Blogs on Five-Minute Film Festival

Five-Minute Film Festival

RSS

Edutopia’s VideoAmy curates themed playlists of YouTube videos for educators and students.

With all the media chatter about test scores, merit pay, failing schools, and teacher quality, it's sometimes easy for those outside the school system to forget that it's people -- just everyday people with a calling for education -- who make up that system. Enter the Go Public Project, a labor of love by filmmakers and public school parents Jim and Dawn O'Keeffe. Jim and Dawn sent fifty film crews, both pro and student, into the twenty-eight schools in Pasadena, California to paint an intimate, and very human, portrait of a day in the life of an American public school district.

Read More

Though I've long been intrigued by the idea of design thinking, it was the recent launch of a "Design Thinking for Educators" workshop here at Edutopia that compelled me to learn more about it. What I found is that design thinking can be a powerful tool for problem-solving in any discipline -- and what's more, it's hands-on, creative, collaborative, optimistic, and fun.

Read More

It's easy to be jaded when there's buzz about a new social network. Who has time to keep up with them all? And how many will explode on the scene with a bang, the hottest new thing, and then fizzle like Friendster? But I have to say that the eye-candy on the visual social bookmarking site Pinterest has caught my attention.

Read More

Hollywood teacher movies typically provoke strong emotions: you either love to hate them or hate to love them. For better or for worse, those silver screen teachers shape how the public thinks about teaching. And most educators I know can't help but watch teacher movies, even if only to criticize them resoundingly, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style.

Read More

I really enjoyed Mary Beth Hertz's excellent blog published earlier this week, "The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con" -- one of the most concise and balanced views I've read on the buzz-wordy concept of flipping the classroom. Advocates say that "flipped classrooms" help overburdened teachers differentiate their instruction to reach more learners, provide an avenue into more hands-on and student-driven learning during classtime, and shift the teacher's role from "sage on the stage" to learning coach and facilitator. Critics say it's just a fad, relies too heavily on rote instruction, and doesn't go far enough in making the needed changes for teaching and learning reform. I've rounded up this list of videos so you can learn more about the challenges and benefits of flipped classrooms.

Read More

You may have heard some buzz about the "Why Open Education Matters" video contest, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Creative Commons, and Open Society Foundations. The contest raises awareness about the promise of open educational resources (OER) -- free online materials with open licenses which allow teachers and learners to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the digital resources to their heart's content. What better way to keep educational materials relevant, customizable, and inexpensive?

Read More

While many of you may be heading for the beach this week, it won't be long before you're ready to start exploring some new tools to help your students be better creators and collaborators when you go back to school in the fall. This week we published a new video on Nicole Dalesio, a fifth-grade teacher who uses all kinds of free technology tools in her class to keep her kids engaged, and it inspired me to go hunt down the best tutorials for all these great, free Web 2.0 tools. Did I mention most of them are free?

Read More

You can't throw an angry bird these days without hitting someone talking about video games in education. The interwebs are buzzing about the possibilities and potential downsides. With the ninth annual Games for Change conference in New York and the eighth annual Games+Learning+Society (GLS) conference back-to-back in just a few weeks, now is a perfect time to check out some videos about games for learning.

Read More

I'm the proud daughter of a lifelong public school teacher, and one of the things my mom loved best about being an educator was the opportunity to travel in the spring and summer. She brought artifacts, photographs, language, and lessons from every place she traveled back into her classroom, and her students were richer for it. Now retired, my mom made a goal of visiting every continent, and she goes to schools in nearly every country she visits, enchanting the children there with bubble bottles, pencils, and her trademark stuffed-animal backpack purses.

So I know that teachers are natural adventurers. I'm sure you don't need convincing to see that whether you have the resources to travel internationally or just take a short local trip, traveling can be enriching both personally and professionally for educators. Just watch the videos in this week's playlist for some ideas!

Read More

The end of school is near, and it's time for that springtime tradition of long-winded uplifting graduation speeches and heartfelt off-key renditions of the Star Spangled Banner. At the university level, celebrities don robes and dole out kernels of wisdom to fresh-faced graduates. At high schools around the world, eager valedictorians wax poetic about the future while fidgety seniors toss beach balls around. Even for the very youngest students, graduation ceremonies are made into special occasions and flowery speeches are brought forth.

I promise you won't have to sit through any yawn-inducing hour-long dispatches. Instead, I've got the most inspirational moments and the most ridiculous mishaps during commencement ceremonies that I could find. Enjoy, despite the shaky cameras and poor audio that seem to be the hallmark of all graduation speech videos!

Read More