Change the way your student’s watch videos with Zaption!

Zaption is a wonderful program I learned about this week. It is truly changing the way students view videos. Teachers can quickly add images, text, quizzes, and even discussions to existing videos from youtube, vimeo, or other private videos. I plan on using this program to flip my classroom. Instead of having them just watch a video they can now be fully engaged with the video. Zaption allows you to display questions for students to answer as they watch a video. Teachers can get immediate feedback on how students interact with the content and understand key concepts.

Here is a sample video for my sociology class on gender stereotypes and expectations

To create a quiz on Zaption you start by creating a “tour” in your account. A tour is a collection of videos, images, and text. Zaption allows users to add videos from YouTube, Vimeo, PBS, or National Geographic. After selecting your video you can start and pause the video where you want to add a question. When students watch the video they will see questions appear during the paused video.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 1.55.53 PM

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Documentary Series: Gold Fever

I wanted to share the documentary mini-series Gold Fever, which makes its television premiere on the Discovery Channel this Friday, October 11 at 9 PM ET/PT. Please take note: The Gold Rush was a violent period in American History. Some images in Gold Fever are disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.


“The California Gold Rush gave birth to the idea that still pervades in American society to this day— that you can get rich quick; that it’s always a possibility that you can get rich quickly without having to work for it,” noted Stephen David, Executive Producer of Gold Fever and the Emmy-winning The Men Who Built America.


The year is 1848: not long after the Revolutionary War. The country is still very young and dirt poor, a nation of farmers. And then, suddenly gold is discovered in California, and the new American dream is born. Over the course of a few years, Americans would discover the modern equivalent of $25 billion dollars — money that would give a jolt to the economy and make America the most powerful nation on Earth: the government could build an army and businesses had the capital they needed to create huge industrial empires unlike anything America (or the world) had ever seen.


The Gold Rush also created America’s get-rich-quick mentality. Early stories from the Gold Rush were of people literally picking million dollar fortunes straight off the ground. As the news spreads across the country, over 300,000 people— one out of every 90 Americans—drop everything and head west with the hopes of striking it rich. Violence, greed and chaos takes over as tens of thousands of miners battled each other over the same small fortune of buried treasure.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Stossel in the Classroom

I am a huge fan of Stossel in the Classroom. I was first introduced to the DVD series when I went to my first NCSS Conference in St.Louis, Missouri.  The Stossel in the Classroom program is a tax exempt non for profit educational foundation that offers a number of educational programs for your classroom. Each school year Stossel in the Classroom offers a new DVD to teachers. The DVD includes videos about some of John’s most relevant and interesting television programs. The series also comes with a teachers guide, lesson plans, and extension activities. The website also offers a pretty wonderful collection of streaming videos from John Stossel TV shows and specials, which can be searched by keyword. Stossel in the Classroom is a pretty wonderful program I hope you can also take advantage of it with your students.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 9.54.11 PM

The new 2014 DVD includes: 

  • College Tuition and Campus Luxuries:Why have colleges gotten so expensive? Has the money gone to improve education? Has the government forsaken our children? This segment looks at the rising cost of a college education.
  • Product Liability Lawsuits: Who Gets Burned?Are we safer today because of lawsuits? Should companies that produce dangerous products be immune from lawsuits? What exactly is a dangerous product? Should manufacturers be sued when something goes wrong? What responsibilities do product users have? This segment looks at one effect of product liability lawsuits.
  • High Speed Rail: Boondocks & Boondoggles:How should we improve mass transportation? Are newer and faster trains the answer? Why do so many people presume it’s government’s job to improve mass transportation? Is there a place for entrepreneurs and businesses to help? This segment looks at high speed rail projects, private buses, and the history of New York’s subways.
  • The Fracking Debate:What is fracking? What does it do? How does it affect us? Should we celebrate it because it might reduce our oil consumption or condemn it because it might put our drinking water at risk? Who should we believe when some people tell us fracking is bad and others tell us it’s good? This segment looks at the debate over fracking.
  • Food Nannies: Who Decides What You Eat?Why are there so many obese Americans? What should be done about it? Who’s responsible? The government? Businesses? Us? This segment looks at proposals to curb obesity.
  • Entrepreneurs: Doing Good by Doing Well:What good do entrepreneurs do? Is it creating jobs? Is it the charity they do with the money they’ve made? Do successful entrepreneurs have an obligation to give back? This segment attempts to answer those very questions.
  • The Psychology Behind Political Campaigns:Why do we favor one candidate over another? Is it because we look at the issues and choose our candidate accordingly? Or is it because we look at the candidates? And how do candidates and their campaigns react to the way we choose? This segment looks at voters, political races, and the psychology behind the campaigns that get candidates elected.
  • Taxi Licensing: Are We Being Taken for a Ride?Should people need government permission to work? Do unregulated businesses cause chaos? Should taxicabs be approved by government and their owners required to purchase medallions? This segment looks at both sides of the taxi regulation issue.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Future of Video Calling Technology in the Classroom

