Using Video in the Classroom

Happy Thursday!
We have tomorrow off so I thought I would go ahead and create my blog post today. Did you know that Youtube is now the number 2 search engine in the United States?
Not the Hulk riding a crab. But I think you get the point!
My son and I are playing Lego Avengers.  We have a deal at home  and if he keeps up his end of the deal we play Lego Avengers  for 20 minutes before bedtime a couple of nights a week. We had the hardest time getting  past this one level. The Hulk has to go underwater and ride a crab then use the crab to trigger a crane that breaks through a underwater power generator?! It sounds so strange typing it BUT if you played it with a 7 year old it gets  way weirder and more frustrating. Anyhow when we were really frustrated Ty said, "Come on dad get out your phone and look it up on Youtube".  We did and with the help of a  video from a teenager in  Australia we found out what to do. It took all of  3 minutes. It is mind blowing to think that we had instant access and knowledge from  a kid, thousands of miles away, who wanted to share his passion about xbox Lego Avengers.  We decided to subscribe to  him on Youtube.  By subscribing to his channel  we get alerted anytime he updates more tutorials on Lego Avengers. So this got me thinking . . .

1)  I bet there are LOTS of high quality, engaging, creative  Youtube videos that  can be powerful if used appropriately
2) Thank goodness this Australian kid makes these videos. I don't have to search for them anymore
3) I bet there are lots of really engaging 3 minute videos that can be used in the classroom.

I started to research these 3 minute videos. This brought me back to one of my favorite people who talks about this.  . Rushton Hurley curates a great site called NextVista Learning. His site  is full of teacher and student made videos. He often offers contests for students to submit their videos. He also has a great newsletter. You can sign up for it here.  In one of the last few newsletter he brought my attention to a YouTube Channel called Great Big Story  These videos are  mini documentaries that are are anywhere from 3 - 15 minutes.  These are high interest engaging videos that could be a great way to inspire, create a discussion, be used for a writing prompt, or be a part of Project Based Learning. For example, check out the video below. I love how it ends with the Swordsmith  Kevin Spivey  saying, "Hmm, how can I make that?".  By subscribing to this YouTube Channel. (Clicking on the Subscribe button) I get an email alert anytime a new video is published.  These videos can easily be shared through Google Classroom. Students can comment, or write a Google Doc that goes along with this video.

IF you have any questions about YouTube, Next Vista, or even the Lego Avengers Underwater level please let me know.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I'll confess, I've used cheats on Candy Crush a few times. I worry that kids dont "wonder" enough. In the video, it shows how he created his first props out of cardboard, aluminum foil, etc. . . With that said, I often go to google or youtube to search solutions or ideas. I've fixed many washers, dryers, dishwashers, cars, the pool, etc. . .with youtube videos and saved a lot of money in the meantime! Have a great weekend.


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