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Welcome to the 2020NEXUS web site. 

Keyboarding           Tech Integration          Gaming (The Learning Kind)


Please visit My Classroom for information on the following topics: History, Writing, Reading and English.  I am teaching only I.T courses at the moment so those pages may not be updated.


Directory of Some Great Middle School Online Resources

Most Grade Levels: 

Comic Creator:  Lesson Plans

The actual Comic Creator site

NOVA scienceNOW – Sleep: The Sleep-Memory Connection Explore the stages of a good night’s sleep and the research linking sleep to memory with this

Rumor Control Explore the difference between harmless, hurtful and dangerous gossip in this online interactive game. Examine rumors that float by, toss harmful rumors in the trash and report dangerous rumors to the principal’s office.

Story Strips Explore feelings and emotions by creating storyboards. Select scenarios, hair and eye color, and then complete dialogue boxes to illustrate how to communicate feelings.

Interactive Museum Exhibits  

American Museum of Natural History Presents Ology (Grades 2-8) Astronomy, Biodiversity, Genetics, Rocks and Minerals, Water.

American Package Museum Art Gallery (Grades 3-12) Advertising, Art, Graphic Arts, American History.


Benjamin Franklin Interactive Timeline (Grades 5-12) Founding Fathers, Government, Inventors, Science History.

Birth of the Internet from the National Science Foundation (Grades 6-12) Computer Apps, History, Technology.

Churchill and the Great Republic from the Library of Congress (Grades 9-12) Biography, Cold War, European History, World War II.

Colonial Williamsburg (Grades 4-12) African-American History, Colonial America, American Revolution, Native American.

Dumbarton House for Kids (Grades 4-6) Colonial America, Founding Fathers, Post-Revolutionary War.

Exploratorium’s The Science of Music (Grades K-12) Instruments, Music, Rhythm.

Field Museum Online Exhibits (Grades 3-12) Ancient Civilizations, Art, Biomes, Chocolate, DNA, Evolution, Fossils, Genetics, Instruments, Map Studies, Mythology, Natural Disasters, Rocks and Minerals, Scientists.

Frissiras Art Museum of Greece (Grades 6-12) Art.

Humanities Interactive (Grades 5-12) Art, Ancient Civilizations, Exploration, Medieval History.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum Interactives (Grades K-6) Art, Fossils, Rocks and Minerals, Skeletal.

Indianapolis Museum of Art’s African Life Through Art (Grades 6-12) African Studies, Art.

John F. Kennedy Library (Grades 6-12) JFK Presidency and Biography.

Monet’s Sketchbooks (Grades 6-12) Art, French.

Museum of Advertising and Design Online Exhibits (Grades 6-12) Advertising, Art, Cultural Studies, Graphic Designs, Journalism, 20th Century Music.

Museum of Glass Virtual Hot Shop (Grades 3-12) Art.

Museum of Human Disease (Grades 9-12) Biology.

Museum of Modern Art’s Online Projects (Grades 3-12 depending on which project you launch) Art, Biographies, Cultural Studies, Graphic Design, Writing.

Museum of Natural History Virtual Exhibits (Grades 2-12) African Studies, Ancient Civilizations, Atmosphere, Biomes, Exploration, Lewis and Clark, Latin America, Mammals, Native American Studies, Rocks and Minerals.

Museum of the Moving Image (Grades 6-12) Computer Apps, Drama, Presidents, Technology, Video Production.

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Online Museum (Grades 3-12) Astronomy, Cold War, History.

National Archives Digital Vault Experience (Grades 5-12) American History 1754.

National Gallery of Art Online Tours (Grades 3-12) Ancient Egypt, Art, Artist Biographies, Art History, European History, Photography.

National Geographic’s Map Games created by the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (Grades 1-6) Ancient Civilizations, Map Studies, Presidents, Space.

National Museum of Dentistry (Grades 1-4) Dental Healt

National Zoological Park’s Conservation Central (Grades 1-5) Animal Habitats, Biomes, Conservation.

Neave Planetarium (Grades 3-12) Astronomy, Exploration, Space.

OrgainisMuseum Virtual Photo Art Gallery (Grades 8-12) Art, Photography, Graphic Design.

Panasonic Design Museum (Grades 5-12) Advertising, Inventions, Technology.

Philadelphia Museum of Art (Grades 6-12) Ancient Civilizations, Art, Cultural Studies.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Interactives (Grades 6-12) Art, Biographies, Culture Studies, Photography.

Smithsonian’s The Presidency and The Cold War (Grades 9-12) Cold War, Desert Storm, Presidents, McCarthyism.

Techniquest Children’s Museum Interactives (Grades K-6) Art, Colors, Culture Studies, Symmetry.

Texas Forestry Museum’s Life in an East Texas Forest (Grades K-2) Habitat, Trees, Water Cycle.