Video calling technology has undergone an enormous evolutionary process during the last decade (or slightly more) of overall accelerations in technological innovations. This is not just a minor fringe technology anymore and it is no longer something that you as a teacher or educator should think of as simply being for international corporate meetings and friends talking to each other across oceans.

Video Conference in School

The reality is in fact quite the opposite; video calling technology is not only more ubiquitous than ever, it’s also more applicable to your potential classroom needs than you might imagine. Not only could you find a way of using video as an excellent long distance education tool, you might even be able to get creative and make it into something that can completely reshape your classroom or how you interact with your students. Furthermore, by doing this, you will be participating in a long term trend whose future will only make video more ingrained into the daily fabric of education.


Let’s cover a few useful tips and facts that can lead you in the right direction.


Video Conferencing Options

As an educator, teacher or education administrator, you have a very wide plethora of commercial product options available when it comes to video calling and conferencing. These can range in scope from the most basic (and limited) applications such as Skype or Apple FaceTime, both of which are essentially free to use in a limited conferencing or person to person calling setup; or they can include very complex teleconferencing platforms that come with hardware and dedicated communications lines. Companies such as Intercall, Cisco and Microsoft all offer products such as these at varying costs.


Knowing which video calling system to choose for your class needs will depend a lot on exactly how you want to use it, your education technology budget (in the hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars) and of course how many students you want to incorporate into your video calling system.


These are issues that you need to decide for yourself after some careful research and reference checking; it might also be a good idea to search for examples of other schools that have successfully implemented whatever video conferencing setup you yourself are hoping to try with your group of students and other teachers.


Also, bear in mind that whatever may seem expensive today will only become less costly as time goes on; less costly and also of higher quality thanks to the constant innovations we’re seeing in web connectivity, broadband transmission power and video presentation technology making possible extraordinarily sharp clarity over ever smaller, thinner screens.


Some Video Calling Possibilities for Today and the Near Tomorrow

The number of possible uses for video calling can be extremely varied, and in some cases the technology itself can be used without actually even requiring live, in-person calls to occur, instead being integrated as part of a larger education presentation that relies on recordings of already filmed video. Here are some potential uses to ponder:


Geographically Separated Interconnected Video Classrooms

Quite a mouthful, but it represents a powerful idea: if you’re offering lectures and learning materials to students in a relatively small classroom –or even a big one but your classes are very popular—and want to make sure that other students can have access to what you need to teach regardless of whether they have the time or money to be there in person, then video calling will solve your dilemma.


If you’re working with a higher budget, you can arrange to have remote video presentation screens set up in classroom on the other side of the world or as close as in a different campus building, screens with a direct web based feed to your live lecture or class.

Working on a smaller scale, you can offer the same thing via internet connection from a web page that feeds into your video lecture and presents it at a specific URL which anyone from outside your class can access.


Best of all, thanks to cloud storage and chat technology, you can also take things a step further by giving all viewers a chance to field questions your way as you talk or making yourself able to hand out notes and papers in digital form, not only to in-class students, but also to viewers who happen to be anywhere else. This can be done simply by giving them all a general cloud storage download link where you place files in real time and they then withdraw them under the same circumstances.


Tutoring and Tele-assistance

Beyond the class setting itself, video calling gives you an excellent tool for student assistance without the need to wait for arrivals at your actual office. By simply setting up an online video calling account, whether it be arranged through a free service like Skype or a more sophisticated service such as Intercall, you can then give your students a unique ID or URL identifier by which they can find you either through their browsers or by downloading the same video calling program you use and searching for you.


Through this technology, you can then give out certain after-class times when you’ll be connected and available for video questions about any class subject. It may seem a bit clumsy to implement at first, but remember, the technology is improving constantly and assuming everyone possesses access to a decent web connection, suing video for class lectures and after-class tutoring will have a strong appeal to many students or even education staff.


