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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Handling Tantrums and Meltdowns: What's a Parent to Do?

By Caroline Miller
Editorial Director, Child Mind Institute

November 19, 2013

 How to guide children to more adaptive behaviors.

The first thing we have to do to manage tantrums is to understand them. That is not always as easy as it sounds, since tantrums and meltdowns are generated by a lot of different things: fear, frustration, anger, sensory overload, to name a few.

And, since a tantrum isn't a very clear way to communicate (even though it may be a powerful way to get attention), parents are often in the dark about what's driving the behavior.

It's useful to think of a tantrum as a reaction to a situation a child can't handle in a more grown-up way—say, by talking about how he feels, or making a case for what he wants, or just doing what he's been asked to do. Instead he is overwhelmed by emotion.

And, if unleashing his feelings in a dramatic way—crying, yelling, kicking the floor, punching the wall, or hitting a parent—serves to get him what he wants (or out of whatever he was trying to avoid), it's a behavior that he may come to rely on.

That doesn't mean that tantrums are consciously willful, or even voluntary. But it does mean that they're a learned response. So the goal with a child prone to tantrums is to help him unlearn this response, and instead learn other, more mature ways to handle a problem situation, like compromising, or complying with parental expectations in exchange for some positive reward.

The first step is to get a picture of what triggers your particular child's tantrums. Mental health professionals call this a "functional assessment," which means looking at what real-life situations seem to generate tantrums—specifically, at what happens immediately before, during, and after the outbursts that might contribute to their happening again.

Sometimes a close look at the pattern of a child's tantrums reveals a problem that needs attention: a traumatic experience, abuse or neglect, social anxiety, ADHD, or a learning disorder. When children are prone to meltdowns beyond the age in which they are typical, it's often a symptom of distress that they are struggling to manage.

That effort breaks down at moments that require self-discipline they don't yet have, like transitioning from something they enjoy to something that's difficult for them.

"A majority of kids who have frequent meltdowns do it in very predictable, circumscribed situations: when it's homework time, bedtime, time to stop playing," explains Dr. Vasco Lopes, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.

"The trigger is usually being asked to do something that's aversive to them or to stop doing something that is fun for them. Especially for children who have ADHD, something that's not stimulating and requires them to control their physical activity, like a long car ride or a religious service or visiting an elderly relative, is a common trigger for meltdowns."


Why Do Kids Have Tantrums and Meltdowns? They may look manipulative, but these outbursts are better understood as behavior children resort to when they lack skills to regulate their emotions. READ MORE


Learned Behavior

Since parents often find tantrums impossible to tolerate—especially in public—the child may learn implicitly that throwing a tantrum can help him get his way. It becomes a conditioned response. "Even if it only works five out of 10 times that they tantrum, that intermittent reinforcement makes it a very solid learned behavior," Dr. Lopes adds. "So they're going to continue that behavior in order to get what they want."

One of the goals of the functional assessment is to see if some tantrum triggers might be eliminated or changed so they're not as problematic for the child. "If putting on the child's shoes or leaving for school is the trigger, obviously we can't make it go away," explains Dr. Steven Dickstein, who is both a pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist.

But sometimes, we can change the way parents and other caregivers handle a situation—to defuse it. This could translate into giving kids more warning that a task is required of them, or structuring problematic activities in ways that reduce the likelihood of a tantrum.

"Anticipating those triggers, and modifying them so that it's easier for the child to engage in that activity is really important," says Dr. Lopes. "For example, if homework is really difficult for a child, because she has underlying issues of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, or a learning disability, she might have outbursts right before she's supposed to start her homework.

So we say to parents, 'How can we make doing homework more palatable for her?' We can give her frequent breaks, support her in areas she has particular difficulty with, organize her work, and break intimidating tasks into smaller chunks."

Another goal is to consider whether the expectations for the child's behavior are developmentally appropriate, Dr. Dickstein notes, for his age and his particular level of maturity. "Can we modify the environment to make it match the child's abilities better, and foster development towards maturing?"

It's important for parents to understand two things: first of all, avoiding a tantrum before it begins does not mean "giving in" to a child's demands. It means separating the unwanted tantrum response from other issues, such as compliance with parental requests. And second, by reducing the likelihood of a tantrum response, you are also taking away the opportunity for reinforcement of that response.

When kids don't tantrum, they learn to deal with needs, desires, and setbacks in a more mature way, and that learning itself reinforces appropriate responses. Fewer tantrums now means...fewer tantrums later.


 Stop Yelling! By keeping their cool, parents can teach their children self-control and make for a calmer, happier home. READ MORE


Responding to Tantrums

When tantrums occur, the parent or caregiver's response affects the likelihood of the behavior happening again. There are lots of very specific protocols to help parents respond consistently, in ways that will minimize tantrum behavior later. They range from Ross Greene's seminal approach, Collaborative Problem Solving, to step-by-step parent-training programs like Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Parent Management Training.

They have in common the starting point that parents resist the temptation to end the tantrum by giving the child what he wants when he tantrums. For outbursts that aren't dangerous, the goal is to ignore the behavior, to withdraw all parental attention, since even negative attention like reprimanding or trying to persuade the child to stop has been found positively reinforce the behavior.

Attention is withheld from behavior you want to discourage, and lavished instead on behaviors you want to encourage: when a child makes an effort to calm down or, instead of tantruming, complies or proposes a compromise. "By positively reinforcing compliance and appropriate responses to frustration," says Dr. Lopes, "you're teaching skills and—since you can't comply with a command and tantrum at the same time—simultaneously decreasing that aggressive noncompliant tantrum behavior."

"One thing you don't want to do is try to reason with a child who is upset. Don't talk to the kid when he's not available."

One thing you don't want to do is try to reason with a child who is upset. As Dr. Dickstein puts it, "Don't talk to the kid when he's not available." You want to encourage a child to practice at negotiation when he's not blowing up, and you're not either. You may need to teach techniques for working through problems, break them down step by step for kids who are immature or have deficits in this kind of thinking and communication.

