HD_Links: Occupy Wall Street

Click for source.

Much of the news right now is focused on the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and all around the country. When movements such as Occupy Wall Street happen, a fantastic opportunity arises to teach a cross-curricular collection of topics that utilize current events to relate to our students. Politics, economics, rhetoric, civics, history, and environmental studies are just a few subjects that relate to Occupy Wall Street.

This week’s set of links gives you what you need to address this important event that applies to 100% of us, not just the 99%.

  • The New York Times’ The Learning Network blog has a comprehensive list of lesson ideas and links to resources for the protests and the issues surrounding it.
  • Another newspaper, The Washington Post, has a primer up for its readers.
  • Comedian and actor Mike Myers visits the protest in this YouTube video:

  • Ecology of Education has an educator’s perspective of the protests.
  • Of course, to follow the events and gain some perspective on all the late-breaking news from the Occupy Wall Street protests, watch the action on Twitter. Much like the protests in the Middle East, this is a movement born and developed online.

How are you addressing the Occupy Wall Street protests in your classroom? How do the issues brought up in the protests apply to our students’ lives? How does this movement compare to social movements of the past or in other parts of the world?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Friday 4ALL: Speaking with Conviction

This has been making the rounds, but it’s worth posting here. Poet Taylor Mali’s “Totally like whatever you know?” has been animated by Ronnie Bruce, a film student. The resulting video has been a hit throughout social media outlets over the last week+.

What follows is Mali’s lament over language that speaks with little to no authority through the use of discourse particles such as “y’know”, “whatever”, and “like.” Watch and listen…

Like, that was so powerful…just kidding.

Mali’s poem (brought to life through Bruce’s animation) declares the importance of speaking with authority and power. This is an important lesson for young writers and speakers to learn. A thesis or declaration in a speech is so much more meaningful without the discourse particles.

How might you use this video with your students? How might you students create a product with the same impactful imagery of our words driving the point home? What message do you take away from Mali’s poem?

Zac Early is like an instructional specialist or whatever with the eMINTS National Center, y’know?

Monday Message: How Green Is Your Internet

For this week’s Monday Message, I thought I’d try something different and share a video to make you think. Consider that we are experiencing a record-setting heatwave this summer, testing the capacity of our energy system. Then consider the time we spend online and what that means to the environment. The following video puts that usage in perspective…

How does this video make you reconsider your internet use? What can we all do to reduce our carbon footprint while staying connected online? How will you address this issue in the coming school year?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center and is reconsidering the time he wastes online.

Tuesday’s Tool: Create Video Snippets with Tube Chop

Have you ever wanted to show a small portion of a video from YouTube during a lesson or presentation?

What I usually did was create a link to the full video and then during the lesson/presentation I would drag the play-head to the exact time I wanted to start playing. I usually ended up waiting forever for the video to load, taking up tons of time that I didn’t have, and it never seemed to work out as I had planned.

Now TubeChop makes this task simple.

1. Before your lesson or presentation copy the YouTube video URL and then go to TubeChop.
2. Insert the URL in the text field at the top of the page and click search.

3. Once you can view the video use the beginning and ending play heads below the video.

4. Then click the Chop It button and presto – you have your “chopped video” clip, an embedding code, a direct link, and more.

Hopefully this easy to use tool will help you to have more effective and efficient lessons and presentations.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Friday 4ALL: Windows 8 Preview

How has Apple and the iPhone OS changed the face of computing? Watch this sneak peek of Windows 8, and it becomes apparent that operating systems are changing across the board.

Imagine every PC at your school with an operating system that makes them as easy to use as the iPhone and iPad. Add to that the ease of App development and distribution not to mention Flash… new doors are opening for schools and students.

Christie Terry is the e-Learning for Educators Director here at the eMINTS National Center.

HD_Links: Today’s Five

eMINTS staff are in meetings all week. So, these posts are being written before, during, and after these meetings. For today’s list of links, we present five interesting and useful resources for your perusal. Enjoy.

  1. Daily Inforgraphic‘s graphic today is “Most Targeted Books.” The titles featured in this inforgraphic are those most targeted by parents for concerns over questionable content. Some old favorites like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird still worry parents, while newer, popular titles like Twilight cause concern. The infographic originates from the “good” folks at Good, also a great resource for infographics in their own right.
  2. The Learning Network blog at The New York Times has a post today that asks some interesting questions about how we identify ourselves ethnically on college application and financial aid forms. The questions are paired with a Times‘ article on the same topic and stir up some interesting issues that don’t provide black and white answers.
  3. Edgalaxy features The Science of Cooking‘s cooking candy resource. Not only is candy making a fun (and sweet) art, but there is some science involved that will either make or break yummy treats.
  4. For those looking for new ways to share documents with students and colleagues via your website or blog, Embed.It has the answer. You can upload up to 20 MB in the following formats: Documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WPD, ODT, ODP, ODS, PDF); Images (GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSD); Vector Graphics (API, EPS, PS); Text (TXT, RTF, CSV); Code (HTML, SQL, JS); Web (Web pages or other URLs). Just upload your file and Embed.It will give you a handy embed code to plug into your site’s HTML.
  5. Finally, here’s an end-of-year video for one fifth grade class that looked to have a pretty fantastic year of learning. Gifted teacher Jason Smith of West Chatham Elementary School in Savannah, GA has pieced together a pretty slick look back on his year. Maybe it will spark some ideas as you plan for the coming fall.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Monday Message: Summer “Break”

