Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Decade!

Happy New Decade! (click the picture to view it in full screen)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Discovery Blog Network & The "Skype In The Classroom" Directory

As a "STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network," Discovery Communications created a blog link for me,  They added me to the DEN Blog Network,, too!  My first, and only, entry (so far) is a link back to this blog.  Skype also listed me in their Skype In The Classroom Directory:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Track Santa With Google Earth

Thanks to Norad Santa, you can track Santa's route with Google Earth. This year Norad Santa added a Google Maps plug-in for smart phones. Visit on your phone’s browser. You can follow the trip on Twitter at @noradsanta, and keep up with news about his journey on this Facebook page. Santa’s home on YouTube is at This is a great way to blend geography with a holiday tradition.

The trip begins Christmas Eve:

Here are highlights from last year's journey:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Farber's 2010 Holiday Card

Confetti Countdown Filmstrip New Year's
Turn your holiday photos into holiday cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Discovery Educator Network

Our school district has a subscription to Discovery Education. Discovery Education provides original online content, such as educational videos (Discovery Streaming), lesson plans in various content areas, online quizzes, virtual tours, professional development webinars, a teacher center, and a puzzlemaker.

During today's weekly 7th grade team meeting, I gave a presentation about the Discovery Educator Network (DEN).  I gave a tour of the DEN website and showed my colleagues how to apply to become STAR Discovery Educators.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Problems In Modern Africa" Podcast

My 6th grade students recently completed a library research project. They studied problems facing Africa today.

Here are their podcasts:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Feed The World: 26 Years Later

My 6th graders are nearing completion of their "Problems in Modern Africa" podcast project. This calls to mind Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas (1984) (and USA for Africa's We Are The World, as well as the Live Aid concerts). The original single album art is below. It was designed by Peter Blake, famous for creating the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper cover art.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Learn Google Earth: 3D Trees

Explore 3D trees in parks, neighborhoods, and forests in cities all over the world. Download the latest version at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Follow Me On Twitter

As much as I like to blog about education, I really prefer micro-blogging. Click the button below to follow my updates on Twitter:
Follow MatthewFarber on Twitter

Friday, November 26, 2010

National Day of Listening

Today, November 26th, the day after Thanksgiving (AKA Black Friday), is the National Day of Listening. StoryCorps' mission is "to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives." Check it out at National Day of Listening, on Twitter @StoryCorps, and on Facebook,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Food Force: The First Humanitarian Video Game" &

Since its release in 2005, the World Food Programme's (WFP) video game to teach children about the logistical challenges of delivering food aid in a major humanitarian crisis has been downloaded over 6 million times, and has an estimated network of 10 million players worldwide!

You can download the game here:

Also, this Thanksgiving, get your family in on the marathon!

Expansion of the United States Map 1763 - Present

A peek of things to come next week in my 7th Grade Social Studies Class...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Animoto in the Classroom

Yesterday my 7th Grade Social Studies students finished a PBL (Problem-Based Learning) unit about the 13 Colonies. They were tasked with recruiting European settlers to live in their assigned colony. The culminating activity included a detailed written brochure, using Microsoft Publisher, and a digital story "TV commercial," using my free "All-Access" educator Animoto account. Animoto automatically analyzes the music (they provide copyright-free songs), photos and video clips that student's choose, and orchestrates a custom video.

I've been using the site for just over a year. Last night I read on Mashable that Animoto has grown to over 2 million members! Here's the article:

Below are some examples of student work:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spencer's First Halloween

I recently upgraded to iLife '11 on our MacBook Pro. The new iMovie now comes with movie trailer templates!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Studies: Voices and Visions for the 21st Century

Today I attended the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies annual conference, “Social Studies: Voices and Visions for the 21st Century” at the Rutgers Busch Campus, in Piscataway.

The morning began with an actor portrayed, historical interpretation of Paul Robeson. Following the performance, I attended 3 workshops:
  1. "Assessing Student Progress in Social Studies: Show What You Know" 
  2. "We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution and Representative Democracy in America"
  3. "Approaches and Strategies for Content Literacy in Social Studies"
The day concluded with a presentation of the new NJ Core Content Curriculum Standards from the DOE and an awards ceremony. Exhibition vendors included the History Channel (I got a free Martin Luther King DVD!), National Geographic, Columbia University Teachers College, NBC News Archives, & Pearson Publishing.