And you need to model the kind of negotiation you want your child to learn. "Parents should take time outs, too," notes Dr. Dickstein. " When you get really angry you need to just take yourself out of the situation. You can't problem solve when you're upset—your IQ drops about 30 percent when you are angry."

Being calm and clear about behavioral expectations is important because it helps you communicate more effectively with a child. "So it's not, 'You need to behave today,'" Dr. Lopes says. "It's, 'You need to be seated during mealtime, with your hands to yourself, and saying only positive words.' Those are very observable, concrete things that the child knows what's expected and that the parent can reinforce with praise and rewards."

Both you and your child need to build what Dr. Dickstein calls a toolkit for self-soothing, things you can do to calm down, like slow breathing, to relax, because you can't be calm and angry at the same time. There are lots of techniques, he adds, but "The nice thing about breathing is it's always available to you."

Friday, November 29, 2013

197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About

From InformEd

By Saga Briggs
November 11, 2013

If you don’t have a YouTube channel as an education provider, there’s a good chance you’re behind the times. Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons.

These channels allow instructors to share information and blend media in unprecedented and exciting new ways. From teaching Mandarin Chinese to busting myths about Astronomy, the educational possibilities are virtually endless pun intended!

Because we can now sift through thousands of resources while navigating a single repository, the potential for inspiration and growth in the field of education has reached a new height.

Here are the top channels worth following based on views, subscriptions, and quality of content:


1.) YouTube EDU: Launched in 2009, YouTube EDU centralizes content from over 100 universities and colleges, providing access to lectures, research, and campus tours. Think of it as an enormous global video classroom within the YouTube framework, divided into three sub-categories: Primary & Secondary Education, University and Lifelong Learning. You can even build your own global classroom by uploading videos to your YouTube channel.

2.) Teaching Channel: A video showcase of inspiring and effective teaching practices.

3.) TED-Ed: With over 400,000 subscribers, this channel offers an extensive library of original videos meant to inform and inspire. A new lesson is posted every day, Monday-Friday, and relevant TED Talks are highlighted on weekends.

4.) TED & TEDx: As of 2011, TED Talks were the #1 non-profit channel subscribed to on Youtube. These ideas worth spreading have reached over 60 million viewers worldwide.

5.) Edutopia: Run by the George Lucas Foundation, Edutopia focuses on K-12 education but offers a plethora of evidence-based teaching strategies for all levels and disciplines.

6.) BIEPBL: Videos from the Buck Institute of Education, dedicated to improving 21st Century teaching and learning by creating and disseminating products, practices, and knowledge for effective Project Based Learning.

7.) ASCD: Profiles in education, annual conferences, tutorials, and more.

8.) Learning to Teach Online: This multi-award-winning free professional development channel is designed to help teachers from any discipline, whether experienced in online teaching or not, gain a working understanding of successful online teaching pedagogies that they can apply in their own unique teaching situations.

9.) Khan Academy: This non-profit educational organization, created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, supplies all of its lessons online for free. An original pioneer of the open education movement.

10.) Office of EdTech: Videos and playlists including information about technology and learning.

11.) The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): Helpful and engaging resources for integrating technology into your lessons.

12.) SXSWEdu: Videos from the annual education conference at SXSW (South by Southwest).

13.) The Times Higher Education: A good collection of videos documenting the World University Rankings. Only 526 subscribers so far, but an important channel nonetheless.

14.) Discovery Channel: A great educational resource, dedicated to bringing viewers amazing stories and experiences from the world of science, natural history, anthropology, survival, geography, and engineering.

15) National Geographic: With nearly 3 million subscribers, this channel covers wildlife, natural history, archaeology, and more.

16.) Expert Village: Watch. Learn. Do. Tutorials on pretty much anything you can think of.

17.) Nobel Prize: Watch interviews with Nobel Prize winners past and present, gaining some insight into their creative and technical processes.

18.) Biography: A very useful resource, this channel digs deep to present interesting, little-known facts alongside biographical overviews of famous icons. An added bonus, find events that occurred On This Day in history, including famous birthdays and notable deaths.

19.) Smithsonian: With 19 museums, 9 international research centers, and 168 million artifacts to draw from, this channel provides information on the history of our planet, life, and culture.

20.) Australian Indigenous Education Foundation: The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) is a private sector led, non-profit organization focused on empowering Indigenous children in financial need to build a future through quality education and career pathways at Australia’s leading schools, universities and companies. It aims to provide scholarships to educate 2,000 Indigenous children at some of the leading schools and universities in the nation and equip them to pursue productive and fulfilling careers.

21.) Australian Education Union (AEU): The Australian Education Union represents educators who work in public schools, colleges, early childhood, and vocational settings in all states and territories of Australia. Members include teachers and allied educational staff, principals, and administrators mainly in government school and TAFE systems.

22.) The rockEd Channel: thinkEd, an Australian company, has started publishing educational videos on its wellbeing education program (called rockEd), which is based on the successful system used by the Khan Academy. What Khan has done for general education, rockEd aims to do for wellbeing education: provide education that improves children’s wellbeing available to everyone, anywhere in the world, at no cost.

23.) PBS: Public broadcasting opens up viewers minds to the wide range of wonders the world has to offer, particularly when it comes to current events, the arts, and science.

24.) NPR Radio Pictures: NPR-produced videos and audio slideshows on science, philosophy art, and more.

25.) Department of Education: This channel will keep you up-to-date on national policies affecting the education industry.

26.) @GoogleTalks: Google has lots of famous visitors speaking at its headquarters, and they’re all recorded and neatly presented here.

27.) Aspen Institute: An international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Video topics range from poverty to women’s philanthropy to Common Core.

28.) Big Think: This collection brings you videos featuring some of today’s leading thinkers, including Ellen Galinsky, Lawrence Krauss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Robert Steven Kaplan, and more.

29.) Canal Educatif a la Demande: CED is a philanthropic producer of free high-quality educational videos in the domains of arts, economics, and science.

