An 8th grade teacher in North Carolina installed bike pedal machines under the desks of her students to keep them from fidgeting. The students love that it keeps them fit and focused, and the teacher reported a huge increase in completed work and fewer missed assignments.
In honor of Walt Disney’s birthday, we thought we’d commemorate with some tips for making your very own animation at home! As it turns out, we’re a little bit enthusiastic about animation here at TED-Ed.
For an object to appear in motion, it necessarily has to change in position over time. If time passes and no change in position occurs, the object will appear to be still. This relationship between the passage of time and the amount of change that occurs in that time is at the heart of every time-based art form, be it music, dance, or motion pictures. Manipulating the speed and amount of change between the frames is the secret alchemy that gives animation the ability to convey the illusion of life.
In animation, there are two fundamental principles we use to do this: timing and spacing. To illustrate the relationship between them, we’ll use a timeless example: the bouncing ball. One way to think about timing is that it’s the speed, or tempo, at which an action takes place. We determine the speed of an action by how many pictures, or frames, it takes to happen. The more frames something takes to happen, the more time it spends on screen, so the slower the action will be. The fewer frames something takes to happen, the less screen time it takes, which gives us faster action.
So, here’s a bouncing ball, bouncing up and down with a simple cycle of drawings. Let’s say it takes about a second to hit the ground and come back up again. This is our timing. Our spacing is where we position the circle in the frames between point A and point B. If we were to move our ball in evenly-spaced increments, we’d get something like the ball on the right. It’s not really telling us anything about itself. Is it a bouncing ball or a circle on an elevator?When a ball bounces in real life, following each impact with the ground, the ball’s upward momentum is eventually overcome by gravity. This happens at the peak of each arc. As things change direction, the motion is slowest. We see here the successive positions of the ball are close together. The ball on the left, then, speeds up as it falls, and is at its fastest when it’s approaching and hitting the ground. We can see here each position is further apart. The change in position between frames is the spacing. The smaller the change, the slower the action will appear. The greater the change, the faster it will appear. For an action to decelerate, each change in position must be less than the change before it. Likewise, for an action to speed up, or accelerate, each successive change must be greater. Simply by adjusting the spacing, we’ve succeeded in suggesting the forces of momentum and gravity at play and achieved a much more realistic motion. Same timing but different spacing gives us vastly different results.
Animation is a time-based art form. It may incorporate the aesthetic elements of other graphic arts, like illustration or painting, but what sets animation apart is that, here, what you see is less important that what you don’t see. An object’s superficial appearance only tells us so much about itself. It’s only when it’s in motion that we really understand its nature.
Public (School) Enemy No. 1: Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary
Donald Trump has tapped conservative billionaire Betsy DeVos to serve as Education Secretary. DeVos is the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party and a longtime backer of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. In response, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said, “In nominating DeVos Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America.” Since 1970, the DeVos family has invested at least $200 million in various right-wing causes. DeVos’s father-in-law is the co-founder of Amway and her brother is Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater. For more, we speak to former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, Center for Media and Democracy executive director Lisa Graves, and elected member of the Detroit Board of Education Tawanna Simpson.
Everyone can use advice from a trusted friend, relative or colleague from time to time. Whether you’re taking up a new hobby or honing your skills at work, it makes sense to learn from people who have a lot of experience. That’s why we recently sat down with a group of veteran teachers to hear some of the best classroom tips, tricks and techniques they’ve learned over the years. These wise owls have more than 100 years of combined experience to share. You’re welcome!
Hi, I'm studying to be a teacher and have done a couple of internships that have gone great. Except for the fact that I can't write a lesson plan to save my life. Do you maybe have a couple of tips to write one?
Okay, here’s how I do my math lessons (if you’re looking for help with ELA you’ll probably want to talk to someone else, tbh): If you’re creating everything from scratch, start before the beginning and then jump to the middle. Look at the standard and identify what you want the kids to be able to DO by the time you’re done. Then, skip the introduction and structure the activities, the actual “doing” part of the lesson. Most of the lesson time should be devoted to this. Plan what you want these kids to actually physically do throughout the lesson in order to meet the goal you pulled out of the standard.
