by Jim Forde
The web is obviously an amazing repository of useful information. I actually can not even remember how I prepared for my teaching in the late 80's (when I was majoring in mullet-ology) before it was available! One of the greatest things that the web offers is the myriad of video resources that can potentially enhance your lessons. Here is a short list of ones that blow me away and a few tips for video utilization.
1. NBC Learn
I just saw a demo of this deep resource an NSTA in Indianapolis last week. It connects professional quality video clips with scence and math concepts is a super high interest way. Here is an example, the Science of NHL hockey (http://www.nbclearn.com/portal/site/learn/science-of-nhl-hockey) connects hockey with ideas like, Newton's Laws; Mass, volume and Density; and Vectors. The are humorous and effective. Kids will DIG these for sure! Also, check out the Changing Planet series for videos about the effects of climate change.
2. Science 360
Science 360 is brought to you by the NSF. I think it is safe to say that the quality of the content is going to be high quality! Go to the topics tab to explore a myriad of STEM topics. What is particularly cool, especially if you are blogger like me, is that ach video is embeddable to put on your own personal websites, blogs and social networking pages! That's what I'm talking about! These will make great school web site enhancers. For those of you who currently own iPads, the iPad app is stunning and works beautifully when you are using WiFi. The interface is amazing and fun.
I can not say enough about the quality of these video based videos. they are amazingly engaging and inspiring. I try to watch one a day. Today I watched the one on Plankton (http://www.ted.com/talks/the_secret_life_of_plankton.html) from Ted Ed. My favorite one is on a new technology we will all soon own called "sixth sense" (http://www.ted.com/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html). The neat thing about the differently sized boxes that greet you on the web site is that they actually indicate the popularity of hte videos being presented. The bigger the box, the more popular the video! Interesting right? My favorite story about using TED with kids was the day it was snowing in CT and the buses were late picking up a bunch of our MS students. We sat around and then I decided to put up a TED video on bioluminescence. The bus arrived and kids wouldn't leave until it was done...on a snow day!
4. YouTube EDU
I know what your thinking. You tube? If you haven't taken the time to see the You Tube Edu site though you may want to check it out. It is blocked by many school districts but when you see the university and secondary content being presented you may change your perceptions and ask the media specialist for the over-ride code (or just ask one of your students for the address of a proxy server work around).
5. PBS Video
Full length PBS videos? Need I say more? For a NOVA, NATURE and FRONTLINE junkie like me this is Nirvana. (Not the 90's band...think heaven.) I used this last school year when we discussed the Tsunami in Japan. You can't do much better than this award winning resource. The web interface is slick and impressive also.
A simple Yahoo like interface with MANY educational topics offering short useful video content to enhance your lessons. I will admit that these are of an uneven quality but is easy to use and offer MANY great clips that are easy to access. They are also a great price... free.
Now for the Video Utilization Strategies... head here, http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/video2.html
The WNET National Teacher Training Institute not only explains the best way to use educational video if offers short videos which show you them in action!
Well, Video may have killed the radio star but it also helped to add some engaging content to my lessons! Happy Viewing!
Jim Forde is a science and technology teacher at Scofield Magnet MS in Stamford, CT. He is a past teacher of the year and an educational technology enthusiast. You can reach Jim at email@example.com
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