Stunning Time Lapse of Lasers at Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii

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(Screenshot from posting at Open Culture)

Sean Goebel, a graduate student in astronomy at the University of Hawaii, has made this beautiful and fascinating time-lapse film of the observatories on Mauna Kea shooting laser beams into the night sky over the Big Island of Hawaii.

The lasers are part of the observatories’ adaptive optics systems, which compensate for distortions in light traveling through the Earth’s atmosphere. “Just as waves of heat coming off pavement blur out the detail of faraway objects,” explains Goebel on his Web site, “winds in the atmosphere blur out fine detail in the stars/galaxies/whatever is being observed. This is the reason that stars twinkle. The laser is used to track this atmospheric turbulence, and one of the mirrors in the telescope bends hundreds of times per second in order to cancel out the blurring.”

Watch the video and read the full text at Open Culture.

PBS Learning Media

Everything PBS related is now housed in one location, at PBS Learning Media.

PBS LearningMedia™ is the go-to destination for instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos, lesson plans, and more! You can search, save, and share with ease. Best of all, PBS LearningMedia is free for educators.

Visit the PBS Learning Media website to create your own free teacher account, and to sign up your students if you feel so inclinced.



Ontario Library Association and Distribution Access

The olaStore has recently partnered with Distribution Access, Canada’s leading provider of the world’s best educational video programs and multimedia content.

Sail the seas with Mighty Ships. Learn all about the world around us (and beyond) with Bill Nye. Transport the class to another place with 24 Hours In ….


The olaStore pleased to offer over 850 titles from Bill Nye, Daily Planet, Discovery Canada/EPI, Canadian Geographic, and more!

Visit our dedicated Distribution Access page for the full list of series and titles that we are carrying.

Prefer to stream video content? We also offer digital programming. Please contact the olaStore for more details and on how to order.

Screencasting Tools

What is screencasting? Why would you want to record your computer screen, anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked! Recording what is happening on your screen can be a pretty useful tool for teachers who want to create video tutorials or presentations for their classrooms, and many teachers are using screencasting tools in their flipped classroom models. But before you delve into what you’re going to do with your screencast, take a few moments to learn about the tools that are available to do the actual recording. They range from free to fairly expensive ($299) and offer a variety of functionality from simple recording to quite complex video editing. We’ve selected a few that we know to be some of the most popular screencasting tools in use today by teachers, students, and many others.

Read the full article from Edudemic on 4 Popular Screencasting Tools Being Used in Education.

The History of the World in 46 Lectures

From Open Culture…

When you dive into our collection of 700 Free Online Courses, you can begin an intellectual journey that can last for many months, if not years. The collection lets you drop into the classroom of leading universities (like Stanford, Harvard, MIT and Oxford) and essentially audit their courses for free. You get to be a fly on the wall and soak up whatever knowledge you want. All you need is an internet connection and some free time on your hands.

Today, we’re featuring two classes taught by Professor Richard Bulliet at Columbia University, which will teach you the history of the world in 46 lectures. The first course, History of the World to 1500 CE (available on YouTube and iTunes Video) takes you from prehistoric times to 1500, the cusp of early modernity. The origins of agriculture; the Greek, Roman and Persian empires; the rise of Islam and Christian medieval kingdoms; transformations in Asia; and the Maritime revolution — they’re all covered here. In the second course, History of the World Since 1500 CE (find on YouTube), Bulliet focuses on the rise of colonialism in the Americas and India; historical developments in China, Japan and Korea; the Industrial Revolution; the Ottoman Empire; the emergence of Social Darwinism; and various key moments in 20th century history.

Bulliet helped write the popular textbook The Earth and its Peoples: A Global History, and it serves as the main textbook for the course. Above, we’re starting you off with Lecture 2, which moves from the Origins of Agriculture to the First River – Valley Civilizations, circa 8000-1500 B.C.E. The first lecture deals with methodological issues that underpin the course.

Once you get the big picture with Professor Bulliet, you can find more History topics in our ever-growing collection of Free Online Courses.

NFB: Learning Through Empathy

(Screenshot from NFB e-mail)

Bullying damages lives; compassion is a teachable skill. Our Learning through Empathy playlist comprises an array of must-see films—new releases, bestsellers and award winners—touching upon sensitive topics such as homophobia, racism and domestic violence.

Buy these titles on DVD or DTO, or use your CAMPUS subscription for access to a vast collection of NFB films and pedagogical tools.

Selections available for both elementary and secondary levels.