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.
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.”)
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:
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.
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.
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!
UPDATE: As of 10/29/14, I was informed that this app is no longer available in the US app store. I don’t know if it is available elsewhere, but would appreciate anyone letting me know if you find it or if it becomes available again!
A couple of weeks ago, Apps Gone Free offered an app called, “In a World… Drama.” I downloaded it, and then spent the next hour goofing around with it.
Unfortunately, the app is no longer free. You can get the one I have for $1.99, or you can get plain old “In a World” (not the drama version) for .99. I’m not sure of the differences – other than the one that I have is rated for ages 12+ and the other one is rated for ages 4+. (If you purchase the .99 version, you can then add the Drama and Comedy ones in-app for .99 each.)
This app allows you to create movie trailers. The advantage of this app over iMovie and other video creation tools is that it comes with Jonathan Cook voice overs to add to the trailer. That ubiquitous voice that seems to be behind every movie preview ever produced can now be added to one of your own creation.
Of course, you can’t make the voice say whatever you want. (But wouldn’t that be great!) However, you do get to choose from many, many phrases. Each stage of the trailer creation gives you more options. You can also add your own photos and/or video. There are several sound track offerings, or you can choose from the music on your iDevice.
As a teacher, I can see many uses for this, including to create “hooks” in the classroom to introduce a topic. It would also be great for creative writing. Students would have a blast with this as well – but be aware of the age recommendations.
This is an app that certainly lends itself to app smashing. You can smash your completed video with other apps, such as iMovie. Or, you can create content in other apps to be included in your movie trailer.
The videos can be edited after you are finished. This is helpful because I felt like I needed to determine what was going to be said before I found the images to go along with my project.
Once you are finished, you can upload the video to your camera roll, or even Vine or Instagram.
I was torn between making a parody for you starring my bulldog or an inspirational clip. You can see for yourself which one I went with…
There aren’t a lot of opportunities in a standard curriculum for students to think philosophically. Hopefully, teachers still find ways to give them time for such discussions. In the past, I’ve written about the Kids Philosophy Slam and Teaching Children Philosophy as resources for integrating philosophy into the classroom. Both of those offer ways for students for K-12 to become philosophers.
8-Bit Philosophy would be better for older students – middle school and above. The topics are a little “heady” for elementary. However, I think tweens and teens would really enjoy the fun graphics in these short videos, and they would definitely spark some interesting conversations. There are currently 7 episodes available. Each one is between 2-4 minutes long. The subjects range from, “Do humans operate like computers?” to “Can we be certain of anything?” (After watching the latter, I’m only certain that we can’t!)
As always, preview any videos before showing them to students. Religion is discussed in several of these, and there is a bit of video game-ish violence.
I absolutely love this video posted by Google in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week:
Here is Google’s message on the YouTube page: “Thank you to the millions of passionate teachers who inspire curiosity in their classrooms…lesson after lesson, unit after unit, year after year. We’re fortunate to have had many of you in our lives, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring because of the work you’re doing today.”
And, please, as we spend this week appreciating our teachers, consider how fortunate we are to have the educational system we have in the United States and many of the other countries around the world. In yesterday’s post, I asked for help in righting an injustice which is rampant in several regions where students, particularly girls, risk their lives to receive an education. I would be grateful if you would spread the word about this post, and what steps can be taken to right this wrong. #BringBackOurGirls