Since its inception in 2007, TeacherTube has grown exponentially in size and importance. For teachers, it provides more than half a million searchable videos on all subjects, and for students, especially those who are visual learners, it allows access to entertaining and informative clips that can benefit their education. This is especially important in schools with strict Internet access protocols, as TeacherTube content is carefully monitored so that offensive material doesn’t hit the site.
For science teachers, TeacherTube has a wealth of short clips that can liven up any lesson. Although it’s fun to browse, searching for what you’re after couldn’t be easier. Once the site has loaded, click on “Videos” at the top of the screen, and then click “Science” in the left hand directory. It is then a simple matter to scroll through thumbnails of the videos, or to search for something more specific by using key words.
TeacherTube has a wide variety of topics and styles, but it also has a wide range in quality. Increasingly, students are using the site to post slideshows and short educational films that they’ve made, and while some of these may not be exactly what’s required for a particular lesson, they can give teachers and students ideas about their next project.
Nonetheless, there are many high quality video clips to watch or download. Those featured below have been chosen to highlight the different types of clip, and also, perhaps, to inspire students and teachers into attempting something similar themselves.
Intro to Chemistry_ 4.3 Types of Chemical Reactions (1_3) – Not the most inspiring title, but an accurate one. This 10 minute video, the first in a series, offers senior students an entertaining look at a few experiments and some cold hard facts, with a presentation that might seem basic but is, in fact, craftily designed. Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, from chempodcast.com, are a fun team, but they also know their stuff. For teachers who want to take a break from explaining dry principles, or just want to showcase some science in action, the videos from Bergmann and Sams are likely to be well received by students.
Immovable Object vs. Unstoppable Force – Which Wins? – This animated video is a quick-fire look at one of the great physics questions: “What happens when an immovable object is met by an irresistible force?” The answer will surprise most students, who may enjoy thinking about the question before viewing the clip.
The Elements Song by Tom Lehrer – Most science teachers, though few students, are familiar with Tom Lehrer’s witty run-through of the chemical elements to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General”. Here, it is presented as a slideshow, complete with a listing of the elements discovered since the song was released. It may be interesting to find out, beforehand, how many the students can name, and then afterwards, recall.
Science Lab Safety Video Rap – There are hundreds of raps on TeacherTube, and this one, with over 36,000 views, is one of the more popular examples. Created by and featuring students – as most of them are – it is very well made and might be just what teachers need to help introduce a few important safety rules to a new group of students.
Classifying Vertebrates – For younger students who are learning about animal classifications, this is a very funny look at the different types. In the 5 minute video, which features talking animals, students are invited to work out what makes a reptile, for instance, different to a mammal or a fish. It’s a British production so the accents may sound strange to American students, but that just adds to its charm.
Honda Commerical with Rube Goldberg – One of the most famous and remarkable adverts of all time gives students a look at some simple machines and may have them asking, “Who’s Rube Goldberg?” If students would like to try making their own contraptions, there are many other videos at TeacherTube that can help. For example, try the Comeback Can series to help develop an interest in kinetic energy.
Science teachers can find plenty to interest and inform their students by searching TeacherTube. It’s an almost limitless resource that gets bigger every day. Occasionally, a short video is all it takes to add life to dry instruction or bookwork, and, with luck, students may start to find it as useful as their teachers do. It only takes a minute to track down videos on specific topics, but a more random approach can sometimes yield surprising results that might, with luck, inspire the next great science lesson.