We often think of a tablet as a device for consuming content. Something that lets you watch a movie, read a book, or play a game. One of the most engaging tasks you can give a student is to become a creator. This might mean that they design an experiment, write a book or even make a movie. All of these tasks require higher order thinking and give you a chance to assess student understanding.

There are lots of ways that teens can create their own videos but a handful of iPad apps make this process manageable for both teachers and students. With these dynamic tools, teens have the power to tell a story. Whether they are recounting historical events, filming a public service announcement, or publishing a video tutorial for solving a math problem, the iPad is a wonderful tool for student learning.


One of the most powerful apps in the iWork suite is iMovie. This creation app is perfect for teens and teachers who want to create their own videos. It gives users the option to work off of templates to drag and drop their own content. Students can place music and audio tracks over pictures and add titles and effects to each clip. iMovie also has the option to create trailers which can be a fun option for students looking to demonstrate their understanding of a topic by using a familiar video format. Although iMovie has plenty of high quality features it won’t be overwhelming for new users who can follow along with the instructions on the screen to create a simple or complex final product.

ChatterPix Kids

This user-friendly iPad app might look a little elementary but it’s a great choice for middle school and high school students. Teens can grab a picture from the Internet and save it to their camera roll or snap a photograph of a primary source document. With ChatterPix Kids, students will slice a mouth on an image of a person and record their voice speaking through them. The video they create with this app can be used by students to explore a historical figure’s perspective or give a voice to a character in a book.

Stop Motion Studio

If you want to give students a few options when completing a research project on a topic, you might want to include Stop Motion Studio on their list.  This app lets teens create stop motion videos and is perfect for storytelling.  Your students can recreate an event from world history or show how two historical figures interacted with one another. This app gives teens the power to demonstrate their understanding of a topic while they move figurines across a tabletop.

The iPad is a wonderful creation tool that can be used throughout the content areas.  Your students can use video apps to show off what they have learned about a topic as opposed to writing traditional reports.  With these engaging apps you’ll transform how students interact with content and how you assess student understanding.

Have you used video creation apps with students?  Share your experiences below!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

Teachers working with middle school and high school students know how powerful a video can be as a tool to grab the attention of their students. Multimedia can be used to hook students at the beginning of a lesson or refocus them during the middle of a lecture. Videos are great for bringing the content in a Science or Social Studies textbook to life. There are tons of resources available for locating and sharing videos with your students. These apps give you the option to search for clips or full episodes of programming. You’re sure to find something that you can use to energize your lessons.

If you want up to date videos that show radar maps and news broadcasts of weather in a particular region download The Weather Channel app. You’ll be able to share up to the minute reports with students and engage them in conversations about weather patterns and the impact natural disasters have on a geographic region.

The History Channel’s iPad app is another great choice for finding clips that connect to your curriculum. They have videos on a wide range of content that works well with middle and high school students. This app contains popular television shows in addition to documentaries. You may find that one of the reality shows relates to a particular unit of study and is perfect for getting your students interested in a topic they would normally find boring.

The Smithsonian Channel has a great app for accessing content on the go. You can search through their videos and pull your favorites onto a channel that is designed just for you.  If your classroom is equipped with an Apple TV you can use AirPlay mode to push content straight to your projection screen for students to watch as a whole class. They’ll let you look through videos in particular categories and even sign up for notifications that tell you when new content has been added to the app.

When you’re introducing new regions to your students in a Social Studies class you may want to show a clip from the Travel Channel’s app. There is a wide range of options for you to pick from but one nice feature is the ability to search by region. Instead of looking through shows with titles you may be unfamiliar with, tap on Costa Rica, Sydney or New Orleans to find a clip that tells a story related to a particular region.

After deciding which app you want to explore, remember that you’ll want to preview the content you’ll show to students to make sure that it is appropriate. If the wireless connection at your school isn’t very strong you may decide to save a video for offline viewing if the app gives you that option. Don’t forget that you’ll either need to mirror your iPad screen to your computer or use a special cord to connect your iPad to your classroom’s projector.

Do you have a favorite video streaming app to use on iPads? Share it in the comments below!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

ChannelOne.com has lots of resources that can help students with their homework. Have you looked through the Video Library? It is full of videos that teens can use as they tackle after-school assignments. The Video Library organizes clips by “newest first” so it’s easy to find reports on important world events and hot topics. Kids can locate videos on a wide range of topics and access content related to their work in school. It’s also a great place to send students to gather information on a topic or answer questions they have about current events.