I came away from the conference with a lot of material and information overload!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spencer Joseph Farber

Spencer Joseph Farber, born 10/10/10, 7 lbs, 10 oz., 20 1/4 inches. Now the fun begins!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

iGlobal Class Projects

Saw this great Prezi from Shelly Terrell's blog:
iGlobal Class Projects: Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls - How to effectively use Skype, Wikis, and blogs to help students build relationships with peers worldwide. Social media forums are listed to find schools that want to connect to classrooms worldwide.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Digital Dossier

My wife is due in 10 days. With that in mind, I wanted to share this video:

Avatar vs. Pocahontas

Today I discussed the "myth of Pocahontas" with my seventh grade class.  Below are 2 mash-ups movie trailers we watched at the end of the class. 

Avatar vs. Pocahontas

Pocahontas vs. Avatar

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tag Galaxy

Tag Galaxy is one of my favorite ways to search for Flickr pictures.  Since it is a 3D application, it works great on our class SMART Board!  Check it out:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Voki for Education Newsletter

I'm featured in the new Voki Back-to-School Newsletter! This blog and my Twitter feed are also linked! Click "Full" on the bottom of the embedded Slideshare to read the entire newsletter.

Here's my quote:
"I frequently use Web 2.0 tools to engage my sixth and seventh grade social studies students. At first, I will be using a Voki avatar based on myself to lead a virtual tour of the new class homepage. My goal is to pique my student's interest in creating their own personalized Voki's. I plan on having students create Voki's based on historical figures. Since the avatars can be easily embedded on a webpage, blog, or wiki, my students will also use Voki to communicate with other classrooms around the world. I am especially excited to see how the quieter, shy students use Voki as a tool to more freely speak their minds."
Matt Farber Twitter/Blog
Voki Ambassador
Social Studies Teacher, NJ

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

EdTech: Know Thy Roots

Mr. Farber's Room was mentioned in a Tweet from @OceanEyes729, as well as in her blog: The Caffinated Carbivore.  She reposted the Brief History of Educational Technology slideshow I recently shared.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Abe Lincoln's Facebook Status Update

Learning Beyond Walls

This past spring, one of my social studies classes used Skype, along with our SMART Board, to videoconference Shelly Terrell's (@ShellTerrell) adult English-language learners in Stuttgart, Germany.  She mentioned "Mr. Farber's Room" this week in her award-winning Edublog.  Here's the link to her blog entry about Skype in Education:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mindset For Incoming College Class of 2014

"The class of 2014 has never found Korean-made cars unusual on the Interstate and five hundred cable channels, of which they will watch a handful, have always been the norm. Since 'digital' has always been in the cultural DNA, they've never written in cursive and with cell phones to tell them the time, there is no need for a wrist watch. Dirty Harry (who’s that?) is to them a great Hollywood director. The America they have inherited is one of soaring American trade and budget deficits; Russia has presumably never aimed nukes at the United States and China has always posed an economic threat."

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Monday, August 9, 2010

Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Click the play button & then the forward arrow. Enjoy the Prezi!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Reading: The Kids Books Are Alright

Interesting essay in this week's NY Times. It turns out I’m not the only adult who is suddenly gobbling up books written for teenagers. The Kids’ Books Are All Right

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The 8th Grade Trip

I created a video from some of the pictures I took from sites we saw on the 8th Grade Trip.

(Due to photo releases, and because I published this online, I did not include any pictures of students. Also, some places, such as the Holocaust Museum and the Star-Spangled Flag exhibit, did not allow photography.)

Enjoy the digital story!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Digital Storytelling With Animoto

Yesterday, my 6th Grade students each got a laptop and used Animoto to remix movie trailers about the "Age of Exploration." Here's a few examples of their work:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bill of Rights Podcast

My 7th Grade students just finished their "Bill of Rights" library research project.
They compared and contrasted interpretations of either the 1st, 2nd, 4th, or 8th Amendment. This project was helped by a grant from the Foundation of Denville.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Millennial Are You?

How Millennial Are You? is a quiz developed by the Pew Research Center. The fourteen question quiz is designed to assess how much you are or are not like the average member of the Millennial Generation. The average of your responses to the questions (with the exception of the last question about your age) determines how much your are or are not like a Millennial.

(Thanks to R.M. Byrne for the post.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Student Constitution Wiki

Last week, Mr. Farber's 7th grade students collaborated online to create a Virtual Student Constitution on a wiki. Following the project, students voted on whether or not to ratify it. A 2/3 (66.7%) vote was required to ratify the Constitution. It was narrowly defeated by a close margin; 66% approved and 44% denied.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010!

My wife & I rang in the New Year from Mount Snow, Vermont!