When I watch Mr.Mayo’s class discuss their exploding walls project I get excited. What they say echoes my feelings about education and the power that can come from allowing our students to explore the possibilities beyond the classroom walls. I know how motivated I feel about writing this blog and how empowered I feel when I realise that people are reading it. Hopefully the people reading are learning something too. It makes me think that the students I teach would feel equally empowered. So what’s holding me back? I’ve made connections with a teacher in Shanghai and my students are excited by the possibilities of communicating with students in another part of the world. What’s holding me back at the moment is the time factor in setting up a multi user blog and getting permissions organised so that my students can participate. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get moving. I’ll keep you posted – structural damage could occur soon!
I just love YouTube. Sure, it’s got some iffy content, but there is also a wealth of fantastic content that we can use in our classrooms as impetus material. I love the fact that the videos are often less than five minutes and can be used to springboard class discussion. I use keepvid to convert the videos to flv files that can be saved to my hard drive. (I’ve downloaded a free flv player from the keepvid site) This ensures that I can play the videos without having to worry about loading problems or blocks.
Jim Gates at Tipline has written a post with a link to Digital Inspiration. There you can find a set of YouTube tools that are incredibly useful and yet very simple. I’ll be trying out Scenemaker.net where you can select specific scenes of a YouTube video by defining the in and out points.
Just for a bit of fun have a look at the hahaha video from YouTube. This would lighten any classroom – we all need a good laugh sometimes!