The internet has become an invaluable tool for teachers over the last ten years. You can find activities, projects, interactive webquests, and an unending supply of resources like lessons, practice problems, and videos. For the science teacher, using technology is especially important. Science teachers must lead their students by example and show them how new technologies developed by scientists and engineers are useful and beneficial. Videos are a great way to show your students experiments that are too expensive or dangerous to do in the classroom. Science videos also help them visualize abstract concepts and to pique their interest. There are enough videos out there on every topic you can think up to give you at least a short clip per day. Instead of scouring the web for the best of them, check out the five sites below.
For many years, Nova has been producing the highest quality science documentaries on television. The producers have won numerous awards many times over for the show. The Nova website is a wonderful resource for science teachers. It provides full-length episodes organized by categories such as physics and math, space and flight, nature, planet earth, tech and engineering, and others. There are hundreds of episodes to choose from as well as additional content on related topics. This includes a physics blog, recent news stories, and even more video clips.
BrainPOP is an excellent site for elementary school teachers. While the site provides videos and content for all subject areas, their science portal is especially impressive. It provides a series of animated videos on topics ranging from space and biology to scientific inquiry and weather. The videos are engaging and easy to understand. They make use of a robot character that kids love. The site also includes a teacher community with nearly 200,000 members for free lesson plans, tutorials, and professional development tools. The site does require a subscription fee, but it also provides resources for finding and getting grants for funding.
The Khan Academy is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free education to anyone around the world who wants it. They have created and published thousands of video lessons to their site. Anyone can access the videos for free and they cover just about every possible math and science topic. The videos make a great supplement to classroom instruction. They are also a wonderful resource for students who need a little extra time with a subject to understand it fully. In addition to videos, the site provides organizational tools for students to keep track of what they have watched and their progression. Teachers can track their students’ progress as well.
The Periodic Table of Videos
Elements often seem abstract to students. The Periodic Table of Videos is an interactive table with videos embedded for each element. The videos are produced by a team from the University of Nottingham and give a description of every single element on the table. They include examples and experiments for many of the elements as well. The producers are constantly updating and adding new content including a new series on molecules and compounds. This site provides a great supplement to lessons in the chemistry classroom.
DNAtube is a science video site that collects clips from around the internet. There are nearly 10,000 videos on all science topics. You can search the entire set of videos by keyword or browse through categories like genetics, bioinformatics, ecology, experiments, archaeology, and more. Some videos are also organized into channels including one that features lectures from MIT.
Charles Sipe is Executive Editor for Teacher Certification Degrees, a growing career resource for individuals interested in becoming a teacher and featuring career interviews with current teachers.