Thursday, 14 February 2013

More Than Just Bill Nye... Using Video in the Classroom

using video in the classroom
Growing up my only real memory of watching videos in class included Bill Nye, the Magic School Bus and any movie-version of the novel we happened to be studying at the time. I don't remember video actually being used as a learning tool to expand student learning, it was almost always used after the learning and assessment had taken place.

Finished learning about the circulatory system? Here's a Magic School Bus video to watch. Finished learning about magnets? Here's a Bill Nye the Science Guy video to watch. Finished reading Shiloh? Here's the movie-version to watch.

In fact, I only remember watching videos in Science or English classes. The only times we ever watched videos in Social Studies, Math, or any of our elective courses it was an unrelated video that was watched during a "fun class" or when we had a substitute teacher.

     In today's classrooms, video can and should be used at any time during the lesson to assist in student understanding and present material in a way that you can't. The internet has opened up so many options for teachers that cost is no longer an issue. We don't need to worry about ordering in new video content or loaning out videos from other schools to use. A quick Google search can find thousands of videos out there that are created specifically for classroom use.

     In addition to using video to acquire new knowledge on a subject, I've also used video clips to jog students memory on a topic and activate their prior knowledge on a subject. For example, when we began discussing the War of 1812 I had my students complete a K.W.L chart on the subject (what they KNOW, what they WANT to know, and what they LEARNED). After letting them discuss and write down a few ideas, I showed these two videos:
After watching these two short clips students began talking about what they learned in previous classes and what they had heard in the media (since it was the 200th anniversary of the battle). I found that these videos helped students get excited about the topic because they knew a framework of what they would be learning and they especially wanted to make sure they could answer all the questions in the interview-style video.

     Here are some places where I go to find videos to use in the classroom:

Crash Course!
- If you haven't already subscribed to the Crash Course! YouTube Channel
  you should go do so right now! John and Hank Green have created short
  (14 minutes or less, approximately) videos to teach about World History
  (John's specialty) and Biology (Hank's specialty). So far there are 81 videos!
- These videos give a breakdown of all of the important information on a topic
  through easy-to-understand lecture, videos, images, maps, neat graphics, etc.
  I like the fact that these videos explain the how and why and not just "this is
  how it is" explanation that you often find on the internet.
- These videos are definitely something that I am going to use in my class as a
  review tool or even as an activating strategy!
Crash Course youTube Channel, john green, hank green, biology crash course, world history crash course

HipHughes History 
- If you haven't already subscribed to the HipHughes YouTube Channel
  you should go do so right now! Keith Hughes, a YouTube Next EDU Guru,
  has created hundreds of videos (approximately 30 minutes or less) to 
  teach about World History, US History, Politics and more!
- Keith seems like an awesome teacher and his videos are very engaging!
  He uses a lot of different music, backgrounds and eye-catching intro clips
  to catch your attention quickly. I really like that Keith's explanations really
  seem like he is talking to a class, not a robotic scripted speech like some
  edu-videos I've watched.
- I like that he has created playlists so that videos are easily searchable by

HipHughes History YouTube Channel, history podcasts, educational youtube videos, youtube next edu guru

VSauce YouTube Channel
- This YouTube Channel features some great videos that could be used as
   activating strategies in the classroom such as "Is the 5 Second Rule True?"
   and "What if Everyone Jumped At Once?". These videos are very
   engaging and I can see students getting really excited by the off-beat and
   interesting information.
- These types of videos could also be used as examples for teachers and
   students to create their own videos!
* Some videos on this channel would not be appropriate for the classroom
   so make sure you explore fully before you use it in the class

VSauce YouTube Channel, youtube channels as activating strategies,

Minute Physics
- This YouTube Channel features some amazing videos that would be perfect
   in a science class. The RSA Animate style of the videos is engaging and the
   information is summarized clearly and quickly!
- If I was teaching physics I would definitely show these videos in class or have
   the links available for students to checkout at home for homework help.
- I have absolutely no background in physics and I found these videos pretty

physics videos, physics activating strategies, physics videos for students

I Witness: Holocaust Video Archives 
- I Witness is the perfect resource to bring history to life!
- This website is an archive of 1,000+ one-on-one interviews with
   Holocaust survivors and other witnesses.
- This website is specifically designed for educators, allowing users to
   not only watch videos but edit their own video projects, browse the
   encyclopedia and create secure accounts for students.

video testimonies from holocaust survivors, the holocaust, videos about the holocaust, primary documents on the holocaust

- From the amazingly wonderful TED non-profit group comes TED-Ed.
  Their compilation of educational videos are the perfect accompaniment
  to your classroom lessons.
- Not only does this website have some great videos, but they provide us
  with the resources to create a customized lesson around it!

MIT Video
- MIT Video hosts more than 100 channels that users can easily search and view!
  Scroll through their channel lists by subject area or for specific topics you may be
  studying in your class.
- Not only could you use these videos to supplement your lessons but students
   could also use these videos to research a specific topic.

video channels, educational videos, videos for the classroom

- A "YouTube-style" website housing educational videos.
- Teachers and students can search and view videos on a variety of educational topics. 
- A big plus is that the videos can be downloaded and saved!

100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers
- A comprehensive list of educational videos on YouTube.
- Includes videos on history, science, language, arts, inspiration, classroom
  management, how-to's, technology and more! 
- Provided by Classroom 2.0


  1. First, I love the image at the top. It just sums up perfectly how video used to be used (and still sometimes is used) in the classroom. I remember being in school and being so happy when I saw that tv roll in; yay movie time! But then I got to high school, and when I saw that tv coming in I almost dreaded it.. Because I had to watch very dry and boring videos on Mitosis. But now I am happy to see that there are more interactive and educational videos out there being used for meaningful purposes. Thanks for providing that very comprehensive list of good video sites! Honestly I am not as knowledgeable in this area as I should be. I don't have a list of videos that I love for the classroom. And it's not that I don't want that, because I do, I just haven't looked around enough. So I look forward to exploring your list, and adding to my own!

    1. Thanks Adrienne! I laughed out loud when I saw that image so I HAD to put it in to this post. Once you start exploring online resources you'll find that there are so many options out there. Good luck finding ones that will work for you and your students! :)


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