Finding Educational Multimedia Online
By Peter Connor
From Filmstrips to…
Remember the filmstrip?* Still images projected, one frame at a time, onto a portable screen balanced on three shaky aluminum legs up in front of the blackboard, or on to a white—or sort of white—wall when said screen was not be had, a reel-to-reel tape player the size of Aunt Gladys’s overnight bag giving the play-by-play? Those were the days.
K-12 teachers have been using them for decades: A cartoon, kite-flying Ben Franklin giving the 15-minute run-down on essential experiments involving electricity, a 20-minute NASA strip with Alan Shepard explaining the physics of a moon shot.
* You will if your K-12 years were pre-1975
YouTube, and the Internet at large
Luckily, there has been a vast improvement in the quantity, quality, and availability of multimedia educational materials over the last 15-20 years. The Internet is chock full of stuff.
Literally hundreds of thousands of educational videos are out there—and many of them are free. A computer, a projector screen, some high-speed broadband, and you’re there. YouTube’s a biggy but…there are others.
Here’s a short list:
Google (with apologies…and for lack of a better term) your specific subject matter and, among your keywords, be sure to include ”educational video”, or “tutorial”, or even “youtube”. Explore the results. Be patient. Refine your keywords. Be methodical. Dig some more. You are going to find something useful.
To learn about avoiding copyright infringement on YouTube, please view When YouTube Met Creative Commons.