Shrewsbury EdTech

Tech resources for Shrewsbury Public School educators

Tech Tips: Multimedia at your fingertips!

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Hi Everyone,

First off… a quick, selfish plug:  the Google Docs course continues Thursday at 2:30, in 309.  This week’s focus is on using Google Docs for peer editing.  Come on by!

For this week’s tech tip, we’re going to share a few different resources – highlighting a bit of what is available out there, to help you teach whatever you need to teach in your class.  When we’re looking to further explain something, one of the first things we do now is try to find online videos / podcasts that illustrate the central point – sources that we can post on our team website, or on our discussion board, for students to view from home.  To illustrate this, this blog includes some key sites for each of several subject areas below…  plus (as a bonus!) a newsletter which those of you looking to keep up with some of the latest stuff in technology in education may be interested in.

The newsletter is: 

Now, this isn’t like some of the blogs we’ve shared, where people discuss cool new web-based apps or websites – rather, it’s looking at a bit of the bigger picture: trends in using technology in schools, the pros and cons of IPads in the classroom, and ways that schools and districts are engaging students through technology.  If you’re looking to stay up to date with current trends in our craft, this is a good subscription for you.  Interested?  You can sign up here  or drop us a note and we can forward you one or two recent editions.  It’s free!

Now to the subject-basedmultimedia stuff.

For ELA, I’ve taken to searching youtube (and Google-video) for videos that can support my class.  Part of this is looking towards the “flipped classroom” course with which I’ll be assisting in June – as kids need to review concepts or refresh themselves about things, having them watch a presentation at home can be quite useful – afterwards, they can touch base with me.  As part of this search, I stumbled into “Love Your Pencil” — this site features some podcasts and handouts on some key writing concepts.

Specifically, I’ve linked to the ten-minute video on symbolism – it’s not very exciting, but he gives a good, clear explanation and you can download the handout that is featured in the podcast.   For students in need of a refresher or a bit of help, it’s proving quite useful. 


For Social Studies, one of the blogs we follow turned me on to perhaps the coolest social studies (and some ELA)videos I’ve seen — courtesy of Amy Burvall (self-classified as an Edupunk singer).  She’s a history teacher who can sing – and she does so well.  She takes historic eras and classic works of literature, rewrites popular songs to teach the topic, and then records a music video.  Watch one, and you’ll be hooked!  You can visit her site here: http://www.amyburvall.com/#!portfolio/vstc1=press

For math, we’ll continue to multimedia trend… NPR features their “Math Guy,” Keith Devlin, who does math segments on Weekend Edition.  He explains the math behind real world scenarios, from the geometry of the design of a soccer ball, to the ever-present question of “What do we need algebra for?”   These are all audio files – easy to click and play as a short side-discussion or to illustrate a point…  Take a listen here: http://www.stanford.edu/~kdevlin/MathGuy.html

For Science — and a LOT more (math, history, art… really, take a peek) there’ Khan Academy.  Now, don’t take it as far as some of the zealots do – some folks want this sort of thing to BE teaching – but to supplement, it’s pretty solid.  Just go to http://www.khanacademy.org/

 And here’s the video you see above:


Lastly, here’s something for health class and phys ed — in this episode of CNN’s “Explain it to Me,” concussions – and their impacts are explained very clearly.  http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/health/2012/01/24/eitm-concussions.cnn.html  With the number of students who suffer these on the rise, it’s worth a look!

So, to recap – when you’re looking to introduce or reinforce, don’t forget to do a search — there’s so much out there, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

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Author: Mr. Mularella

Middle school science teacher/world traveler

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