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Learning Library Blog 15 educator-vetted sites for quality video content
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15 educator-vetted sites for quality video content

June 2, 2016
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Flipping your classroom has never been easier because of all the rich video content available for free on YouTube and other sites. We asked members of the ISTE Commons to recommend their favorite go-to sites for instructional videos. Here’s what we gleaned from educators who are using these sites to extend learning inside and outside of the classroom.

NBC Learn. Michele Eaton, director of virtual and blended learning at the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, said teachers in her district love this site because they can search for relevant content by standards. “The videos and primary resources are all from NBC News programs, and many of them provide additional teaching resources. They are all transcribed and tagged by standard. I also like that they are all under five minutes long.”

Crash Course. This YouTube channel offers short entertaining videos that teach subjects like history, philosophy, literature and science. Janet Coe, an instructional technology coordinator at the Woodlands Christian Academy in Texas, says she loves the channel, with one caveat: “Always preview these videos!” she cautions. “At least one time per video a remark or image is thrown in that may not be appropriate for your audience.”  

Crash Course Kids. This channel from the producers of Crash Course is updated every other week and covers elementary school science topics like animals, space exploration, oceanography and more. Ashley Kemper, a middle school science and technology teacher from Currey Ingram Academy in Brentwood, Tennessee, recommended this site for students too young for the other Crash Course channel.

TED-Ed. David Bruno, learning engineer from Laurel Springs School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, describes TED-Ed as an amazing resource. “The great minds behind your favorite TED Talks curate these educational videos that cover everything from the hero's journey to the Haber process. Each video also contains a link to a lesson from TED's educational website.”

PBS Learning Media. This site offers free digital resources, including videos, interactives, self-paced lessons and much more. Kathy Heiman, education specialist from Alabama Public Television, says the site offers resources correlated to the Common Core and other national standards. The teacher site allows educators to build resource folders, and the student site is a great place for kids to search for their own content. This free site offers a collection of over 1,800 short videos by and for teachers and students. Most of the videos are of students or teachers explaining something in 90 seconds or less. Topics range from how to shoot a layup to the difference between credit and debt and how to open a locker. 

Discovery Education: This site has a breadth of resources for science, English, social studies, math and more. The videos are vetted by experts and accompanied by lesson plans and other materials.

It’s Okay To Be Smart. This PBS YouTube channel focuses on engaging science topics that appeal to kids, like the science of barbecue and the world of fire ants.

Physics Girl. Another fun YouTube channel from PBS, this channel explains physics by focusing on interesting phenomena, such as pool vortices, monster waves and crazy bouncing balls.

Storybots. This channel, offering animated music videos, is aimed at younger kids, but even older students will smile at rapping planets and singing dinosaurs. The songs are a fun way to reinforce content.

BrainPop. Although this is a subscription site for schools, BrainPop offers “free stuff” to educators who want to try it out. The rich animated educational offerings cover science, social studies, English, math, arts and music, health, and technology. It also has a Spanish-language version.

The Brain Scoop. Supported by Chicago's Field Museum, this channel offers a look at the science behind one of the world's greatest natural history museums.

Deep Look. Using microscopy and macro photography, this channel, created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios, provides a very close look at the world around us.

SciShow and SciShowKids. These channels are produced by the same folks who make Crash Course. Each video deals with a scientific topic in an interesting and engaging way. Some topics, like the science of beer and wine, are not suitable for kids.

Want to learn the fundamentals of implementing a flipping classroom approach? Read Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Classroom Every Day by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams.