Education Media Revolution: Smarter Every Day

Continuing on our journey through some of my favorite YouTube educational videos we have discussed Thug Notes, C.P.G. Grey, and Crash Course brothers John and Hank Green. ¬†Today we’ll talk about Smarter Every Day.

Smarter Every Day:

Smarter Every Day is a science based YouTube channel that features a dad who explores super interesting science based questions like how does a cat always land on his/her feet (physics) and the slow motion action of a AK-47 underwater. ¬†He states that he took the money he would have saved for his kids college fund to make science videos that would educate the world; hoping that eventually his videos may make back the funds he spent (you can use a link to donate to his children’s college fund if you like after watching his videos). ¬†I think he does a fantastic job of explaining science in a way that is interesting and practical for students and adults alike — he takes the science and SHOWS you how it works. ¬†His videos are family friendly as well, so no fear of showing these videos to your little ones!

Here is the Cat Drop video

(NO CAT was harmed in the making of that video, they used a stunt cat — I mean landing on their feet is what cats DO thanks to physics!):

Here is the AK-47 videos:


Education Media Revolution: Crash Course

I began writing about some of my favorite educational sources on YouTube in August, and then got caught up with trying to start being a PhD student again. ¬†However, there are a few more video makers I’d like to highlight in the coming weeks to help any educator out there find some great media to use in their classrooms.

So far we’ve spoken about Thug Notes and CPG Grey.¬†Today I’d like to highlight the great brothers of Crash Course.

Crash Course!

John and Hank Green create these fantastic videos about either History/Literature (John Green) or Science (Hank Green). ¬†The videos are top notch productions that give a very “cliff notes” type survey of a particular topic. ¬†I stumbled across them while teaching adults, and I love that they put little adult centered easter eggs in the productions that will make you laugh. ¬†However, they are completely appropriate for teens and tweens and may help any person trying to learn a subject recall certain aspects of that lesson quickly due to the visuals. ¬†The brothers have tons of videos that will help out any History (word and U.S.), English (focused on literature), or Science instructor.

Here is one video on U.S. Reconstruction:

Here is one video on polar and non-polar molecules:


Education Media Revolution: C.G. P. Grey Explains

So as you all know I am a PhD student, and having taught adult undergraduate courses ¬†— I am ALWAYS looking for ways to allow my students to learn in a fun way. ¬†Even non-traditional college students may not be in the class for the love of learning. ¬†So sometimes you just have to find a way to capture their attention in a way that works. ¬†I’ve found my savior in YouTube. ¬†Over the next few Monday’s ¬†I’ll be reviewing a few of my favorite YouTube channels for education. ¬†They manage to make education informational, correct, but fun.

CGP Grey Explains

CGP Grey is a British YouTube video creator who specializes in educational videos that tend to focus on political science type topics.  I was introduced to him by the Dear Fiancé as I was struggling to teach my paralegal and business  students about election law.  He sent me the following video that explains gerrymandering, and it was so well done I built a lesson plan around it.  Lo and behold my students GOT IT!  They asked excellent questions, they were engaged, they leaned forward in their seats!

Any of you who teach know that that lean forward is money!   Here is a more current Grey video about the US Debt Ceiling:

Grey also utilize a companion blog for each video:¬† ¬†Further he has a facebook, twitter, tumblr, and google+ presence (along with a website) that makes his tools very attractive to the modern student. ¬† So I hope you can use and enjoy Grey as much as I do for not only classroom tools, but also because sometimes I need a better explanation of things for my own edification! ¬†SO be sure to click the subscribe button on Grey’s YouTube page and follow his videos!

Education Geek-Out: The History of the World

I was directed to this Slate article by a  friend of mine, and he was right to geek-out over this via facebook.  Some beautiful wonderful person has distilled the entire history of the world into one fabulous chart:



The Histomap above was created by John Sparks in 1931 and it sold for the high high price of…$1.00! ¬†How fantastic is that! ¬†The Slate article reports that:

The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1 and¬†folded into a green cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers. The chart was advertised as ‚Äúclear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,‚ÄĚ while at the same time capable of ‚Äúholding you enthralled‚ÄĚ by presenting:

the actual picture of the march of civilization, from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America.

The chart emphasizes domination, using color to show how the power of various ‚Äúpeoples‚ÄĚ (a quasi-racial understanding of the nature of human groups, quite popular at the time) evolved throughout history.


Education Media Revolution: Thug Notes

So as you all know I am a PhD student, and having taught adult undergraduate courses ¬†— I am ALWAYS looking for ways to allow my students to learn in a fun way. ¬†Even non-traditional college students may not be in the class for the love of learning. ¬†So sometimes you just have to find a way to capture their attention in a way that works. ¬†I’ve found my savior in YouTube. ¬†Over the next few Monday’s ¬†I’ll be reviewing a few of my favorite YouTube channels for education. ¬†They manage to make education informational, correct, but fun.

