“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality…” Are you singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody yet? No? Well, you will after you watch Aish’s newest video, Passover Rhapsody:
Stop what you’re doing right now, and click here to watch the trailer for the upcoming film “Bullying.” Every time someone watches the trailer, Care.com will make a donation to anti-bullying initiatives through FacingHistory.org.
Cell phones in school? Here’s a thoughtful post on revisiting the cell phone ban.
“Bugs Bunny was my muse.” Billy Collins, two-term United States Poet Laureate, states this and more during his recent TED talk. In it, Collins presents animations that were created from some of his works. Distraction? Illumination? You can decide:
Got an iPad or iPhone? The Baltimore Jewish Times has a nice article on apps for Passover.
Here’s another Chanukah (or is it Hanukkah, or Hanuko?) video for you. The Los Angeles Jewish Home has a video out that is both a Chanukah greeting and a request for financial support. Whatever it is, it’s really lovely.
Sir Ken Robinson, in his talk on passion, states “… finding purpose in our work is essential to knowing who we really are.” Give yourself a 50-minute present and watch his sermon for The School of Life:
Many of us have casually mentioned that we’re happy we don’t have to take the standardized tests given students. A school board member in Florida decided to do just that. The blog post about his experience can be found here.
More and more libraries are putting content online, and the National Library of Israel is no exception. Their website is easy to navigate and feature-rich. The English website can be accessed here, and the Hebrew site is here.
National Geographic is developing a really stunning education website. It’s still in beta, which means there can be some glitches here and there, but you should check it out. There’s a phenomenal multimedia map about the attack on Pearl Harbor (which, incidentally, was 70 years ago this week). It really is worth a visit. Even if you’re not a history buff, this is an impressive example of what can be done with multimedia resources.
And, finally…gum or no gum? There have been some, shall we say… spirited…. conversations about whether or not students should be allowed to chomp their way through school. Wired magazine posts an intriguing science article worth chewing on (sorry….). Hmmmmm…could the benefits be worth the hassle?
Jewish? Reader? Well, then, you’re in luck! The Jewish Book Council has a nifty new website. “Promoting the reading, writing, publication, distribution, and public awareness of books that reflect the breadth of the Jewish experience.” You have to love that the blog is called the ProsenPeople.
Explore the land of the ancient Pharoahs at this PBS.org site. Witness an actual mummy preparation session and more. This site includes videos, 360° imagery (yes! You can walk AROUND a pyramid!) and my personal favorite, 10 ways to make a mymmy.
The Leo Baeck Institute, “a research library and archive that contains the most significant collection of source material relating to the history of German-speaking Jewry,” is working to make its materials available online. Search their database here.
Salman Khan of Khan Academy has turned the academic world on its head with his ideas about how to transform education. I featured his TED Talk last year – here it is if you missed it the first time:
Want to brainstorm with your class? Check out Edistrom and sign up for a free educator’s account. Here’s a video explaining how to use it.
Attention math teachers! Visit ThatQuiz for activities that reinforce math concepts. Students get immediate feedback! Educators can create accounts and assign or create your own tests. For more math resources, here’s a great blog post with a list of math videos on YouTube.
I know I’ve told you about ways to send audio emails using Vocaroo before. Want to send (or have your students send) a video email? Two resources are MailVu and Eyejot. Mailvu and Eyejot require users to sign up (a pet peeve of mine), but I know it’s good to give your students several options if you’re assigning homework.
Links I sent out to my colleagues this week:
Want to make an AWESOME one-minute slide show? Check out Flixtime. This (for now) free service lets you upload photos, choose your music, and then they do the rest. This is a really new site, so, for now, movies are limited to one minute, and there’s no option to upgrade – but I’m betting that’ll change shortly.
Everybody loves to play games online. Check out Tutpup to compete against others in areas of math, spelling and more. This is a great site for students who have just a few minutes at the end of class and want to “play.”
Here’s one that I know my LA teachers love – have you been to Freerice? This unique site lets you feed the world (okay, it may be one grain of rice at a time, but it’s something) while playing a positively addictive vocab game. Don’t blame me if you’re up all night with this one!
Want to be a microlender? Microloans are small (duh) loans that you can make to budding entrepreneurs to help them start businesses, buy raw materials, etc. Want to show your students how $25 can change someone’s life? Go to Kiva and peruse the list of businesses and be amazed at the small amount of money they’re requesting. The default rate of these microloans is remarkably low and when your loan is repaid you’ll get an email asking if you want to re-loan it to someone else. If you want more information about microlending, there’s a great video on youtube that explains it.
Thank you to David Bryfman for sharing this…
When I was a youth group advisor 100 years ago, one of the most dreaded moments was when you said to the kids “Okay, guys, time to write a creative service.”
Boy, I wish BBYO’s Build a Prayer website had been around then. Of course, there were no websites around then, but I digress.
The site’s interface is just lovely. Pick a service, pick a movement and so on. Want Hebrew and English or just one or the other? Want the Amidah in it? How about music? Where do you want to add your own creative stuff?
You make your choices and off you go, press a button and you have a fully formatted worship service in front of you, ready to print.
There’s more, though. You can also browse through services that have been created by others (one wish I have here would be that I could start with someone else’s service and then customize that to meet my own needs, rather than start from scratch), and there’s a resource section that looks a little sparse right now, but I imagine it’ll grow with time. I love that it’s dynamic; giving users the opportunity to add to the resources rather than just being consumers of it.
Kol hakovod, BBYO!
Flip The Script – this is a movie made by 6th graders about leaving people out
Really terrific movie about butterflies – created by three girls
Thinking about using ComicLife with your students? Check out this slide show to get some good ideas. And, by the way, this is a great example of using GoogleDocs presentation to collect ideas from a group of people!
Speaking of the Google folks, this is BRAND NEW, people! Now you can upload ANY document to GoogleSpace! Not just GoogleDocs – ANY DOCUMENT! Yes, gang, you can consider Google to be your own personal flashdrive in the sky! Google has a whole webpage to tell you about it here.
Edvideos – are you looking for a video to reinforce a concept? Check out WatchKnow. Directed by Wikipedia’s founder, this site endeavors to create, organize and create educational videos (not a small task).
1. Math music videos – Sylvia Tolisano (who blogs as Langwitches) created math music videos with her middle schoolers. Where can you use this with your students? If you can export to jpgs (like from ComicLife or PowerPoint), you can upload to Animoto.
2. Wallwisher. This is a fun site where you can create a “wall” and have your students post stickies on it. I’ve created one here.
3. TED (Technology, Education and Design) talks. I’m sure many of you have been to this incredible website before. At TED – you can hear talks by some amazing people about amazing things. Here you can watch Dave Eggers talk about starting his tutoring business, Alexis Ohanian talk about starting Reddit, his social-voting news website, and Steve Jobs of Apple talking about how to live before you die.
4. 60 second recap. This sites summarizes great works of literature in a minute. Not only can you read Jenny’s assessment of the plot, characters, symbols, etc. of great works like Hamlet, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, you can record your own response as well. I love the idea of taking the greats and condensing down to one minute.
5. Designing For Conversation. In this YouTube video, comedian Heather Gold talks to Google staffers about the difference between conversation and presentation.
Photo strips. You know – the kind you get from those photo booths? The real photo booth, not the Apple application.
Well, now you can take any four digital photos and create a photo strip from them. Vintage-look, black and white…
I’m seeing a great bulletin board application here, people.
Visit the folks at Big Huge Labs for more info…
Jacob Richman has posted a new holiday calendar on his website. You can download it here. This is a calendar with the dates of the holidays for the next three years – a resource I’m sure you’ll find valuable.
By the way, if you haven’t checked out Jacob and his incredible websites, you must do so immediately! Start at his home page. He has games to learn Hebrew, a wonderful quote database that I use all the time, and a really comprehensive and always up-to-date list of sites of interest to Jewish educators. If you’re planning to use stamps to teach history, he’s got a terrific collection of scans of stamps. He’s also really diligent about posting photos of holiday celebrations in Israel as well as pictures of new olim when they arrive. I don’t know why, but photos of those new Israeli citizens always grab me; maybe there’s a little piece of me that’s jealous.