Friday, November 27, 2009

New Site Launches Library of Educational Videos

Just launched in October 2009, provides educational videos for students, ages 3 to 18. The videos are intended for use in the classroom or for viewing at home as an extension activity.

The site is set up like a wiki, and, in fact, Sr. Larry Sanger, one of the co-founders of Wikipedia, initiated the concept. The site offers pages for teachers, students, and parents, and allows for contributing videos and commenting upon videos viewed. As a new site, its evolution and use will be interesting to follow. I just sampled several of the videos. You'll find below the category, title, URL, and site's recap of the video. Check out the site, and let us know what you think, keeping in mind the site launched just a few weeks ago.

“Phineas Gage’
“This video was made for the Connecticut College kids judge neuroscience fair. It tells the harrowing story of Phineas Gage and the amazing discoveries gained from his brain injury.”

Category: Science/Earth Science
“Why Study Earth Science”
"A geoscientist stresses the importance of learning earth science. He also explains the changes on our planet through geological time. The scientist also stresses the importance of learning earth science. It is a six minute video and contains nice photographs and good narration. "

Social Studies/Geography
“The Geography Tutor? What is Geography?”
"A Geography Tutor Video. Video answers the questions: What do geographers mean when they talk about culture? Culture can be defined as a way of life that distinguishes a people from another group. Cultural traits can be explained in religion, language, system of government, customs, and beliefs. Also discusses; culture region - which is an area occupied by people who share one or more cultural trails, culture hearth - which is a place where important ideas began and from which they spread to other areas. Video is of good quality and appropriate for students in elementary school and middle school." Ages 7 – 13

“Basic Math Lesson: Fractional Expressions
"Concepts covered: Decimal Fraction, Percentage, and Ratio. "Ages 10-18

Languages/Spanish/Spanish Vocabulary
“Rolling R’s Days of the Week”
"Instructor Larry Keim explains the days of the week in Spanish. Find out how to say the days of the week and how to talk about the different days of the week using some simple grammar and phrases."

Languages/Spanish/Native Conversation in Spanish
“Spanish Activities and Transportation”
"Watch as the instructor tells about her childhood and the different activities that she liked to do, and different modes of travel and transportation. This lesson can be used for intermediate to advanced learners as a tool for listening comprehension."

Learn about the Site:; check the Press Release


carrie said...

I love this site! Often teachers need supplemental material for reinforcing strategies/content at home or during individual practice time. Since this site is very easy to use, practical and safe, I would use it in my classroom. I would even post links to certain videos on my class' website for parents to use in order to practice at home. While the idea of using videos at home or in the classroom to strengthen skills and concepts is not new, compiling them into a safe and user friendly site for teachers and parents is a novel and fantastic tool. What makes this better than other video sites is that the videos are rated by other teachers and parents. They are also filtered for inappropriate content. While using it, I felt that it was organized in a a very thought-out and helpful way. What a great tool!

Bob said...

Hi Carrie, I am with you video clips are a great resource in the classroom. I started using video segments a little over 3 years ago and have found they have a variety of uses. I have my student’s write-down questions and/or comments they have about the clip. It is a great way to promote classroom discussion for all students; even the quiet ones. A byproduct this activity is that it allows me to informally check their understanding. I have also found the right clips can engage a variety of learners at different stages of a lesson/unit. I primarily use United Streaming because YouTube is block by my district. The good thing is United is finally updating its library and quality. This site also lets you download and store the clips. Finally, our charges come from a media driven world, I don’t like it, but I have to deal with it and video clips are a great step.

Jess K said...

Wow I love this website. What a helpful tool! I never really thought or think about playing movies from the web in the classroom because I never had the technology until recently. But this is great for the teachers that do. I love the literature section and how you can access videos on particular authors or picture books. A wonderful tool! The poetry section would have fit nicely into my poetry web quest! I love how the videos are rated by teachers too so you have an idea of how good the content may be and the age appropriateness of the videos is under the age filter. Whoever invented this really has something going here. I am surprised it hasn't become more popular yet.

Liz R. said...

I agree with all three of you. I also love this site, because the videos are already sought out from YouTube which saves me time! I also love how this site is safe and user friendly and that the videos are rated by other teachers. These videos can be used as a short warm-up activity at the beginning of class to introduce a new class objective. Keep developing this site. It is a keeper!

Amy R. said...

Watchknow is a handy website for teachers. Many schools block access to YouTube and other video sharing sites. Watchknow would be a good resource for teachers who want to entice their students with a quick video to illustrate a point or visually represent a part of history or science. I became quite interested in the sad story of Phinneas Gage who was impaled while working on the railroad long ago. This was a clever use of the Watchknow website in action.

Meggan said...

Like Bob, I have also been to United Streaming more than Watchknow because YouTube is also blocked in my district. I have found some clips on Watchknow though that reinforces writing strategies, and my students have found it helpful. Anything that's a multimedia presentation always grabs their attention. I like also how Bob has his students write down questions and/or comments to what they are watching. This can spark a rather interesting discussion after the video clip. There are so many great tools for teachers out there and we'd be fools if we didn't try and make use of them!

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