Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 News Event Video Contest

This looks like an interesting, fun contest from the New York Times! To enter, a student needs to write an informed, engaging 12- to-16-line rap about some aspect of this year’s news.

This site will be publishing an end-of-year news quiz and list of 2014 retrospectives that can help students remember the highs and the lows of 2014 events.

The NYT has also posted a lesson plan and rubric to help teachers in guiding students through the rap-writing process.

Entry deadline is January 6, 2015.



Link to lesson plan:

Link to rubric:

Collaboratively Create Music

Soundtrap is a web-based platform for collaboratively creating music and vocal recordings. Students can create music from scratch by using the built-in virtual instruments. If you have your own instruments to record, you can record it! After recording your tracks you can blend them together in the Soundtrap editor.

Soundtrap offers a collaboration option. By clicking the "collaborate" tab to in the Soundtrap editor, students can invite others to edit with them.


Making "Sticky" Presentations

Sticky ideas are ones that an audience can plainly understand, clearly remember, and easily retell. Here is a good infographic explaining the six elements (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and Stories) of "stickiness."


FREE Desktop Observatory/Planetarium

According to the site, "WorldWide Telescope" is an observatory on your desktop, allowing you to see the sky in a way you have never seen it before through individual exploration; multi-wavelength views; stars and planets within context to each other; the ability to zoom in and out; and the capability to create, search and view guided tours of the universe. You can view the entire solar system in 3-D with light and shadows created from the sun, and can explore the Earth and Mars in incredible detail. You also can watch planets orbit around the sun, and moons orbit around planets. The Visual Experience Engine delivers seamless panning and zooming around the night sky, now enhanced with the TeraPixel sky image that provides an unmatched panorama of the heavens. WorldWide Telescope delivers seamless integration of scientifically relevant information, including multi-wavelength, multiple-telescope distributed image and data sets, and one-click contextual access to distributed Web information and data sources."

Wow...and it's FREE!


Epic Guide to Ebooks

Vicki Davis has written a very helpful book on using ebooks. Her article explains how to find them, what apps you should use, how to download them, how to use ebook stores, and how to publish one, and how to find free and inexpensive ebooks.