30.) FORA.tv: Delivers video presentations from the world’s great writers, leaders, activists and thinkers. Topics include psychology, politics, education, and more.

31.) Intelligence Squared: Oxford-style debates features one motion, one moderator, three panelists arguing for a motion, and three arguing against.

32.) Intelligent Channel: An original YouTube partner, the Intelligent Channel is a new destination for intelligent conversations and documentaries, with leaders from the worlds of entertainment and education. TINT videos produced by Intelligent Television in New York City.

33.) The Alcove: A program that features interviews with various influential thinkers, including Jimmy Wales, Tina Brown, Arianna Huffington, and Carl Bernstein. Moderated by Mark Molaro.

34.) Common Craft: Common Craft is a series of short explanatory videos for teachers and trainers curated by Lee and Sachi LeFever. The goal is to fight complexity with simple tools and plain language.

35.) THNKR: Change Your Mind. This channel gives viewers extraordinary access to the people, places, stories, and ideas that are transforming our world. Its four-part series includes BOOKD, EPIPHANY, PODIUM, and PRODIGIES.

36.) Wellcome Collection: The free destination for the incurably curious, this channel explores health and medical topics, science and art, education, old moviemaking techniques, and more.

37.) RSA Animate: 21st Century Enlightenment: Run by the non-profit organization working to meet 21st century challenges by showcasing ideas, undertaking innovative research, and building civic capacity around the world.

Physical Sciences

1.) MinutePhysics: The most popular educational channel on YouTube, second only to Khan Academy.

2.) Robert Krampf: A one-man science academy, this former Pink Palace educator covers radioactivity, the science of credit cards, making butter, and many more interesting and entertaining topics.

3.) Bright Storm: This channel offers hundreds of video lessons in biology, chemistry, physics, math, English, test prep, and more. The videos are nothing more than an instructor lecturing with a whiteboard for a few minutes, but are great if a student needs a refresher on a science topic.

4.) Symphony of Science: These fun videos combine rhythm with science for enhanced learning. Check out Carl Sagan singing We Are All Connected or Morgan Freeman crooning over quantum physics (which, by the way, has over 4 million views).

5.) Bad Astronomy: Bad Astronomy is devoted to debunking myths and misconceptions about astronomy. How much pressure does it take to crush a concrete cylinder? How do meteorites from Mars get to Earth? Find out from The Bad Astronomer.

6.) New Scientist: New Scientist brings you videos and podcasts covering science, technology, space, the environment, and more. An international team of expert journalists brings you the latest innovations and ideas in science and technology, from a canyon discovered under an ice sheet in Greenland to footage of a mouse heart using human cells to beat again.

7.) ReelNASA: This channel brings you videos showing the latest happenings at NASA and the newest developments in space exploration.

8.) Richard Dawkins: The channel features talks by Richard Dawkins, the Oxford evolutionary biologist, as well as others influenced by his thought.

9.) ScienCentral: Making sense of science on an everyday level, this channel produces science and technology content for television, video, and the web. From broadcast news features to educational products, it covers the medical, environmental, and technological issues that affect daily life.

10.) UCSF Memory & Aging Channel: UCSF features videos that will educate patients, caregivers and health professionals about the various forms of neurodegenerative diseases. The diseases covered here include Alzheimer’s, Frontotemporal dementia, and Creutzfelt-Jakob Disease. This year’s research education event covered Memory, Medications, and Money and the latest Healthy Aging techniques.

11.) The Real Bill Nye the Science Guy: Beloved American children’s show host Bill Nye presents a number of quality videos on a wide range of scientific principles.

12.) NASA Television: Take students on a wondrous voyage through space, courtesy of NASA researchers, developers, staff, astronauts and equipment.

13.) Utah Museum of Natural History: This small but comprehensive channel introduces students to dinosaurs, rocks, and other fascinating facets of natural history.

14.) Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture: The University of Washington curates collections of natural history and cultural heritage through this terrific channel, which includes videos on Coast Salish Art, unearthing Giant Turtle fossils, Why We Eat What We Eat, Tropical Bats, Plastic Recycling, and much more.

15.) Animal Planet: Animal Planet is the world’s only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television, and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information, and enrichment.

16.) Science Channel: This channel’s 175,000 followers learn about outer space, new technology, earth science basics, and more.

17.) Steve Spangler Science: Steve Spangler’s science demonstrations are best suited for young audiences or older students needing a quick and easy refresher on the basic principles at play.

18.) Science Magazine: This channel explores multiple disciplines and facets of science but isn’t quite as popular as the Science Channel.

19.) Carl Sagan’s COSMOS: Perfect for physics and astronomy classes, these classic videos of the beloved Carl Sagan engage and educate.

20.) Garland Science: Brought to you by Taylor & Francis, this channel includes some outstanding videos and animations pertaining to cellular and molecular biology.

21.) Nat Geo Wild: This National Geographic channel narrows its focus to animals, their behavior, and their relationships with the surrounding ecosystems.

22.) The Periodic Table of Videos: From the University of Nottingham comes the ultimate channel for all things chemistry, including a video about each element on the periodic table and new videos each week about science news, interesting molecules, and more.

23.) British Geological Survey: An obvious source for geology and earth sciences teachers. The British Geological Survey (BGS) is the nation’s principal supplier of objective, impartial, and up-to-date geological expertise and information. BGS carries out research in areas including energy and natural resources, vulnerability to environmental change and hazards, and Earth System Science, often in collaboration with the national and international scientific academic community.

24.) Wildlife Conservation Society: This channel introduces learners to the importance of conservation and environmentalism. The videos serve as informative guides on what works and what doesn’t in the conservation circle, and what would happen if humanity stopped caring.

25.) California Academy of Sciences: A channel from the massive museum featuring exhibits on natural history, astronomy, and marine sciences.

26.) Centre for Inquiry Canada: A great resource for encouraging scientific inquiry, reason, freedom of thought, and secularism.

27.) National Audubon Society: Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. This channel features videos on migration, markings, habitat protection, and more.

