Saturday, September 10, 2022

2022 Fall Foliage Prediction Map - And Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall

The 2022 Fall Foliage Prediction Map is a feature of the website. The map displays a week-by-week prediction of when leaves in the continental United States will be changing colors from now through the end of November. You can see the predictions change by moving the timeline at the bottom of the map.

On the same page as the 2022 Fall Foliage Prediction Map there is a place to report the foliage changes in your area to help improve the accuracy of the map. You'll also find some succinct explanations of what makes leaves change color in the fall. 

Applications for Education
The 2022 Fall Foliage Prediction Map doesn't tell the whole story of why leaves change colors at different times in different parts of the country. I'd use the incomplete nature of the map's explanation as a jumping-off point for students to hypothesize and investigate why leaves change colors at different times in different parts of the country. I might also have them investigate why some trees have brighter leaves than others in the fall. 

Additional Resources for Teaching and Learning About Fall Foliage
Last year I shared a handful of videos that explain why leaves change colors in the fall. A couple of those videos are included below.

For an explanation of why leaves change colors that elementary school students can understand, watch the following SciShow Kids video.

Friday, September 9, 2022

A New Kind of Flashcard - Flexcards!

I started this week by sharing my favorite alternative to Quizlet. To end the school week I have a new kind of flashcard to share with you as an alternative to Quizlet. That new kind of flashcard is called Flexcards by Flippity

Flexcards are multimedia flashcards that can have up to ten sides. You can display videos, pictures, links, and text on your Flexcards. For example, in this demo you'll see that the Flexcards for ten countries of the world include the capital of those countries, maps of each, images of the flags for each, YouTube videos about the countries, brief summaries of each, and links to additional information. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to create your own Flexcards by using the Google Sheets template provided by Flippity. 

Applications for Education
Regular two-sided flashcards are fine for practicing recall of definitions or math facts. Flexcards are something that students should try when they need to study a bit more than just definitions or simple facts. 

The Differences Between England, Great Britain, United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth Explained

Queen Elizabeth II died yesterday. The news broke after most on the east coast of the U.S. were out of school for the day. If you find your students asking questions about about her passing, the monarchy, or Great Britain in general, here are some videos that you might find helpful. 

The Washington Post published a short video that uses a lot of archival pictures and newsreels to tell the story of her 70 year reign

The Washington Post also published a two minute compilation of how the news of Queen Elizabeth II's death was reported by news outlets around the world.

A decade ago C.G.P. Grey published The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained. It's a still a great video that explains the differences between the three, and why some people incorrectly use them interchangeably.

Many of the news stories about Queen Elizabeth II's passing make references to the Commonwealth. If you find yourself trying to explain what that is to your students, here's a brief explanation from the BBC that could help.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

ICYMI - Webinar Recording - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions

A couple of nights ago Rushton Hurley and I resumed our Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions series. We were joined by a handful of fine folks and even more people were registered to join us. If you missed our live broadcast, you can now watch the recording and find all of the associated links right here on Next Vista for Learning. The recording is also available to view here on Rushton's YouTube channel and as embedded below. 

We'll be hosting the next episode of this series in October. Watch this page for updated registration information. Until then feel free to email me or Rushton with your questions. 

C-SPAN StudentCam is Back for Its 19th School Year!

Every year C-SPAN hosts the StudentCam video contest for middle school and high school students in the United States. This year's version of the contest was announced yesterday. The theme of this year's contest is "If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why?"

The StudentCam contest is open to students in sixth through twelfth grade. There is a category for middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12). Students can submit individual work or work in teams of up to three members. All videos must be between five and six minutes in length. The incorporation of C-SPAN footage into the videos is required. 

The StudentCam contest is open to students in the United States. The contest deadline is January 20, 2023. All videos must include some C-SPAN footage. This year more than $100,000 in prizes will be awarded. Complete contest rules can be found here and the prize list can be found here. There are prizes for students as well as for teachers. 

Applications for Education
This year's contest prompt is a great one to incorporate into a class about government, civics, and current events. Even if your students don't enter the contest, the question is a good one to ponder. 

C-SPAN offers some excellent resources to help teachers help their students prepare entries for the StudentCam contest. Those resources include research templates, video script templates, and project checklists. You can find all of the teacher resources here