Flipping Tip: Explore!

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." - Edward Abbey

Baby Wood Duck 2 days oldWilderness surrounds us with gifts if we only care enough to notice. Even in the city nature is only a few mouse clicks away.

I love to watch Nature on PBS. Fortunately my prairie home is blessed with public broadcasting stations from Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota but still I often miss the show because ... life happens. If only I could watch it on demand.

Below is an example of the wilderness programming Nature provides for us to enjoy with family and students.

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An Original DUCKumentary

Woods ducks are my favorite birds. I once lived with them on a secluded pond in southwestern Michigan. I watched them daily from the comfort of my living room but there is still much I did not know about them until I watched this program.

Did you know that a 2-day-old wood duckling can drop from a height of 70 feet or more and still waddle off the find its mother on the water?

Male Wood DuckYou might be surprised to learn wood ducks lay one egg per day but they all hatch within a single day.

Have you wondered how duck feathers get their color?

Are ducks really older than whales?

Why do ducks fly in a v-formation?

You'll be amazed with how much there is to learn about Wood Ducks by watching this enchanting DUCKumentary. Watch it on your local PBS station if you can catch it but you might also like to watch in on demand!

Anyone with Internet access can enjoy PBS programming on demand at the PBS.ORG but those of us with iOS devices can enjoy it with the PBS app. 

"Watch the most popular and current PBS programs free on your iPhone[, iPad,] or iPod touch with minimal interruption. 'PBS' features  more than 300 videos, including full-length episodes, segements, and previews with new content updated daily."

This free app allows you to watch your favorite PBS program on your terms. Start whenever you wish. Pause. Replay. Watch again and again. It's all up to you! All you need is an iOS device with 9.2 MB of free space. The app is even optimized for iPhone 5.

You know the high quality of PBS programming from enjoying programs such as:

  • Nova,
  • Masterpiece,
  • Frontline,
  • PBS Newshour,
  • American Masters,
  • American Experience,
  • Need To Know,
  • Nature, and
  • Antiques Road Show

But that is just the beginning!

"Migrant Mother" bu Dorothea Lange

The Dust Bowl - A film by Ken Burns

You won't want to miss the new Ken Burns documentary "The Dust Bowl" which premieres November 18 & 19 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET.

"THE DUST BOWL chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the "Great Plow-Up," followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Vivid interviews with twenty-six survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. It is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril."

If you are a teacher you should explore what Ken Burns and PBS have to offer you online. Lesson plans, whirlwind exercises, photographs, videos, and interactive applications await you and your students.

Enjoy the wonder of the world about you with PBS. Then share it with your family, friends, and students.


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Dr. Winegar is available to help your organization wisely use technology. Email him directly at mark.winegar@mac.com or visit www.facebook.com/MobileLearningStudio.