There are many interesting and fun videos on YouTube.  I particularly enjoy this video by James Sanders who used Keynote to create a video for teaching history.

YouTube is great educationally for many reasons.

  • Everyone has heard of YouTube, it is a common platform.  TeacherTube and SchoolTube haven’t quite caught on the same way.
  • Videos upload immediately, do not have to wait hours and days for the video to be approved.
  • Can upload directly to YouTube from many mobile devices.
  • Can export various web 2.0 tools such as directly to YouTube.
  • There are already a lot of pre made resources on YouTube that teachers can use.
  • With the new and the doors are open for K-12 to start using YouTube in the classroom.
  • Students are already on YouTube, let them find your curriculum also.
  • YouTube comes preloaded on iOS devices, why not take advantage.

As a side note if anyone is interested in learning more about YouTube I would highly recommend getting to any presentation that Jim Sill is providing on the topic.

Recently I have been perusing through YouTube looking for math videos. There are a lot of interesting science and history videos.  Pretty much any historical battle ever has been recreated as stop motion with Lego’s.  I have found several pretty awesome math videos, but they seem few and far between.  The majority are videos of someone droning over a PowerPoint, voicing over a screen recording of their computer where the program is too small to discern, or writing on paper or a white board.  Not very exciting, not very engaging.

So I am making a plea.  Teachers, you do not want to be boring. There are lots of boring videos out there, now is the time to make ones that are fun and interesting.  How about

  • Going outside with your phone and recording man on the street where you muse about how what you are looking at reminds you of what you are teaching. (In general keep videos short!)
  • Using keynote to make an animated video like the one James Sanders made.
  • Make songs, music is a powerful way to remember information.  How many of us as adults STILL sing the ABC song to know what comes after L? Word of caution, make sure the audio is good.
  • Stop Motion animation.
  • Videos like common craft where you cut out props and move them around.
  • Concept videos! Break away from the algorithm.  Why would students want to know the topic? How would they use it?
  • Have something explode! Literally or figuratively.  You want to get the students attention, make them WANT to know more about your topic.  A video recording your calculator just isn’t as exciting to students as it is to you.
  • Create a spoof of a commercial.
  • Have students create videos (emphasize the quality of audio though!).  Students make some really fun things that you would not have thought of, helps them to have deeper understanding of the material, and is more interesting then having them do worksheets.
  • Demonstrations and experiments.
  • Build something.
  • Interview someone in the field.
  • Create a challenge for students to want to overcome.
  • Historical context.
  • Digital storytelling.  You want to draw students in emotionally, get them interested.  The video does not necessarily have to teach the content. (Remember the anticipatory set?)
  • Create a cartoon or animation.

In general try to keep the video short (1 minute is great, more than 3 minutes is hard to watch).  Have fun.  Make sure the audio is clear.  Application and Concept… less lecture.

You have been challenged! (I want to use your videos, share them with me @alicekeeler)


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