In most classrooms, individualized learning is the norm, and it can be problematic for many teachers. How can a teacher possibly keep all the students learning at a level that is challenging for each of them? How can a teacher tap into students’ curiosity to keep them motivated to learn? And how can a teacher make sure that all students have access to learning all the content standards? Short videos may be the answer.
Finding the Right Videos
Online videos are one powerful solution to these challenges. Students’ learning changes when they have a connected device to help them learn. But the number of methods for learning new information is almost endless on the Internet. Who has the time to sift through them all?
We’ve put together a “go-to” list of excellent sites with short videos that teachers can use to provide content knowledge and standards-based tutorials, or to tap into the curiosity of students.
- Khan Academy. This is one of the first places to go when you need help teaching a student how to do something. The content covers just about everything – even very difficult concepts. https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Learn Zillion. This site requires a free login, but it provides access to tons of PowerPoint tutorials on all math and ELA Common Core standards. And it’s very user friendly. https://learnzillion.com
- Explore.org. Here’s a great content site for science and social studies. Vivid videos and pictures bring content to life and make it real for the students. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/northern-lights-cam
- Discovery Education. This site is subscription-based and probably needs more teacher direction that other sites. But it offers some amazing, standards-based videos that make real-world connections, especially in science and social studies. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/
- Teacher Tube. This site offers how-to videos for teachers, as well as some good tutorials for students. https://www.teachertube.com/students
- NEO K12. The content on this site is quite comprehensive, and it includes quizzes and games that go along with some of the standards. The videos are good, too. http://www.neok12.com/
- YouTube/Google. There are some great channels you can subscribe to on YouTube, with various topics that are appropriate for different age ranges. https://www.youtube.com/edu Take a look at this great tutorial on how to get started.
- How Stuff Works. This site is just fun. Learning doesn’t feel like learning because the videos are so engaging. http://www.howstuffworks.com/videos
- Watch Know Learn. is another go-to site that has just about everything. Particularly good are the character ed videos on topics ranging from music to lessons about respect, responsibility, and trust. Most of the videos have a user review rating, which is helpful in making selections. http://www.watchknowlearn.org/
- Social Skills. This site sells DVDs as a kind of curriculum for specials needs learners, particularly children with autism. Nevertheless, some of its videos are suitable for all students in the primary grades. The site references some of the Watch Me Learn videos, which are sparse, but also good. http://www.freevideosforautistickids.com/social_skills.html
- TED. This site is excellent for adult learning, it includes some fantastic tools and interactive videos that can be used with students, too. In and of itself, TED is a treasure of videos that any 6-12 science teacher could use – such as this one on the periodic table: http://ed.ted.com/periodic-videos
- Disney. While I am not a huge fan of all the marketing that’s done on this website, http://dep.disney.go.com/index.html has some very good resources. Some videos are free, and some of the older content can be purchased. There are some traditional standbys, like Schoolhouse Rock and Bill Nye, which more seasoned teachers will really enjoy.
All of these sites are great resources. Having common standards across the country has allowed educators to share this information with one another easily, and has also allowed many free or close-to-free options for student learning videos to surface.
Even though the foregoing are great resources, there are times when teachers need to create their own videos. These three DIY options can make life easier for teachers:
- Screencast-O-Matic. This is a super-easy site that is free with a login. It records the computer screen while you narrate. There are limits on the number and length of videos that can be saved with the free level of membership, but the subscription rate is pretty reasonable. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube and then saved and shared easily. https://screencast-o-matic.com/home
- CamStudio. This is another free option. It is open source and there are some limits, but it works as well as the Screencast-O-Matic option listed above. http://camstudio.org/
- MimioStudio™ classroom software. This award-winning software offers many features that enable you to create videos or assets that can be used in other video creation software. Record audio, video, and screen action with the Recorder feature, and add it to other videos or use it on its own. The Screen Clipping tool allows you to clip sections or images and use them in videos.
These three DIY options require some time on the teacher’s part, but they are great options for students. Any student who has been absent can watch the teacher’s video to get caught up on what’s been taught. Teacher video are also extremely helpful to students who need a review of content.
What are your favorite video sites? Have you found interesting ways to incorporate videos into your curriculum and lessons? We’d love to hear from you – post your ideas here!
Want to learn more about using the MimioStudio Recorder feature for DIY videos? Click here and under Advanced Topics you can access the on-demand video to watch anytime.