ViralEd showcases excellent educational animations on YouTube

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There is little doubt video is both the present and future of self paced learning, and this week I was contacted by an Australian teacher Chris Burgess who is taking this concept to new heights by creating his own animated high quality educational content at ViralEd. 

It is great to see innovative teachers who can speak the language of modern day teachers and students, and I commend him for this.  His animations and instruction are excellent.

I first and foremost highly recommend checking out ViralEd and subscribing as I know he is working on loads of great new content as we speak.

Below is a sample of the great content he is producing.  If you read on after the video I asked Chris to supply some background about ViralEd.  

So great stuff Chris, keep up the good work and don't forget to subscribe to his channel.

(The content below was written by Chris.) 

About ViralEd
We are a newly formed YouTube channel that creates both enjoyable and easy to understand animated videos that cover a variety of subjects. Unlike most channels our videos we are unique, being made up of teachers, we understand what is needed in the videos, meaning all videos are relevant. As a teacher, we found that videos to support content being taught were hard to come by and therefore this channel was created.
Channel Link:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGtdKQw0oZK1u5szxXr9MEA

Check out the videos at our channel the link is provided above. If you like the videos hit the like button, leave a comment on something you think can be improved or subscribe so you don’t miss out on any videos in the future.

Target Audience
If you’re a teacher, pre-service teacher or just someone who loves learning new things this channel is perfect for you. These videos will assist you in your classroom as a visual aid to back up the content being taught. This will therefore assist students in gaining a greater understanding. ‘

Future Aspirations
We currently produce 1 video a week, covering Science and Health and Physical Education topics. As the channel grows in popularity we have planned to cover a wider range of topics and work to producing more frequent videos. We are also working towards providing lesson plans that accompany the videos.

Excellent free self paced coding course for teachers and students

If you are a teacher required to, or keen to teach your students how to code but have no idea where to start, fear not.

The Catholic Education Office Ballarat has created a self paced course for teachers and students designed to run between 7 - 12 weeks.  And it's all completely free. 

It offers a mixture of plugged, and unplugged sessions and even a robotics module.  Students in grades 3 - 6 can learn everything around coding and algorithms in a structured, engaging and logical manner.

Absolutely everything you need is here, including tutorial videos, resources, assessment tasks and even links to the Victorian curriculum. 

The course can be found here and is highly recommended.

bit.ly/ceocoding

 

Free Computational Thinking Graphic Organizer

Computational Thinking is being adopted through curriculum the world over as an essential thinking and problem solving strategy every student should know to survive in the 21st century workforce.

Don't let the name scare you though, computational thinking is  an incredibly simple concept which doesn't even require a computer.  Students aged 5 and up can apply it, and you have probably been using parts of it for decades without actually knowing.

It is a four step thinking process that can be applied to any problem, challenge or task.  The four steps are decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithmic design.  Be sure to watch the video below for a detailed explanation each of the four elements and how they work together. 

When you are ready to give computational thinking a go be sure to download our FREE COMPUTATIONAL THINKING GRAPHIC ORGANIZER which briefly explains the purpose, order of operations and context of Computational Thinking

Click here to download.  And, as always enjoy!!

Literacy Ideas for primary and elementary teachers

When I first started teaching many moons ago finding resources on the internet was quite a different process to what it is today.

There was a lot less commercialism, things were a great deal more disorganised and so on... I always remembered using a website with my kids called Jenny Eather's writing fun which just had great ideas for teachers and students about teaching different styles of writing.  It was really easy to use, engaging for the kids and just made sense... It was great.

Anyhow, writing fun got bought out by a larger company and became a paid website which greatly reduced it's appeal.

But last week I was introduced to a very similar site to writing fun called literacyideas.com.  It's completely free, broken down into different styles of writing and actually has a a load of great free content to downlaod or share on an interactive screen with your students.

I strongly recommned taking a look at literacyideas.com if you teach writing to primary / elementary students and would love to hear if you know of any other great sites similar to this. 

Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge

The next round of the BEBRAS Australia computational thinking challenge is occurring over the following weeks for teachers and students from years 3 - 12.

This is similar to challenges such as the Math's Olympiad but is more focused on general problem solving and use of logic. It is completely free and offers amazing data and analytics for students and teachers who are participating.

Above all else Bebras offers highly engaging resources and teaching and learning opportunities which are globally recognised as key components of a 21st century curriculum.

I can't recommend this enough for all teachers and am confident it will become a regular event on your school calendar.

http://www.bebras.edu.au/

Free interactive iPad skills poster for teachers and students

Download this in PDF Format below.

Download this in PDF Format below.

This free poster serves two purposes to both inform and educate students and teachers about nine essential iPad skills which enhance teaching and learning through the iPad.

It informs by visually prompting and reinforcing these skills to teachers and students as a simple poster.  More importantly it educates teachers and students about how to perform and use these skills through the use of video clips and other online resources.

To access these resources you will need to download a free QR reader on your iPad and scan the codes on the poster.  One I can recommend is Qrafter but any QR app should do.

The 9 essential skills are.

  • Mastering control center
  • Sharing your screen
  • Splitting your keyboard
  • Using Spotlight search
  • Multitasking and screen splitting
  • How to take great photos
  • Using Cu, Copy and Paste effectively
  • Saving images and screen capture.
  • Connecting to the clouds

I hope you find this resource useful and please share it with others via social media and the web.

You can download this free high resolution poster by clicking here.

Learn computer science through Pixar and the Khan Academy

Finding Dory represents nearly thirty years of innovation and computer science.

Finding Dory represents nearly thirty years of innovation and computer science.

In 1995 Pixar reinvented animation as we know it when they released Toy Story.  Nowadays it is hard to find an animated film that is not built upon a digital animation process.

What many of us fail to understand is the marriage of art, science and technology required to bring these films to life.  There are some incredibly complex technical and artistic challenges which have spawned an industry to deal with making magic come to life through the use of computers in animation.

Pixar have partnered up with the Khan academy to produce a course that aims to introduce secondary students to the world of digital animation and let them use interactive online tools to deal with the challenges and solutions involved in this process of film making.

Whilst Pixar films are generally aimed at a younger audience I can guarantee you that most of the concepts dealt within this course are way beyond that of any elementary student.  This is really aimed at the tween audience with skills in the area of maths and computer science.

It is a shame there is not a simplified course for juniors but I will continue to live in hope...

Take a look at the course for yourself here,

Which search tool should I use: Free Classroom Poster

This poster highlights the 'Big Three' search engines for teachers and students and highlights the strengths and weaknesses for each one.

Google Search
Wolfram Alpha
Wikipedia

Your students will definitely find this a useful resource next time they reach for a computer to look something up as it gives them both purpose and direction on what to use and how best to use it,

I would recommend also taking a look at our "How to use Google Search like a Boss" Which has been hugely popular in teaching students how actually use Google Search with purpose and direction.

It has been a while since we have done a poster freebie.  So it would be great if you could give us some feedback.
 

Click here to download your free high resolution poster as a PDF document