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Posts tagged ‘youtube’

5 tasty YouTube channels perfect for history geeks

Yup. I’m a history geek. I’m a member of the History Book Club, I love maps, I stop and read every historical marker before driving past, I spent most of a morning three weeks ago quizzing the docent in the Northfield, Minnesota history museum on the 1876 raid by the James Gang, and I have the Band of Brothers DVD series memorized.

So where do I go when I need a good YouTube video?

Here are five very sweet YouTube channels that are great places for you and your kids.

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YouTube Time Machine

Okay. It may not be a huge game changer. It’s probably not a silver bullet.

But YouTube Time Machine is still very cool. I like it a lot. (You’re gonna have to listen to the whole thing but insert Hoops and YoYo quote in here.)

YTTM is a sweet little tool that lets you search for video primary sources by year. Grab the slider and pull it to a specific year. YTTM then displays a series of videos from that year. You do have a few filters to increase or limit the number of videos – commercials, music, current events, sports, etc.

The tool is a nice way to provide historical context, have kids practice primary source analysis strategies, and to compare multiple perspectives.

The drawback is that YTTM provides the videos randomly. A kind of work-around is to open each of the videos in YouTube itself and then use YouTube’s related videos feature along its right hand side.

You then have the option to add these related videos to YTTM’s database.

Not a huge game changer – but a nice little gadget to have in the tool kit when you need it.

History? I love History! and other fun video tools

I love history. Most people do. At least they do once they graduate from high school. Historical fiction, biographies, history related movies. All end up on best seller and highest grossing movie lists.

There are lots of reasons why this seems to be true. Part of the problem is how it’s taught in school. And part of that problem is that we often don’t use video and movies correctly. Even my daughter knows this:

Don’t show a super long movie over three or four class periods. Especially if there’s no clear reason for me having to watch it.

I’ve written about using movies here and here but I started thinking this week about what sorts of useful clips live online. And some quick looking around revealed a variety of handy tools.

The UK Scholastic people have a very cool site called Horrible Histories. They’ve posted short clips of their longer videos on YouTube. A great way to introduce historical topics or as reflection/writing prompts.

My favorite? Historical Wife Swap Ancient Greece. Athenian and Spartan wives swap families ala the current reality television show.

Another handy online video clip site is Crash Course: World History. You’ll find quirky videos on a wide variety of historical topics. These are a bit longer than the Horrible History clips at about 12 minutes or so. And they are a bit more upper level. But still a lot of fun and a good way to introduce different historical periods and topics.

(The bonus thing? These sorts of videos seem much better suited for “flipping” history classrooms than some of the clunky Khan Academy type videos out there.)

What history based video sites am I missing?

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TED-Ed: Cool videos and cool tools

I’ve talked about TED before. Very simply TED is a group of people listening to other people talk about technology, entertainment, and design topics in 18 minute chunks. Of course, the people they are listening to are smart and funny and, in many case, are changing the world.

The cool thing is that the TED people also record these 18 minute chunks and have been putting them online for the rest of us to watch. And there are some truly amazing videos that can be used as part of our instruction. The problem is that you have to do some digging and planning to find what works best for your class.

TED just got better. On Wednesday TED launched something called TED-Ed. TED-Ed is designed to provide teachers a way to quickly and easily turn TED talks and any YouTube video into an online lesson. With multiple choice questions, short answers, additional resources, and directions for next steps by students.

Time out. Did you just say I can take any TED talk or any YouTube video and create an online lesson?

Yes. That’s exactly what I am saying. You can take any TED talk or any YouTube video and create an online lesson. Get an idea of what the final project looks like by looking at a quick lesson I created about the 20th Maine at Gettysburg.

Here’s how it works: Create a free TED account if you haven’t already. Browse the videos that TED has put online at TED-Ed for you to use. Find something you can use? Click the “Flip This Lesson” button.

You can then edit the already created questions and resources associated with that video.

Can’t find anything in your content area that interests you? Click the YouTube button that lives at the top of the page.

Search by keyword as if you’re at YouTube. When you find a video you want to use as a lesson, select the video, and hit the “Flip this Video” button.

TED Ed’s lesson editor makes it easy to add a brief description, questions, additional resources, and closing thoughts to the video. (The cool thing is that TED has posted almost 1200 video clips online at YouTube so even if the video you’re looking for is not yet on TED-Ed, you can find it on YouTube.)

Preview your lesson and if you like it, go ahead and publish. It’s then just a simple matter of sharing the link out with your students via email or social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Free and easy. Two of my favorite things.

Have fun!

