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

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Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

We hope you had a fantastic summer, and we wish you a great return to school for the 2014-2015 academic year.  And for those of you who are starting closer to September 1, enjoy these last days of summer!

Here at the NBC Learn offices, we’ve been working hard to get ready for the upcoming school year. We’ve been creating amazing new content collections, developing more streamlined ways for you to find standards-correlated content, and training teachers across the country … Oh, and we’ve won a few awards in the process! Read on for all the latest news.

The NBC Learn Team

New Content Series

The NBC Learn team is pleased to announce a new collection called NBC Learn – Pearson Social Studies Videos, part of a new major partnership with Pearson Education.  In it, you’ll find 78 amazing stories about events and figures in U.S. and World History, Texas History, American Government, and Economics. These stories are the largest addition of original content on NBC Learn since we started in 2008 and in many cases reflect a new form of storytelling.  We used first-person “field trips” to tell the stories of lesser-known people who lived through famous periods in history. In an on-camera “Vlog” series, NBC News correspondents lend their personal touch to teach important social studies topics. Finally, we produced dozens of biographies that chronicle a diverse and exceptional group of individuals.  Whether it’s Shi Huangdi (the first emperor of China), Steve Jobs, or women pioneers like Hatshepsut, the Edmonson Sisters, and Margaret Chase Smith, you and your students will enjoy watching their personal histories unfold in dramatic and engaging ways.  For subscribers, this collection is fully correlated to state and Common Core standards.

Pericles, the Golden Age of Athens

K-12| HigherEd

Billie Holiday, Lady Day

K-12| HigherEd

Richard Marowitz, a Liberation Story

K-12| HigherEd

Later this year, look for another new series produced in partnership with Pearson for elementary, middle and high school science students. We are currently shooting this series, and you can get the scoop on what’s going on behind the scenes by following us on Instagram! 

NBC Learn producer Caleb Medders at Hunter College shooting the “gummy bear experiment,” which demonstrates how an exothermic reaction releases energy.

Next month we will also debut a new Lives and Careers section.  Don’t forget, you can also catch up on the current events stories we’ve been adding throughout the summer in our weekly Current Events section. K-12 | HigherEd

Feature Documentary: "Underwater Dreams"

For a limited time only, NBC Learn is pleased to offer the opportunity to screen the highly acclaimed, full-length documentary, “Underwater Dreams.” The film, written and directed by Mary Mazzio and narrated by Michael Peña, tells the epic story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona learned how to build an underwater robot from regular hardware store parts and then went on to defeat engineering powerhouse MIT in a robotics competition.  

“Underwater Dreams” is available on NBC Learn only from September 5 – September 12, 2014.

For more information about “Underwater Dreams,” visit www.underwaterdreamsfilm.com.

To screen the trailer from “Underwater Dreams,” click here: K-12 | HigherEd


Tee Off the School Year with New Videos from the “Science of Golf” 

Sxience of Golf

NBC Learn is pleased to release the latest chapter in our Emmy Award-winning series, “Science of Sports,” with ten new “Science of Golf” videos. The series, produced in partnership with the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) and Chevron, now contains 20 stories in all. Each story is accompanied by special STEM-focused lessons plans created by the National Science Teachers Association (N.S.T.A.) and is fully correlated to state standards and the Common Core (for subscribers only). Once again, NBC Sports anchor Dan Hicks narrates the series.


K-12 | HigherEd
Energy in Collisions and Compressions
K-12 | HigherEd
Newton's First & Second Laws of Motion
K-12 | HigherEd

Featured CueCards in August

50 years ago this month: August 4, 1964
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

On August 2,1964, the U.S.S. Maddox allegedly came under attack by North Vietnamese torpedoes in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two days later, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution overwhelmingly passed the U.S. Senate with only two senators voting against it. President Lyndon B. Johnson used the resolution to escalate the war in Vietnam.

Vietnam: Lessons of a Lost War 
Vietnam: Gulf of Tonkin
Vietnam: It's a Mad War

45 years ago this month: August 18, 1969
Woodstock Ends

More than 350,000 people descended on the small town of Bethel, New York for the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, informally known as Woodstock. On the final day of Woodstock, NBC's Lem Tucker asked attendees why they came to the festival.

K-12 | HigherEd

40 years ago this month: August 8, 1974
President Nixon Resigns

On August 8, 1974, 400 million Americans tuned in to watch President Richard M. Nixon announce his resignation, citing the country's need for "a full-time president."

President Nixon Resigns on Television

K-12 | HigherEd

Nixon's Departure from the White House

 K-12 | HigherEd

Simpler State Standards Tool

You’ll notice something different when you search for state standards on any page of NBC Learn. Common Core state-specific subjects are now fully implemented and integrated into the U.S. Standards sets. Just go to the pull-down menu and select your state, and you’ll find Common Core standards included within the listing for any state that has adopted them.

Our Patent Came Through!

We’re very excited that a patent has been accepted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (U.S.P.T.O.) for our innovative multi-sided media player known as the “CueCard.” Teachers love the CueCard player for its ease of use and the fact that it is a valuable research tool, with the ability to flip to the back to find metadata, citations and hyperlinked keywords. If you’d like a refresher on how to use the CueCard, please see our CueCard video tutorial.

NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: "Students are more engaged because of the quick and to-the-point nature of news reports." 

Melanie Dalton profile picture

On July 29, the NBC Learn team held a Google Hangout with Melanie Dalton, a Language Arts teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina and the featured teacher in this month’s K-12 Subscriber Spotlight.  Dalton uses NBC Learn to keep her 7th grade students up to date on current affairs, as well as to provide historical context for novels and to fulfill Common Core State Standards.  She often transitions from her presentations to a video, to help keep her students focused on the topic.

Dalton says, “Students are able to essentially ‘take a break’ from the teacher to view a reporter, typically in the field. Students can ‘travel’ to these places and see the country or even a visual glimpse of the issue at hand. They are more engaged because of the quick, to-the-point nature of news reports. Teachers can also use this time to prepare the next step of the lesson or monitor the attention of the class.”

Dalton uses current events in her Academic Enrichment course and connects the videos to Common Core State Standards.  Students write about the events, discuss their ideas, create arguments, and draw conclusions based on the week’s goals.  For her Language Arts class, Dalton uses archival videos to give a historical context.  When her class read the memoir Red Scarf Girl about the Cultural Revolution in China, she created a Cultural Revolution playlist and shared it with her fellow teachers (see below).

“The social studies teacher used the same video I used for the memoir and related it to the leadership of Mao ZeDong during the Cultural Revolution. The science teacher made a connection by using a video of a Chinese scientist during the Cultural Revolution and how that period affected his potential as a scientist. The students benefited from the lesson, and the teachers did little more than teach their own curriculum through the scope of a specific theme.”

Dalton's students were so inspired by the video Boy’s Creative Arcade Leads Him to Lecture Circuit that the class created an impromptu class project. “After watching the story, we raided the recycle bin, then designed our own arcade game. We invited the other classes to come and play the games and vote on the best recycled arcade game. It was great fun, and all the students enjoyed it.”

You can find out more about Melanie Dalton and how she uses NBC Learn by watching our Google Hangout with Connected Classrooms here.

Melanie’s Playlists:

Cultural Revolution

Personal Favorites

Language Arts

School Violence/Bullying

NBC Learn Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight: Teaching Community Health and Nutrition with NBC Learn

Meet Marcia Costello, a Nutrition and Community Health professor at Villanova University. This semester, she started teaching a new unit focused on environmental health. Costello watches the Nightly News with Brian Williams, finds the videos she liked the next day, and incorporates them into her class. 

“When the chemical spill happened in West Virginia, I downloaded it to teach about water pollution and the impact it had on the community. Each night the story evolved, which made it so interesting, because at first, public officials said they had it under control. Then they said pregnant women shouldn’t drink the water. It gave my students a good sense of how a story and community health issues develop and change over time. After we watched all the news coverage on the event, we discussed how the community was dealing with it and the politics that were involved.”

Costello says she uses videos to provide a connection between what’s happening in the classroom and what is happening in the world. Her students were intrigued by the amount of smog in China.  Costello also uses NBC Learn videos as a visual aid in her Nutrition class to teach about healthy eating and high fructose corn syrup.

“I want to promote how current events impact the health of our communities so the students will look at health from a public policy stance. With these videos, it takes me two minutes to get an issue to pick their brain with.”

Marcia’s Environmental Health Playlist

The Awards Keep Rolling In!

This summer, several original NBC Learn collections were recognized with prestigious awards! The Silver Telly, the Telly Award’s highest honor, was given to Sustainability: Water - The Water Cycle and Science of Golf: Physics of the Golf Swing, while Science Behind the News: Predictive Policing and Science of Innovation: 3-D Printing each received Bronze Telly awards.

The Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF) has awarded NBC Learn its 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award for the entire Sustainability: Water collection, produced in partnership with the National Science Foundation (N.S.F.). NBC Learn is the first team to receive the award for a second time. In 2012, we won the same award for another collection produced with the NSF, Changing Planet.

The Interactive Media Awards, which recognize excellence in website design and development, has awarded NBC Learn K-12 the “Best in Class Award” in the Education category. And finally, the Association of Educational Publishers (A.E.P.) has awarded NBC Learn its 2014 Revere Award in the category of "Reference Materials, Digital Libraries, and Portals.” The AEP Awards honor the best resources that educate or that support education. This is the second time NBC Learn K-12 has won this distinguished award.

Training Opportunities

NBC Learn traveled the roads of Indiana this summer to take part in ten Summer of eLearning Conferences, held by the Indiana Department of Education. We also visited eight other conferences via the web through webinars and Google Hangouts. It was a very successful training, resulting in hundreds of accounts opened and thousands of CueCards opened.  Indiana educators are definitely ready to use NBC Learn resources when they get back to school.

All of our subscribers are welcome to take a back to school refresher on NBC Learn by signing up for a free webinar. An NBC Learn producer will review the newest innovative content added over the summer; new functionalities and improvements on our CueCard; and ideas for effectively and efficiently integrating NBC Learn resources into your lessons and classroom. To sign up, please click on our Contact Us page and select "Sign Up for a Webinar" in the "reason for contacting us" pull-down menu.

How are you using NBC Learn as a teaching and learning resource? E-mail us at newsletter@nbclearn.com with examples of NBC Learn videos that especially engaged your students or summaries of your lessons.  We may feature you in a future K-12 or Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight!

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

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