28.) Sixty Symbols: Another University of Nottingham venture, this channel demystifies the common symbols used in astronomy and physics, covering momentum, relativity, quantum mechanics, magnets, currents, and much more.

29.) Climate Conference: The UN’s channel dedicated to discussing global warming and other environmental issues. A great resource for debate material and current research.

Engineering & Technology

1.) Gizmodo: This channel will introduce young engineers, computer specialists, and technicians to the programming behind today’s hottest gadgets.

2.) Wired: The Wired channel concerns itself with the invention of the future, illuminating how technology is changing every aspect of our lives from culture to business, science to design. Learn about electric cars, the composition of Play-Doh, or how to hack a telegram.

3.) MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory: Computer science and engineering students and teachers should check here for some seriously cool news on the latest artificial intelligence developments.

4.) NPTEL: This channel provides technical lectures from all seven Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

5.) This Week in Tech: For an educator who wants to stay up on all the day’s and week’s tech news, this is the place to be. Entertaining, informative, fun. Full broadcasts.

6.) The Computer History Museum: This channel works to curate the Information Age, offering videos of lectures and events at the museum itself as well as historic computer films. Special guests include Google’s Eric Schmidt and Rick Rashid of Microsoft.


1.) Mr. Robb’s Math Videos: This channel originally started out as a means for students to remember their lessons after class has been dismissed, but grew into an exceptionally comprehensive resource on almost all things mathematical.

2.) Mathademics: Mathademics is a community learning tool based out of Northern Illinois. Mathcast video tutorials are created by certified teachers who are dedicated to improving and making learning accessible to all students.

3.) The Video Math Tutor: This is a useful channel that provides several tutoring math videos covering different topics including basic math lessons, calculator tips, and brain teasers.

4.) Numberphile: If you are a math teacher who wants to teach numbers differently, this channel has some videos to help you do it.

5.) PatrickJMT Free Math Videos: With nearly 200,000 subscribers, this channel is considered to be one of the best math channels on YouTube. It has videos on different topics such as calculus, derivatives, differential equations, limits, integrals, and more.

6.) Mathematics Online: For geometry formula derivations and more.

7.) Statistics Learning Center: With clear, short, entertaining videos, learn the basics of statistics from an expert teacher.

Politics, History and Current Events

1.) Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting provides in-depth coverage of international affairs, focusing on topics that have been under-reported, misreported, or not reported at all. BONUS: Lesson Plans for Educators.

2.) BarackObama.com: This channel provides some insights into the political figure’s views and actions that are appropriate for academic discussion. A good resource if you’re teaching or studying American politics.

3.) Council on Foreign Relations: A resource designed to provide insight into the complex international issues challenging policymakers and citizens alike.

4.) The Commonwealth Club: Videos coming out of the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, presenting topics ranging across politics, culture, and society.

5.) The Davos Question: Every year, global leaders attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to discuss how to better the world. Here you get to see what they have to say.

6.) The Library of Congress: Timeless treasures and contemporary presentations from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Features recordings dating from the earliest Edison films to the present. A great resource if you are studying American history.

7.The New York Times: All the news that’s fit to watch.

8.) The New Yorker: The official video channel of The New Yorker magazine, offering its signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, foreign affairs, business, technology, popular culture and the arts, along with humor, fiction, poetry, and cartoons. Your go-to resource for insight into American culture.

9.) The Real News: The Real News Network is a global online video news network that listens to and is dependent solely on its audience. No ads. No government subsidies. No corporate sponsorship.

10.) The World Bank: Videos coming out of the institution whose goal is to rid the world of poverty.

11.) WNYC Radio: Videos provided by WNYC, New York Public Radio.

12.) Yad Vashem: Remembering the Past, Reshaping the Future. Containing the world’s largest repository of information on the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is a leader in Holocaust education, commemoration, research, and documentation.

13.) 92nd Street Y: Pretty much anyone and everyone on the cultural radar passes through the 92nd Y in NYC.

14.) Feministing: Suitable for high school and college-aged students, this proud feminist channel educates visitors on the latest women’s rights issues.

15.) History Channel: Like the science channel, but historical.

16.) Associated Press: Stay on top of the current events impacting today’s world. The Associated Press covers both domestic and international stories.

17.) The White House: Follow this YouTube channel for the latest developments in American politics.

18.) Witness: Walk through the realities of human rights violations and injustices continuously plaguing the world, and learn about what needs doing in order to reverse them.

19.) National Institute of Mental Health: NIMH is dedicated to bringing viewers honest insights into how mental illnesses really work and the recommended treatment options.

20.) CitizenTube: Hosted by YouTube itself, this channel features current events and frequent political updates from around the world.

21.) World Economic Forum: This Geneva-based organization concerns itself with finding viable solutions to the planet’s fiscal problems.

22.) United Nations: Perfect for model UN clubs and history and political science classes, this channel features over a thousand videos about the constantly changing human shape of the globe.

23.) Inside the NYPD: For criminal justice classes or any others pertaining to law, this look into NYPD will make an excellent educational supplement.

24.) Media Education Foundation: Sharpen critical thinking skills both in and outside of class with these short documentaries encouraging open discourse on sociological, political and historical topics.

25.) WHO: The World Health Organization keeps viewers updated on global initiatives combating everything from diarrhea and colds to possible epidemics.

26.) Mind Your Mind: Mind Your Mind targets young adults with the hopes of educating them on the realities of mental illnesses, how to help loved ones, the necessity of treatment, and the damaging stigmas surrounding psychological disorders.

27.) AIDS.gov: Open students up to the reality of the global AIDS crisis using this informative resource, which discusses efforts made to combat the virus.

28.) Routledge Textbooks: This publishing company specializes in social sciences and humanities, and their videos work in line with and independently from their texts.

29.) USC Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism: University of Southern California faculty, staff, and students present talks on social media, journalism, global initiatives, and current events.

30.) It Gets Better: Sociology classes studying the LGBTQIA movement and the heightened rate of suicide amongst teenagers alienated by their sexuality needs to check out this channel.