Ahhh, Summer – a Teacher’s Vacation; or that is what a lot of people think. During this time many of you are teaching summer school, continuing your own education, making plans for next year, and hopefully relaxing and rejuvenating yourselves for the coming school year.

As you begin your Summer Vacation you may want to take a look at a project one High School English teacher has taken on.  Charles Ripley, creator of the 2000 Hours blog, will be logging and blogging about all of the hours he puts in as a teacher for the next year to “change misconceptions about teachers in the United States.”

Watch his video, part of his first post, where he explains his thoughts and reasons for this project and follow his blog to learn more about it. You can even monitor his progress on his Google Docs 2,000 Hours Spreadsheet.

Those of us here at eMINTS hope you enjoy your Summer and all the things you decide to fill your days with.

Brooke Higgins is an Instructional Specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Klearchos Kapoutsis (Photographer). (2007). Summer Shoes. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/3601744848/- used with permission under the Creative Commons license.

Thursday’s Tip: Search Google Visually

Though we do what we can to avoid internet searches in class, sometimes a Google search is called for when a student’s research comes up short. Maybe a bigger issue than appropriateness and security in such an activity is helping students sort through reading vast search results for their desired needs.

Luckily, Google Image Search provides a new way to look for information. Sometimes, a student may not know the best search terms, but he might know it when he sees it. The new Google Image Search lets you search by subject. Watch the video below and see how it works.

Of course, depending on your district’s filter, always be prepared that a Google Image Search might be a risky option. It’s always best to try it out for yourself before unleashing results onto your students.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

HD_Links: Free Tools

For this weeks list of helpful links, we’ll keep it simple. Here are five links to tools or list of tools that won’t cost you or your district a cent.

Get a head start on creating your Web 2.0 Toolkit this summer with Larry Ferlazzo’s list of “The Best Collections Of Web 2.0 Tools For Education.” Instead of your typical list of tools, this is sort of a list of lists of Web 2.0 tools for your classroom. This link alone will provide you enough work for the summer.

Do you want to have your students blog without going through the process of setting up a blog site and assigning logins? Try Instablogg, a free blogging tool that simply allows users to publish one post at a time without having to set up an entire blog. Each post is given a unique URL for sharing.

Ayushveda Web has provided a nice list of six online diagram tools for creating graphic organizers or your very own infographics.

Issuu is an online magazine publishing service that anyone can use. As far as classroom application, it seems it would be a great tool for a large interdisciplinary project or even a portfolio. Watch the video and see what you think.

Finally, every 21st century classroom needs an image editing program, but software like Photoshop or Fireworks can be expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of great, free alternative out there. Check Web Design Booth‘s list of Photoshop alternatives here.

As you can see, there is no shortage of free and effective tools online. It’s just a matter of hunting them down and spending time learning how to use them. I guess that’s what summers are for. ;)

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: Free Movie Making

YouTube's free video editor

Multimedia and video production is a popular medium for student products these days. However, schools often lack the resources or funds to supply teachers and students with the proper software. Luckily, there are several tools available online that can help in this arena.

Make Human is open source (read “free”) software that allows users to create 3D human animations. So, if video cameras are in short supply or you don’t want to shell out money for online animation sites, here is a great alternative to creating your own animations. (via EdTech Toolbox)

The Australian Centre for the Moving Images has provided a portal for educators and students to gain access to information about and resources for filmmaking. Their Generator provides storyboard resources as well as free media for all your filmmaking needs. (via Edgalaxy)

If it’s a video editing tool you need, YouTube offers a free one that is easy to use and internet-based. Not only can the popular video site provide free hosting, but this tool allows users to edit their videos without purchasing costly software. Mashable offers some great tips for getting the most out of this fantastic online tool.

If your school has moved onto handheld devices such as iPhones and iPads, Vimeo, another free video hosting site, has the app for you. Although not free, $5 is a small price to pay for such an accessible video editing tool. (via Lifehacker)

What are some tools you use with your students for video projects? How might you get the most out of the tools listed above?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.