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.
Maths teachers – have you seen Mathtrain.tv? It’s like a mini-Khan academy filled with fabulous short videos explaining maths concepts except all the videos have been created by students. Here’s a sample:
From the About us page:
Mathtrain.TV is a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from Mr. Marcos & his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA. Mathtrain.TV was created by middle school mathematics teacher, Eric Marcos. It is part of the Mathtrain.com Project and was created to host our student-created math video lessons all in one place. It is Web 2.0 friendly with its ability for users to generate “ratings” and “comments”. Our middle school students use a tablet pc and screen-capturing software, Camtasia Studio, to create the math tutorials. The site is powered by PHPmotion, a free video-sharing software.
Students at Lincoln Middle School create math video lessons (screencasts or mathcasts) which are used for classroom instruction and posted onto sites such as Mathtrain.TV, Mathtrain.com, iTunes, YouTube, TeacherTube and Google Video. Our students work hard at creating the content and construct the best explanations they can in our unscripted format. The videos are offered free, “as is” (under a Creative Commons agreement) and we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors which may exist in the content or site. All videos are reviewed (and sometimes further edited) by a credentialed math teacher. In an effort to make our videos available to many different learners, we are in the process of closed captioning (CC) our videos. At the moment, there may be two versions of the same video lesson on this site; one with and one without captioning. On other videos, we may “burn” the captions right onto the video itself. As technology progresses, we hope to offer our viewers not only the ability to toggle on and off between closed captioning but also alternative language subtitles. For more information about how to caption your own videos, go here: www.dcmp.org/ciy.
We invite students, teachers, parents and educators to join us and help contribute to this global collaborate effort. We are especially interested in student-created mathcasts, hence the “kids teaching kids” motto.
My motto is “Learn, do, teach” because it is through the act of showing someone else how to do something that I truly consolidate my knowledge. The content on Mathtrain.tv is fantastic and there is plenty to be learned there but wouldn’t your students’ mathematical skills benefit from creating similar explanatory videos? And what about other subjects? There is enormous scope for learning by teaching. Steve Wheeler has recently written about the value of Flipping the teacher (as opposed to the classroom) and has some other useful suggestions for how this can be done. The tools used are becoming more widely available and there are plenty of great examples out there. Let me know if you and your students have created any of these videos and they can be featured on Bytes. Or if you’d like to give it a try but don’t know where to start please get in touch.