Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Youtube lament

I am again lamenting the fact that Youtube is blocked in my school. OK so I am whining. I know there are ways around it but if we want teachers to use technology in their classrooms why are we making it harder for them to do so? I found this wonderful video that I want to use with my 2nd grade students who are having a hard time figuring out what a pulley does. I found this video on another website but the link goes to Youtube so if I tried to open it I would get a nice blank spot on the monitor. I know it will get their attention because it is from NASA but now I am going to have to spend an hour of my Sunday downloading it another way to use it in the library tomorrow. Before Youtube was blocked I could have embedded it here or on my library wiki and used it in the lesson, easy as pie. But now I have to jump through hoops to be able to use it. I have been told that I may use such Youtube videos in my lessons and that I can get the content any way I know how, did anyone offer to show me how? No, so it is a good thing I am a PowerLibrarian. But then I start thinking, Youtube is providing content that is made to stream over their network, am I violating copyright by downloading or ripping their content? I know it is fair use because I am going to show it in the classroom but there is a deeper issue here. Blocking Youtube is a form of censorship that feel violates my First Amendment Rights to Free Speech. And don't tell me to use TeacherTube. Been there and this video is not there! There should be understanding technology people in school districts that unblock content on teacher computers, or on a case by case basis, but I feel like I am chasing the wind. Anyway, if you are in a place where you can view this video, enjoy. If you are not, join me in my lament as I spend my Sunday morning downloading this 3 plus minute video.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Star Spangled Banner on Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

One of my Plurk friends sent this video out to our social network. I was very impressed with this story especially since it is not quite the story that my 4th grade students hear every year. And I am going to change that and show them this video. Thanks MamaShay. I appreciate you always reminding me that there is someone else in charge!

The Star Spangled Banner, like you've never heard it

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Print Friendly

Here is a website I found today that will make those unruly websites easier to print for students that are doing research projects and need print out a website that would kill several trees (never mind how much toner is used).

Ever have a student print something out only to have the last two or three words of every sentence cut off? Annoying! Because you know they are just going to print it again in landscape. The new web app is called Print Friendly and it does just what it says, it turns any webpage into a print friendly version that does not cut off margins and even conserves spaces to help us kill less trees while we are printing out research documents. Oh, and if you are really interested in saving trees, there is way to download and save the material as a PDF so you don’t have to print it out at all.

I have included a button below that will take you right to the site.


Look what it did for my last blog post in the pictures above.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Make Your Own Movies

I have been having so much fun this evening making movies. If you can type. You can make a movie. I am going to use this site with student tomorrow. I am going to have them make a video about Frank Lloyd Wright while looking at the Picturing America illustration of "Falling Water." I made this little video about the space shuttle launch tomorrow. It was a lot better than this but of course the first video got lost and this is what I came up with quickly on the fly. It really is that easy to make a video. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Week

If you are reading this, thank a teacher. This week, May 3-9, 2009, is Teacher Appreciation Week. What kind of teacher are you? Here is a great video embedded from youtube that personifies my hope that I never stop learning.

Here's to all the students you touch in your classroom or library every day, may you be the difference in their lives.