Friday, November 13, 2015

The Science of Static Electricity - And Other Resources for Learning About Electricity

It is getting to be that time of year here in Maine when we can't walk across a carpet then touch a light switch without getting a bit of a shock. What causes that happen? And why does it seem to happen more often in the winter months than in the summer months? The answers to those questions and more are found in the TED-Ed lesson The Science of Static Electricity.



Other resources for teaching and learning about electricity.
Brain Stuff has a video that offers a good explanation of why we hear a buzzing sound coming from fluorescent lights found in many schools and office buildings. The video is embedded below.



Minute Physics offers a short video explaining how modern light bulbs work and how light bulb design has changed over the last 100+ years.The video also includes explanations of the different types of modern light bulbs and their applications. The video is embedded below.



Hydro to Home is an interactive story of hydro-electric power from raindrops to homes. The story walks visitors through each step of the process of generating hydro-electric power and delivering to consumers' homes. The story is narrated and along the way there are interactive images that visitors can click on to learn even more information about hydro-electric power.

The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits is a neat series of interactive animations designed to help students of elementary and middle school age learn how electric circuits work. There are five sections to the series. Each sections builds upon the lessons of the previous section. The series starts with the basics of what makes a circuit complete and concludes with diagramming and building circuits. Each section in the series has a few short lessons and is followed by an animated interactive activity to which students can apply what they have just learned.

How to Collaboratively Create Video Playlists

YouTube is full of handy little features that many people don't notice or use. One of those features is the option to collaboratively create playlists of videos. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to collaboratively create a playlist of videos.


Applications for Education
There a lot of great educational content on YouTube. The challenge that many teachers and students have is finding and keeping track of it all. Turn on the collaboration feature when you start a playlist and work with your colleagues to develop lists of educational videos for your students. Or, as I suggest in the video, have students collaborate to create a playlist of helpful videos.

At the EdTechTeacher.org Google Jamboree in Medfield, Massachusetts on December 5th I'll be running a workshop all about the great features of YouTube that teachers can use.

Webinar Recording - 5 Good Ways to Use Bloomz to Streamline Communication

Last night I hosted a free webinar with Bloomz's community manager. In the webinar we demonstrated how to use the many features of Bloomz and answered questions from the audience about the practical aspects of using Bloomz to communicate with parents. If you missed the webinar, you can now view it here or as embedded below.



Disclosure: Bloomz is currently advertising through MindRocket Media Group. I am a partner in the MindRocket Media Group.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mega Seating Plan - Create Random or Organized Seating Charts

Mega Seating Plan is a free tool developed by a teacher for teachers. The purpose of Mega Seating Plan is to help you create seating charts from a spreadsheet of names. To create a seating chart in Mega Seating Plan simply import a spreadsheet of names, indicate where seats will be placed in your classroom, and then let Mega Seating Plan randomly assign students to seats. You can quickly alter the seating chart by dragging and dropping names on the chart.

Mega Seating Plan also has a random name selector tool built into it. To use that tool just pick a class list then click the center of your browser window to have a name randomly selected from the list.

Applications for Education
Mega Seating Plan could provide you with a quick way to shuffle the seating plans in your classroom. You might also use it to randomly create working groups in your classroom. To do that just arrange seats in groups then use the random assignment function to put students into working groups.

Privacy Online Explained by Common Craft

Have you or your students ever wondered what happens to all of the data collected by your web browsing habits? Or have you wondered why Facebook shows you one set of advertisements while a friend sitting next to you might see completely different advertisements? It all comes down to data collection and online privacy. In their latest video Common Craft explains how privacy online is different than it is in the real world, what happens to your online data, and how that data was captured to begin with. The video is embedded below.


As with all Common Craft videos you can view this one online for review, but to embed it you need to be a Common Craft member.