This is a shamelessly promotional video for Google Glass, but it shows the possibilities this tool opens up for learners. Andrew Vanden Heuvel teaches advanced physics online to high school students whose schools don’t offer the course. He explores CERN, the famous particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, bringing it back into the classroom in real time with Google glasses.
For history teachers, videos can be a powerful tool to contextualize events that seem intangible, or too far distant in the past. When it comes to World War II, specifically, this collection of videos put together by YouTube Education’s Angela Lin, bring a variety of perspectives for students to consider. In the mix, the topics cover the geopolitical significance of the war, as well as personal lives affected in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
For more tips on ideas for using videos, check out the MindShift Teacher’s Guide to Using Videos.
This video is one of the many fabulous educational creations John Green creates about all things history. Here, Green explains why World War has made such a lasting impact on the world and what lessons can be learned from its tragedy. It’s the war sped up and is about as funny as war can be.
Created by the U.S.Holocaust Memorial Museum, this video is the touching story of Sol Finkelstein, a Polish Jew separated from his father at a concentration camp just days before liberation. Not knowing what became of his father and guilt for not protecting him have plagued Finkelstein until his son and the museum helped find some answers.
This BBC Worldwide video remembers the horror that the atom bomb caused when it was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Often the battles fought in the Pacific during World War II are overshadowed by the horrific stories of Nazi concentration camps. This video brings the people who became collatoral damage to the forefront. Continue reading
With one billion monthly users (and growing), YouTube’s popularity is a pretty clear indication that video is a powerful medium. And kids’ unrelenting fascination with videos is motivating many educators to find ways to leverage them for all kinds of purposes.
But the best ways of using videos are not always obvious. Teachers want to know: Among all the millions of videos out there, how do you find the great ones? How do you evaluate the quality of a video? Who are the great content creators, and what are the best curation sites? Which kinds of videos work as fun supplements, and which are best for actual instruction? How do you get students engaged in discussion after watching videos? How do you blend videos into your curriculum?
In collaboration with educator Catlin Tucker, MindShift presents Teachers’ Guide to Videos [PDF], to answer these questions and more. You’ll find a slew of valuable resources, including video links for all kinds of subjects — history, math, science, language arts, and more — and ideas on how to inspire students to use videos as a conduit to dig in, ask questions, and learn.
In her “anti-parabola” video Doodling in Math Class: Connecting the Dots, Vi Hart demonstrates mathematical curiosity and creativity, which happens to be the opposite of what she does in math class. As she says, “Teaching how to think requires giving power and responsibility to individuals while teaching what to think can be done with one-size fits all bullet points and check boxes.”
Science teachers looking for fun videos to show how shockingly exciting science can be, look no further. Molly Michelson, who produces the Science in Action videos for the California Academy of Sciences, has seen a lot of videos explaining the science in everyday life. She’s put together her top five favorite science videos.
1. This Science Friday video, Where’s the Octopus, explains how cephalopods like squid and octopus camouflage themselves in the wild. Known as the masters of optical illusion, this video has cool shots of an octopus going in and out of camouflaged states.
2. This Distillations Explainer uses Abraham Lincoln’s head and accompanying top hat to explain how hemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood and why it’s so efficient.
3. The NPR video “A Mystery: Why Can’t We Walk Straight,” narrated by Robert Krulwich of Radio Lab fame, raises more questions than it answers about a topic researchers are still studying. Kids will invariably start wondering and maybe even hoping to solve the mystery!
Educators who’ve been wanting to use YouTube videos in class can now find an easy way in. Today, YouTube launched its own teacher’s channel: YouTube.com/Teachers, a guide to using videos in class.
Teachers can follow tips that show everything from organizing videos to sparking lively discussions to help struggling students through videos.
Teachers can also sign up to become part of the YouTube Teachers Community, a mailing list that allows them to share ideas and best practices.
The new teachers site is part one of two big initiatives on the part of YouTube geared towards educators. In the next couple of weeks, a bigger announcement will be made about huge changes that will address many of the concerns teachers have had about using YouTube videos (you know what they are). Stay tuned for more news in two weeks.
Until then, check out some of the new features on the teachers site, like this one, a rap video about the infamously dry subject of the Krebs cycle (that’s biochemistry, for those of us unfamiliar with the term).