Thursday, September 21, 2017

TED Talk #3- Why Videos Go Viral

When I grow up, I want to be a doctor, photographer, policeman, fireman, teacher, veterinarian, YouTuber!  Wait, what?!  A YouTuber?!

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If any child mentioned YouTuber on a list of dream jobs ten years ago, people wouldn't have had a clue what he was talking about.  Boy, have things changed.

Media has changed.  Communication has changed.  No longer is the Internet a place for professionals and computer geniuses only.  Every day people are creating and jumping in the deep side of the Web.  It's the ultimate technological power-to-the-people movement.  In this case, the power to create a video.  

The pool of video online is wide and deep!  Sometimes funny.  Sometimes sweet.  Some well-made.  Some very well made, but, honestly, most are really, really, really bad.

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What fascinates me is that even a horrendously horrible video can still score hundreds of thousands of views. That's right, hundreds of thousands.  It's crazy!

Why do some videos go viral and some fizzle out?  What is the key to getting a large audience for that video of your cat playing the piano?

This guy knows.  I bring you this week's TED Talk from Kevin Allocca.

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Kevin Allocca is YouTube's trends manager.  That means he gets paid to watch YouTube videos all day!  He's got some deep thoughts about web video today.  In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral.

Here's the link.

Enjoy the video and keep those cameras running when you, your friends, your cat, your parakeet, your dog, your grandpa, or your brother does something interesting.  You never know who will be the next trend in YouTube videos.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

TED Talk #2 Underwater Astonishments

Do you dream of boldly going where no man has gone before?  To explore?  Discover?  It is not too late! Contrary to what we often think, there are still a lot of undiscovered astonishments out there in the world.  Just when we think we understand the world around us, we discover some new animal, place, wonder, and we are blown away all over again. As our speaker, David Gallo, explains, we only know about 3% of what is out there in the ocean.  That leaves 97% left to explore and learn!  Plenty of room for wonder!

Our second TED talk of the year explores a handful of the amazing creatures living deep below the ocean. These little guys may be hidden away in the dark, but their beauty and resourcefulness outshines our expectations.


Click here to hear the TED Talk Underwater Astonishments
David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square's worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. This short talk celebrates the pioneering work of ocean explorers like Edith Widder and Roger Hanlon.

Let David Gallo's TED talk inspire you to dig deep and explore the fascinating world of nature.  Do you have an interest in animals?  The Amazon?  Insect Kingdoms? Deep Space? Birds? Monkeys? The Arctic?  The Earth's core?  Dive deep and dig in!  Let your chromebook be a doorway to the world!   Who knows, maybe you will be the next person to discover a brand new species?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

TED Talk #1: The Cockroach Beatbox

In class, we sometimes talk about the word genius.  What do we mean when we say genius?  What does a genius look like?  How does someone become a genius?  We've discussed that being a genius has no age requirement.  A genius can be a kid as well as a grown up.  We've talked about how different people are good at different things.   When people are compared to others they may feel bad about themselves... they may feel that they are not smart or talented.  Geniuses come in many shapes and sizes.  And so do ideas.  Passions.  Talents.  Interests. We may not be able to explain them.  We may not always understand them, but one thing's for sure- all of our ideas, genius ideas or not, come from our brains.

Image result for the cockroach beatbox
Everybody dance now! 

The first TED talk in our TED talk series focuses on just that very subject-- the very place where the magic happens!  It's hiding there under our skin, cozy in our skulls, like an electric mass of muscle, humming silently away.  Where our ideas grow, passions are discovered, questions are formed.  That gooey, squishy, mysterious, ball of gray stuff.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our brain.  

Only muuuuuuuch smaller.

Neuroscientist (someone who studies the brain) Greg Gage gives us a glimpse into the workings of our brains by, wait for it, dissecting a cockroach... yes, right in front of us!   It turns out that cockroach brains are really similar to human brains, so they are handy to study.  Check out this amazing (and kind of freaky) TED talk to learn about how the brain receives and sends out electric messages and how our bodies respond and even dance to a beat.  


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Welcome 8 White!! It's going to be a great year!

I am very excited to be your 8th grade English teacher!! It is my job to guide you through your final year in middle school and get ready for high school and what lies ahead!  We'll be using many different tools in our English class to start discussions, analyze, write, respond, and research.  You'll find some great resources here on our class blog.  I hope that by having these resources here at your fingertips, you'll feel like you have your own Miss Enos at home to help when you need it!  If you have trouble finding something here on the blog, just let me know and I will help you find it!  If you ever have suggestions for a great resource/topic to add to the class blog, just let me know!!

Here is a video tour that I created to show you around the blog. 

In fact, let me know if you have any questions at all (any time at all!).  You can ask during class, before/after-school, through an e-mail.  I don't care how you ask but ask!!!  I want to help you.  You are my number one priority!

One thing you will hear me mention about a million times is my hope for you to have a Spirit of Excellence! I recently heard a quote "Keep working until you are proud!"  Make that your motto for your final year at DMS and many more after!

My goal is to help you strengthen your reading and writing skills this year, but I also want to teach you skills to help you be successful as you grow into the amazing adult you are meant to be.  I want to see you get better at collaborating, creating, and communicating.  I also want to see you become championsJust like these boys! Check out their story and think about what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it!

Are you up for the challenge?  Because I know I am!

Let's enjoy the year!!

Go, White Team!!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

TED Talk(s) #18- Robots A Plenty!

Today's TED talk(s) features stars that are growing in popularity!  Robots!!  Some fear that robotics and technology are taking over our lives!  Others just can't wait to have a Rosie to cook and clean for us!  Most are in between.

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No matter what your opinions on robots, I think, after watching these two talks, you'll find them entertaining and charming!

Our first talk combines dance and robotics.  Bruno Maisonnier of Aldebaran Robotics choreographs a troupe of tiny humanoid Nao robots through a surprisingly emotive performance.

Check out the link here. 

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Our second talk combines robotics and humor!

In this first-of-its-kind demo, Heather Knight introduces Data, a robotic stand-up comedian that does much more than rattle off one-liners — it gathers audience feedback (using software co-developed with Scott Satkin and Varun Ramakrishna at CMU) and tunes its act as the crowd responds. Is this thing on?
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Enjoy the show!