31.) Sociology of Gender: This Penn State University channel presents PSAs relating to gender and sexuality, most especially overall perceptions and portrayals.

32.) American Cancer Society: With cancer a serious issue plaguing the world over, students should know about more than just the medical repercussions.

33.) The MacArthur Foundation: This organization bestows money to individuals whose goals and talents go towards making the world a little bit better.

34.) UNICEF: Learn about efforts by the United Nations to feed, clothe, and educate impoverished children worldwide.

35.) C-SPAN: Follow this channel for the latest news and views straight from Capitol Hill.

The Arts

1.) Smithsonian American Art Museum: Lectures and collections are available for browsing.

2.) British Film Institute National Archive: Here you will find hundreds of free films as well as expert commentary and interviews. Home to the world’s largest and most diverse film and TV archive.

3.) Artists Space: Founded in 1972, Artists Space has successfully contributed to the changing institutional and economic landscape of contemporary art in New York City for more than three decades. The Artists Space channel promotes lively discussion and experimentation among contemporary artists working in the visual arts, video and electronic media, performance, architecture and design. A great teaching resource for college art professors, and a great networking resource for young professionals.

4.) Cinetic: Cinetic, an affiliate of Film Buff, brings audiences the latest, greatest and classic festival favorites from around the globe. From award-winners by veteran filmmakers to up-and-coming talent telling new stories, Cinetic prides itself on being at the forefront of quality indie film in the digital space.

5.) NFB: The National Film Board of Canada hosts short documentaries, animations, alternative dramas, and other films. Its collection of over 13,000 award-winning films can be accessed at NFB.ca.

6.) Philip Scott Johnson: A fascinating collection of videos that put art in motion, exploring Baroque Art, Women and Men in Film, Faces of Fashion, Spiral Abstracts, and more.

7.) SpokenVerse: Considered by Roger Ebert to be one of the richest resources on YouTube, SpokenVerse offers over 400 readings of great poems in English, from William Shakespeare to Charles Bukowski.

8.) Sundance: Provides video clips from original series and films airing on the Sundance Channel.

9.) The Screening Room: Provided by YouTube itself, this collection presents high quality, independent films to web users and promises to roll out four new films every two weeks.

10.) American Film Institute: Some of the greatest cinematic works of art ever shot for the appreciation and inspiration of future generations.

11.) MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art: Use this channel to introduce students to the hottest and most influential modern and contemporary artists the world has to offer.

12.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Learn all about preservation, art history, techniques and more thanks to one of the world’s most prestigious museums. Take a tour without taking a tour.

13.) Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: Another Smithsonian offering, this time emphasizing the history of design, its role in society and any current trends.

14.) Anaheim Ballet: One of the most popular YouTube channels delivers some of the most stunning and dramatic dance pieces available online.

15.) Smithsonian Folkways: Expose students to world music they may not otherwise know about, courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways devoted recordings and videos.

16.) Beliefnet Community: The men and women of Beliefnet.com discuss spiritual matters from a comparative perspective, meaning atheists and agnostics are just as welcome to participate as individuals of faith. Videos also touch upon mental health and political topics as well.

17.) BookTV: CSPAN peers into the latest nonfiction releases and supplements reviews and summaries with relevant interviews, discussions, and other materials.

18.) Vancouver Poetry Slam: Watch some of Vancouver’s best slam poets as they share their writing and performing talents with the world at large.

19.) Stratford Shakespeare Festival: The event itself may only come once a year, but the channel offers 24/7 lessons on Shakespearean plays and performances.

20.) Michelle Phan: A good resource for teachers and students in the Beauty trade.

21.) Craft: Projects, techniques, and creations to spark ideas for lesson plans and assignments. Nearly 36,000 subscribers.

22.) Dance Channel TV: A terrific resource for those interested in the performing arts.

23.) Royal Opera House: Full operas may not be available on this channel, but the interviews do provide some excellent supplementary materials.

24.) Longtimers: The Life in the Arts Series, specifically tailored to meet the California State Art Curriculum Framework statutes, covers almost every facet of human creativity and expression.

25.) Words of the World: A channel dedicated to exposing the nature of spoken and written words.

26.) The CIA: A very useful channel for those interested in the culinary arts.

27.) National Writing Project: Here you will find some of the best strategies to help students hone their writing skills.

28.) HP Graphic Arts: Hewlett-Packard’s take on digital trends and experimentation in the arts.

29.) USC Cinematic Arts: Share the latest in film, television, and multimedia with your production students.

30.) The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities: Even those living outside of DC can still benefit from this organization’s efforts to promote the arts and humanities in a math and science-oriented world.

31.) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: A great tool for drama teachers interested in illustrating the art of stagecraft.

32.) Walker Art Center: Explore arts of all kinds via walkthroughs and interviews with some of the world’s most creative minds.

Learning a Foreign Language

1.) JenniferESL: With over 153,000 subscribers, JenniferESL is one of the most popular ESL channel on YouTube. Jennifer’s best videos are her lessons on idioms (kitchen idioms, driving idioms, color idioms) and slang/phrases based on everyday environments and tasks. Most of the content in her curriculum is based on expressions and conversations from authentic experiences. Great for beginners.

2.) MisterDuncan: Considered one of the original English teachers on YouTube, MisterDuncan covers lessons on fluency and speaking English naturally rather than prescriptive grammar. A Bill Nye the English Guy, if you will.

3.) Voice of America Learning English: Join over 98,000 other subscribers and learn English with captioned news reports read at a slower speed.

4.) BBC Learning English: Another popular site, with over 64,000 followers.

5.) TheSpanishBlog: It is safe to assume that is probably hard to find a personal native Spanish speaking tutor to provide daily Spanish lessons, but this is exactly what the Spanish Blog is. Laura Garrido Eslava uploads lessons on both YouTube and her personal blog that can help you master both vocabulary and pronunciation. Don’t forget to download some lessons to your mp3 if you’re a person on the go!

6.) LearningLikeCrazy: Whether you want to lament the difficulties of learning Spanish verbs along with a few of their user testimonials or review basic some basic phrases, Learning (Spanish) Like Crazy’s Channel can be both educational and entertaining for any beginner. Learning Like Crazy also provides lessons for other languages as well, such as Italian.

7.) LanguageNow: If you are looking for a more formal lesson, be sure to check out Professor Jason’s Channel. Professor Jason specializes in teaching both Spanish and Portuguese and provides comprehensive step-by-step video lessons on both his channel and his website. His video are on the lengthy end, but his organization of information is definitely worth the watch.

8.) SpanishDict: SpanishDict’s videos are definitely a joy to watch, mainly because they are very organized and of very high quality. Use these if you are looking for a more interactive experience, they are sure to get you excited about the language. The only downside might be that the speaker’s lack native pronunciation, but don’t let this stop you from learning!

9.) Esaudio: For the grammar freak in you, try trabeojoj’s channel videos on Spanish grammar. This is aimed for more advanced speakers of Spanish, but it will definitely help you fine tune your speech by reviewing the ins and outs of the language. Their large selection of videos range from every thinkable topic of Spanish grammar.

10.) French From Beginners to Advanced: One of the best channels available, with nearly 100,000 subscribers.

11.) Learn French: Frenchpod101.com - Here you will find short videos of vocabulary words and random phrases followed by a short quiz on the lesson. The channel is in a radio talk show format structured around everyday dialogues and presented by a native French speaker and a native English speaker.

12.) The Radio Lingua Network: On this channel, CoffeeBreak French!, the user learns with Anna, the student, who is instructed by Mark, the teacher. This duo is so enthusiastic and helpful as they situate each lesson in different parts of Paris, that you can’t help but feel that you are undertaking a foreign journey with them.

13.) SloppyCheng: With over 70,000 views, Yang Yang Chen presents clear lessons in Mandarin Chinese, answering daily questions from her followers on grammar and pronunciation.

14.) Peggy Teaches Chinese: Peggy Lee offers free Mandarin lessons as well as videos about Taiwanese culture and food. You will find some humorous videos compiled by her past students.

15.) ActiveChinese: Cartoon animations accompanied by practical conversation tips.

16.) Chinese Class 101: Learn to speak, read, hear, and write Chinese with over 14,000 fellow subscribers.

University Channels

1.) University of California Berkeley: Arguably the most substantive YouTube collection available, featuring a large selection of free courses as well as lectures given by important figures.

2.) Cambridge University: Check out the Cambridge Ideas series, a collection of short films in which top researchers reveal some of their latest findings and discuss subjects ranging from energy to disappearing languages, and policing the streets to the future of robotics.

3.) Harvard University: Despite showing up late to the Web 2.0 party, Harvard has its own collection of worthwhile videos, including Michael Sandel’s famous course on Justice.

4.) Harvard Bok Center: A small but bright collection focused on pedagogy.

5.) Harvard Magazine: This channel features clips from Harvard Magazine, a bimonthly magazine that balances intellectual substance with human interest stories.

6.) Indian Institute of Technology/Indian Institute of Science: Presented by the leading technology institutes in India, this collection features more than 50 free courses, mostly in engineering.

7.) MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): This channel serves as a central repository for many of the videos produced as part of MIT’s leading OpenCourseWare initiative.

8.) Stanford University: Newly launched, the collection features a few hundred videos from schools, departments, and programs across the university. Highlights include courses, faculty lectures, campus events, and the latest research news from Stanford.

9.) Yale University Courses: This site features nearly 40 free courses artfully recorded by Yale University. You won’t want to miss the gems on this channel.

10.) Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School: The videos hosted here examine how the digital world and the law intersect.

11.) Carnegie Mellon: Here you will find, among other things, Randy Pausch’s highly popular last lecture on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. This channel has over 22 million views.

12.) Columbia University: Managed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, this channel gives faculty, students, and the public access to Columbia-produced videos of lectures, events, and promotional content on the popular YouTube platform.

13.) Duke University: The Duke University YouTube page is a place where students, parents, alumni and others can learn about and enjoy some of the great things happening at the university. Enjoy weekly updates and recordings of summer workshops and commencement gatherings.

14.) Emory University: This University consists of an outstanding liberal arts college, highly ranked professional schools, and one of the larger and more comprehensive healthcare systems in the Southeast. Its channel covers multiple topics, from sustainable student lifestyles to jazz and orchestra performances.

15.) EGS (The European Graduate School): This European collection features Videos and video clips of lectures, sessions, and interviews at European Graduate School (EGS), Media and Communication Studies Department, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe with important contemporary theorists, philosophers, and filmmakers.

16.) Princeton University: Videos from the Council on Science and Technology, Reunions and Commencement highlights, Films from Japan, Rafting Down the Mississippi, and more.

17.) Oxford University: Watch lectures, see reports of current events, and discover more about the students and staff of this incredible university.

18.) Sonoma State: Plenty of lectures, Commencement speeches, and more.

19.) Tulane University: Here you will be able to access some of the speeches by esteemed guest speakers.

20.) University of Arizona: News from campus and lectures by distinguished guests.

21.) University of California TV: University of California Television (UCTV) shares educational and enrichment programming from the campuses, national laboratories, and affiliated institutions of the University of California. Subscribe to your favorites playlists to receive the latest research and information on topics that range from opera to oceanography, autism to artist profiles, global warming to global health. Arts, music, science, public affairs, health, business – if you’re talking about it, you’ll find it on UCTV.

22.) University of Chicago Press: Interviews with authors, editors, photographers, and more.

23.) University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: This collection is substantive on the whole. You will need to sift through the videos to find ones of interest.

24.) USC (University of Southern California): Find interesting student spotlights here. A good resource for the arts.

25.) The University of Houston: As with many institutes of higher learning, UH has allowed cameras in the classroom to capture some of its most educational lectures and discussions.

26.) ANU Channel: Canberra-based Australian National University provides an excellent selection of videos on academic subjects and campus life.

