TED-Ed releases video lessons for students
Long the premiere web-destination for fans of funny cat videos, Youtube is also a fantastic educational resource with thousands of entertaining and engaging videos for learners of all ages. Last week, it got even better with the launch of TED-Ed, an education initiative from TED. The non-profit hosts fascinating talks by some of the most influential minds out there, like this much-shared talk from creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson on changing education paradigms (definitely worth a look if you haven’t seen it.) With TED-Ed, the group brings teachers and students short animated lessons from top educators and animators.
Video lessons, perhaps best exemplified by Sal Khan’s Khan Academy have been called “the future of education” by some. Others, like thinktanK’s own Paul Thomas, have warned that videos, while helpful, should not be a full-time replacement for teaching.
In conjunction with face-to-face instruction, however, videos can be one of many valuable tools in a teacher’s arsenal. TED-Ed’s videos are not full lessons, but would be a fun way to introduce a new topic or explain a concept in a new way to a student who’s not “getting it.”
For instance, I absolutely wish this video on using simple language had existed a few years ago, when I worked as an English tutor. My thesaurus-loving students often couldn’t understand why I would suggest replacing their ten dollar “college words” with “boring” simple words. It’s not a replacement for a vocabulary lesson or a writing exercise, but with fun animation and familiar examples, this video explains the concept in a much more succinct and engaging way than I could.
For more great educational Youtube channels, check out this list from Emergingedtech.com
1. Smithsonian Videos – From the national museum complex in the nation’s capital comes this channel, with resources on everything from art and history to science and technology. The playlists on this channel are well organized so that it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
2. TED Talks – These lectures from experts in all areas are best for high school and college students. This is another well-organized channel that organizes videos by topics such as the ocean, the workings of our brains, and life lessons. Some talks have featured famous speakers such as Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, and Bill Gates.
3. PBS – This resource is great for showing children artistic performances, scientific documentaries, and more. It is also a great way to access programs such as NOVA and Masterpiece Theatre.
4. Biography Channel – This channel is great to use when your class is leaning about important historical figures. The lives of authors, scientists, presidents, thinkers, and more can apply to lessons in almost any subject.
5. National Geographic – Unlike other YouTube channels, this one offers full programs. There are over 3000 uploaded videos on all kinds of sciencetopics. While there are ads on this channel, the quality of the content makes up for it.
6. The Real Bill Nye the Science Guy – Bill Nye is still one of the best video resources for teaching science to children. This channel offers clips from each one of his 100 shows on various science topics.
7. Discovery Channel – Here is another resource for educational clips in science and technology. This channel offers clips from their popular shows such as How Stuff Works and Mythbusters.
8. Reel NASA – This is the official NASA resource for students who are learning about space and space travel. There are videos featuring inside views of the International Space Station, interview with real astronauts, and much more.
9. American Museum of Natural History – If you teach science, biology, geography, or another natural history field, this is the channel for you. There are playlists on all kinds of interesting topics such as dinosaurs, space, and the human brain.
10. Khan Academy – The mission of Khan Academy is to provide a free education to anyone anywhere. It offers videos on practically every topic imaginable, so you’re likely to find just what you need to show in class. It’s also a great resource to offer to your students for extracurricular learning.
And No. 11 – a bonus! The YouTube Education Category:www.youtube.com/education, which provides lots of educational video content, grouped by grade levels and related categories.
Do you ever incorporate videos to help explain concepts to your students? What’s your favorite source for educational videos? Share your picks in the comments!