Short videos can be a great “hook” or starting point for a lesson. Used judiciously a good video can provoke debate and discussion leading to creative problem-solving or critical thinking.
But where to find the perfect video? Youtube can be a gold mine but finding the perfect video that is suitable for use in primary or secondary education can be a challenge.
Luckily there are some expert curators out there, carefully selecting and contextualising video and sharing what they find to make our task of finding the perfect video much easier.
Here are a couple of my favourites:
short films curated for Geography teachers to use in the classroom. Every one is chosen for its ability to take us slightly off the beaten track & to inspire us to learn & understand a little bit more about our planet & how we interact with it. Each film is a starting point to a lesson, a topic, a line of enquiry & a learning journey.
Titles range from Masaai life through a child’s eye to The world outside my window – time-lapses of earth from the International Space Station to Kilauea Volcano 2014 Time Lapse. Like all Vimeo channels you can browse alphabetically, by date added, or popularity.
The Kid Should See This
The kid should see this: cool videos for curious minds of all ages has heaps of fascinating videos categorised into science, technology, space, animals, food, music, art and animation. Curator and blogger Rion Nakaya says
There’s just so much science, nature, music, art, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven’t seen. It’s most likely not stuff that was made for them…But we don’t underestimate kids around here.
There’s so much fascinating stuff on this site it’s hard to know where to begin and new videos are added daily. Luckily everything is well-categorised and tagged making browsing easy and you can save videos to easily access them again from the same computer. Warning – you could lose hours on this site!
If anyone can explain to me how How to create chocolate out of nothing works I’d be most grateful!
As you might suspect, Numberphile is a collection of videos about numbers, made by Brady Haran with the assistance of academics and other people passionate about maths. The videos are short and quirky and it’s easy to see how they could liven up a maths class. Numberphile has a cute visual index or you can choose to see a text version to search by topic. Numberphile is supported by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute(MSRI), based in Berkeley, California.
TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. More than just videos to use as hooks, TED-Ed has lesson plans built around the short videos. The lessons are divided into watch, think (multiple choice and/or open-ended questions), dig deeper (additional resources to explore), and discuss.You can use a lesson as-is or customise it to your own needs. There are lessons for all subject areas including the arts, philosophy, science and technology, health, and social studies. There is plenty of interest here for all teachers but you can also become a registered user and build your own lesson around any video found on Youtube.
Have you ever been at school and wanted to share a great site you’ve found but realised the link is saved on your computer at home? Or had a computer “meltdown” and lost all your bookmarks? Or remembered that you’ve saved something but can’t remember anything specific to help you locate it in your enormous list of bookmarks? Are your bookmarks out of control?
Social Bookmarking might just be the answer – it will help you get in control of bookmarks and access them anywhere on any computer or device.
So how does social bookmarking work? Basically when you find a webpage you’d like to save you use a button that’s been added to your browser to save it, adding tags (words or short phrases that describe the site used to help organise and find your bookmarks later), a description or other comments and then save. That’s it, the bookmarked site will now be available to you from anywhere where you are logged into the bookmarking service, including on apps for phones and tablets. A useful feature of most social bookmarking sites is the ability to import your existing bookmarks from your browser to get you started.
Diigo is one social bookmarking service. There are others but a few of Diigo’s features make it stand out.
This video gives a good overview of setting up a Diigo account and bookmarking a site.
When saving a site Diigo also allows you to organise it further into a list or to share to a group. Even better, Diigo allows you to highlight text on a website and add comments (in the form of “sticky notes”) on the page itself. These highlights and comments will be on the page on any computer so long as you are logged into Diigo as well. You can choose to make your comments private or share them with other Diigo users and you can choose whether or not you want to see comments from other Diigo users on sites. These features open up some interesting possibilities for using Diigo as a teaching and learning tool.
This video shows more about highlighting and sticky notes:
This video explains the Group feature.
Here’s another from a teacher librarian who is “addicted” to Diigo!
I’ve used Diigo for years and I can’t imagine how I could keep organised without it. You can check out my Diigo library here.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up to Diigo now!