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Tip of the Week – Youtube for Teachers Update

I first mentioned several months ago and suggested it as a great resource for educators.

It’s gotten better. So I’m back with an update. was created to help teachers use YouTube videos

to educate, engage, and inspire their students.

And the Youtube people are working with a group of teachers to put together a series of  playlists of partner videos that align with Common Core standards. The nice thing about this new addition is the handy-dandy playlists are listed in an easy-to-navigate way.

You’ll find elementary and secondary Social Studies sections (as well as math, Language Arts and Science) with a wide variety of topical playlists. You can also suggest your own playlists to be included in their database.

It looks a bit like a work in progress because they haven’t yet sorted out a ton of videos. But there’s enough there to get you hooked on the idea.

Give it a try. And be sure to have fun!

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Tip of the Week – YouTube Teachers Channel (and other educational channels)

YouTube has been blocked so long for some many teachers that I think we sometimes forget that it’s still there. If you’re one of the lucky ones who teach in a building where YouTube is not blocked, don’t ever leave.

But if you’re one of the unlucky ones who work in an environment where the tech folks guard Internet access like nuclear launch codes, there’s hope.

YouTube recently created a channel designed specifically for educators. It’s pretty good. And . . . it just might be good enough for the gatekeepers to unblock.

This site is a resource for educators everywhere to learn how to use YouTube as an educational tool. There are lesson plan suggestions, highlights of great educational content on YouTube and training on how to film your own educational videos.

This site was written by teachers for teachers and it seems as if YouTube wants to continue that spirit of community-involvement. They’re creating a new YouTube newsletter for teachers and are asking teachers to submit their favorite YouTube playlists to highlight on YouTube EDU.

The first thing you see is a collection of video clips and teaching ideas:

Spark Lively Discussion: Engage students by showing a video relevant to their lives. Video clips can bring in different perspectives or force students to consider a new viewpoint, helping to spark a discussion.
Organize all the great video content you find: Playlists are YouTube’s way of allowing you to organize videos on the site. When one video ends, the playlist plays the next video without offering ‘related videos,’ thus creating a curated environment for you students.
Archive your work: Capture and save projects and discussions so you can refer back to them year after year. This will also help you save time as you can assign old videos to your new students.
Allow students to dig deeper into a subject: Give students the option to dig deeper into a subject by creating a playlist of videos related to that concept. By creating playlists of relevant videos you allow students to pursue their interests without wasting their time searching for information (or finding potentially objectionable content).
Get struggling students to speed up and push strong students ahead: Videos (or playlists) can help supplement in class teaching for struggling students. Students can review them at home time so you’re not forced to teacher exclusively to the middle 50%.
Review for upcoming exams: Turn test review and flashcards into easy-to-watch videos. This way students can hear your explanations as they study. You can also create a “test review” video students can use to study the night before the big test.
Create a YouTube center in your classroom: When working in stations or centers, have students use your YouTube channel to complete an assignment, freeing you upto work with small groups of students.
Create quizzes to accompany videos for instant feedback: Create a Google Form that students complete after watching a video. You can use this quiz to get instant feedback on what they’re learning.
Create Interactive Video Quests
: Use YouTube annotations to create “Choose your own adventure” style video quests. You can also create a video guide.
Flip your classroom: If your students watch a video of the basic concepts at home you can focus in class on applying those concepts, working collaboratively with their classmates rather than simply listening to you lecture.

It’s not a perfect system yet but it’s a start. And be sure to check out these other useful YouTube channels appropriate for teachers. Who knows? Maybe the tech people will finally see some of the benefits of online video!

Smithsonian Videos: The beloved museum’s official channel mostly serves as a hub for its other offerings, but still hosts its own series of videos covering everything from biology to art.

Discovery Channel: Explore a nice variety of subjects through this channel.

PBS: Public broadcasting opens up viewers’ minds to the wide range of wonders the world has to offer, particularly when it comes to current events, the arts and science.

National Geographic: History, anthropology, science, archaeology, psychology, art, sociology and other topics collide into one incredibly valuable, intelligent and highly educational resource.

Edutopia: This organization devotes its resources to promote multimedia, interactive and online learning in classrooms worldwide, making it a wonderful channel for tech-savvy (and not so tech-savvy) teachers.

Associated Press: Stay on top of the current events impacting today’s world. Associated Press covers both domestic and international stories.

The White House: Follow this YouTube channel for the latest developments in American politics.

Library of Congress: Most of the videos and lectures presented by the Library of Congress involve film, books and American history.

100 Incredible YouTube Channels for History Buffs: Not all of these are actual channels but you will find some awesome history stuff here

Have fun!

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