27.) USNW: The Sydney-based University of New South Wales presents videos on politics, science, technology, design, engineering and much more that all work as classroom supplements.

28.) University of Melbourne: A great selection of public lectures and close examinations of academic subjects.

29.) Monash University: Near the top of the list for Australian Uni channel subscribers.

30.) The Open University: This distance-learning institution turns the cameras on its faculty and staff for lessons and commentary.

31.) CSU Dominguez Hills: Like other institutes of higher learning affiliated with YouTube, CSUDH also posts up free lectures for anyone curious about the subject matter they teach.

32.) Singularity University: A Silicon Valley creation, with lectures, conferences, and student speeches.

33.) University of Leicester: A terrific resource for those interested in distance education.

34.) Open Colleges: And last, of course, check out our channel. We’re investing lots of resources into this in the next year, so don’t forget to subscribe! :)

Saga Briggs has taught and tutored writing at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and has researched and written extensively about cognitive models of writing pedagogy. She earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from Oberlin College and lives in Portland, Oregon. You can reach her on Google+, @sagamilena or saga.briggs @ oc.edu.au.


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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

    Have a wonderful holiday!

Canine Named ‘Dog Of The Year’ For Helping Boy With Autism

From DisabilityScoop

By Michelle Diament
November 26, 2013

A puppy that was once abandoned and left for dead has now been named “Dog of the Year” for changing the life of a boy with autism.

The pit bull who came to be known as Xena, the Warrior Puppy, was discovered in Georgia last year severely malnourished. A rescue group brought the pooch back to health before she was adopted by Jonny Hickey, 8, and his family.

Xena, who was recently named “Dog of the Year,”
has a unique bond with Jonny Hickey, 8,
who has autism. (Facebook)

Xena had an instant connection with Hickey, who has autism. Once closed-off, the dog helped the boy come out of his shell.

“We have laughter in our home where it used to be silent before,” Hickey’s mother Linda Hickey told NBC News.

The story of Hickey and Xena — which they chronicle on Facebook — has been shared in 95 countries as the duo work to raise awareness of autism and encourage kindness to animals.

Now, Xena has been named “Dog of the Year” by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Hickey and his family traveled to New York last week with Xena in tow to accept the award.

“I just knew that out of all of the money that I spent on therapy, that (Xena) standing right there in my family room was the best therapy money could buy,” Linda Hickey said.

The Joy of Making Things


By Annie Murphy Paul

November 25, 2013

In New Haven, CT, where I live with my husband and two sons, we are lucky to have nearby the Eli Whitney Museum. This place is the opposite of a please don't touch repository of fine art. It's an "experimental learning workshop" where kids engage in an essential but increasingly rare activity: they make stuff.

Right now, looking around my living room, I can see lots of the stuff made there by my older son: a model ship that can move around in water with the aid of a battery-powered motor he put together; a "camera obscura" that can project a real-world scene onto a wall in a darkened room; a wooden pinball game he designed himself. (You can view an archive of Eli Whitney Museum projects here.)

The people who run Eli Whitney call these hands-on projects "experiments." As they put it: "Experiments are a way of learning things. They require self-guided trial and error, active exploration, and testing by all the senses. Experiments begin with important questions, questions that make you think or that inspire you to create."

This process of exploring, testing and finding out is vital to children's intellectual and psychological development—but opportunities to engage in it are fewer than they once were.

"“Today kids are sealed in a silicon bubble. They don’t know how anything works.”

“My friends and I grew up playing around in the garage, fixing our cars,” says Frank Keil, a Yale University psychologist who is in his early 60's. “Today kids are sealed in a silicon bubble. They don’t know how anything works.”

Many others have noticed this phenomenon. Engineering professors report that students now enter college without the kind of hands-on expertise they once unfailingly possessed. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “we scour the country looking for young builders and inventors,” says Kim Vandiver, dean for undergraduate research. “They’re getting harder and harder to find.”

MIT now offers classes and extracurricular activities devoted to taking things apart and putting them together, an effort to teach students the skills their fathers and grandfathers learned curbside on weekend afternoons.

Why should this matter? Some would argue that the digital age has rendered such technical know-how obsolete. Our omnipresent devices work the way we want them to (well, most of the time), with no skill required beyond pushing a button. What’s to be gained by knowing how they work?

Actually, a lot. Research in the science of learning shows that hands-on building projects help young people conceptualize ideas and understand issues in greater depth. In an experiment described in the International Journal of Engineering Education in 2009, for example, one group of eighth-graders was taught about water resources in the traditional way: classroom lectures, handouts and worksheets. Meanwhile, a group of their classmates explored the same subject by designing and constructing a water purification device.

The students in the second group learned the material better: they knew more about the importance of clean drinking water and how it is produced, and they engaged in deeper and more complex thinking in response to open-ended questions on water resources and water quality.

If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early. But the way to do so may not be the kind of highly structured and directed instruction that we usually associate with these subjects.

Instead, some educators have begun taking seriously an activity often dismissed as a waste of time: tinkering. Tinkering is the polar opposite of the test-driven, results-oriented approach of No Child Left Behind: it's a loose process of trying things out, seeing what happens, reflecting, evaluating, and trying again.

“Tinkering is the way that real science happens, in all its messy glory," says Sylvia Martinez, co-author of the new book Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. Martinez is one of the leaders of the "makers' movement," a nationwide effort to help kids discover the value of getting their hands dirty and their minds engaged.

The next generation of scientists—and artists, and inventors, and entrepreneurs—may depend on it.


Annie Murphy Paul is an author, journalist, consultant and speaker who helps people understand how we learn and how we can do it better.

A contributing writer for Time Magazine, she writes a weekly column about learning for Time.com, and also blogs about learning at CNN.com, Forbes.com, MindShift.com, PsychologyToday.com and HuffingtonPost.com.

She contributes to The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She is the author of The Cult of Personality, a cultural history and scientific critique of personality tests, and of Origins, a book about the science of prenatal influences. She is now at work on Brilliant: The New Science of Smart, to be published by Crown in 2013.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

By Rachel Ehmke
November 13, 2012

How to help your kids be at their best and have fun, too.