Everyday Assignments

The Video Library on ChannelOne.com can give students an overview of topics so they are better informed and ready to complete their homework. For example, if they have to write about Syria as part of a current events assignment, a quick search of the Video Library will give them a few clips to watch. Students will build their background knowledge on the subject and be ready to answer questions about chemical warfare and the political climate of the country.

Research Projects

For teens working on research projects the Video Library on ChannelOne.com can help them locate information. Students can type in a keyword in the search function or look through different categories or tags to learn more about a subject. Watching a news program that combines high quality reporting with video is a great way to help students stay informed on a subject. It will keep them interested in the topic while they make sense of the information they’ve gathered from other sources. When assigning a research report to students you can require them to include video clips in their bibliography to show that they were able to use a variety of sources. EasyBib.com has a guide for citing video clips like the ones featured on ChannelOne.com.

Flipped Learning

Many teachers are exploring the idea of the flipped classroom and the Video Library at ChannelOne.com can help educators choose the right clips to assign to students. In the flipped classroom model, teachers assign videos for students to watch at home so when they come to class they are prepared to talk about the subject. These clips can include lectures, tutorials or any media that presents content. Teachers can assign ChannelOne.com news clips for kids to watch at home or during a free period as part of their homework. If this happens outside of the classroom, teachers can use their face-to-face time with students for whole group discussions, group work and partner activities.

Video Transcripts

Each clip in the ChannelOne.com Video Library includes a full transcript from that segment. Videos offer a unique way to learn about a subject and the transcript will help teens follow along and learn new vocabulary words by reviewing them in context. The ability to pause a clip to take notes or refer to the transcript included with each video post will help students as they get ready to write and report about a topic.

Have you asked students to watch videos at home? How has the Video Library fit into your student’s afterschool routine? Share your story in the comments section.

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

Many people in America honor the contributions of Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day. However, a growing movement seeks to change the holiday to Indigenous People’s Day, in recognition of Native Americans and the negative impacts of Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Channel One News shares the story of how Seattle, Wash., renamed Columbus Day to better honor its Native American heritage.

Subscribers to Channel One News Premium get full access to our Video Library with more than 2,000 videos and wraparound curriculum. Learn more.


Students will:

  • Learn about the growing opposition to celebrations honoring Columbus Day.
  • Construct a valid argument defending their personal opinion on this issue.
  • Evaluate opposing websites to identify author bias and its effect on media messaging.

Opening Activity

Show your class an image of Columbus such as this one (NOTE: external link), without identifying him. Ask students: Who is this? What do you know about him? What did he do? Are you aware of any controversy involving him? 

Words in the News

  • Indigenous: living or existing naturally in a particular region or environment
  • pre-contact: of or relating to the period of time before Columbus made contactwith Native Americans.

Watch “Indigenous People’s Day”

(original air date October 13, 2014)

Check for Understanding

Why do some people oppose celebrating Columbus Day?

a. They feel it distracts from the achievements of other Italian-Americans.
b. They feel that it celebrates a man who killed and enslaved thousands of indigenous people.
c. They feel that Columbus Day parades disrupt traffic and draw crowds that are too large.
d. They don’t feel that Christopher Columbus paved the way for the discovery and formation of the United States.

Think-Pair-Share: Is it possible to celebrate in a way that honors both Italian and Native American heritage? What would that celebration look like?

View “Christopher Columbus and Native Americans” Slideshow

(originally published on October 13, 2014)


The great Italian explorer Christopher Columbus is a source of pride for Italian-Americans, as is the holiday named after him. In 1905, Columbus Day became a legal holiday in Colorado thanks to the efforts of Angelo Noce, an Italian-American from Denver. It became a national holiday in 1934 thanks to support from Italian-American newspaper publisher Generoso Pope.


Italian-Americans have good reason to be proud of Columbus’s achievements. But for those whose ancestors were in the Americas long before his arrival, Columbus Day represents something painful: a reminder of Columbus’s brutality and a celebration of the end of their way of life.


In 1492, Columbus sailed across the Atlantic hoping to find a new route to India. Instead, he eventually ended up on a Caribbean island inhabited by the Taíno people. Expecting to be in India, Columbus called the Taíno “Indians.” Because his expedition was funded by Spain, he named the island Insula Hispana, or Hispaniola. The Taíno had called it Ayti. Today, it’s known as Haiti.


