Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Privately Share Videos Through YouTube

As the end of the school year approaches there are lots of occasions to shoot videos of things like commencement ceremonies, school plays, and field days. While many students and parents would like to see those videos shared, not all students and parents want to see those videos shared with the whole world. I've previously written about privately sharing videos through Google Drive. Another option is to privately share videos through YouTube. In the video embedded below I provide directions for privately sharing a video through YouTube.

Breaking News from

Breaking News is Russel Tarr's latest creation on Breaking News is a template for creating fake breaking news screens like those that you might see on CNN or BBC News. Russel sent me a Twitter message about Breaking News this morning and I quickly tried my hand at making a fake breaking news screen. Through the template you can add a news headline, a ticker, a location, and custom background image. After completing the template you can download your news screen as an image or host it online at Imgur.

I initially tried the template in Chrome where it ran a little slow when I uploaded an image. I had a better experience with the template in Firefox.

Applications for Education
Russel Tarr has a bunch of examples of Breaking News screens created about historical events like the assassination of President Lincoln. You could also have students create Breaking News screens about major turning points in the plots of their favorite fiction works.

How to Create a Rubric in Google Sheets - Video Demonstration

Yesterday, I published a post about the Google Sheets Add-on called Online Rubric. This morning I had a couple emails from folks with questions about how to use it. The video embedded below provides an overview of how to create a rubric in a Google Sheet.

Remind's Chat Feature Is Now Open to Everyone

Back in March I wrote about Remind (formerly Remind 101) adding a chat feature to their free mobile messaging service. That service initially launched in a private beta. Remind's chat feature is now available to all users.

Remind chat allows students and parents to reply with text to a teacher's messages. Just as Remind has always done, the real phone numbers of both parties is hidden. When I first heard about Remind chat I was leery of it because I was concerned that students and parents would be messaging teachers at all hours of the day and expecting rapid responses. Remind alleviated that concern when I saw the "office hours" setting in the Remind chat service. "Office hours" allows teachers to specify when they will allow them to state when they will be available for messaging. Teachers can also pause or stop chat exchanges at any time.

Applications for Education
The chat feature is one that Remind says has been requested by a lot of teachers. The feature should make it easier for you to quickly bring clarity to a message that a student or parent didn't initially understand. Before using the new chat feature I would set office hours and clear guidelines for the kind of conversations that you will have with students and parents through the Remind chat feature.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mystery Science - Great Science Lessons for Elementary School Students

Mystery Science is a relatively new service that is offering nice science lessons for elementary school students. The lessons on Mystery Science feature a series of videos and images arranged around a science subject. After each video there are questions that students can answer on their own or work through with your guidance. The lessons don't stop there. After the initial videos and questions you can extend the lessons by leading students in hands-on activities that reinforce the concepts shown in the videos. Mystery Science provides materials lists and detailed directions for each hands-on activity.

Applications for Education
Mystery Science lessons are arranged in thematic sets. For example, there is a set of lessons titled Plant Adventures. In Plant Adventures you will find eight lessons tackling questions like do plants eat dirt? You can use the lessons in the sequence in which they're presented or simply pick the ones that best fit your needs.