Tips for Teachers and Classroom Resources

Top 5 Video Sites That Teachers Will Love

By The Room 241 Team

Teachers know that finding informative and entertaining media to share with students can be a challenge. The selections have come a long way: “Educational” and “entertainment” are no longer mutually exclusive qualities in the world of classroom-appropriate videos. However, that very growth in selection makes it difficult to pick the right high-caliber media for a specific classroom.

Building a collection of trustworthy resources can make this easier, giving students and teachers a viewing experience they will both enjoy. Here are five options that can help educators find safe, reliable sources for classroom-appropriate K-12 video.

5. Imaginative + Humorous: How Stuff Works

When the occasion calls for whimsy, How Stuff Works gives educators a variety of videos that feel like straightforward entertainment while keeping education in the foreground. Students can learn about subjects that appeal to their innate curiosity with topics like:

Tapping into young learners’ fascination with the bizarre, How Stuff Works piques their interest without arousing their suspicion.

4. Building Community: SchoolTube

SchoolTube allows educators and students to create and participate in an educational community and provides a safe environment where students can learn and share. Some features that set SchoolTube apart from other video-sharing sites:

  • Find My School, a way to locate school-specific content
  • Safe, clear browsing by educational category
  • Monitoring by the Student Television Network, which holds community members to high ethical standards

SchoolTube also empowers students by encouraging them to share their own point of view, investigate the world around them and express their ideas creatively.

3. All Things Science: National Science Foundation

Since 1950, the NSF has been working to “advance the national health, prosperity and welfare” of our nation. The NSF funds and conducts research in varied science-related fields, including zoology, physics and environmental science. Media on the site (like the “Science Now” series, highlighting current NSF research) is accessible to students across most grade levels, and offers a level of relevancy and candor unavailable elsewhere. Develop civic-minded thinking through bold topics:

High production values increase the overall quality of the NSF’s video offerings, creating an even more engaging experience for viewers.

2. Lessons to Inspire: TedEd

An offshoot of the popular TED family, TedEd is a forum built to deliver information to students in a way that encourages new ways of thinking. Video series include:

  • “The World’s People and Places”
  • “You Graduated … Now What?”
  • “Awesome Nature”

Sorting by topic offers options such as health and business & economics. TedEd’s videos also have handy interactive features. Below each video, the “Think” module provides a brief, engaging Q&A that helps students get the most out of videos, and “Dig Deeper” offers topical resources that viewers can use to explore subjects that speak to them.

TedEd also offers “YouTube Picks,” taking the guesswork out of combing through what often feels like an infinite sea of questionable content. And the  “Best Flips” section features a selection of user-created videos.

1. Carefully Curated: PBS LearningMedia

From one of the longest-trusted educational media providers, PBS LearningMedia is the newest in the PBS family of web offerings. Although all PBS sites offer content with substance (PBS Teachers, PBS Kids, and PBS are all great resources for educational media), PBS LearningMedia offers a highly organized collection of videos that teachers can search using criteria like grade level, subject, collection (curated media selections) and standards.

Categories include:

  • Curriculum topics and themes
  • State collections
  • The arts
  • Professional development
  • World languages

As with all other PBS offerings, this resource is free to educators.

Finding good educational video content is a daunting task. However, by taking the time to research and share quality media, educators are giving lessons on more than just the given subject. They show students what quality looks like, and how to find it for themselves.

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