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This Month‘s Featured Teaching and Learning Resources from NBC Learn

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Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

Last month, to mark the third anniversary of the war in Syria, NBC News devoted a special series to the impact of the humanitarian crisis on its most innocent victims — children. Over 5 million Syrian children have had their lives scarred by this conflict, whether losing a loved one, their home, or their school, or by suffering a severe injury. Inside Syria, 3 million children are displaced, and beyond its borders, another million-plus Syrian children are now refugees. We’ve bundled this special series, "Forgotten? Syria‘s Children of War" into two playlists for K-12 and Higher Ed. Although the videos contain graphic images which may not be suitable for younger viewers, we encourage you to share them with older students. And to find out how they can help Syria’s children, please click here .

The NBC Learn Team

Celebrate Earth Day with Changing Planet and Sustainability: Water

In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, explore NBC Learn’s Original Collections Changing Planet and Sustainability: Water. These earth science series, produced in partnership with the National Science Foundation, cover headline issues from the future of California’s water supply to how butterflies are adapting to warmer temperatures. Use these videos to engage and involve your students in the environmental issues in the news today.

Blackboard subscribers: To access these collections, please login to your institution's Blackboard web site and click "Browse NBC Archives." In the Collections browser, select Special Collections and click on Changing Planet or Sustainability: Water.

Understanding Autism Playlist

One in fifty school-age children are autistic, and about one million children in America have been diagnosed with autism. As the number of diagnoses increase, awareness is crucial. In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, the NBC Learn team has created an "Understanding Autism" playlist. You’ll find stories on the latest autism research and how people with autism are making strides inside and outside of the classroom — like Colorado State University professor Temple Grandin, who has transformed not only the livestock industry, but the public perception of autism as well.

Click on the playlist below to learn more.

Featured CueCards in April: Milestone Event Anniversaries

65 years ago this month:
April 4, 1949

The Creation of NATO
K-12 | HigherEd
50 years ago this month:
April 17, 1964

Geraldine Mock Is First Woman to Fly Around the World Alone
K-12 | HigherEd

30 years ago this month: April 23, 1984
AIDS Virus Identified

Thirty years ago this month, a study released in Science magazine indicated that AIDS was caused by a virus. In honor of this milestone anniversary, we’ve compiled a playlist chronicling AIDS research and awareness over the last three decades. Click on the links above to learn about the latest research and how the public’s attitude towards AIDS has changed since the Reagan Administration.

NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: “The way it grabs students is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

Casey Enright profile picture Meet Casey Enright, a seventh grade Social Studies teacher at Kyrene School District in Tempe, Arizona. Enright is using NBC Learn in an innovative way to segment his lectures at Altadena Middle School.

For example, when discussing the compromises on slavery, Enright played The Missouri Compromise video for his students. Enright listed his questions and the answer key he was searching for in an accompanying handout, and his students generated their answers in class. Enright will often click pause while playing the video so his students can answer the question before playing the next segment. His students take notes using the CORNELL note-taking system.

“Even if we have to watch a video more than once, students will be taking notes from the videos,” he says. “They respond uniquely to the video even if they’ve seen it twice.”

Using videos throughout his lectures is just one way that Enright incorporates NBC Learn into his class. He uses videos to introduce a subject and, he directs students to NBC Learn when they have a project. He makes playlists and makes good use of the State Standards search feature.

“The videos are cut up in a way that they perfectly align with Common Core Standards, and teachers don’t have to sift through the video to find what they want. There are no reenactments, and the experts grab students’ attention unlike anything I’ve ever seen. As soon as you play these videos, the students are locked in. Not only do the kids love them, but they want to talk about them.”

Check out Casey Enright’s Middle School U.S. History playlists:

The Road to the Civil War


The Progressive Era

NBC Learn Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight: “The Current Events are a springboard for my class”

Brandon Jones profile picture We spoke to Brandon Jones, a professor at Northern Arizona University who teaches Intro to Computer Information Systems.

NBC Learn: How do you use NBC Learn videos?

Jones: I typically kick off class with a Current Events video. Before, I tried to bring up topics to get students interested, but discussing it was difficult. Ever since I started using these videos, starting a discussion has been easier, and I have a lot more class participation and student engagement. I think of the Current Events video as a springboard for the class. I can divide students into teams, and they review how the discussion topic relates to the NBC Learn video. Then each team prepares a brief presentation.

NBC Learn: Why do you use NBC Learn videos?

Jones: It’s always current, fresh, and relevant. And the stories come from a recognized, well-known brand. When I see a cool story on Nightly News, I can go in the next day and find the story. The stories seem to be ready very quickly, and it amazes me! NBC Learn has great stories on surveillance, privacy concerns, and data breaches like Target’s. I love the Science of Innovation series. It has great videos for demonstrating innovative solutions, such as using artificial intelligence to create driverless vehicles.

NBC Learn: How do your students respond to NBC Learn videos?

Jones: With NBC Learn, generating students’ interest is no longer a challenge like it was in past semesters. Students aren’t interested in watching a thirty minute video, but if it’s two to three minutes at the beginning of class, they eat it up. I’ve received feedback from students who watch NBC Learn videos outside of class, so I know it’s engaging.

Click here to view Brandon‘s Computer Information Systems Playlist

How are you using NBC Learn as a teaching and learning resource? E-mail us at newsletter@nbclearn.com. Send us summaries of lessons or units enriched with NBC Learn resources, examples of NBC Learn videos that especially engaged your students, or the names of candidates for future K-12 or Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlights.

Want to read more Subscriber Spotlights? On the Home page of both NBC Learn K-12 and NBC Learn Higher Ed, look under the heading NBC Learn In the Classroom.

Sneak Peak of New Parent Toolkit Section!

Parent Toolkit

Mounting research continues to show that children who are physically active show improved academic performance. To help parents prepare their children for success in the classroom and beyond, the NBC News Parent Toolkit is expanding to include a Health & Wellness section. We’ll be making the official announcement on NBC’s TODAY next week, but NBC Learn users can get a special look right away!

Go to www.parenttoolkit.com to see the new section, available in both English and Spanish. You’ll find:

  • Grade-by-grade recommendations for physical activity, nutrition, and sleep based on national standards
  • Age-appropriate tips for parents to increase exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep for their growing children
  • Printable infographics to guide parents in making healthy choices when reading nutrition labels and grocery shopping

By combining recommendations and expertise from across the country, the Parent Toolkit is a one-stop shop for parents looking to support their child’s development. The Health & Wellness section draws on recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other nationally-recognized organizations. Experts in the field of pediatrics, nutrition, sleep, exercise, obesity prevention, and oral hygiene were consulted and will continue to provide guidance as new articles and blog posts are posted.

Sponsored by Pearson, the Parent Toolkit, which is will continue to expand later this year with a section on Social & Emotional Development.

Make a Playlist

Make a playlist

Making your own playlists is a great way to collect pertinent videos and share how you’re using NBC Learn as a teaching and learning resource. If you’ve forgotten to make a playlist on NBC Learn, download these simple instructions, or watch a video refresher at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TODbWI6JUuk.

And if you email us at newsletter@nbclearn.com, we might even feature your playlists in a future K-12 or Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight.

As always, if you have ideas for the Newsletter, write to us at newsletter@nbclearn.com.

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