November 29th, 2014

#MyZeitgeist: digital student guide

 Logo: Ashley vonClausburg

Compete | #MyZeitgeist

Zeitgeist zeit•geist noun : the general beliefs, ideas, and spirit of a time and place

To look back at every triumph, tragedy and trend, Google creates an annual Zeitgeist, a short year-in-review video of the biggest events as seen through the eyes of the search engine. NewsHour Extra has partnered up with Google again to offer students an opportunity to create your own #MyZeitgeist video and win a prize. To compete, here’s what you should do:

  1. Read the rubric so you know what the judges are looking for and then pick the news stories that had the greatest impact on 2014 using tools from Google and PBS NewsHour. Check out our tips on how to create a great submission. Students are permitted to use any video from the PBS NewsHour YouTube Channel for their submission. Students should follow Copyright and Fair Use  guidelines when choosing video, images and music to include in their work.
  2. Compile the news stories on Trio, a mobile storytelling platform in an engaging way using images, videos, music and text. Want to participate, but prefer to use your laptop? Check out Meograph which allows for longer videos.
  3. Once you’ve finished making your #MyZeitgeist video, share it with the world and then have fun checking out what other students created.
  4. Ask your teacher to send us an email with your name, school, grade, which platform you used and the name of your project.

Teachers, check out the #MyZeitgeist: 2014 teacher guide for everything you need to support your students, plus engaging #MyZeitgeist activities for the whole class.

Create | The platforms

There are two different ways to create your #MyZeitgeist story and share it. Choose the platform below that work best for you and then get started!

Trio app |  iPhone or iPad

trio-creation-with-button copy100Trio is a simple way to make fun media mashups.
Easily mix together video/pics/gifs/music.
You can use other people’s media (Vine, Instagram, Giphy, PBS) or your own, and add any song in the world as your soundtrack.
Trio length is 20 seconds total, so be creative and feel free to focus on one category of news stories if you prefer. Here are the categories:
Arts & Culture | Sports | Science, Technology & Health | Social Justice | World Affairs | U.S. Affairs | Civics & Government | 
Through challenges, you and your friends can create Trios together around a fun, common theme.
Beyond making stuff, you can stay entertained any time by watching cool content from other creators.

NOTE: Once you log in to Trio, you will need to select the #MyZeitgeist 2014 challenge (at the very top), and then choose ACCEPT on the next page in the upper right corner. 

Want to get started? Click on the “Download on the App Store” button!

NOTE: Trio gives you access to the same content you would find through a Google search, so make sure to use good judgement when choosing content that is within the rules of the #MyZeitgeist contest. Tutorial by Gabriel Peters-Lazaro for KQED Education.

Meograph | Desktop 

meograph-creation-with-button copy100Meograph is a digital storytelling tool for creating presentation-like videos.
Use images, videos, timelines, Google Maps and your own narration to bring your work to life.
Build your entry right on the #MyZeitgeist Meograph page and then continue working on it from any computer anytime, see #MyZeitgeist Meograph page to get started.
There is no length of time limit on Meographs, but we recommend keeping it under two minutes, as it is a much more involved process that takes a serious time commitment to do well.
Want to find great videos about the news? Check out the PBS NewsHour YouTube channel.

Want to get started? Click on the “Go to the Meograph creator page” button!

NOTE: When searching for content to add to your Meograph, make sure to use good judgement when choosing content that is within the rules of the #MyZeitgeist contest (link to rules). If you decide to incorporate a music soundtrack, you must use music that does not have a copyright. Meograph submissions containing copyrighted music will not be eligible to win.

Connect | KQED Do Now


Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues on Twitter.
Do Now introduces news, new media tools and technology to the learning process, giving students firsthand experience with 21st-century skills. Students can share their projects on Twitter during the week of Dec. 5-12 and discuss the news events that were most important to them in 2014.
Check back for updates on the latest Do Now conversation.

Win | The prizes

Create the best #MyZeitgeist and take home a Nexus tablet from Google. Second and third place will win Visa and Google Play gift cards.

Submit | How to 

Here’s what to do:

1. Let your teacher know that you want to participate as a contestant in the 2014 #MyZeitgeist student challenge. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (P.S.T.) on December 19, 2014.

2. After you have created your Trio or Meograph entry, ask your teacher to send an email to Katie Gould ( with the words “#MyZeitgiest 2014” in the subject line. The email should contain:

        • Your teacher’s name
        • Your teacher’s email and or phone number
        • Your name and login name
        • Trio or Meograph title
        • School
        • Grade
        • School
        • City and state of residence

3. If your submission has been chosen for the finalist round we will contact your teacher no later than 7:00 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22. Finalists must submit their #MyZeitgeist Process page by Friday, Dec. 26.

4. The winner will be announced on Dec. 31 through the PBS NewsHour Extra website and on social media.

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