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Showing posts from May, 2016

Teachers Turn Pop Culture Into Engaging Online Learning Videos

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As I browse through the video lessons in the PlayPosit database, I am continuously impressed by the creative ways teachers transform traditionally non-educational videos into engaging learning experiences. For me it would be hard to envision the educational value in a Katy Perry music video or a clip from a recent Simpsons Halloween special. But, of course, I should never underestimate the creativity and tech-savviness of the teacher community! Among the most interesting video lessons like this I've stumbled upon are those centered around figurative language. I believe that is because English teachers recognize the prevalence of similies, metaphors, personification, and so on throughout popular culture—recognitions that an average person will miss. So what are some ways teachers have taught these literary devices using music videos and television? In this post, we'll dive into specific video examples with embedded questions.  Also, for creative uses of TED Talk videos in the cl…

Developing a Video Solution for Low-Bandwidth Classrooms

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The Challenge Most classrooms in the United States are Internet enabled. At first glance, that number seems hugely impressive. It suggests that the vast majority of students have access to broadband capabilities. The challenge is that while most classes are Internet enabled, less than half are actually Internet capable. In a speech at Mooresville Middle School in North Carolina, President Barack Obama noted that “The average American school has about the same bandwidth as the average American home, even though obviously there are 200 times as many people at school as there are at home.”  The goal of Obama’s ConnectED initiative is to equip every school in the country with high-speed broadband by 2018 at speeds greater than 100 Mbps. Given the current rate of implementation, however, that timeframe looks to be delayed. Most estimates show full school Internet capability as not feasible until at least 2021. That leaves us with at least five more years of classrooms with insufficient bro…

Winners of the Challenge Cup Education and Milken Penn GSE Competition

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*note this is a repost from 2013 PlayPosit honored with recognition and funding from both 1776 Challenge Cup and Milken penn GSE competition. The D.C. based 1776 rewarded PlayPosit with $100K in investment for taking first prize in the education category. The very same week, the team travelled to Philadelphia for the Milken Penn GSE competition where they won the McGraw Hill Open Ed award and earned a $15,000 grant. As the 1776 website describes, the competition aims to "identify the most promising start ups in the world tackling the biggest challenges" in the health, education, energy, and smart cities categories. Last week, the winners from cities all over the world convened in Washington D.C. to compete in the national and international finals for their respective categories. After winning the domestic category (and being guaranteed a 50K investment), PlayPosit went head to head against the Iraeli based Lingua.ly - an impressive language learning application with 130000 d…