NOVA Videos Available for Free Use

Today, I got an email from Karinna from WGBH in Boston — this sounds like an incredible resource!

Just in time for the new school year, the critically-acclaimed season of NOVA scienceNOW is now available for free download directly from its Web site. Wrapping up its third season this summer, this magazine-style science series from the producers of NOVA covers a wide range of science subjects—everything from brain surgery to smart bridges, from living leeches to long-extinct mammoths–and spotlights innovative and diverse scientists. We’re sure NOVA scienceNOW will provide your readers with dynamic and valuable material they can use in their classrooms this fall, and hope that you’ll consider posting about this new content on Digital Writing, Digital Teaching!

Segments can be downloaded from
Just click the “Download Videos” tab to see what’s available.

Lots o’ Links from the Inbox

We finished RCWP’s version of Tech Matters today, and I will write about that in a future post. But, for tonight, I am cleaning out my inbox and I have a number of links to share that were sent to me over the summer. So, in no particular order or thematic fashion, here are some things that people have taken time to share with me this summer, and I share them here with you.

Troy Morris from wetpaint shared a story about Kathy Cassidy, a primary educator in a little town called Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan Canada. She’s teaching her students by integrating all sorts of Web 2.0 tools into her teaching. Your readers may be interested in her story, and hopefully will be inspired to re-think how technology and classrooms can join forces.

  • Her latest experiment is connecting the students with other students from across the world to collaborate on math skills using a wiki on our Wetpaint network (which is how I found out about it).
  • Her classroom in a small Canadian town is learning with some help from classrooms in New Hampshire, Colorado, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The teachers of each classroom, separated by thousands of miles, collaborate in primary math education using an internet tool called a “wiki.” I know you folks have written about wikis before, but in case some don’t know what a wiki is, wikis are web-pages which thrive on community involvement and can be edited by anyone, as easily as writing an email. The Primary Math wiki uses the popular wiki platform, Wetpaint (it’s easy and ad-free for educators).
  • Cassidy’s class has begun to consider the students they collaborate with on the wiki to be an extension of their local friends. They recently checked a book out of the library which the children in Mrs. Marrinan’s Australia classroom had recommended.
  • “The kids feel a real kinship to each other,” says Cassidy, “Learning is collaborative. We cannot just sit inside our classrooms and teach the way we always have. The world is connected now, and we must be connected too.”
  • Their website is:

Maurice Sikkink from Intodit shared the following:

  • I’d like to let you know about a free Wiki group service called Intodit that is being used by some people in the educational field to support their online learning and teaching activities. I would be very happy if you could review Intodit as an educational tool in a short blog post. For an example how the service is being used click here.
  • To give you an idea, Intodit is a free service where people can create groups for their interests the Wiki way. Users can share their interests by building pages or starting discussions for their Wiki groups.
  • We wanted to create something that people could use to share their interests in a flexible way. The Wiki system was a starting point for this but it had to be really user friendly while still allowing people to fill in the blanks. The drag & drop system makes it possible to add text content, photos and widgets such as movies in a user friendly way.
  • I’d be happy to answer more questions about Intodit if needed.

Kelly Sonora from shared the following:

Barbara Schreiber from The Britannica Blog shared the following:

Finally, Sameer Bhatia of ProProfs shared the following:

  • According to the NPD Group, over 62% of American adults and 34% of children are overweight. Today, ProProfs is launching its free online Quiz School that can’t be used to exercise the body but, it is capable of giving the mind a healthy work out. Quiz School uses a YouTube style interface to make quizzes fun, social & easy for your classroom, business or blog. Key features of the new ProProfs Quiz School include:
  • Creating a quiz on anything (use in school, home, blog and business)
  • YouTube style sharing & embedding of quizzes on any blog, website, e-learning system, and social networks
  • Yahoo Flickr integration for a limitless image library for quizzes
  • Quiz statistics that include reports, trends & Google maps
  • Customization controls for color themes, question types, grading & more
  • The ProProfs Quiz School remains free of cost for anyone seeking a powerful quiz creation tool for their classroom, company, blog or friends.
  • Try the Quiz School
  • Demo, FAQ, Screenshots and Press Release
  • Featured Quizzes

Thanks to all of you who sent these links and I apologize for not getting some of them out earlier in the summer.

Alan November’s Keynote: Putting Responsibility Back in Children’s Hands

Alan November, November Learning

Notes taken from November’s talk at the St. Clair RESA Symposium on
21st Century Learning

August 13, 2008

Port Huron High School

  • Marco Torres and his students’ video
    • Invite students to step up and be teachers themselves
  • My talk is not about technology — it is about new roles
    for the learner and the teacher that are enabled by the technology

    • I am going to suggest that you get rid of your technology
      planning committee
    • What is the problem that technology is trying to solve?
      • We originally focused on teaching — what if we focus
        on learning instead?
      • The solution is not the technology — it is information
        and relationships
    • We need to have a global learning committee
    • Who owns the learning and who should own the learning?
  • A Plan to Shift Control of Learning to the Learner
    • Don’t mistake this shift of control as me saying “we
      don’t need the teacher,” because we do and they need to be even more
      creative than before

      • Job 1: Curriculum Review Team
        • Put students in charge of reporting on class
          activities and curriculum review
          • Each week, have a student be the official
            photgrapher, recorder, reporter, and producer and these students create
            a curricular review through a podcast
          • The important piece is not about the podcast, but
            about the context for teaching in learning

            • Teachers should bring two kids with them, one of
              them being the “mess up” kid, when they come to technology training
      • Job 2: Tutorial Design Team
        • Bob’s Primefactor video
        • All the children produce short movies about concepts
          presented in class

          • My question — how do you ensure that students get
            all the content if they focus in on producing only short segments
        • Using Jing
          to construct a screencast that can replace long sets of instructions
        • We want children to contribute to the curriculum and
          learn good quality design
      • Job 3: Scribe Team
        • Someone takes the official notes and posts them to
          the class blog
        • Importance of note taking, especially in math as it
          results to operations
        • Google Docs for collaborative note-taking
      • Job 4: Researcher
        • One student is sitting at the computer finding
          answers to questions that are raised in class (not the teacher)
        • Globalizing the curriculum
          • Kiva: loans that change lives — microlending for third world countries
          • Global giving team
      • Help students manage their own learning and contribute
        to their communities, as well as other communities around the globe