My students and I have been spending the past few days on projects related to speed, velocity, and acceleration. Tomorrow is what I always refer to as the “inevitable notes day.” I am not a big fan of being a sage-on-the-stage and I’ve yet to meet a class that loves taking notes. However, sometimes its the simplest way to pull together a group of students and get through some content. I also know I am preparing my kids for high school and college with some note taking days sprinkled in amongst technology projects, labs, and other collaborative assignments. That is unless high schools and colleges have stopped with direct instruction – doubt it.
Direct instruction can be dry, dusty, and boring…or it can be livened up some multimedia including pictures and movies. This works especially well when when the multimedia isn’t some lame science video and is instead a real life example of science in action. Keeping this idea in mind I’ve spent a little time on YouTube this afternoon looking for a quick snippet to get my kids thinking about speed, velocity, and acceleration. I came up with a fun little BMW movie/commerical from 2001. I loved it then…and I still love it now. With a little editing (which is very easy to do in Keynote) I was able to crop out all of the boring talking at the beginning and focus on the driving scenes and of course Madonna’s toss from the back of the car on to her rear.
You might be wondering how I downloaded the movie from YouTube. I’m always surprised how often I get that question. If you aren’t sure how to rip movies from YouTube, I would suggest checking out this collection of YouTube downloading tools from Make Use Of. I have #2 installed as a Firefox plug in and it works perfectly every time! If you want an easy-to-use website KeepVid also works well. Once you have it downloaded you can easily bring it into Keynote or PowerPoint.
Next time you’re designing a presentation I highly suggest stopping by YouTube and finding a video to spice things up a little. Your students will appreciate it!