Press Play! Using Creative Educational Videos in the Classroom

Incorporating videos into your classroom is a great way to energize your students and inspire new ways of learning. And in our interconnected, internet-filled world, there are all kinds of resources for fun videos that kids will want to watch again and again. Read on for tips on how to get the most out of your media experience, plus where to find the best content for your class.

Straight from the source: videos by experts

Showing students videos made by scientists, historians, researchers, and other experts is not only a great way to get information straight from a leading authority, it can also introduce kids to people who are passionate about their field of study. TED-Ed offers a great collection of dynamic animation and lectures from the world’s top thinkers, and there are lots of experts who create their own videos—like physicist Henry Reich, who answers questions like Is it better to walk or run in the rain? and Why is the sky blue? on his YouTube channel MinutePhysics.

You can also take advantage of regular video programming and related lesson plans produced by well-known institutions; The Smithsonian, The Met, and the California Academy of Sciences feature videos that cover everything from how science works to the ancient Egyptian mummification process!

Outside-the-box learning: videos with new perspectives

One of the best ways to inspire students is to approach a familiar subject from a new angle—and there are plenty of creative videos that can help. Give Shakespeare a twist with this video that crosses the Bard with rap music or introduce students to figurative language through clips from Disney movies. You can enhance nearly every kind of lesson with videos that infuse pop culture or modern perspectives into difficult subjects.

Creative teachers: videos by educators

Finally, don’t forget about your fellow teachers around the world! YouTube is chock full of videos made by innovative educators.

From a teacher who explains the eight times table through song:

To a teacher who does upbeat breakdowns of historical events: