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Digital Book Talk: Book Trailers for K-12

What it is: There is a new trend in reading: book trailers.  It seems that lately book trailers are popping up on all of the video sharing sites.  Digital Book Talk is a collaborative effort from the University of Central Florida where Dr. Robert Kennedy and Dr. Glenda Gunter have completed research on what motivates reluctant and striving readers to select, read, and complete books.  “The student productions of DBT (Digital Book Talk) focus use the technological skills taught in the undergraduate Digital Media and graduate Educational Technology curricula that teach teachers how to create dynamic digital games, trailers, and Web sites. Many of these skills include research and writing, Flash animation, visual storytelling, video recording and editing, audio recording, graphic design, website development, programming, and database creation.”  On the Digital Book Talk site, you will find high quality book trailers that will whet your students appetite for a good book.  Students can search for books by content level, and interests. How to integrate Digital Book Talk into your curriculum: The Digital Book Talk site is an excellent place for students to start their search for a book that will hold their interest.  Just like a movie trailer, the book trailers give students just enough information to leave them wanting more.  The Digital Book Talks will help your reluctant readers understand the adventures that await them in a good book.  Find a book trailer to introduce a novel that the whole class will be reading or set up classroom computers with a link to Digital Book Talk where students can be inspired to find their next read.  After students read, they can create their own Digital Book Talks using video cameras or tools like Xtranormal, ZimmerTwins, or Kerpoof movie. A few years ago I had my students create bookcasts.  These were the same ideas as a book trailer but instead of being video, they were audio podcasts only.  I created a wiki where the students uploaded their bookcasts as they finished them.   The wiki was a place where students could recommend books to their peers, demonstrate their understanding of a book, and find the next book to read based on a classmates recommendation. Tips: Be sure to check out the student work tab to see book trailers created by k-12 students around the country. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Digital Book Talk: Book Trailers for k-12 in your classroom!

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Physics Central: Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Download, Evaluate, Interactive book, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 09-01-2013

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What it is: Physics Central is a fantastic website full of…you guessed it, physics! There are fantastic sections for students to explore science, activity books, experiments and activities.  Students can learn more about physics in action (physics as found in the world around us), meet physicists, and learn about physics research.  Physics Central will ignite a students curiosity in: sound, electricity and magnetism, force and motion, light and optics, material science, quantum mechanics, space and the universe, and thermodynamics and heat.  My favorite find on Physics Central so far (I’m sure there will be many more favorites the longer I explore) is the Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair section.  Here, students will find a downloadable kit that includes a manual, comic book, and four related activities.

How to integrate Physics Central into the classroom: Physics has always been among my favorite sciences.  There is something about it that is fascinating to me. Physics Central is packed full of great resources to enrich your classroom.  The comics are a fun way to learn about famous scientists, inventors and events in science history.  The complementing activities bring the comics to life and invite students along on the journey of discovery.

Work with your students on a “PhysicsQuest” like Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair and see what they come up with. Compare their results with the actual solutions (posted on the site).  Join the current PhysicsQuest with your students to help students recognize the fun and relevance of science.  You can register now for the Spectra: Turbulent Times quest.

Tips: Start a PhysicsQuest with your students, as an after school club, or as a home extension investigation.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Physics Central in your classroom.

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