There’s a big difference between watching a video and learning something from it. Videos are great for presenting visual information and emotional appeals, but not particularly effective at diving below the surface of non-visual theoretical or abstract topics or for driving critical thinking. What’s more, any video presented in class must compete for attention and memory with the five-plus hours the typical student spends outside of class watching television programs, movies, and other onscreen entertainment. (Nielsen, 2013)
With this week’s launch of TED-Ed, the organization that’s spent the past six years providing free YouTube access to “ideas worth spreading’ is merging short lessons from excellent teachers with high-quality video production and animation in order to engage a new generation of learners.
Each TED-Ed video, which will also be hosted on YouTube, clocks in at 10 minutes or less, enabling educators to communicate a powerful idea to students in a short, easily digestible format.
Deciding what to do after high school or college can be a daunting task for students. Career Thoughts is a site that aims to help students make informed career decisions. On Career Thoughts students can find career profiles that outline what a person in a particular career field actually does, the education requirements for that field, salary ranges, and employment prospects. The Career Thoughts YouTube channel provides even more information through video profiles of careers.
Animator James Hutson has created six fantastic two-minute animations on various aspects of critical thinking, aimed at kids ages 8 to 10 but also designed to resonate with grown-ups. Inspired by the animation style of the 1950s, most recognizably Saul Bass, the films are designed to promote a set of educational resources on critical thinking by TechNYou, an emerging technologies public information project funded by the Australian government.
PowerPoint is boring. Student attention spans are short. Today many facts pop up with a simple Google search. And plenty of free lectures by the world’s greatest professors can be found on YouTube.
If you’re a current college student, fire up your laptop’s Web cam and record a short “classroom confessional,” letting us know whether your professor’s lectures are boring, inspiring, or something in between. Just post your video to YouTube or other video-sharing site, and e-mail a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make your case to your school’s IT/administration for YouTube with this video. Now your school can unlock and grant you access to content on YouTubeEDU.
YouTube for Schools lets schools access free educational YouTube videos while limiting access to other YouTube content. Students can learn from more than 400,000 educational videos, from well-known organizations like Stanford, PBS and TED, and from up-and-coming YouTube partners with millions of views, like Khan Academy, Steve Spangler Science and numberphile. Schools can also customize their YouTube for Schools experience, adding videos that are only viewable within their school network.
Andy “Waxy” Baio writes about the “Supercut” phenomenon for Wired — these being videos that edit together dozens (sometimes hundreds) of instances of some iconic cinematic moment, whether it’s Sarah Palin’s breathing, Obama’s mentioning of “spending,” Hollywood actors answering the phone (or saying “We’ve got company” or similar cliches), or every instance of “dude” from The Big Lebowski.
"According to the turker estimates, the average supercut is composed of about 82 cuts, with more than 100 clips in about 25% of the videos. Some supercuts, about 5%, contain over 300 edits!"
At a time when teachers are often thought of as the problem in schools, replacing them with videos may seem like an easy solution. But if a student has a question about a lesson, a video can’t give her an answer.