Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Few Short Lessons About Sharks for Shark Week

This week is Discovery's annual Shark Week. All week long the Discovery Channel and it's affiliated channels will broadcast all kinds of shows about sharks. Those shows will range from serious and educational to ridiculous (Mike Tyson "fighting" a shark). If you find yourself looking from some short, educational videos about sharks to share with students, take a look at the following three videos.

Super Sharks! from SciShow Kids is a video for kids that explains the unique elements of a shark's body including cartilage skeletons, why some sharks will have thousands of teeth during their lives, and what a shark's skin feels like. The video also teaches students about the largest sharks (whale shark) and smallest sharks (dwarf lantern shark) in the oceans.




National Geographic's 101 series has a video about sharks. The video is simply titled Sharks 101. The video covers five key facts about sharks including the basics of shark size, the number of teeth a shark goes through in its life, the hyrdodynamic design of sharks, shark reproduction, and shark conservation. The video, particularly the section on shark conservation (staring at 3:43 in the video), does include images that some viewers might find disturbing.



Why Are Sharks so Awesome? is a TED-Ed lesson about sharks. This lesson is a bit more detailed than the National Geographic Sharks 101 video. The TED-Ed lesson delves into the physiology of sharks and the role of sharks as apex predators in the ecosystem.



On a related note, at this time last year my two year old's favorite book was Good Night Sharks. She wants it read to her every night. Now she's obsessed with Bug City.

Webinar Recording - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff

Last week Rushton Hurley and I resumed our weekly webinar series called Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff. It was clear from the comments and questions that a lot of people missed our weekly series. A big thank you to everyone that joined us. If you missed it, you can watch the recording of the webinar here.

We'll be hosting the webinar again this Thursday. You can register here to join us for free!


If you have a question that you'd like us to tackle, please send me an email or just enter it into the chat during the live webinar.

All About Zoom Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms is one of the best features of Zoom. If you're anticipating using Zoom this fall and you haven't tried the breakout rooms function, you need to try it. Breakout rooms will let you create small group work environments within your Zoom meeting. Breakout rooms let you start your meeting will all students in one meeting, split them into groups for discussions/ work, and then bring them all back together as one big group.

Last Friday my pal Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning hosting a half-hour webinar all about using Zoom breakout rooms. You can watch the recording of the webinar here on his YouTube channel or as embedded below.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Zoom from Teacher and Student Perspectives

As the new school year gets closer I'm getting a lot of requests for help with Zoom. I have published a few video tutorials about Zoom including this one that covers the basics of setting up a meeting with students. I've also published this one about how students see Zoom meetings on Android phones. But until this week I hadn't put the teacher and student perspectives together in one video. That's what I did in this new video that is embedded below.


I have always found it helpful to look at tools from the students' perspectives as well as my teacher perspective. Doing that helps me better understand how students will use the tools and better prepares me to help them troubleshoot problems that they run into when using the tools.

Intro to Simple Electronics in Makerspaces

Yesterday morning I gave a short virtual presentation for the New Jersey TeachMeet. The topic of my presentation was an introduction to using simple electronics in makerspaces. The presentation focused on three main resources. Those resources are Microsoft's Hacking STEM, Exploratorium's Science Snacks, and TinkerCad. The slides from my presentation are embedded below and can also be seen here.