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BBC Primary History World War 2

What it is: The BBC has so many incredible technology resources and websites for students.  Today I learned about the BBC Primary History World War 2 website.  I am really impressed with the wealth of information on this site, but also the age group it is targeted at: primary students.  So much of the time, history websites (especially on WWII) are geared toward older students.  This site is very kid friendly in its verbiage, images, and content.  This is a great site to explore with your class to learn more about World War II.  Students will learn about the world at war, evacuations, wartime homes, food and shopping, the war time efforts, children at war, air raids, daily life, growing up during wartime, and the end of the war. Each section has easy-to-understand information and pictures.  Students can also be a historical detective with a World War II time capsule game.  The teacher section has an amazing collection of related worksheets, activities, and links that can be used with the site. How to integrate BBC Primary History World War 2 into the classroom: I am so impressed with the content presented on this site.  It is easy enough for young students to gain an understanding of World War II. This would be an excellent website to share and explore with your whole class with a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Read the facts and discuss the stories together while browsing through the primary resource photographs. Encourage students to imagine what it would have been like to be a student during the war.  After you have viewed the site as a class, students can explore more on their own in a computer lab setting or on classroom computers.  Allow the students to play the time capsule game to reinforce the skills they are learning. Tips: This site could take several class periods or days to explore.  The additional activities are wonderful, students can do everything from exploring a war time shelter to learning about rationing by shopping for a meal in 1943.  I so wish that I had learned history this way!! Leave a comment and tell us how you are using BBC Primary History World War 2  in your classroom.

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10 ways to eliminate the distractions around YouTube videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video | Posted on 13-06-2012

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What it is: YouTube is a truly wonderful learning resource.  What isn’t so great: all of the garbage that can come along with it (i.e. advertising, comments, related videos…in short-distractions). Luckily, schools have some great options for using YouTube differently.  Some of these tools I have written about before and some are new additions…hence the new post! :)

  • YouTube for Schools- This is a YouTube that has been created just for schools.  Network administrators must be involved so that they can add this option for YouTube into your filtering system.  This is a completely customizable option that lets teachers and administrators add videos to a playlist that you have predetermined you want students to watch.  Teachers can find videos by Common Core Standard, subject or grade.  Students can watch videos that teachers and administrators have approved or any YouTube Edu video (think Kahn Academy, PBS, TED, Stanford, etc.).
  • SafeShare TV- This site lets students watch YouTube videos without ads, links, comments and related videos.  You also have the option to crop videos and share videos with a unique URL.
  • YouTubeXL- This is a service that YouTube provides that lets you watch videos on large screens without the ads and comments. Neat tip: if you time “quiet” before the YouTube url, it takes you to a safe page where you can watch a YouTube video.  WAY cool and easy to do on the fly!
  • Clean VideoSearch- This site lets students search through YouTube videos without the comments, ads and busy sidebar.  It has additional features like the ability to choose how many videos you want to see on each page in your search.
  • Clea.nr- This service (a browser plugin) deletes all of the obnoxious extras that hang around videos (ads, comments, related videos). You can also search YouTube without all of the extras showing up.
  • ViewPure- This site cleans out all the clutter and gives you just a video.  Bonus: There is a quick button that you can add to your browser so that you can go to a video, click on “Pure” in your bookmark bar and instantly have a clean video.
  • Dragontape- This service lets you drag videos into a timeline and share them easily with students.  This is great for mashing up several videos, or cropping multiple videos into one.
  • Movavi- This is a video conversion service. Wonderful for teachers who can’t or don’t want to access a video directly from YouTube.  Copy/paste the url you want to convert, choose a file type, done!
  • Zamzar- This is another great video conversion service.  Works quickly and easily!
  • SaveYouTube- This site used to be called KickYouTube.  Here you can enter the url and download it to your computer to play offline.

How to integrate less distracting YouTube videos into the classroom:  This one is really a no brainer: want to use YouTube? Clean it up!  I find great content I find on YouTube (as do my students). All of the “extras” around the videos can be SO distracting as a searcher and viewer.  These options are outstanding for making videos less distracting so that your students can focus on the learning happening.

I find that students head to YouTube (even before Google) when they want to learn something new.  They are generally pretty successful at finding a video that will teach them how to do what they want to do.  Very handy for self guided learning!

Tips: Always try these tools out at school BEFORE using with students.  Some of them won’t work depending on your school’s filters and policies.

Leave a comment and share how less distracting YouTube videos are rocking your classroom.

Comments (2)

I would also suggest using EmbedPlus for several features for interacting with YouTube. For example, it supports slow motion, looping, chopping/cropping, and much more. Take a look: http://www.embedplus.com/

Great Idea, embed plus is another nice option.

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