About the author: Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, mobile technology, marketing tech and digital security. He has been a writer covering video technology for Intercall for several years. He also loves to read and write about location-free business, portable business management and finance. When not busy writing or consulting on technology and digital security, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico, where he spends part of the year. Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Smithsonian Quests inspire students to explore their own ideas!

I learned about Smithsonian Quests from Daniel Boyle, who is a history teacher I know from twitter who wants to incorporate the idea of the Google 20% into his classroom. Smithsonian Quests inspire students to explore their own ideas and interests online, in school, at home, and across the nation. The quests connect and reward learners of different ages and in different regions as they learn through discovery and collaboration. Rewards include digital badges that students (and teachers) take with them for life!


The primary goal is to inspire youth to explore their own interests through a series of online activities and related incentive badges. Many of these badges are integrated with content from online education conferences, which highlight a variety of different topics.

Smithsonian Quests & BadgesThe second goal is to enhance students’ cognitive capabilities by incorporating knowledge and skill-building into the quests. The online conferences and quests are interdisciplinary in nature, offering students the opportunity to choose what they care about most.

All quests engage students in exploring a topic of interest either as part of a formal standards-aligned school curriculum or as a student-driven after school activity. An important secondary audience is you, the educator, whose support is vital in connecting with students. To this end, you also will be offered badges that will document their participation in Smithsonian online conferences, online professional development sessions, and the completion of class projects. All quests will be reviewed and badges awarded by a team of Smithsonian experts.

Sign-up now! You will receive an invitation to join a grade-level based group in the Smithsonian Quests Community.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mimic a Foreign Language

Mimic was designed to assist teachers and students by augmenting classroom and textbook ESL training via hours of casual conversation practice with native speakers available for free on any mobile phone. To become conversationally fluent, students must learn and become comfortable with the fundamental sounds and rhythms of a foreign language, which cannot be easily achieved by textbooks alone.


Mimic is the next best thing to a language immersion program. With the Mimic program, students can listen to the speakers and imitate what they say, exaggerating the sounds as they improve their prosody and automaticity of English. Users can choose to explore videos by select actors or subject matter, such as Future Events, General Conversation, Greetings/Introductions, Idiomatic Expressions, Likes/Dislikes, Making Plans, Past Events, Requesting Help or Uncertain Events.


Students should be encouraged to practice at their own pace and in whatever style feels comfortable to them, but emphasis should be on finding quiet time to listen and mimic a lot. Prosodic conformance and good conversation skills will only come from hours of exposure to the English language and Mimic is the ideal product for making it easy, fun and free. “With Mimic, we wanted to create a product that was both engaging and entertaining, that could teach complex grammar and expressions in a simple, easy-to-grasp manner that didn’t feel like you were studying,” says Wayne Clifford, CEO & Founder.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Gooru provides high-quality learning resources for every student and teacher

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to teach completely using the iPad. The only exception is when I show a DVD in my classroom. So far it has been fairly easy since I got this wonderful Longitech keyboard, which makes typing so much easier.  In my classroom I have an Apple TV, which allows me to mirror anything from my iPad or my student’s iPad to the projector.

I am always looking for new ways to make my iPad more efficient and save me time. I recently discovered Gooru, which any user can use on their mobile device or on a regular computer browser. Gooru Collections allow any user to have access to more than 3,000 educational materials. The website is organized into playlists and is designed for every 5th-12th grade student.The options are endless from videos to games, to digital textbooks, useful teacher approved websites, quizzes, and so much more.

Collections are aligned to standards and currently cover every 5th-12th grade math, science and social science topic, with more subjects coming soon.

One of my favorite features is that you can save  any resource to your username so anytime you want to access a particular resource it’s right on the home screen or “shelf.” The best part is that it’s FREE and has NO advertisements. Check it out today, you will not be disappointed!

Features of the iPad app:
-Gooru Collections will always be free
-Browse collections on 5th through 12th grade topics
-Search for collections to find exactly what you need to study
-Bookmark your favorite collections for later review
-Enable narration written by teachers to guide you through every resource in a collection
-Get the best collections delivered to you every week in “Featured Collections”
-Swipe to move on to the next resource, or tap the top navigation bar
-Customize your experience by logging in to your account and accessing the collections you saved on the Web
-All materials are vetted by teachers to ensure what you study is high quality and safe
-Much more to come!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Teach your students to use TED to spread ideas!