The American Image (Grades 6-12) Art, Photography, World War II.

The Imperialism Museum (Grades 9-12) Falklands Conflict, History, The Cold War, World War I, World War II.

The Science Museum’s Learning Games (Grades 3-12) Energy, Forensic Science, Natural Resources.

Try Science (Grades 3-8) Computer Apps, Environmental studies, Technology.

Virtual Hampson Museum (Grades 5-12) Art, Native American Studies.

Virtual Museum of Canada Interactive Games and Simulations (Grades K-12) Biomes, Gold Rush, Human Body, Magnetism, Music, Mystery Fiction, Space, World War I, World War II, Yukon.

Virtual Museum of Textiles and Costume Design (Grades 9-12) Art, Drama, European History, FACS.

Women of Our Time from the National Portrait Gallery (Grades 7-12) Biography, Culture Studies, Photography, Women’s Studies.

6th Grade Topics



Gravity Launch

The Art of The Explosion Lesson Ideas

The Art of the Explosion site itself

A Dinosaur’s Ecosystem

Cut to the Heart Examine the function of the heart and facts about how the heart works. Identify the parts of the heart and the steps by which the heart pumps blood through the body.

Electric Heart: Operation Heart Transplant Explore the steps in a heart transplant operation by performing a heart transplant in this virtual operating theater.

Grave Analysis Discover what a bioarcheologist was able to determine about the sex, age and other characteristics of an ancient battle victim by analyzing that person’s well-preserved skeleton.

Tour of the Heart Explore the anatomy of the human heart, chart circulation to and within the heart and examine heartbeat regulation with this interactive “tour” of the heart.

7th Grade Topics

Marco Polo’s Route to China and Back Game

Lesson Ideas for Shadow Puppets Site:

Shadow Puppets Site itself

Xerxes March to Greece Game

Himalayan Hike Game

Secrets of Lost Empires II: Destroy the Castle Design a medieval trebuchet using knowledge of simple machines and projectile force. Adjust variables of weight, length, stability, distance and counterweight to destroy a castle wall.

Death at Jamestown: Explore Jamestown Explore the places, events and people associated with the Lost Colony of Jamestown with this interactive timeline and map. Examine artifacts and remains excavated by archeologists and learn what conclusions can be drawn from them.

Witches Curse: Explore Salem Consider the biographies of both accusers and those accused of witchcraft with this interactive timeline and map of Salem village as it was in 1692. Discover how the judicial process was warped to suit public opinion and the judges.


8th Grade Topics 

Lesson about stories of Civil War soldiers’ wounds glowing at night:

Audio and other resources linked to this page

Activities about American Reconstruction Period

Analyzing the Evidence Examine the life of Abraham Lincoln through primary sources such as letters, photographs and paintings. Uncover clues that reveal biographical details about America’s 16th President.

Life and Death in the War Zone: Military Medicine Through Time Investigate the history of military medicine from the Civil War to the Iraq War, and interpret archival photographs shot on and off the battlefield.

Saving the National Treasures: The Damage Done Compare the original Declaration of Independence document with the 1823 Stone Engraving of the Declaration. Explore the damage that has been done to the original over centuries of imperfect handling.

Nazi Prison Escape: The Colditz Glider Examine airfoil aerodynamics and the history of the building of the Colditz Glider, constructed by two WWII POWs in a failed attempt to escape from a German prison in 1943. Fly a virtual glider in this online interactive activity.



How to Create Animated Cinemagraphs by Adam Dachis of Lifehacker

How to Create Animated Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are a really compelling take on the traditional animated GIF, only showing motion in a portion of the frame to focus on a specific movement. This results in a very compelling looped animation and we’re going to show you how to make one right now.

How to Create Animated CinemagraphsTo give credit where credit is due, the cinemagraph began with Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg on their tumblog From Me to You. (More on the history of Cinemagraphs here.) They’ve created some pretty amazing stuff, like the example on the left, so be sure to check out their work for inspiration.

Our example isn’t quite so elegant. (You can see it to the right.) STUDENTS: PLEASE DON’T MAKE THIS KIND OF TACKY CINEMAGRAPH IN CLASS.  As an example, I put together an (imperfect) cinemgraph that makes it look like I’m digging around in my nose for, let’s say, buried treasure. In this post I’m going to show you how I made it so you can make How to Create Animated Cinemagraphsyour own, perhaps more tasteful, cinemagraphs. This process is better demonstrated on video, so watch the one at the top of the page for an in-depth walkthrough. If you want step-by-step instructions in text form, read on.

Step One: Come Up with an Idea and Shoot a Short Movie Clip

To get started, you’re going to need a movie clip to work with. You want to choose something where the motion on display can be isolated nicely. Coffee stirring and nose picking are just two options. There are plenty of others. Just avoid getting too close to your subject as you want the surrounding areas to be entirely still.