We know from the songs and movies that holidays are supposed to be an exciting, meaningful time for families to reunite and celebrate the things we cherish. We set aside time to practice both religious rituals and family traditions, we give thanks, and, of course, later on, we give presents.

But sometimes holiday gatherings are less magical and more, well, stressful. This is true for all of us, but it can be especially true for children who have psychiatric disorders.

The vacation from school and work means a break from routine, something kids and parents alike depend on. Many families travel, facing traffic and long airplane rides, to attend one or more family get-togethers with rarely seen relatives who expect kisses and catching up. And most of these occasions will involve unfamiliar vegetable dishes.

How can anxious or easily frustrated children hope to survive all that? We've compiled a list of seasonal tips to help all kids—and parents—enjoy the party.

Minimize Conflict Over Behavior

Your kids know the rules at your house, but in the excitement and novelty of a relative's home, good behavior can be a casualty. Always have a conversation before leaving your house about how you expect your children to behave, and don't shy away from specifics. "Knowing what the rules are at someone else's house is always helpful for kids," says Steven Dickstein, M.D. "They know that you behave differently in church or synagogue than you do on the basketball court; they need to know what the rules are at grandma's house."

If you have any questions about the house rules, don't be afraid to ask. Grandparents might expect decorous behavior; younger aunts might be so casual that it seems anything goes. You know your children, so set the behavior limits that you know they need. And if there's an expensive china display in the hall, make sure to warn them ahead of time.

Talk to Your Hosts Early

Besides preparing your children, sometimes it's necessary to prepare your relatives so they know what to expect. "A child who has behavior difficulties at school is going to have them at grandma's house," warns Dr. Dickstein, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute, "so make sure their expectations are realistic. As a parent you never want to put your children in a situation where they're set up to fail."

Dr. Dickstein also recommends putting a moratorium on criticizing. Holidays will be better for everyone if there's a pact to avoid hot-button issues. "Warn family members about sensitive topics in the same way you'd warn people in advance that your child has a nut allergy," advises Dr. Dickstein.

If you have a body-conscious teen, no one should chide her for taking seconds on mashed potatoes. If your brother doesn't believe ADHD is real, now isn't the time to discuss it.


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Plan Ahead for Some Peace and Quiet

For kids who are easily overstimulated or sensitive to things like noise and crowds, Rachel Busman, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, recommends arranging for another room they can use when they need a break.

"During family gatherings we want to achieve a balance between being social with relatives while also knowing that, if things get too overwhelming and intense, there's a place to take a break and just be quiet." There should be an unused room at any party, so ask your host ahead of time.

Keep Kids Occupied

Kids like structured activities, and they'll probably be missing them while school is out. Fortunately the holidays lend themselves to art projects and family-friendly movies that kids enjoy. You can even start new family traditions like cutting out and decorating sugar cookies or throwing a ball around outside.

If you are traveling with a child who will need to sit in a car for any length of time, Dr. Busman advises packing a bag with multiple activities, particularly if the child has a lot of energy. "Don't just think 4 or 5 activities will be enough because you could be through those things before you even get on the highway," she says.

When traveling, Dr. Busman also recommends planning for breaks, even if it's not that far of a trip. "For kids who get restless or have difficulty managing their impulsive behavior, they might really benefit from getting out of the car and running around for a few minutes."

Discuss Social Expectations

Parents should have different social expectations for different kids, and if necessary communicate them to your extended family. "You want to avoid those mandatory hugs and kisses or cheek-pinching for kids that don't do that or like it," says Dr. Dickstein.

Kids with selective mutism should not be pressured to talk during family gatherings (and relatives shouldn't expect them to talk either). If you have an autistic child who has been working on his social skills, maybe you can agree that he will sit at the table next to you and talk to familiar people—others should be expected to understand.

Getting along with cousins and other kids they don't see often can be a challenge. Just because kids are approximately the same age doesn't mean they'll be natural friends, but they should still try to get along—with adult support if needed. If your daughter gets easily frustrated when she doesn't get her way, encourage her to share and be polite with her cousins—and let her know she should find you if conflict arises that they can't settle amicably.

Dr. Dickstein says family gatherings can be a teachable moment. "Let kids know that family is important and sometimes you have to deal with people you don't really like, but you should work it out, if you can. As parents you are probably doing that with your relatives too, so you can model good social behavior."


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Think About the Menu

Family gatherings centered on a meal can put a lot of pressure on kids who are picky eaters or who have sensory issues that limit their diet. If you are going to someone else's house for dinner and you know the menu will be a problem, Dr. Busman suggests packing something your child will eat and bringing it with you.

Have a conversation with your child ahead of time to reassure them, explaining, "I know we're going over to your aunt's house and there's going to be some different foods there, but we'll make sure that we bring some things that you like. It would be great if you could try something else, too." Exploring new foods is good for kids, but it shouldn't be the most important thing.

Manage Your Expectations

"You can't make everyone happy, and perfect holidays are nonexistent. Think of all those Hollywood comedies about disastrous family gatherings. There's a reason why they're funny."

Both Dr. Busman and Dr. Dickstein agree that managing your own expectations of what the holidays "should" be like is the most essential step to any holiday gathering. "As parents we should check in with ourselves over what our own expectations are and not extend them to our kids," says Dr. Busman.

"It would be great if the kids could sit at the table and eat a nice holiday meal with us, but they're probably not going to want to sit still for a long time. They get bored. It's important to appreciate that kids might find the fun in other things, like watching a movie with their cousins or running around outside. And that's ok."

For parents hoping for a more Hallmark moment, Dr. Dickstein advises identifying one or two things you would like your kids to get out of the holidays—an idea, a value, a memory of doing something special together as a family—and work on that.

"But above all, give yourself a break," he says. "You can't make everyone happy, and perfect holidays are nonexistent. Think of all those Hollywood comedies about disastrous family gatherings. There's a reason why they're funny."