In his letters to Spain, Columbus described the Taíno as peaceful and generous. He wrote, “They give away all they have got,” but noticed that they were unarmed and added, “They would make fine servants… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”


In Hispaniola, Columbus established the first American colony. Spanish settlers followed, and turned the Taíno into slaves. Before Columbus’s arrival, there had been anywhere from several hundred thousand to over a million Taíno on the island. By 1514, there were only 32,000. The rest died from violence, enslavement or diseases brought by the settlers.


Columbus never set foot in North America, but he paved the way for European colonization. The history of the native peoples there resembles that of the Taíno. Recent DNA studies suggest that European diseases reduced the Native American population to an all-time low within years of Columbus’s arrival.


Eventually, an expanding European population forced native peoples off their land. In 1830, U.S. President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which required Native American tribes to relocate west of the Mississippi River. Tribes that resisted were forcibly moved. About 4,000 Cherokee died on the forced march westward known as the Trail of Tears.


This week, the Seattle City Council voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day. Tribal leaders say the move honors their history, but some are upset by the shift. “We don’t argue with the idea of Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” said an Italian-American man living in Seattle. "We do have a big problem with it coming at the expense of what essentially is Italian Heritage Day.”

Check for Understanding

  • What were Columbus’ first impressions of the Taino people?
  • What effect did Columbus and Spanish settlers have upon the Taino?

Turn and Talk: Explain the effect of European colonization upon the Native people of North America.

Argumentative Writing

Did the Seattle City Council do the right thing by replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day? Why or why not? Use specific evidence from the script and the slideshow to support your opinion.

Media Literacy

Divide class in half. Half of the class visits Indian Country Today Media Network. The other half visits the Italian Tribune.

Website evaluation:

  • Who is the author of this web site?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is the top story or stories?
  • What is the purpose of this website?
  • What message does this website convey to its audience?

Next, place students in small groups. Tell students they are now “staff writers” for the website they evaluated. Students work together to write an article about Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day that might appear on the website they evaluated. Articles should echo the tone and messaging of their respective websites—NOT their personal opinions.

Share a few student responses. Ask students: How might an author’s personal opinion influence a media message?

Closing Activity

Take a class poll:

  • How many students think Columbus Day should be renamed Indigenous Peoples Day in our state?
  • How many students think Columbus Day remain as it is?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump suggests in a videotaped deposition released Friday that his presidential campaign could boost business at his hotels and increase the value of his personal brand.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman ordered the release of Trump’s deposition from June following requests filed by news organizations. Though a transcript of Trump’s testimony was previously filed publicly, the Republican presidential nominee’s lawyers asked the judge to seal the video. Holeman refused.

Trump’s company sued Geoffrey Zakarian last year when the restaurateur withdrew from his lease to open a high-end eatery in the new Trump International Hotel in Washington after the candidate characterized Mexicans as being criminals, drug dealers and rapists.

Trump testified he didn’t think his widely criticized comments were harmful because he went on to beat a roster of “highly respected” candidates, including senators and governors. to win the GOP presidential primary.

“So it’s not like, you know, like I’ve said anything that could be so bad,” Trump said. “Because if I said something that was so bad, they wouldn’t have had me go through all of these people and win all of these primary races.”

Zakarian followed suit after Spanish-American chef José Andrés withdrew from his deal to open a different restaurant in the luxury hotel, citing Trump’s derogatory comments.

Trump sued both for breach of contract, seeking damages and lost rent in excess of $10 million from each.

Trump said the men pulled out because “they thought I made statements that were inflammatory in some form,” but added that he was surprised they withdrew. He said he thought the men had made a big mistake, and he expected his Washington hotel to be a great success.

Trump disputed media reports that occupancy at his hotels slumped after he announced his presidential bid last year, saying business had been steady or even better at his resort properties.

He specifically cited the example of his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

“The manager told me recently, he said, ‘Boy this is the best — it is actually the best year we’ve ever had a Mar-a-Lago,'” Trump recounted, adding that the manager attributed the uptick in business to the campaign.

Trump said it was difficult to put a precise value on his personal brand, but said his company had previously commissioned a study that put the worth of the Trump name as being in excess of $2 billion.

Asked to predict how his presidential bid would affect the value of his properties, Trump said time will tell — especially depending on whether he wins in November.

“We’re going to know in five months, right?” Trump said in June. “But it’s been, you know, it’s been a lot of wins. We’ve beaten a lot of people. And I think people like that. So I think … it will be great for the building in question.”


Follow Michael Biesecker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mbieseck


This story has been corrected to change Trump quote from “too bad” to “so bad.”