Thug Notes:

One of my new FAVORITES just on a personal level is Thug Notes. ¬†This is a swag filled take off of the old school Cliff Notes. ¬†Thug Notes reviews critical pieces of literature, utilizing current urban language and slang. ¬†In all honesty they are totally legit, totally complete reviews in a way that some teens and young adults may actually identify. ¬†The language could be iffy for some high school teachers, but for college I say go right ahead. ¬† Here is his review of Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice:

Thug Notes currently has reviewed:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • 1984
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Great Expectations
  • Lord of the Flies
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Crime and Punishment

Overall I very much enjoy the idea and premise of Thug Notes — and I hope some of you all will too. ¬†So click that little subscribe button for Thug Notes and keep up with his innovative reviews!

Public Administration, Homelessness, Children and Public Education — What a Cluster….

**This is another one of my posts that I completed for a course I am taking. ¬†You will see it referes to course materials — but I thought my readers here would also¬†appreciate¬†thinking about homelessness in¬†conjunction¬†with children and education.


When this class started earlier this year, I was struck by an article about homeless students providing challenges for school districts. ¬† Despite my¬†experiences¬†as a Magistrate judge here in Virginia, I for some reason do not think about children being homeless. ¬†When I think about the¬†homeless¬†population, I see adults as in the photo above. ¬†Men and women who for various reasons have found themselves on the streets. ¬†They carry backpacks, bags, and trash bags. ¬†Sometimes pushing their¬†possessions¬†in a stolen shopping card [and yes as a Magistrate I did have to file a charge for someone stealing a shopping card to push their life in]. ¬† I think of a population that deals with squatting in abandoned homes (and then getting arrested for it), sleeping in public parks (and getting harassed for it), and perhaps having substance abuse issues (usually cheep beer or mouthwash — typically not a hard drug).

Yet, I suspect that most people are the same — in forgetting that when you have homeless adults, you may have homeless children. ¬† I shelved this article and this post — but piggybacking on my Food Insecurity post, I believe this kind of social change discussion is timely and important. ¬†Mainly, I believe this social change discussion is important from the perspective of my field — public¬†administration¬† ¬†Since it is localities that ultimately have a lot to do with the state of¬†homelessness¬† or at least the look of it. ¬†

What constitutes homelessness generally? ¬†The Federal Definition of¬†Homelessness¬†from the Horizons for Homeless Children’s website is: “an individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; or an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is: (1) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill); (2) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or (3) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development).”

More specifically, how do we define homelessness within the public school system? ¬†According to¬†the College of William and Mary School of Education – Project HOPE Virginia website —¬†Title X, Part C of the¬†No Child Left Behind Act¬†defines homelessness as living in the following places due to a lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

  • In an emergency or transitional shelter
  • In a motel, hotel, or campground
  • In a car, park, public place, bus or train station, or abandoned building
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends
  • In the above conditions and is a migratory child or youth
  • Further descriptions of nighttime residence

This definition of homelessness applies to children and youth with: (1) Uncertain housing; (2) A temporary address; (3) No permanent physical address.Children and youth living in these settings meet criteria for the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness and have special educational rights.

Numbers: ¬†The¬†National¬†Center on Family¬†Homelessness¬†reports that “one in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year” which is over 1.6 million children.”

Discussing only one of the Nation’s largest localities — the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City reports that as of January 2013 “each night more than 55,000 people — including more than 21,000 children —¬†experience¬†homelessness.” ¬†In New York City¬†currently¬†50,100 homeless men, women, and children sleep in the NYC municipal shelter system, and¬†additionally¬†more than 5,000 homeless adults and children sleep in other public or private shelters. ¬†That still leaves thousands of men, women, and children sleeping on the streets or in other public spaces. ¬†Discussing the impact of homelessness on children — the Coalition states “During the course of each year,¬†more than 110,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including¬†more than 40,000 children, sleep at least one night in the municipal shelter system.” and¬†that¬†“The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has¬†risen by more than half over the past decade.”

However youth homelessness is not regulated only to Broadway. ¬†In Washington, D.C. as of January 2013 there are roughly 600¬†homeless¬†children living on the streets and in the shelters [Source HERE]. ¬†In Peroria County,¬†Illinois¬†“students identified as homeless grew from 183 in 2008 to 683 in 2012, a 273 percent jump over five years, according to Ulrich‚Äôs figures. With the 2013 school year not quite over, she already had recorded 693 homeless students, most of them from Peoria School District 150.” ¬† [Source HERE] Mary Ellen Ulrich, a¬†homeless¬†liaison¬†at the Peoria County Regional Office of Education states

‚ÄúStudent homelessness is unbelievable. This is my ninth year and the numbers just keep increasing and increasing.‚ÄĚ

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