(Late) Friday FunLink – Outstanding Cover Video of “God Only Knows”

As I was looking around on Spotify tonight, I stumbled upon a stunning video recently produced by the BBC. As it’s still Friday, I figured I could fit in one more FunLink today.

The song, “God Only Knows” – ranked by Rolling Stone as the 25th of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (between “Dock of the Bay” and “People Get Ready” with “Like a Rolling Stone” at #1) was recently covered by an all-star, mostly British group of singers and musicians. Not only does it sound great, but it’s beautifully filmed. It’s well worth less than three minutes to view it – if only to see the venerable and complex Brian Wilson sing the final line.

Here’s the key to the photo of musicians above:

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And here’s a pretty cool, brief “making of” video:

Finally, just because it’s the end of the week, here’s a vintage video (2006) of Wilson and The Corrs performing it live. The video isn’t great, but the audio is fine:

8 Little Known Video Resources Popular With Teachers

Ahh… the use of videos. Remember when we had to check out a cart with a TV/VCR, roll it to our classroom, rewind or fast forward the VHS tape and then have our students gather around the screen which was usually too small for the space in which we were using it.

My how things have changed. Now, with an LCD projector and an internet connected computer or tablet, showing videos has become infinitely easier. Sure, you can search YouTube and take your chances with what you find. Or, you can let others do the vetting for you.

eSchool News offers this list of 8 Little Known Video Resources for use by teachers:

  • Have Fun Teaching
  • TeacherTube Math
  • WordWorld
  • Learning Games for Kids
  • Complabteacher
  • Time4Writing
  • Discovery Education
  • Educator

Do check out the article as it offers links to each of these sites.  And, to share teacher wisdom, that I learned both in one of my first education classes (and also learned the hard way in my own classroom) – never, ever show a video without previewing ALL of it first!

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – Fr. James Martin, S.J. – April 19 – 25, 2015

I discovered tonight, via #Holyland15 on Twitter that one of my heroes, Fr. James Martin, S.J., is currently leading a group of pilgrims through the Holy Land.  He is a remarkably knowledgeable guide, in part because he recently released an excellent book about (you guessed it) – a pilgrimage through the Holy Land!

The short videos are in beautiful high definition and are worth watching and showing others.  Here’s the first three (April 19 to 21).  I’ll post the other ones here as they are released over the next few days.

 

 

 

UPDATE #1 – Day 4

 

UPDATE #2 – Day 5

New Star Wars VII Trailer Fun

Late last week I received an urgent phone call at about 3:30pm from my 13 1/2 year-old son.  Breathlessly he said, “Dad, the new Star Wars trailer is on-line.  Ya gotta see it.  It’s AWESOME!”  [As of publishing this, it has over 36,000,000 views in three days]

 

I was 7 years-old when the first Star Wars movie was released on May 25, 1977.  I clearly remember the lines around the outside of the movie theater when I first saw it a few weeks after its release.  Needless to say, I was blown away by how mind bogglingly cool it was.  My best friend Derek and I acted out roles in Star Wars all summer while we collected the action figures and trading cards.

The funny thing is that I distinctly remember seeing the trailer for it a few months before its release.  I still remember today how odd the droids, storm troopers, space ships and big bear-like thing (later I learned it was a wookie)  This trailer looks positively antiquated by today’s standards.  And it doesn’t use any of what is most likely the best movie theme song of all time!

 

I was engrossed and thrilled by the new trailer for the movie premiering on my daughter’s 12th birthday – December 18, 2015.  Apparently many others were too.  So excited that someone created this fantastic mash-up of Mathew McConaughey watching the trailer [6,000,000 views at publishing]

 

OK, so this post really doesn’t have anything to do with technology and/or education.  The new Star Wars film is so personally and culturally monumental that I couldn’t resist dorking out and embracing my inner dork (which I don’t think I do enough). So please forgive my indulgence.

And BTW, the image at the top is from this article on Open Culture.

And these two images are priceless:

Star Wars 1

Star Wars 2

Strange…Chewy hasn’t aged a day!

Stations of the Cross – Busted Halo Videos

I’m a huge fan of the Paulist Fathers and especially their ministry through Busted Halo.

Yesterday, I continued a tradition of mine by using the fourteen Busted Halo “Stations of the Cross” videos for a prayer service with my students.  I really like the Kingdom of God theme which runs through the various stations.  The music is evocative and the art, created by Virgil Cantini, is engaging and passionate.

I’ve created a Powerpoint into which you can link the 14 videos.

Here’s the direct YouTube links to each video:

I. Jesus is Condemned

II. Jesus Carries His Cross

III. Jesus Falls for the First Time

IV. Jesus Meets His Mother

V. Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

VI. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

VII. Jesus Falls for the Second Time

VIII. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

IX. Jesus Falls for the Third Time

X. Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes

XI. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

XII. Jesus Dies on the Cross

XIII. Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

XIV. Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

In addition to the slides from which you can link the videos, I’ve created a slide for each station.  These contain pertinent quotes from the video for the station and images from Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico.

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For the background, I wanted to convey the transition in colors and themes as we move through the end of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and then Easter.

On final resource: From “Patheos” a devotional guide to the Stations of the Cross.  This includes a comparison of the Catholic and the ‘biblical’ stations as well as the art that I used in the first slides of my Powerpoint.

