roll media that your students can use in their slideshows and videos. That suggestion was part of a larger conversation about helping students avoid using another person's work and accidentally violating that person's copyright rights. One way to avoid any worry about copyright is by having students use media that they have created from scratch. Building up a gallery of media that is large enough for all of your students to use takes time. One way to build up the gallery is to create shared Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive folders that students put b-roll submissions into.

As the folks at Wistia explain and demonstrate in the video below, using b-roll footage can be a good way to improve your videos. Watch the video below to learn how they do it.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Two Minute Geology Lessons

Two Minute Geology is a newish series of videos from HugeFloods.com. The Two Minute Geology videos provide short lessons on things like Ice Age floods geology, erratic boulders, and petrified wood. I've embedded the video about erratic boulders below.



Applications for Education
Two Minute Geology videos on their own certainly aren't going to replace your own lessons about geology, but they could certainly be part of flipped classroom lesson. 

Three Ways to Make Useful QR Codes for Your Students

This morning I did a very simple QR code activity at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. QR codes were distributed on the tables in the room and two codes linked to prizes while the others linked to my blog. Creating that activity reminded me of Terri Eichholz's guest post from last year about creating interactive bulletin boards through the use of QR codes.

Here's a snippet from Terri's post mentioned above, First, I mixed up the artwork and poetry on the board so that they weren’t matched with each other.  Then I placed QR codes on the artwork that led the reader to an audio file in which the artist/poet read his or her poem.  I also placed QR codes that led the reader to Google Forms online that allowed the viewer to vote on their favorite pieces of art and poetry

Here are three tools that you can use to create QR codes to use in an activity like Terri's:

Goo.gl is Google's URL shortening tool. When you shorten a link with Goo.gl a QR code is created for it too. To find the QR code, click the "details" link after your shortened URL has been made. The details page also shows you how many times your link has been used. This is useful to me if I want to make sure that all of my students have used the link. If I see that the link or QR code has been used 17 times, but I have 25 students, I immediately seek out the students who haven't followed the link.

QR Droid's QR Code Generator allows you to create QR codes that link to websites, chunks of text, phone numbers, email addresses, contact information, calendar events, and location coordinates. To create your QR code simply complete the information fields that you want to link to then select the display size for your QR code.

Russel Tarr developed the QR Treasure Hunt Generator. The QR Treasure Hunt Generator provides you with all of the things you need to get started creating your own QR codes and using them in your classroom. To use the QR Treasure Hunt Generator type out a series of questions and answers, generate the QR codes using the tool Russel Tarr provides, then print and display the codes around your classroom or school. Click here to view a sample QR Treasure Hunt.