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. It is a wonderful resource for education is so many ways. It could be used for professional development and videos to engage students. The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog has devoted an entire section that contains everything about TED including lists of TED’s most popular videos.  You can expand your students to videos devoted to education and ideas that is beyond youtube.


TED has so many other options such as conferences, events, speeches, community, and conversations. I particularly like using TED Conversations with my AP Government class. As a debate team is preparing for a debate my class has a virtual discussion with the “world” about the debate topic. I have my students write their own opinion and then respond to classmate’s posts. Here is our TED Conversation on the Term Limits for Members of Congress and the Electoral College. This method is extremely powerful because students contribute to  an online community that extends beyond the four walls of our classroom. Students take ownership and feel they “have a say” about ideas in the world.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Progressive Video Project Using Animoto

What was the assignment? 

My student’s created mini-video documentaries about a particular topic during the Progressve Era. Instead of a typical lecture or a boring powerpoint project, my students created 2-4 minute video about their particular muckraker or topic during the Progressive Era.
How did they create them?
My student’s worked alone since I havea very small class. They had one night of research the night before. On Monday they spent the entire period creating a powerpoint. On Friday student’s created their Animoto video projects by saving their powerpoint as a JPG and adding effects/music. If I was to do this again I would give them another day.
The projects turned out well. Tomorrow we are watching their video projects and discussing each topic with more depth. Here is the project if you would like to do it with your student’s

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sydney and Max Blast Through The Past – An American History DVD series for kids

The past generation had schoolhouse rock, this new generation can now learn from Sydney and Max.  “Sydney and Max Blast Through the Past” is a new DVD series that provides a fascinating study of American history through the eyes of teenagers. It is unlike any series ever produced because it is built around the idea of teens teaching teens; kids are loving it.

This series is designed for children ages 10 – 16 and is guaranteed to encourage critical thinking as viewers follow Sydney and Max’s investigation into America’s past.  The music, dialogue, and episode length were all specifically designed to hold the attention of today’s young people. The primary purpose is to present each short episode in a way that is entertaining and fast paced and will introduce kids to valuable historical information without them realizing that they are actually learning. The unique aspect of the series is that it educates kids by using an entertaining format. The Sydney and Max series does this by acting as a hook that raises the curiosity of kids so that they genuinely want to learn more about a specific historical event or time period.


The DVD consists of:

  • Fifteen episodes that each run approximately 8 minutes
  • Open-ended discussion questions available for download from the disc

Special Bonus Offer

  • Individual episodes can be purchased from the website and downloaded immediately

Teachers have been thrilled by the response from their students and some parents have even purchased sets for their home.  Check out our website at:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

8 States Going All In On Online Learning

This is a guest post from Online Learning on October 21st.

Today, there are more than 2 million students enrolled in distance education courses at the K-12 level and more than 6 million taking courses at the college level. That’s a significant portion of America’s students, and some education experts estimate that by the next decade nearly every student will take an online course at some point in their education. Those statistics are both the result of and the driving force behind many states’ push to expand and grow online education, both for their K-12 students and in their public universities and colleges. While online education is growing in popularity in virtually every part of the United States, some state governments and education departments are pushing it harder than others. Here, we highlight just a few of the states that are working to make online education accessible, varied, and in some cases, a fundamental part of a well-rounded education.

  1. California:

    California’s university system, one of the largest in the U.S., is embracing online education wholeheartedly. In early 2012, the state announced plans to create a centralized learning hub for all universities in the state system, creating a top-tier virtual campus for students to use. The program will be called Cal State Online, and will offer access to courses from 23 schools around the state. System officials hope that the online courses will help to meet student demand for higher education, while still working within the state’s tight budget constraints. Of course, online learning isn’t just a big issue at the university level. California is also working to incorporate online learning experiences into its K-12 schools. Statewide, there are tens of thousands of young learners enrolled in online courses, a number that will only grow as the state looks for ways to cut costs without reducing educational quality.

  2. Florida:

    In Florida, students have a chance to learn online at nearly all grade levels, from kindergarten to graduate school. According to research from a 2011 study by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, Florida is among the top states in the nation for online education, as it offers an enormous variety of online programs and courses to students at all levels. Additionally, nearly all of Florida’s large colleges and universities offer online courses and some are even free, like those soon to be launched via Coursera through a partnership with the University of Florida. Part of the driving force behind the expansive online offerings in the state is undoubtedly the requirement that high school students take at least one online course before graduating.

