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Category Archives: Media Materials

TED Talk – Ancient Wonders Captured in 3D

TED Talk- Ancient Wonders Captured in 3D

Description: In this TED Talk, digital preservationist Ben Kacyra explains his work with and invention of a 3D scanning system and how he became interested in using his system in the preservation are archival of historical sites.  We hear Kacyra explain the importance of documenting these ancient monument before they are destroyed by either neglect, natural disaster, or human intervention.

Qualitative Analysis: Slightly Complex.  The video does not go into too many details of the creating of the 3D scanning system or how it works, but simply why Kacyra believes that the archiving of past civilizations is necessary and therefore it does not need much background knowledge to understand.  It is a good video however, to lead into the exploration of his free project CyArk where the students can go explore the over 50 sites that Kacyra and his wife have already documented.

Content Area: World History, Technology


TED Talk – The Psychology of Time

TED Talk- The Psychology of Time

Description: If there’s one thing high school students need more than anything, especially before heading off on their own to college, it is time management skills.  However, they won’t learn in this TED talk by psychologist Philip Zimbardo, but what they will get out of it is advice on perceiving the past, present, and future in a manner more conducive to their health and productivity.

Qualitative Analysis: Moderately Complex.  Some of the topics in this video is a bit more mature, but for most high school students should be able to handle the few aspects that might be considered “controversial”, but the moderately complex labeling is given because Zimbardo does give a lot of information in a short amount of time.  He talks very quickly and it may be beneficial to stop the video every few moments to discuss what he discusses before moving on instead of waiting till the end so the students don’t get too overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at them.

TED Talk- How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

TED Talk- How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

Description: This is a great TED talk by public health researcher Richard Wilkinson.  Here and in his other work, Wilkinson charts data that proves societies that are more equal are healthier, happier societies.  In this talk, Wilkinson uses the aid of charts to show how the inequality of income gaps within a society can have real effects of health, lifespan, and even things such as basic values as trust.

Qualitative Analysis: Moderately Complex.  Wilkinson does a great job of taking all the data that has been collected and explaining it in layman’s terms that anyone can understand, but students still need a basic understanding of the economic structure and personal income work.

Content Area: Economics

TEKS Standard: E.10A, E.12A, E.12B

Pigeon Presents!

Pigeon Presents!

Mo Willems friends

Description: At Pigeon Presents! a website based on the characters of the Mo Willems books, children are able to watch videos, play games, and get to know a little bit more about all the characters in the Mo Willems universe.

Qualitative Analysis: Slightly Complex.  The videos and games a very straight forward and need not previous knowledge of the characters or the books in order to enjoy them.

Content Area: ELA

Other Fun Resources:

  • Characters – Pigeon, Elephant, Piggie, Naked Mole Rat, Knuffle Bunny


** Extra fun with Mo Willems’ characters can be found here as well.

Owen & Mzee

Owen & Mzee

Description: Based on the Owen and Mzee books by Isabella Hatkoff about the true story of an unusual relationship between Owen, a baby hippopotamus orphaned during a December storm in Kenya, and Mzee, a 130-year-old giant tortoise. The bond between the two inseparable animals helps Owen recover from the traumatic ordeal he endured – the storm and the resulting separation from his mother. Never before has there been such a bond between a reptile and a mammal. The story continues on the website where students can explore and learn even more about Owen and Mzee and what makes their story so unique.  The beautiful pictures just add to the magic of the story and brings it to life.

Qualitative Analysis: Moderately Complex.  Explaining the differences between mammals and reptiles can get a bit complex, not to mention the idea of death, however, the website itself is easy to maneuver and is a fun way for students to interact with and watch videos of the real Owen and Mzee.

Content Area: Life Science

TEKS Standard: Science 1.10C, Science 2.10A