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Posts tagged ‘youtube’

HBO, The March of Time, and free historical videos

It’s never easy finding short video clips that you can use in a history or geography class. Thanks to HBO’s YouTube channel, it’s gotten just a little easier.

HBO has created a series of playlists that includes a variety of old and new video clips. And they seem like a perfect fit for talking about human geography and regions or for using as introductory activities to different history topics.

My favorite? Read more

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.

Read more

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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