Tag Archives: videos


This week’s Phun Phriday post is about an iPad app called Hyper. Billed as a video magazine, this free app delivers a new set of hand-picked videos to you every day.  According to the app’s description, film-makers choose the posts for each issue.

This is not an app I would recommend downloading on student iPads (particularly in elementary school).  However, you may discover videos that you will want to share with your students.  For example, my 5th graders are reading The Giver, and the October 28th issue offers a video from Neil deGrasse Tyson called, “Say No to a Dystopian Tomorrow.

You may also find some inspiration in your Hyper video magazine. The 10/29/15 issue featured a story called, “Special Ed Real World Lessons,” that brought happy tears to my eyes.

And then there are the ones that are just plain amusing, like Emeril Lagasse’s explanation of the origin of his trademark “BAM!” in the October 27th edition.

The videos are culled from many places such as National Geographic and Soul Pancake.  Yes, you could find them yourself.  But it sure is nice to have them delivered to you each day :)

Screen Shot from Hyper
Screen Shot from Hyper

A Ziploc full of Play-Doh

You’re probably familiar with the Holderness family’s silly music videos.  Here is their latest, just in time for Back-to-School, and perfect for this week’s Phun Phriday post.

Don’t you wish every school supply list included Play-Doh (and Legos)?

Inspirational Videos for Teachers (Update)

This week, I’ve decided to reblog some of my more popular posts with some updates. The post below has remained in the top 5 ever since I published it.  Beneath it, I’ve decided to add a few other favorites.

Yesterday, I published a list of Inspirational Videos for Students.  Today, I am offering a list of my Favorite Inspirational Videos for Teachers:

#3: The Power of Words – This might also be a good video to show your students.  Its poignant message will hopefully help any viewer to think more carefully about how much word choice can impact what is said and written.

#2: Schools Kill Creativity – One of the many videos on TED that are motivational, this talk, given by Sir Ken Robinson, highlights the need for more imagination in our schools.

#1: What Teachers Make – If you are a teacher in need of a pep talk, this video of a speech by Taylor Mali will get you going.  This isn’t one to show your students; it might be one to e-mail to the next adult who criticizes your job.

Here are the links to my original posts on each of these:  The Power of Words, Schools Kill Creativity, and What Teachers Make.

Also, you might want to visit my Pinterest board of Inspirational Videos for Teachers here.

UPDATE 6/24/15:  Here are 3 more videos that I’ve found to be inspiring since this post was first published in 2011:

#3: Kid President Throws a Surprise Party for a Retiring Teacher – This video reminds us of all the lives teachers touch throughout their careers, often completely unaware of the impact they’ve made.

#2: This I Believe by Kasey Tamamoto – It’s our job as teachers to give all students the chance to shine.

#1: Every Kid Needs a Champion – This video of the late Rita Piersen’s TED Talk has probably been viewed by many teachers, but it never ceases to energize me.  A similar video is the recent “How to Fix a Broken School” TEDWomen talk by Linda Cliatt-Wayman.

There are plenty more great videos that you can find on my Pinterest Board!

Graduation Inspiration

As graduation season rolls around once again, I thought I would compile a list of videos that I’ve found over the years that eloquently describe the hopes and dreams I have for my students in the future. I’ve placed the length of each video beside it.  Not all of these are graduation speeches, but they all give one or more of the following messages: Be Kind, Work Hard, and Make the Most of Your Time and Abilities.  Most of these videos (and many more) can be found on my “Inspirational Videos for Students” Pinterest Board.  As always, please preview any video before you show it to your students.


Thoughts on Kindness from George Saunders (2:12)

Making It from StoryCorps (2:43)

If You’ve Never Failed, You’ve Never Lived (1:16)

Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Award Speech (4:40), Ashton Kutcher on his Teen Choice Speech (3:15) – better for older students

The Time You Have in Jellybeans (2:44)

212: The Extra Degree Inspirational Movie (2:59)

Kid President Graduation Speech (4:12)

The Real Purpose of Your Life (2:18)

These last two are my all-time favorite videos to show departing students:

Jeff Bezos at Princeton (18:44 – his part starts around 6:27)

Mark Bezos: A Life Lesson from a Volunteer Firefighter (4:40)

For more resources, Amy Borovoy curated a wonderful list last May for Edutopia. You can find it here.

Telegenic Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break

I can’t believe this crazy week is almost over! I appreciate everyone’s patience as I recycle some posts from last year this week. I’ve added a few updates to keep things “fresh!” (According to Merriam-Webster, “telegenic” means “well-suited to the medium of television; especially :  having an appearance and manner that are markedly attractive to television viewers.”)

screen shot from The Snowman
screen shot from The Snowman

So, let’s face it.  Despite our best efforts to keep our energy up, we need a bit of down time every once in awhile.  Here is a collection of short videos to help you catch your breath.

Kid President – If you haven’t seen this young man’s collection of videos, you are in a for a real treat.  Be prepared to do a little dance and to stretch your smile muscles.  These are some that are great for this time of year:

Winter-themed Animations – I have featured some of these on the blog this season, but they bear repeating (no pun intended – okay, it’s only intended if it makes sense).

Videos about Being Kind to Others (You can find more inspirational videos for students on my Pinterest Board.)

We’re in the home stretch now!  I hope some of these links help you make the distance :)

Just in case you missed my other “survival” posts this week, here they are:  Creative Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break, Logical Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break, and Physical Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break.

Periodic Videos from TED-Ed

Last week I did a post on the fabulous Elements 4D resource from Daqri.  Students can learn about the elements and compounds that can be made from some of them by using the free lesson plans now offered on their site.  Combine these plans with the free downloadable elements cubes and the free augmented reality app and you have a formula for success!

To add even more impact to your chemistry lessons, check out this great site that TED-Ed now offers.  In a collaborative project with film-maker Brady Haran, TED-Ed has produced videos to explain every single element of the Periodic Table.  Just click anywhere on the TED-Ed interactive Periodic Table, and take a look at the magical properties of any element!

You not only get to see each element, but demonstrations of them in action, such as the video of a hydrogen balloon exploding when exposed to heat.

Hydrogen Balloon Exploding
Hydrogen Balloon Exploding from TED-Ed Periodic Videos

Many of these are not demonstrations that could easily be done in a typical school science lab, so the videos are a good supplement to a hands-on curriculum.

Even if you do not have the elements in your scope and sequence, you may want to keep this site in mind for students who show an affinity or curiosity for science.  It would be a great resource for independent research or Genius Hour projects.

Powtoon for Educators

I had to search my own blog to find the last time I posted about Powtoon.  It was two years ago!  They have come a long way since then!

Powtoon is a fun way to present, allowing you all kinds of dynamic tools that will keep your viewers engaged.

The company recently launched a major campaign for educators offering free classroom accounts.  These accounts are usually $96/year, and you can add 60 students to your account!  The offer expires on October 31, 2014 – so be sure to activate yours soon!

Powtoon Educator Offer

A lot of resources have been added to the Powtoon library since the last time I reviewed it.  For example, when you go to your Dashboard, and choose to create, you will find that there are many templates that you can use .  These templates are fun; there’s even a “Teacher Intro” one!  I took that one, made a couple of minor changes, and had the one embedded below finished in under 5 minutes.

With all of my talk about creativity this week, Powtoon certainly fits the theme.  Imagine what your students could do with this great tool!