Once you know what you’re going to do, record a short movie clip. Start with something very simple, as the longer the clip is the more frames you’ll have to pull. 20-30 frames can be fairly time consuming, as you have to isolate the moving area in every single one, so be careful about being too ambitious. Creating a cinemagraph can be very time consuming, so limit the frames you need as best you can.

When you’re done shooting your clip, transfer it over to your computer. It’s time to get to work.

Step Two: Create Your Frames in Photoshop

Photoshop can open movie files, so just drag your clip onto the app and you’ll see the first frame like it’s a standard still image. (Note: Photoshop can’t read every type of file, so convert to an MP4 if you’re having trouble with formats.) There are a lot of ways to move the frames you want to use into a new Photoshop document, but I like to copy them individually because I can skip certain frames that are unnecessary and choose exactly where I want to start and end in the clip. If you prefer another method, go right ahead. To start copying frames, go to the Window menu and open the animation panel. Scroll to the first frame you want to use in your movie clip, select all (Command/Control+A), and copy. Now paste that frame into a new layer in a new Photoshop document. You want to keep doing this for all the frames you’re going to use. When you’re done, you can close the movie clip and focus on the new Photoshop document.

Step Three: Isolate the Motion in Every Frame

How to Create Animated CinemagraphsThis part of the process is the most time-consuming. Basically, you need to erase the parts of each frame that you don’t want to move. I like to do this by selecting the relevant, moving part with the polygonal lasso, inverting my selection (Command/Control+Shift+I), and refining the edge of that selection (Command/Control+Option/Alt+R) to increase the feather size so the edges are nice and soft. (You can also have a built-in feather by adjusting the settings of the polygonal lasso if you prefer.) Once you’ve done all that, just press the Delete key to remove the parts you don’t need. Now repeat this for every frame.

Step Four: Tell Photoshop How You Want Your Animation to Play

How to Create Animated CinemagraphsCreating the animation is pretty easy because you’ve basically done that already. You just need to go into the Animation panel you opened earlier and start by clicking the Frame Mode button. It’s the one all the way in the bottom right corner. When you do that you should just have one frame. Make sure it looks like the starting point—meaning the only layer that’s showing in your layers panel is the first frame—and then go ahead and click the “Duplicate Frame” button. (It’s the one that looks like a little page icon and is to the left of the middle in the panel.) This will create a new frame based on the previous one, and you can go ahead and display the next frame in your animation. I did this by creating each frame in its own layer, then showing only the one that was supposed to be visible. (You can see this demonstrated in the video up at the top of the post.) You’ll need to repeat this process for every frame. Just press the “Duplicate Frame” button, show the next frame, and keep repeating the process until every frame has been added.

At this point you’re basically done with the animation, but you’ll probably want to set the duration to something other than the default. Generally the default is 10 seconds, which is very slow. Generally you’ll want to set it to “No Delay”, but you can fool around with the options and decide what you want. To choose a duration, just select all the frames you want to change and click on the duration on the bottom of one of the frames. Choose what you want, or set a custom amount. You may want to adjust individual frames to last slightly longer than others. Go ahead and play around with your options until you get the motion you desire.

Step Five: Save for Web

Now all you have to do is save your image. Go to the File menu and choose “Save for Web & Devices”. Be sure to choose GIF 128-bit Dithered as your preset and check the animation box in the bottom right corner of the screen (if it isn’t checked already). You can make other alterations, but generally all you’ll need to do here is save. Once you’re done, that’s it. You’ve created a cinemagraph.





Have You Flipped Your Classroom Yet?

Many of my educator friends and I have been discussing pre-loading content to kids and processing it with them after.  This is called “flipping” your classroom.  Here’s an interesting graphic, courtesy of Knewton Adaptive Learning Platform.

The Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media


This Day In History August 18



IN PROGRESS AUGUST 1 - 3 Institute Agenda, Campus Maps, Session Notes, Etc.

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Project-Based Learning Resource List


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My Son's Navy Ship Is Featured in a New Movie

His ship is the USS Bonhomme Richard, one of many real and CGI ships in the trailer. I can’t wait to see this movie — it looks exciting.


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My Summer Reading List

What am I reading personally and professionally this summer?

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I'm Back!

My one-year temporary assignment at Jenkins is complete; therefore I’m returning to Mann this fall.

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TECHBYTE: Bitstrips for Schools

It’s been months since I sent out my last TECHBYTE (tiny tech professional development message), because ever since late last May I’ve been concentrating on re-learning to teach 8th Grade English. I cannot focus as closely on EdTech as I used to when I was a full-time tech teacher, but I still have a passion for it. Therefore, I thought it was high time I sent you all a byte-sized tidbit! Here you go:

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