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Neo K12

What it is: Neo K12 is an outstanding online collection of educational videos, lessons and games for students in grades k-12.  Neo K12 believes that “kids learn best by ‘seeing’ the real world.”  They have created this site with that belief in mind.  Neo K12 has cataloged the best free online educational videos from the Internet in one place.  Each video is watched and reviewed by k-12 educators to ensure their accuracy and appropriateness for students.  Subjects include physical science, life science, human body, earth and space, social studies, math, English (including phonics, stories, and grammar), and fun videos such as time lapse, slow motion, arts and crafts, learn magic, music lessons, and sports lessons.   In addition to videos, Neo K12 has Web 2.0 tools.  The  School Presentation tool is a mashup of Flickr and Wikipedia, and allows users to create and share presentations online. To create a presentation, students choose pictures for their presentation from Flickr, read and article about the subject from Wikipedia, and then add text to their presentation.   When the presentation is finished, it can be printed or viewed online as a slideshow.  Quizzes, games, and puzzles on Neo K12 are an interactive way to improve learning.  Teachers can create and share videos playlists complete with notes and instructions for their students.  How to integrate Neo K12 into the classroom: Videos provide excellent opportunities for learning, they make it possible for kids to visualize and build a model in their minds.  This helps them to better understand key concepts and can stimulate curiosity in a subject.  When students or teachers search a subject, they are given a list of related videos, quizzes, games, and puzzles.  When a teacher creates an account, they can create a complete assignment within Neo K12 that includes instructions and notes for the students.  Students can complete the assignment by watching videos, playing related games and creating a School Presentation that shows understanding.  The presentations are easy enough for even young students to create.  Primary students can skip reading the Wikipedia article and just choose pictures and add some captions about facts they learned from a video they viewed.  These videos are a great way to introduce new learning, expand on previous learning, or to spark curiosity in a topic. Many of the educational games and puzzles would be great for an interactive whiteboard as whole class activities.  They could, of course, also be used as classroom center activities, or completed individually in the computer lab. The jigsaw puzzles can be used as teasers to introduce a new topic.  The jigsaw puzzles use incredible images from Flickr.  Have students take turns coming up to the interactive whiteboard to put puzzle pieces together.  Students waiting at their seats can take guesses about what new learning you will be doing in class. Tips: Create a free Neo K12 account, you will receive a dashboard where you can store videos, games, presentations, quizzes, and add notes and instructions.  You get a unique URL for your dashboard to share. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Neo K12 in your classroom.

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Numberphile: a series of numberly videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Inquiry, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 28-01-2013

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What it is: Numberphile is a series of “numberly” videos by Brady Haran.  This is the same guy behind some other great projects including periodicvideos and sixtysymbols.  These videos reveal some of the mystery behind numbers and math in fun, short snippets!  I could give a long, drawn out explanation about the site…but really, you should go have a look and play a few videos. Or, try out the video below:

How to integrate Numberphile into the classroom: Numberphile can make a math geek out of anyone, myself included!  I don’t tend to geek out very much about numbers or math, but show me pattern and reveal some of the mystery that numbers hold and I am in.  This is what Numberphile does beautifully!  Numberphile would make a fantastic opening for math class.  Start each math class with these short videos to get your brain’s math muscles working.  I’ve watched 3 videos in a row and I am seriously geeking.

Ask students to each choose a different video to watch.  Students can learn a new math “trick” or pattern in math to teach their classmates.  The goal: creatively teach the concept!  They could create their own video, stop motion animation, infographic, story, illustration, etc.  Hold a math day  (3/14 would be fun…pi day) where students get to spend the day teaching one another.

You may assume that these videos are best for older students, not so!  At Anastasis, our 2nd and 3rd graders had a ball learning about Fibonacci and will happily explain it to any who enter their classroom.  Find an area of interest and share the passion!

Tips: All of the videos on Numberphile are YouTube videos.  If you don’t have access to YouTube in your building, try one of these methods for accessing the videos:

  • 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.

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

Comments (2)

I do have YouTube in my schools, but was troubled by the fact that the final paragraph says, “…try one of these methods for accessing the videos,” and then doesn’t give any methods! Yikes! Help those whose districts haven’t opened the YouTube channel by including your tips!

Did I forget the link?! Thanks for letting me know.

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