  3. Minnesota:

    Minnesota is another state that ranked among the best of the best, according to data from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, and there’s definitely a reason. Minnesota offers an amazing number of college courses online through its MinnesotaOnlineportal, which connects 31 member institutions from around the state. The Minnesota Department of Education is also working to ensure that K-12 students have access to online ed, supplying funding to online courses the same as if students were taking them in a physical classroom. According to the Minnesota K-12 Online Learning Alliance, there are 20 school districts in Minnesota that offer online learning programs and more than 30% of schools statewide offer some courses online.

  4. Idaho:

    Lauded for its full-time and supplemental online course offerings, Idaho is a state that is getting very serious about engaging students through online education. In fact, in order to graduate from high school, students in the state’s education system must take at least two credits’ worth of courses online, making Idaho the first state to mandate taking more than a single online course for graduation. State school superintendent Tom Luna, an online grad himself, is a huge proponent of online education and it has been his dedication to online learning, though controversial, that has not only helped to expand online offerings for Idaho’s students but has also ensured that each has access to a laptop.

  5. Ohio:

    More than 30,000 students in Ohio attend school entirely online or in blended programs, making it a national leader in terms of sheer numbers of students enrolled in online ed. Ohio now has 12 times the number of online students it did a decade ago when the first virtual schools opened, and experts expect that number to rise even further as the state expands its online offerings. Most online students in the state attend one of the seven state-sponsored charter schools, which are given the same amount of funding as traditional schools from the state. The popularity of the schools could grow in coming years as a new bill that encourages blended education, combining online and offline schoolwork, just passed through the Ohio legislature.

  6. Michigan:

    Michigan has long had a commitment to online ed. In 2006, it was the first state to require students to take a minimum of one credit of online coursework to graduate. Part of the drive to pursue online education in Michigan was undoubtedly its troubled education system. With some of the worst-performing schools in the nation, online education has been a key tool for turning things around. This fall, students at 15 Detroit schools are being allowed to take courses through Michigan Virtual University. Classes blend online and in-class learning and the program, if successful, will expand to other struggling schools in the future. Michigan’s universities are also experimenting with online education. The University of Michigan will soon be joining scores of other top-tier schools in providing free course content and learning resources through the online site Coursera.

  7. Wisconsin:

    Wisconsin is another state that has been held up as a model for online ed, as it offers a wide range of courses and online resources for students throughout their school career. In recent years, the state launched the Department of Public Instruction, which cooperates with public and virtual schools to provide digital learning opportunities to students across the state. Through DPI, students can take more than 200 middle and high school courses and administrators plan to expand blended course offerings in the near future. Online learning options are also rich at the higher ed level through the University of Wisconsin System’seCampus portal. Students can easily find courses and even entire degree programs that are offered online and in blended settings.

  8. Arizona:

    Arizona has more K-12 students enrolled in full-time online schools than any other state in the U.S., according to an annual report by the Evergreen Education Group. Students at those schools can enjoy many of the same benefits as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and online schools are funded at nearly the same level as traditional schools. While Arizona is a leader in online education, not every legislator is on the same page. In May of 2012, GovernorJan Brewer vetoed a bill that would make major changes to the state’s online education system, helping to expand it and to provide greater oversight through student assessments. Even with setbacks, the online education system in Arizona will undoubtedly expand, especially in the higher education sector, as state schools like ASU begin offering more and more courses and degree programs online.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The All-Time Greatest Education Hits on YouTube

I’ve been asked to share this post written by the Online Education Database.  For years now, YouTube has been a great resource of incredible educational videos, from scientific wonders to inspirational commencement speeches. And while there’s no shortage of great educational videos to check out, some have really stood out as runaway hits, attracting millions of views and attention from around the world. Check out our list to find several of the most notable, popular, and amazing educational hits on YouTube today.

  • Cobra vs. Mongoose:

    The National Geographic YouTube channel is one of the most popular educational channels, boasting plenty of videos with millions of viewers. But the single most popular of them all is Cobra vs. Mongoose, with nearly 35 million views of the epic battle between mongoose and cobra.

  • Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams:

    Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch died in 2008, but before his death, he delivered an incredibly powerful last lecture on achieving your goals that still resonates today. It has been so incredibly popular, with 15.2 million hits and growing, that it’s been turned into a best-selling book that’s been published in more than 35 different languages, sharing Pausch’s inspirational story with the world.

  • Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address:

    Steve Jobs holds a special place in the hearts of many: Pixar fans, Apple followers, and tech geeks everywhere. So it’s no wonder that his inspirational 2005 Stanford commencement speech is still gathering millions of hits, with more than 15.3 million today. In this speech, Jobs shares life lessons from pivotal moments in his life, encouraging graduates to pursue their dreams and find opportunity in setbacks.

  • ‘Holy Smokes’ Hurricane Dean from Space:

    What does a hurricane look like from space? Join more than one million other viewers as you check out this video from NASA crewmembers marveling at the size of a potential Category 5 storm.

  • HUGE explosion on the Sun on June 7, 2011:

    Did you know that the sun can actually explode? Thanks to this educational video from The Bad Astronomer, now nearly 1.6 million people know what it looks like. The Sun’s eruption was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on ultraviolet camera, colored orange for viewing.

  • Walter Lewin’s Classic Mechanics, Fall 1999:

    Why would more than one million people want to watch a video about physics on YouTube? Because at the hands of the skilled MIT professor Walter Lewin, physics is kind of amazing. With enthusiasm and a fun teaching style, Lewin delivers an engaging 38-minute lecture on physics concepts including powers of ten, units, dimensions, and measurements.

  • Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?:

    This video from Harvard University explores the moral side of murder, and it’s attracted a following of more than four million viewers. Professor Michael Sandel’s lecture of moral reasoning discusses killing to save the lives of others, and asks interesting questions of its viewers.

  • Bill Gates Speech at Harvard:

    Bill Gates may have dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft, but he came back to share the secrets of his success with graduates in 2007. He urged graduates to change the world, telling them to “address the world’s deepest inequities,” particularly in health and social inequalities. With more than 3.5 million viewers, we know his words have had an impact far beyond the university.

  • Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?:

    In this brilliant TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson explains what’s wrong with schools, explaining how they kill creativity, and sharing his plan for an educational system that nurtures creativity. This video has been wildly popular, inspiring 3.8 million viewers to consider an educational world that opens up the doors to creative learning.

  • Bill Nye: Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children:

    Educational science favorite Bill Nye “the science guy” shares why evolution education is so important. Drawing on knowledge from Carl Sagan, Nye makes the case for why evolution is necessary learning, and more than 4.7 million viewers have listened.

  • The Hubble Deep Field: The Most Important Image Ever Taken:

    Over four and a half million people have viewed this video, getting to check out the image of a millennium captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003. Join in to learn more about our place in the universe and understand why this image is so important.

  • Simple Equations:

    The Khan Academy has many incredibly popular educational videos on YouTube, explaining topics from math and finance to language. But Simple Equations is the academy’s most popular video, with more than 1.3 million viewers learning about simple equations in a short 11-minute lesson.

  • The Known Universe by AMNH:

    Want to know everything so far about the universe? Check out this very popular video from the American Museum of Natural History, offering a look at the Big Bang, Himalayas, and the inky black of space. You’ll be joining more than 10.6 million enlightened viewers.

  • The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See:

    Like Walter Lewin, University of Colorado lecturer Albert Bartlett makes arithmetic incredibly important in this video. Check it out to see why 4.5 million viewers have enjoyed what he has to say about arithmetic.

  • 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art:

    Explore the women of Western art in this creative educational video as portrait after portrait is morphed into the next with a musical accompaniment from Bach. This video has wowed more than 12.7 million viewers, and has been nominated as Most Creative Video for the Annual YouTube Awards. It’s certainly a fun and visually engaging way to learn about the history of female portraits.

  • A Fair(y) Use Tale:

    Think you’re the only one confused by copyright laws? You’re not alone! This Disney parody explaining copyright and fair use has 13.7 million viewers and growing. Offering an informative look at copyright principles, this is a fun and educational video to enjoy.

  • Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats:

    Thanks to this video from Hans Rosling and the BBC, more than 5.4 million viewers now know the joy of stats. Watch as Rosling combines public data with an engaging style, sharing development of the world in the past, present and future.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Instead of telling your student’s who you are SHOW them

I learned from Mrs. Jee about a wonderful idea to create an Animoto as an introduction “about me” video for the first week of school. I absolutly loved the idea and stayed up way past my bedtime to create it.

