While attending a Discovery Educators workshop last fall, I was introduced to an excellent teacher resource called "Discovery Streaming". With it, I have been finding content relevant video clips that I embed into Powerpoint presentations and show to my students. I use Powerpoint to compliment my lectures because I think that the digital component is particularly attractive to this generation of students, and I think helps appeal to a variety of learning styles, both visual and auditory. I really like incorporating the video clips from Discovery Streaming because they are generally short (the length can be edited) and they serve to help to break up the monotony of the notes.
In the midst of playing around with Discovery Streaming, I came across a link within the site called Teacher Center, which has an "assignment builder" feature. This tool allows the teacher to create a web-based assignment that automatically incorporates teacher-selected links to Discovery Streaming resources, such as video clips and websites. Ultimately, the assignment can be printed, saved as an MS Word document, or accessed as an HTML from a link provided by Discovery Streaming.
The assignment I created through Discovery Streaming's assignment builder is a technologically-enhanced adaptation of a project I developed two years ago for my Integrated Science class. Before, I would distribute hard-copies of newspaper articles to my students, and have them read about the debate over Pluto's classification as a planet in our solar system. With Discovery Streaming's assignment builder, the students now have access to a variety of articles online, as well as relevant video clips. Better still, the entire assignment completely self-contained and can be accessed from any internet-capable device, so students do not necessarily have to be at school to complete their work. The assignment can be extended by adding a writing component, such as a persuasive essay, or can be the lead-in to a class-wide debate.
To view the assignment online, click Pluto: Planet or Not?