Then, once you’ve got the exploration part planned, back up to the engagement and plan a short (like less than 5 mins) activity to introduce the objective. Make sure the thing you plan to do during the engagement time actually prepares them for the exploration (e.g., if you want the kids to be able to do 2 things, introduce both of them in this portion of the lesson so they’re not flying blind). Guide them but also give them something to think about. Introduce them to their question for the day and start them thinking about it.
Then, plan your explanation piece, where you get the class back together to summarize what they figured out while they were in the “doing” stage (explore). Plan your discussion questions. Try to foresee what kids will do wrong, but also how you can respond to things they do right to extend their understanding. I almost exclusively plan this portion as a partner activity.
Lastly, plan your assessment, and make sure it matches up with the portion of the standard you identified and it looks like what the students have already done. I hate when teachers put make 90% of the assessment look nothing like what the kids have done, because it’s unfair. Sometimes I’ll throw one question in there to check for their transfer knowledge for what we’ll be covering next, if it’s related to what my lesson was about, but that should only be a TINY portion of the assessment, not the whole thing.
[Mathematics] really seems to be indispensable … since it plainly compels the soul to employ pure thought with a view to truth itself. … [T]he slow[-minded], if they are trained and drilled in this, even if no other benefit results, all improve and become quicker than they were [in their other studies].…
[S]o much of geometry as applies to the conduct of war is obviously suitable. For in dealing with encampments and the occupation of strong places and the bringing of troops into column and line and all the other formations of an army in actual battle and on the march, an officer who had studied geometry would be a very different person from what he would be if he had not.…
But still, [[contrary response]] — for such purposes a slight modicum of … calculation would suffice. What we have to consider is whether the greater and more advanced part of [mathematics] tends to facilitate the apprehension of the idea of good.
word is they’ve paused the session because six of their own MLA’s were planning to vote against the bill
While Education Minister Karen Casey was supposed to be briefing reporters about the bill, Government House leader Michel Samson announced the Grits would recess the House. That happened at about 11:15 a.m.
Samson said talks had resumed between the teachers’ union and the province regarding safety concerns around the work-to-rule job action the teachers planned to start today. He said his party would wait for the results of those talks before deciding what to do next.
But a union spokesperson said no such talks are happening. There was one phone call and nothing more. In fact, the majority of the union’s bargaining team is at Province House.
On Saturday, Casey announced schools would be closed to students, citing safety concerns, until the legislation is passed. Teachers announced last week they would begin the job action today following the latest breakdown in contract talks.
Samson deflected questions about public outcry over the school shutdown, and criticism that Liberal MLAs were facing. Party staffers shepherded MLAs away from reporters trying to ask their thoughts on the bill.
Liberal MLA Bill Horne would only offer: “I don’t like the way it’s going.
Why “the liberal arts” has nothing to do with being left-wing
And why hating them is pointless and wrong
WARNING! This is an essay. I’ve tried to keep it pretty simple for a newcomer to understand, but it’s an essay and a slightly long one at that. However, I do think it’s important stuff!
BUT, I know that the Internet has a short attention span so there’s a TL;DR at the end!
To the majority of the English speaking world, the term “liberal” has come to be associated with the left wing, with welfare, with social policies favouring the working classes over the upper classes and aristocracy, and at the extreme end with communism and other non-capitalist economic systems. The notable exception is Australia where, due to the presence of the conservative Australian Liberal Party (ALP), the term “liberal” means “conservative or right-wing”, but even here we understand what’s being said when non-Australians talk about “liberals”.
But one thing recently has been really irritating me, and it’s Americans talking derisively about so-called liberal arts degrees. As a medical scientist I study those things that are firmly within the realms of the natural sciences, but I’m also a student of ancient history, anthropology, mythology, and many other areas often considered parts of the liberal arts. Right-wing Americans often refer to “liberal arts” degrees as being the “product of feminism and communism” (whilst wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of lot of both of those), and think that because they’re liberal arts this must mean they’re left-wing arts.
