Explanation videos

Two sites which I often use for “how to” or “explanation” videos for my Grade Two students are the How Stuff Works video centre and Howcast site.

How Stuff Works is provides “credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works”. I often use short videos from this site to assist with the explanation of a concept to my students. While probably more suited for middle primary to upper high school students, I have found some good content to use with my Grade Two students.

Howcast provides the answer to any how-to question” and encourages people to submit their own how-to videos on the site. My students have loved some of the procedural videos in the “kids” category on this site such as the origami, social skills, cooking, craft and science videos.

Both of these sites need to be monitored by the teacher for inappropriate content (particularly Howcast, from my experience). I prefer to chose the videos I want my students to watch and show them on the IWB, iPod Touch or classroom computer.

Here is an example of a Howcast video that I showed as a introduction to a lesson on length. My students had to make a paper plane and measure and record how far they could fly their plane.


5 Replies to “Explanation videos”

  1. I also enjoy using Howcast for my students. I teach 5th grade science and when I am introducing a new topic or trying to visually represent a concept, I will find a good “how to” video from Howcast. Like you mentioned, any teacher using this site must be cautious of the exact video they will be broadcasting. There are many inappropriate videos and links that pop up. I always view each video before show it, just to ensure the content is suitable for my 5th graders. Allow most of the videos are made for older viewers, there are simple videos created that even younger elementary students can benefit from watching.

    I also use unitedstreaming.com and YouTube.com to show clips dealing with the content I am covering. Once again though, I must make sure the content from each video is suitable for my viewers.

    Thanks for sharing!
    -J. Mehall

    1. Thanks for the comment! It is a shame that we have to be so stringent with the supervising of these videos isn’t it. They really can be a great way to help our students gain a deeper understanding of certain concepts.

  2. It is a shame. I have actually viewed a video the night before showing it and then as of the following day, something inappropriate made its way onto either the comment box or somewhere on the site. I have to be very careful no matter if the video is simply showing students a small clip about cells. I try to close out the site as quickly as I can, just to be on the safe side.

    Are there any other ways you incorporate technolgy into your classroom? I am interested to hear yout thoughts.

  3. Yes juggling the “good” and “bad” sides of the net can be a battle! I try to focus this whole blog on technology integration so check out some old posts for ideas and let me know what you think! I like using the iPod touch, IWB and lots of cool web2.0 sites.

  4. Wow, this is truly an awesome site! I have learned many new ideas and resources from your posts. It is now a matter of finding the equipment and materials I need to implement these forms of technology into my own classroom. I hope you continue to post your ideas and thoughts on technology in education. Thanks!

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