Mrs. Jee said she “loved  @royanlee‘s idea to use Animoto to introduce yourself to kids on the 1st day of school. They get a multifaceted sense of who you are. Animoto’s use of pictures, text, and storyline is much more effective than a hastily muttered five minute speech.” After I made my first week introduction video, Mrs. Lindinger was also inspired. Check out her video below!


Back to School Night Idea

Mrs. Jee and I also made a much shorter version for back to school night. I can’t think of a better way to “tell” parents who you are and what you are about. My back to school night version will be a shorter version with images and pictures of my students participating in my classroom. I also plan on linking the video to a QR code to send home to parents who can not attend the back to school night. Thanks for the great idea @mrsjjee @royanlee Another reason I love twitter!


Here is My About Me Introduction Video:

Here is Mrs. Jee’s Video

Here is Mrs. Lindinger’s video

What is Animoto?

Animoto is a simple program online to create simple videos from pictures, sound, text, and  existing video clips. It makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. Animoto  is constantly updating its features as well as background options for your video slideshow.  If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto Video Slideshows.


I used Animoto before for a student project on a PSA assignment on interest groups. Here is a previous post.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

History for Music Lovers: World History Pop Music

I learned about History for Music Lovers by @magisterWarren. History for Music Lovers was created by  Amy Burvall and Herb Mahelona. The videos on Amy and Herb’s YouTube channel – historyteachers – have been uploaded over 3.5 million times. They created the videos with the the purpose of making their curriculum fun, engaging, and educational for their students. They have around 50 plus music videos on world history topics. The videos are educational and they are catchy. The learning process becomes an enriching experience when you combine their passion for history and music.

Here’s a sample music video on the French Revolution:

They were recently featured on TEDx. Here is their TEDx project “What I learned from Napoleon and MTV?”


Who are Herb and Amy?

Amy is a 19 year Humanities teacher and is a a leader in educational technology. Her work in the History for Music Lovers project has appeared in Wired magazine, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, CBC, NPR, international blogs and media. Herb has been a classroom educator for twenty years. He is a composer, arranger, musician, web designer, and filmmaker.


Resources Share from Pete Laberge

  • Here is Amy Burvall’s Own Official Web Page (c/w Biography, etc.):!
  • This is Amy Burvasll’s WIX site:!home/mainPage
  • Here is Amy Burvall’s Tumblr Log:
  • Here is Amy Burvall’s Twitter Feed:!/amyburvall
  • Here is Amy and Herb’s HistoryTeacherz Twitter Feed:!/historyteacherz
  • Here is their Facebook Page:
  • Official TEDX Hawaii, Nov 2011
  • Ignite Honolulu 4 (Aug 2012) : “PARODY-SO: The Unexpected Lessons of a History Teacher Turned Edulebrity”
  • The Creativity Salon Interview (With the late great Neil Tepper)  Ignore the first 1.5 mins, as it is some sort of commercial
  • Here is one young lady who was inspired by them to make her own videos: She sings some really cool history parodies.
  • Another good history link (Hip Hughes, Buffalo, NY), not related to the history teachers), is here: Very good USA history, and Civics videos. And animated lecturer, who also does some world history stuff. Hip Hughes Tweets at: @hiphughes
  • Here is a good math/science link (Mr.Edmonds), not related, either)
  • Then, there is Dan Rojas at Green Power Science on YouTube (Kids, do not try this stuff at home, ok!)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

IWitness: Personal Holocaust Video Testimonials

I learned about iWitness from @ghkcole from #sschat. IWitness is a website for teachers and students that has over 1,000 Holocaust video testimonials of survivors and witnesses. This collection is just a small part of the collection maintained by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute, established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg.


This is a wonderful resource for schools teaching about the Holocaust. According to iWitness, “Students have the opportunity to use technology to become more active learners while encountering survivors and other eyewitnesses talking about their experiences before, during and after the Holocaust. This application empowers them to participate in their own learning by providing them with the tools to think critically, investigate, develop projects, analyze, and collaborate with others.”  I plan on having my students go to the website and do a personal history search a couple nights before I teach about the Holocaust. Students will then come in to discuss, share, and reflect on what they learned about the Holocaust.  You can watch a short video demonstration of IWitness here.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email