Thursday, September 30, 2010

YouTube in a PowerPoint show!

Ok, All revved up to start posting regularly and my wheels are spinning off.  Great start to the school year but have jumped in full speed ahead.  Focus is on planning for the year and trying to get teacher's attention.  Lucky for me I have a few who are keeping me busy!

Have spent today trying to get ahead of the curve and figure out the best way to teach MLA formatting with newly installed Word 2007.  (What the heck is up with Google and the Calibri font?)  I will post on this topic very soon.  I've come up with some great questions regarding the level of teaching to do on this topic and some great solutions with various levels of student input.

Serendipitously, today I came across the answer to a question that I have been asked a bizzilion times (almost).  Can I put a YouTube video on my PowerPoint?  Well, yes Virginia, as of MS 2007 you can do exactly that!  And it is easy and fun!  Check out the video below for step by step details of what to do and how to do it.  (Might look a little scary for non-techies but very simple when following this recipe.)

This video assumes an active and unfiltered access to the Internet.  For districts that still block YouTube and other video sites other options do exist.  The same author who produced this video offers a second video describing a rather complicated method.  I prefer the much easier method of using or other similar file conversion site to rip the video into a format that can be saved on the hard drive and played locally. 

When streaming video directly from YouTube, there are no copyright implications (see previous posts in this blog).  In any case where the video is removed from its source (converted and saved on your computer) it is important to remember to give credit to creators! 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Explosion of Expression

Welcome to the Grand Illusion . . . Not exactly sure why but these Styx lyrics popped into my head when I finally realized I was going to give myself permission to write again.  My fingers are twitching I am so excited!

Yes, gave myself permission.  I am behind on some projects that I really need to get done and I have stopped myself every time I tried to express my thoughts here with the admonition that I should be using my time wisely to get my projects done.  Months have gone by and that strategy has not worked and so today I am giving in and will look for new motivation on those other fronts.

I have had a great summer with the family.  We enjoyed several weeks at the lake and a couple other roadtrips to add a little spice.  I worked a little and played Mr. Mom as my wife embarked on a new career.  Perhaps most enjoyable, we actually made time to do a few projects around our own house this summer.

I had one great interview for a secondary position.  It would have been a great job for me and, though it meant cutting lake time short I was very excited.  Turns out over 60 people applied including five with professional library experience.  Of the 60, eight were interviewed and three called back to teach a lesson.  It sounds as if I was a strong second choice but was edged out by one of the more experienced candidates.

My strengths, according to the interviewer who notified me of the results were my knowledge of technology but more importantly, my understanding that technology is not the answer without a strong curricular link.  He said my answers that focused on a scaffolded approach to teaching 21st Century Skills and preparation of students for life beyond high school with regards to research and presentation were very impressive.

Alas, summer is over and the job did not come my way but I am blessed that I have such a fantastic venue to continue to learn and grow as an educator and librarian.  Our team, two librarians, two clerks, and myself returned intact to greet a new year in a freshly painted and exciting library.  The computers are warmed up and the books dusted and we are ready to go! 

Perhaps it is a line later in the song, "deep inside we're all the same," that made this song relevant to me today.  Though I am technically still a Teaching Assistant, in my mind this year I am a librarian and plan to conduct myself as one at every opportunity.