Last week I talked a little bit about Common Craft and the In Plain English video series. (If you missed it, check it out here.) So it seems I am hung up on videos because I have another great site that has tons of great videos to help you learn new concepts, present information in ways that might not be quite conventional and some that are just plain awesome.
I consider Rushton Hurley one of the most forward thinking educators around. He has been a Keynote speaker all across the country this year at several state technology conferences and other places. I had the honor of hearing him at my state conference, NCTIES, a few months ago. Just a brilliant mind. I also got to talk to him for a few moments and I can just tell he really cares about kids and improving learning.
Now, I had heard of this website, Next Vista, before but it wasn't until several months ago that I made the connection to Rushton. See, Next Vista, is one of Rushton's projects. And I am so glad it is!
Alright, so what is Next Vista? According to the website:
"Next Vista works to make learning more engaging, with a focus on helping students start strong with any topic they study. Its central project is a free, online library of teacher- and student-made short videos for learners everywhere. Next Vista believes a strong four-minute video could save students days or weeks of frustration by providing a variety of presentations on the topics that give them trouble."
Videos are made by adults, but mostly by kids. They are also reviewed for content so you can trust what you get here. And you know, they are really good.
There are three collections.
First is the Light Bulb Collection. These are videos to introduce topics to students. They also can serve to show a different way of thinking about particular topics. This collection is organized by subject area and topic. There are your standard math, language arts, history, etc. But there is also videos related to careers, technology, world languages and visual arts.
Here is a video I found on FOIL in math.
Just an example of the type of video you will find. Short, fun and engaging.
Another collection is Global Views. As the site says, reading about another place or community can help to make a connection but when there is a video it is a bit more easier to make that connection. These are videos, organized by continent, created by kids that share what life is like in their corner of the world.
Here is a video about what life is like in Lagos, Nigeria.
The last collection is all about Seeing Service. These are videos all about good deeds and kids doing for others. It's a small but powerful collection from around the world.
Here is one on efforts to eliminate poverty in South America.
All the videos are downloadable and embeddable so you can use them in class or kids can use them in projects.
Perhaps you have an idea for a video. Go ahead and submit one and add to the collective knowledge. Or better yet, maybe your kids could create some videos.
So add Next Vista to the ol' bookmark bar or save it to your favorites and the next time you are needing a new or different way to introduce or reinforce the content in your classroom head over to Next Vista and see what they have.