Whenever I work with teachers, I always have a YouTube playlist handy. It has videos that always seem to resonate, entertain, educate or inspire.
I constantly find encouragement in videos that others share. And in a world where well produced, stunning videos can be created by virtually anyone, it’s easier to find than ever.
Here are the videos I have in my “Presentation videos” YouTube playlist. Some are thought-provoking. Some are entertaining and funny. Others may give you ideas for class, and others may inspire you.
And if you know of a video that didn’t make this list, please add it in a comment at the end of the post!
1. The Voice of the Active Learner – Education from a Digital Native’s Perspective — This is a go-to video for me. It’s the first-person account of a girl telling us what she’s looking for in her education. It’s a great reminder of the types of students that are in all of our classrooms.
2. Funny Toilet Paper Commercial — The term “paperless” is quite the buzzword in education these days. Going paperless can make us more efficient and create great learning experiences. But I think paper isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. You’ll see why in this video!
3. TeachingCenter — Ever wonder what it would be like if teachers were treated like professional athletes? What would a TV network devoted to education look like? Key and Peele (Comedy Central) give us a pretty good glimpse in this sketch.
4. Google Nose and Gmail Motion — OK, two videos here. If you haven’t seen Google’s April Fool’s Day spoofs, some of them are really funny. Google Nose tries to convince you that Google is archiving scents. Gmail Motion takes typing by gestures to a ridiculous level.
5. Skype Translator preview opens the classroom to the world — This video demonstrates an amazing feature of Skype: live translation of voice to text in another language. That means it could listen to someone in another country speaking Russian and translate it to English. Being a career Spanish teacher, I’ve tried it and, as of publication of this post, the translation accuracy is pretty rough. However, as speech to text improves with time, you know Skype will improve this function. Something to keep an eye on.
6. A Dog-Tastic Mystery Skype Adventure — If you haven’t been using Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime or other video call services in class, you’re missing out. This video shows a dual Mystery Skype/virtual field trip. If you aren’t familiar, it will open your eyes to possibilities of connecting with the world.
7. Girl’s first ski jump — This fourth-grade girl is about to her first ski jump — a K40 jump, where she’s six to eight feet off the ground at one point. It’s safe to say she’s nervous about it, but she overcomes her fears. This video speaks to educators and students about pushing past our fears.
8. 1994: “Today Show”: “What is the Internet, Anyway?” — Remember when the Internet wasn’t quite a thing yet? And we were still trying to figure out email and websites and all? This video takes us back to when these hosts struggled with new tech on air. (If you feel behind the curve with new technology, this will make you feel better!)
9. The Story of Blind Kahoot!’ing — Many teachers use Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) to review material with students. But some are starting to use it to introduce new material in an engaging way. That’s what blind Kahoot!’ing is all about.
10. “Unsung Hero” (Thai Life Insurance) — On some days, it’s easy to feel like you’re not making a difference. Or maybe that all of your efforts are for naught. This touching video reminds us how much of an impact our persistent acts of kindness and generosity have on the world.
11. Every Opportunity — The actions and words we use with children can affect them greatly. We have to be careful to make a positive effect instead of a negative one. This video reminds us how interactions with adults can make or break a child’s day.
12. Obvious to you. Amazing to others. — As educators, it’s easy to slip into this trap. We feel like we’re not doing anything different than anyone else. However, our perspectives, our ideas and our experiences can really help others — and let others know about the amazing work being done in schools. This reminds me that we must share our amazing work with others.
13. Try to do — From the description: “A story about a big squirrel and a baby squirrel.” You’ll see that the baby squirrel can’t make it over the wall. This is a great lesson about recruiting help and perseverance. Warning: You’ll find yourself cheering for the baby squirrel!
14. Iguana chased by snakes (BBC) — Never give up! This iguana was dead to rights, so to speak … but he kept fighting and running from those snakes. (There’s some inspirational value here … but it’s mostly just an amazing video!)
15. RSA Animate: Changing Education Paradigms — This may be one of my favorite YouTube videos for educators of all time. There’s so much to love. Sir Ken Robinson. A vision of what education can be. Sketching. If you haven’t seen this one, you must watch it![reminder]What videos did I miss — the ones that are must-see videos for educators? Which one here really resonated with you and why?[/reminder]
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