Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Great Art Explained

Despite the efforts of my friend Maggie, I don't always understand what makes one work of art great and a similar-looking one fit for display in a Hilton Garden Inn. I thought about that last weekend when I came across a YouTube channel called Great Art Explained. The channel seems to have been made for folks just like me. 

Great Art Explained features twenty-five videos that provide ten to fifteen minute explanations of some of the works of Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, Monet, Hokusai, and many others. The videos that I watched over the weekend explained both the artwork itself and the life of the artist and how that influenced their artwork. 

Applications for Education
Great Art Explained could be a good resource for art teachers as well as history teachers. The videos are short enough to be useful for flipped classroom lessons while still providing enough depth to spark good classroom discussions about the works. 

On a related note, you might also be interested in this collection of more than 900 art history books available to view online

Monday, February 27, 2023

Chromebook Keyboard Considerations for Kindergarten

My oldest daughter is in Kindergarten this year. Recently, she started using a Chromebook in her classroom. The Chromebook that she uses at school is different from the one we have at home. The difference is minor for most of us, but it's huge for kids her age. That difference is found on the keyboard. 

The Chromebook that my daughter uses at school has all of the letters appearing as capitalized letters on the keyboard. For example, the letter a appears as "A" and the letter q appears as "Q." That is accomplished through the use of a Chromebook keyboard overlay. The Chromebook that we have at home doesn't have an overlay and therefore the keys appear in all lowercase letters. 

The trouble with a keyboard that appears in all lowercase letters is that the letters "a" and "q" don't appear to a Kindergarten student in the same way that they do when handwritten. I only noticed this last week when my daughter wanted to practice typing her full name which includes the letters a and q. She initially struggled because she couldn't find the a and q keys until I showed them to her. At which point she argued with me that "a" wasn't "written the right way." 

My daughter now recognizes all "a" as an a on the keyboard, but it wasn't without a bit of struggle. 

How to Create Your First Canva Presentation

Over the years I've published a lot of Canva tutorials. But until last week I had never created one specifically for students and teachers making their first presentations in Canva. That's what this new video is all about. 

In How to Create Your First Canva Presentation I demonstrate how to sign into your account, how to find projects that have been shared with you, and how to create a new project from scratch. In the video I also cover how to add and customize pictures, drawings, and videos in your slides. The video concludes with a demonstration of how to share a finished presentation made with Canva. 

Watch the videos below to learn how to do even more with your Canva slides after you've created them.

How to Record a Video Presentation in Canva

How to Create an Audio Slideshow Video in Canva

Sunday, February 26, 2023

167 Math In "Real Life" Lessons

Math in Real Life is a series of 167 TED-Ed lessons and TED Talks. The "real life" context in these lessons isn't things like "how calculating percentages helps you be a frugal shopper." The "real life" context found in the videos in the Math in Real Life series is broad in nature. For example, you will find lessons about how math is used to guide ships and calculating rates of travel in space.

Applications for Education
The Math in Real Life series of TED-Ed videos, like most TED-Ed videos, could make nice extensions to your classroom instruction.

Chem Collective Virtual Labs

Chem Collective is a project designed and maintained by Carnegie Mellon University's chemistry department and the National Science Digital Library. On Chem Collective you will find virtual labs for chemistry experiments, simulations, visualizations, tutorials, and auto-graded problems. Students and teachers can search the site by resource type or by chemistry topic.

Applications for Education
Chem Collective offers teachers the option to create their own Chem Collective pages containing resources and activities that they have selected from the Chem Collective library for their students.

Chem Collective also offers free virtual lab experiments to run your web browser.

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