 

 

Headspace Free Trial & Videos

Recently I described how I used the Headspace app to help my students learn how to mindfully meditate at the start of each class period.

On my own, it took me a few more than ten days to complete the free trial of ten sessions.  Although I am now meditating using a different app with nature sounds, I can highly recommend the Headspace trial.

After signing up with an email address and password (or signing in with your facebook account), you can access the ten free sessions. Don’t worry, no credit card is required at this point.

The screen looks like this, via a web browser on a computer:

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Click on session one and a cute, 1 1/2 minute animate will begin.  If you want to jump right to the audio for the first session, close the video and proceed.

There is also a free iPad/iPhone app that you can download via the App Store.  Search under “Headspace.”  You won’t see it on the screen that comes so you need to change the search to “iPhone only” (upper left side).  You’ll then see the app and have the ability to download it.  After signing into it (with a username/password you’ve set up through the website), you can access the 10 free sessions.

Image of HeadSpace App

 

And here’s links to some YouTube videos featuring Andy and the Headspace content:

Andy TED Talk

What are the benefits of meditation?

The mind as a blue sky

Expectation in meditation

Most Significant YouTube Videos in the First Decade

OK, so I missed noting YouTube’s ten year anniversary last week.  If you’ve not seen this site listing the astounding numbers of the top ten most viewed videos, it’s worth a look.  It’s mind-blowing that the Gangnam Style K-Pop music video has received 2.2 billion views since it debuted on 7/15/12.  Compare this to the current estimated world population of 7.1 billion.

Those are the most viewed, but what are the most significant ones?  Business Insider answered the question with a Top Ten List of their own.  Number one on their list, is the first YouTube video ever: “Me at the Zoo”

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Of course, if you’re looking to supplement your income you could aim to become one of the twenty most popular YouTubers in the world, some of whom have actually made millions of dollars from their YouTube “channels.”

Numberphile – A Very Cool Math Video Website

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Earlier, I put up a post related to Science.  Now it’s time for a post for my friends in the Math Department.  The site is Numberphile and I discovered it at Te@chThought who describes it:

“While the site is simple a crudely interactive graphic with links to videos, it has, in one fell swoop, creatively curated some of the most compelling and engaging “problems” in mathematics. From Benford’s Law to French Numbers, to whether or not zero is an even number, it frames the content area of math–which is often riddled with rote practice of very traditional arithmetic and formulas–in a problem-based learning kind of approach.

Fantastic resource for bell ringers, test questions, math project-based learning ideas, or as a model for students to curate their own curiosities about the incredible–and poorly marketed–world of mathematics.”

Mindful Meditation is a 21st Century Skill

It’s another Snow Day here in Central Ohio.  The measly 3 to 5 inches we received overnight pales in comparison to the “historic” storm they are about to get in NYC, Boston & Philly.  One reason I like living where I do is that we get Snow Days without paralyzing snow.  And we’ve already had three of them in January!

It’s been a while since Tera, Rachel or I have been able to post.  It goes without saying that a teacher’s life is a full life! My to-do list, which always includes posting here, always seems to get longer and not shorter.  I’ve been collecting links and ideas though.  Hopefully I can post a few today when I’m not catching up on evaluating student work.

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21st Century Skills have been getting much attention the past view years.  Myriad well-funded websites exist and there are no shortage of posters and graphics such as the one above or this one:

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This poster is one of many resources found here.  I like the dozen and a half skills listed, but I think a critical one is omitted here and in most lists of 21st Century Skills – Attention or Mindfulness.

A fact of modern life is the temptation to becoming distracted from the task at hand – be it participating in class, doing homework, or even driving.  The dangers of “distracted driving” were driven home to our school recently when speakers from Impact Teen Driving shared their tragic story of a loved one’s death from an auto accident by a distracted driver.

Focusing attention is a skill that can be taught and developed. An M.D. from the esteemed Mayo Clinic featured in this Atlantic article writes: “We have multiple set exercises throughout the day where you basically bring intentionality to your attention…they involve no newfangled brain-training software, or really anything at all new to neuroscience or philosophy.”  His website, stressfree.org offers useful techniques illustrated by engaging videos to teach the five core principles of “gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning, and forgiveness.” He’s created this fact-filled, cute, whiteboard video entitled “A Very Happy Brain” that could be enjoyed even by younger students.

Cultivating gratitude, being in the present moment, and mindful meditation have been shown to have many psychological, academic, and inter-personal benefits.  There are no shortage of succinct articles which both describe the benefits of mindfulness and offer ways to practice meditation.

So how does this relate to educational technology?  There are a growing number of apps which can facilitate meditative practice.  Aside from using technology to teach meditation, I think we also need to educate our students in ways to be attentive to assigned learning tasks rather than succumbing to the massive temptation to distraction living within their iPads or Chromebooks.

This attentiveness is a vital 21st Century Skill on par with any of the other essential skills listed on the posters above.  So, how do we teach it?

In the next post, I’ll share how I am doing it in my classroom. How have you done it in yours?

Videos for Each Element of the Periodic Table

Although some may think there’s a dichotomy between Religion and Science, I think this belief is short-sighted and ignorant.

Even if I can’t use the material in my Religion Class, I’m interested in engaging ed tech resources my Science colleagues might be able to use.

This well organized set of videos for each element of the Periodic Table looks pretty cool and useful.

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The blog with more info about it is here.

And here’s a “periodic table” I can use for my Religion Classes:

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