The thing is… the term has nothing whatsoever to do with this. In fact, it’s actual root is something that almost all Americans, and indeed Westerners, would support wholeheartedly - freedom. Specifically, the term Liberal Arts originated during the Renaissance (from rinascimento, literally “rebirth”), a period of reformations in the studies of the sciences, arts, humanities and other areas of intellectual and philosophical pursuits. The Renaissance primarily originated in the city-states of Italy, France, and other continental European powers. Whilst it spread to the UK and other areas later, this was it’s true birthplace and this really showed in the terminology of the day. Pre-Renaissance ways of thinking were described as “Old World beliefs”, and the Renaissance men (though women were often involved, 1500s men most certainly would never include us) preferred to describe themselves as “New World thinkers”. The language of the day was primarily Italian but since most of the Renaissance thinkers were educated academics communicating with other academics in potentially new countries, they instead chose to speak almost entirely in Latin and Ancient Greek to “aid comprehension” (and help keep the plebeians from understanding too).
Two such Latin terms for new branches of knowledge were two of the most general branches of which Renaissance thinkers could conceive. These were Artes Mechanicae, and Artes Liberales - literally “the mechanical arts” and “the liberal arts”. I’ll explain both, though I’ll only explain the Mechanicae briefly.
The Mechanical Arts
The Mechanical Arts dealt with those features of the world that were considered “mechanistic” or… well, for want of a better word, menial. They were basically all of the things that the aristocratic Renaissance thinkers described as being necessary for the world to actually function, but were “unbecoming” for a gentlemen. Basically, the things people actually needed, but didn’t necessarily want to do themselves. They were classified into seven rather arbitrary categories:
Agricultura - Agriculture, farming
Architectura - Architecture, building
Coquinaria - Cooking
Mercatura - Trade
Metallaria - Metallurgy
Militia et venatoria - Warfare and hunting
Vestiaria - Tailoring
Anything that wasn’t something an aristocrat wanted to do? Mechanical art.
The Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts dealt with those features of the world that were necessary for free men to understand. That’s the reason they’re called the artes liberales, literally the Free Arts - because they were the subjects (artes) that free-thinking and politically free aristocrats (classism is inherently built into the Renaissance) were expected to understand in order that they might rule the lands effectively. The terms are a little more complex than the seven above, but I’ll explain.
Prior to the Renaissance, the Medieval concept of the artes liberales was divided into the trivium, and the quadrivium. Later, subjects derived from the trivium became the early bachelor of arts, and the more ancient quadrivium became the early master of arts.
Trivium (”the three paths”):
Grammar - “Why is the world the way it is?”; understanding the world through the senses and through observing. A tree is a tree, and not a cat.
Logic - “How can I think about the world?”; understanding logical conclusions, avoiding logical fallacies, and coming to accurate conclusions. A tree is a tree because it has leaves and cats have 4 legs and no leaves, therefore it is not a cat.
Rhetoric - “How can I tell others about the world?”; conveying, through appropriate language, what you have discovered through observation and logical thought. I will tell you that a tree is not a cat, and this is how I know.
This kind of underlies what the ancient people, especially the Greeks, thought about the world - that it could be understood entirely through thought, and that experimentation was not required.
Quadrivium (”the four paths”):
Arithmetic - Basically, mathematics as it deals with numbers.
Geometry - Mathematics as it deals with shapes. This is important, because the Greeks and the Medieval people did not believe that numbers and shapes were necessarily the same thing, and geometry was taught FIRST.
Music - The study of music, but also of songs and poetry, and of how they shape human understanding and thought.
Astronomy - And also often astrology; the study of the stars, constellations, and often of divination through the stars.
One was taught the quadrivium only after one was first taught the trivium - the ancients believed that before we taught people how to learn about the world, they must first be taught how to learn.
These subjects formed the basis of the Liberal Arts, and thought the later Renaissance thinkers replaced studying logic and grammar with studying history and ethics, it was basically the same.
As a result… basically all Liberal Arts degrees from that point onwards were about those things. Liberal Arts were considered the things you needed to know in order to be a free-thinking human being, nothing at all to do with “liberalism” and “left-wing politics”. In fact, many arts students in the first days of universities and further education considered politics to be a sort of modern Mechanical Art - necessary for the world to function… but ultimately, not something that “freethinking” people should concern themselves with.
Ultimately the liberal arts today are much more diverse and much less classist than they were at the time of their first conception. Subjects such as literature, archaeology, linguistics, history, philosophy, logic, morality, theology, psychology, musical studies, and a huge array of other disciplines are included under the banner of the Liberal Arts, but I think that it’s always important to remember what the “liberal” in “Liberal Arts” truly stands for.