Friday, November 6, 2015

Colds, the Flu, and Flipped Lessons

I love everything about the change of seasons from autumn to winter except for the onset of cold and flu season. A couple of my friends have already reported having sick students and or getting colds themselves. What is a cold? What is the flu? And what are the differences between the two? Those questions and more are answered in the videos embedded below.

How is a cold or flu passed from person to person and what exactly is it doing to your body? NPR answers those questions in the following animated video.

What is ‘flu? - Explania
If you want to use any of these videos in flipped lessons, take a look at the tools featured in my playlist of tutorials on creating flipped lessons.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Zaption Presenter - Make Interactive Video Presentations

Zaption is a tool for creating video-based quizzes. Unlike some services like TED-Ed that have students watch a video then answer questions at the end, Zaption allows you to display questions for students to answer as they watch a video. To create a quiz on Zaption you start by creating a "tour" in your account. A tour is a combination of videos, images, and text arranged into a sequence. Back in April Jennifer Carey wrote a great overview of using Zaption in the classroom.

Yesterday, Zaption announced a new feature in beta testing. That feature is called Zaption Presenter. Zaption Presenter will let you present a video in the front of the room and or stream it to your students' devices. Your students will be able to use Zaption Presenter ask questions directly from their devices while the video plays. Teachers can add questions to the presentations on the fly and have those questions appear on students' devices. Zaption Presenter is still in a closed beta period. If you're interested in trying it, you can sign-up here for early access.

Multimedia Thanksgiving Turkeys

A couple of days ago my sister posted a picture on Facebook that inspired this post. Her picture was of my nieces adding items to their "thankful posters." Daily, throughout the month leading up to Thanksgiving she has my nieces write down the things for which they are thankful. Of course, when I saw this I thought that it was a perfect fit for a ThingLink project.

ThingLink makes it easy to create interactive, multimedia images. Upload a picture of a turkey and you or your students can add interactive pins to it. Those pins can include text, images, audio, or video. You can go back and edit your image at any time. So in that way you could have students add one new item to their images every day or two. Images can be emailed and or embedded into blog posts so that your students' parents can see them.

The videos embedded below demonstrate how to use ThingLink.

ThingLink Edu provides teachers with tools to manage students' accounts. Students don't need email addresses in order to use ThingLink.

A Delicious Science Lesson - The Chemistry of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Reactions: Everyday Science is a YouTube channel that was formerly known as Bytesize Science. I have featured a few Bytesize Science videos in the past. Reactions: Everyday Science produces short explanatory videos about the science in common elements of our lives. The latest video from Reactions is all about that staple of college students' diets, the grilled cheese sandwich.

Applications for Education
The Science of the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich covers the chemistry of milk and the chemistry of the process of creating cheese. Then to complete the sandwich the video covers the PH of cheese and why that is important in selecting the perfect cheese for a grilled a cheese sandwich. Spoiler alert: mild cheddar is better for a grilled cheese sandwich than sharp cheddar.

H/T to Lifehacker

An Easy Way to Store and Move Instructional Videos

In the past I have shared directions for privately sharing videos through Google Drive. That is a great way to store and share videos, but there are other methods available. One of those is to use YouTube as a video storage service. You can store videos in your YouTube account even if you don't make them public. You can download your videos at anytime as MP4 files. In that way YouTube can serve as a video file converter. My friend and colleague Rod Berger recently used this method to convert some AVI files to MP4 files.
Click image to view full size. 
Applications for Education
If your school doesn't use Google Apps for Education, your Google Drive storage space could quickly get used up by video files (GAFE users have unlimited storage). Use YouTube as a place to store your flipped video lessons. You can keep them private until you need students to view them.

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