Monday, March 26, 2018

Chrome Tablets And Cheaper iPads Are Worthless!

Now that I have your attention with that clickbait headline, I have some thoughts to share about the new Chrome OS tablet that Google announced today and some thoughts about Apple's "education event" that is happening tomorrow. Watch my video to hear my thoughts about both of these topics.

Can't see the video or don't want to watch it?
Here's the one sentence summary, Chrome OS tablets and cheaper iPads are worthless unless your school invests time and money in professional development.

This TED-Ed Lesson Is Full of ...!

Why Isn't the World Covered In Poop? is the latest video lesson published by TED-Ed. With a title like that, how could you not be curious enough to spend five minutes watching the video? And that's exactly what I just did.

Why Isn't the World Covered In Poop? is really a lesson about dung beetles and the role that they play in the ecosystem. In the lesson students learn how many types of dung beetles exist in the world, where they exist, and how dung beetles help reduce greenhouse gasses. And as a bonus, you can pick up a cheesy middle school-appropriate joke from watching the video.

This TED-Ed lesson reminded me of one the most-pinned resources ever featured on Who Pooped? is an interactive site in which students learn about various animals by guessing which animal created which pile of poop. Believe it or not, there is actually some good information about the animals that follows each round of guessing who created which poop. Cows are one of the that animals you can learn about on Who Pooped? (give the site some time to load in order to view all features).

One of the Biggest Violators of YouTube's TOS Changes Its Tune

As I shared in a post earlier this month, downloading videos from YouTube via a third party tool is a violation of YouTube's terms of service (TOS). Despite that fact there are many teachers who do attempt to use third party tools to download YouTube videos. One of the most popular of those tools, KeepVid recently changed its tune. KeepVid no longer supports downloading videos from YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing sites where the terms of service don't allow it. A visit to KeepVid today will just give you a bunch of information about why you shouldn't download videos illegally.

The new information on the KeepVid homepage strikes me as being hastily thrown together to comply with a legal request. But that's purely my speculation based on many years of filing DMCA take-down notices and dealing with the legalese of an online business.

If you'd like to learn more about copyright issues as they relate to classrooms, watch this free webinar that Beth Holland and I hosted late last year.

H/T to Make Use Of for the update on KeepVid. 

This Looks Like a Great Hands-on PD Experience

FireWorks is an educational program, sponsored in part by the U.S. Forest Service, designed to teach students about the science of wildfires. This morning I received an email about a free two day professional development workshop centered around the FireWorks educational curriculum. The hands-on workshop is in Missoula, Montana this June. It appears to be open to anyone who is interested in using the FireWorks curriculum.

You should note that the FireWorks curriculum is region-specific. The material is focused on on the Northern Rocky, Northern Cascades, and Sierra Nevada regions.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Making and Understanding Paper Airplanes

Making and Understanding Paper Planes is a short video that was produced by students for Next Vista's Creative Flight video contest. Like a lot of the videos hosted on Next Vista, this video is a good example of students producing a video to teach a short lesson. In the video the students demonstrate how to make a good paper airplane. They also explain the basic physics of paper airplane flight.

Next Vista is one of the places that I recommend publishing videos that students make in your classroom.

If you're interested in learning more about classroom video projects, check out 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom