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

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Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon. December is here before its June.”

-- Dr. Seuss

December is a time to pause, reflect and rejuvenate ourselves in preparation for a new year. When planning your lesson plans for 2015, take the time to peruse the more than 17,000 videos on NBC Learn. The “Share” button at the bottom of every CueCard makes it simple to link a video to a lesson plan, Power Point or LMS. And if you can’t find the videos you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at newsletter@nbcuni.com. We’re happy to search our archives to help you find the best resources to pair with your 2015 lessons plans! In this December edition of our monthly newsletter, you’ll find a playlist in honor of Human Rights Day, holiday videos that celebrate the spirit of giving, and our latest feature to help you filter our content.

Best Wishes,

The NBC Learn Team

 Featured Videos in December

Human Rights Day

In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10th as Human Rights Day, to highlight to the world the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that recognizes “the inherent dignity and ... the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” The declaration emphasizes “teaching and education” as the way for all nations to promote respect for human rights and freedoms, and we’ve assembled this playlist to help teach your students about some famous and not-so-famous people who have done just that. Happy Human Rights Day!

K-12 | Higher Ed

A Time for Giving

The joy of giving is an undeniable part of the holiday season, and these videos from NBC News' "Making a Difference" series can show your students ways that people can give, rather than receive, from a woman who has sent a million care packages to US troops to a "Giving Store" in Florida.  

Mystery Gold Coins Bring Holiday Cheer

K-12 | Higher Ed

"The Giving Store" Teaches Children How to Give 

K-12 | Higher Ed

1 Million Care Packages and Counting 

K-12 | Higher Ed

A Historic Anniversary of Innovation

On December 31, 1879, Thomas Edison first demonstrated the electric incandescent light bulb. While his bulb is a universal symbol for a brilliant idea, it may become a flickering memory as it becomes replaced by more practical fluorescent, halogen and LED light bulbs. As explained in a video below, Edison himself missed the opportunity to work with these energy-efficient bulbs, calling it his “greatest blunder.” You can also show your students videos from our collection about young people who are carrying on Edison’s legacy by combining technology and innovation to make our world a brighter place. Looking for more stories about innovation? Check out the original NBC Learn series Science of Innovation.  

Is the Future of Thomas Edison's Incandescent Light Bulb Dim?

K-12 | Higher Ed

Thomas Edison's Big Blunder

K-12 | Higher Ed

Thomas Edison: A Horatio Alger Hero 

K-12 | Higher Ed

Cancer Survivor Looks for Cure Using YouTube

K-12 | Higher Ed

Teen Invents Sensor to Help Alzheimer's Patients

K-12 | Higher Ed

Teen Inventor's Bright Idea May Light Up the World

K-12 | Higher Ed

NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: “Localizing Classroom Concepts with NBC Learn”

Meet Melissa Khoshaba, an Economics and Personal Finance teacher at Oscar Smith High School, at Chesapeake Public Schools in Virginia. Khoshaba prepares students for their financial futures and reviews career options in her class called Education for Employment.

“For my students, seeing is believing,” says Khoshaba. “NBC Learn videos help them understand that concepts like identity theft, for instance, happen to real people. If I want to educate them about getting their first credit card, or how banks charge hidden overdraft fees, I can demonstrate it with a video. Then my students go home and discuss these topics over the dinner table. So it’s not just the kids learning, it’s the parents too.”

Khoshaba weaves in videos about the stock market to teach students about how business is conducted on a day-to-day basis: “These students have no way of experiencing the extreme highs and lows of the stock market, so they were amazed when I showed them stories about Twitter’s IPO, getting to see the chaos on the NASDAQ floor, and just how big the stock market is.”

Khoshaba also uses NBC Learn to localize topics for students: “If I show them a clip about meningitis or diabetes, it sparks their awareness about the daily risks they take every day. This prompts a conversation about their new healthy food choices for lunch or the zero sugar drinks in vending machines. It helps them realize how national issues can impact their daily lives.”

NBC Learn Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight: "NBC Learn Videos Are More Than a News Update"  

Meet Katherine Hoffman, a biology professor at Tarrant County College, Northeast Campus in Ft. Worth, Texas. Hoffman embeds NBC Learn videos into her lecture highlights for her online course on Blackboard. For her chapter on viruses, Hoffman used two NBC Learn videos to discuss Ebola.

“With NBC Learn, my students get to see the practical application of what they are learning in biology class. It is pretty neat that I can show the progression of the virus with a video from 1995 and a video from today. The videos aren’t just a news update – they contain pertinent, scientific information that is practical for my students’ understanding.”

Hoffman also includes questions about the videos in her weekly quizzes on Blackboard. “The videos enhance the points I am trying to get across. They have to know about Ebola, how it is transmitted, and how it expresses itself; and I utilize NBC Learn as a source. I even had a student recently tell me that he enjoyed the NBC Learn videos more than the software that comes with the textbook because the video was able to round out some points for him that the textbook did not.”


Leading up to the Christmas release of Unbroken, the new epic drama from Academy Award® winner Angelina Jolie, NBC Learn presents a collection about the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini and the events he lived through. Our collection includes interviews with the man himself, plus videos about World War II and the 1936 Olympics. The site is free and can be viewed at www.nbclearn.com/unbroken. You can also find classroom guides to Unbroken by our partners at Scholastic at http://www.scholastic.com/unbroken. Unbroken is distributed by Universal Pictures, which is owned by NBC Learn's parent company, NBCUniversal.

New Feature: K-12 Content Warning

Here at NBC Learn, we know and respect the differences between younger and older students. We have taken the time to identify and flag pieces that may not be appropriate for K-5 students with a new Content Warning. You can view the Content Warning in action when you click on stories in our Current Events collection in our K-12 site. Because we want to be sensitive to the needs of all teachers, the Content Warning you see below will now be displayed before content that may be inappropriate for the K-12 audience. As a reminder, we also have a collection specifically designed with K-5 students in mind.

The Parent Toolkit Wants to Hear From You!

Join Education Nation for December’s Parent Toolkit Twitter chat and give your ideas for how parents can help kids continue learning during the holiday break. Mark your calendars for December 16th at 7pm ET and submit your tips using the hash tag #ToolkitTalk. And if you have meetings with parents coming up before or after break, check out the Parent Toolkit’s Parent-Teacher Conference Guides, and feel free to share with parents in your school to help them prepare for meetings. 

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 or NBC Learn Higher Ed, look under the heading NBC Learn in the Classroom.

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