Saturday, October 5, 2019

Book Review Videos Made in the Common Craft Style

Years ago I came across a video in which someone reviewed The Art of Explanation by making a video in the Common Craft style. The Art of Explanation is a book that was written by Lee LeFever who is the voice behind all of the Common Craft videos. The producer of the video, Bruce Herwig, wrote a blog post explaining the lessons he learned in the video production process.

I've written about book trailers video projects many times in the past. Usually those projects are focused on having students produce videos that will get other students interested in a book. The approach that Bruce Herwig uses is slightly different as it focuses more on providing a clear overview of the book rather than just trying to hook viewers into reading the book. That approach could be a good one for high school students to use as a means to providing reviews of non-fiction works that may not have the entertainment value of fiction works.

Bruce Herwig's video is embedded below.

My video on how to make Common Craft-style videos with Google Slides and a screencasting tool is embedded below.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode #12

This afternoon I recorded the twelfth episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In the episode I shared some reflections on teaching computer science and some reflections on being a teacher at 40 versus being a teacher at 25. Of course, I also answered a handful of questions from readers. The episode begins with some news and notes from the world of ed tech over the last week. Give the show a listen here or search "Practical Ed Tech" on your favorite podcast platform.

Get the complete show notes here.

You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks:

The Solutions to Common Classroom Stains

Stain Solutions is a handy website developed by Susan Taylor at the University of Illinois Extension. The site is a database of solutions for removing more than 200 common stains like coffee, bird poop, and white glue (commonly called Elmer's glue). Click on a stain in the chart and you will be taken to a list of the ingredients needed to make a solution that will remove your chosen stain. Directions and warnings are provided along with the solutions.

Applications for Education
I don't know of any teacher who hasn't stained work clothes themselves or had them stained as the result of a student mishap. I've stained enough neckties to create a drop-cloth. Coffee, ink, and dry-erase markers seem to be the leading causes of those stains. Solutions to remove all those stains can be found on Stain Solutions.

A Tool to Simulate Text Messages Between Historical Figures

One of my favorite tool on is the Fake SMS Generator. The Classtools Fake SMS Generator is free to use and does not require students to register to use it. In the video below I demonstrate how to create a fictitious text message exchange between historical characters.

As I mentioned in the video, the Fake SMS Generator could also be used to create visuals for lessons on cyber-safety and etiquette.

Poe Animations and Lessons

It wouldn't be October without language arts that mention Edgar Allan Poe. It seems that October is the time that a lot of students are introduced to the work of Edgar Allan Poe. If that describes your classroom and you're looking for a few Poe resources, take a look at the following three videos.

In the TED-Ed lesson Why Should You Read Edgar Allan Poe? students can learn about Poe's guiding principles for writing, the recurring themes of his work, and the personal factors in his life that contributed to his writing. Find the complete lesson here or watch the video as embedded below.

Introduce The Pit and the Pendulum to students through Flocabulary's rap of the story. That video is embedded below.

Here is an animated telling of Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart.