Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Quote Sandwich - A Student Explains How to Use Quotes

Next Vista for Learning is a great place to find examples of students making videos to teach concepts to other students. Earlier this week I was just browsing the site when I came across a nice video about how to integrate quotes into an essay. In the video the student, an anonymous student at Lynbrook High School, tells viewers to think of using quotes in a paper like building a sandwich. Watch the video and share it with your students to help them build their own "three step quote sandwiches."



Join me next week for a webinar in which I'll show you how your students can create videos like this one.

The Library of Congress Seeks a Teacher-in-Residence

The Library of Congress has a great opportunity for a performing arts or visual arts teacher in the 2018-19 school year. The LOC is seeking a performing arts or visual arts teacher to be a teacher-in-residence at the LOC in Washington, DC. The selected teacher will be able to do some or all of the following: lead professional development workshops, conduct original research, developed teaching materials, lead and support projects to reach a diverse audience of educators. Complete details and the application can be found here.

This sounds like a great opportunity for a teacher who meets the requirements and can spend the school year in Washington, DC. According to the application page, the LOC will reimburse your school district for your salary and benefits for the year (meaning, you'll get your same salary throughout the year) and will provide a housing stipend if you are from outside of the Washington, DC area.

Applications are due by April 9th. The application requires two letters of reference, three essays, and a project plan. So if this is something you're interested in, get started ASAP.

8 Changes to Google Docs & Slides Menus

If you're a regular Google Docs and Google Slides user you may have already noticed some changes to your menus and toolbars. If you haven't seen anything change, you will see some changes soon. Yesterday, Google announced eight changes to the Docs and Slides drop-down menus and toolbars. None of the changes will impact the functionality of either tool. Google says that the changes are being made to make it easier to find certain functions.

Google Docs drop-down menu and toolbar changes:

  • Text formatting options will move to a new sub-menu in the Format drop-down menu.
  • Separate controls for text highlighting and text color choices in the toolbar.
  • New "insert image" option in the toolbar.
  • Table insertion and formatting options will only be in the Format drop-down menu.
Google Slides drop-down menu and toolbar changes:
  • In the "Slide" menu you will find four new options in a new "Move" sub-menu.
  • Table insertion and formatting options will only be in the Format drop-down menu.
  • The options to align horizontally and vertically will be placed in a new "Align" sub-menu.
  • The "Insert" menu will have items displayed in a new order (this change will also apply to Google Docs and Sheets). 

How to Find Public Domain Videos on Flickr

Flickr is known for hosting millions of images, but it also hosts lots of videos. The advanced search tools within Flickr make it easy to find videos that have Creative Commons licenses or have a public domain designation. With just one click those videos can be downloaded to your computer. Watch my video embedded below to learn how to find public domain videos on Flickr.


Applications for Education
If your students need video clips to use in slideshows or in video creation projects, Flickr can be a good place to find clips that they can reuse. If you're worried about students downloading too many files or downloading files that aren't appropriate for a classroom project, I recommend using a shared Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive folder as a gallery of pre-screened media. Put some files into one of those services that your students can then access to download public domain video clips.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Three Places to Find Public Domain Video Clips

This afternoon I received an email from a reader who was trying to help one of her colleagues with a classroom video project. They wanted to know if it was possible to download YouTube videos or to make a screencast of a YouTube video to then use in another video. My response was to point out that the first option, downloading for YouTube with a 3rd party service is a violation of YouTube's terms of service (section 5) unless their is a download link provided by YouTube (present for some public domain and Creative Commons licensed videos). Making a screencast of a YouTube video is also a violation of the terms of service as well as being a likely copyright infringement.

So if there is a video that you see on YouTube that you think you or your students would like to reuse in another project, get in touch with the person who uploaded it and ask for permission to use a copy. Otherwise, take a look at the following three sources of public domain video clips.

The Internet Archive is the first place that comes to mind when I am asked for a source of Public Domain media. The Moving Image Archive within the Internet Archive is an index of more than 1.7 million video clips. Most of what you will find in the Moving Image Archive can be downloaded in a variety of file formats. You can search the archive by keyword or browse through the many categories and thematic collections in the archive. One important thing to note about the Internet Archive is that you probably don't want students to search it without supervision. In fact, I'd probably just create a folder of footage from archive that I share with my students.

Flickr is known for hosting images, but it also hosts video clips. Use the advanced search functions in Flickr to find video clips that have been released into the public domain and to find videos that have a Creative Commons license attached to them.


The Public Domain Review is a website that features collections of images, books, essays, audio recordings, and films that are in the public domain. Choose any of the collections to search for materials according to date, style, genre, and rights. Directions for downloading and saving media is included along with each collection of media.