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Teaching and Learning with Online Educational Videos: A Subject List of Web Resources for Educators (August 2013): Education

By Susan Ariew


Crash Course!
(YouTube One Channel)

World history teacher John Green gives wonderful short “crash course” lectures about history while his brother, biology teacher Hank Green, gives short snippets about science.  With only thirty-seven videos, they have over 200,000 subscribers and five million video views—a viral following.  These small videos are entertaining, funny, and very informative.  History topics include the Mongols, the Crusades, Islam, the Dark Ages, Rome, and Alexander the Great, while biology topics include mitosis, meiosis, photosynthesis, and more.  The length of these videos and their entertainment value make them perfect for the classroom.


Sponsored by What Works in Education, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, resources at this site focus on preservice and classroom teacher professional development.  Videos are about pedagogical uses of technology applications in the classroom.  Teachers can browse resources by grade level, core strategies, videos, classroom guides, and more.


Videos on this YouTube channel relate to home, pets, food, style, fitness, family, and technology.  Some of these videos can be useful to K-12 teachers because activities intended for home use can also be used in the classroom.  Brief videos about animals and wildlife are particularly captivating.

Federal Student Aid
(YouTube One Channel)

Videos are devoted to helping students learn more about making a college education financially possible for every student through grants, loans, and work-study funds.


HippoCampus is a great video homework site for students from middle school through college levels.  Similar to the Khan Academy, the site offers teaching videos on concepts tied to arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, advanced math, statistics, probability, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, economics, history, government, psychology, and religion.


Most of the videos at Howcast are for a popular audience, but some of them are useful for teachers in their classrooms.  Videos like “How to Make Halloween Decorations,” How to Help Save the Environment,” “Digital Photography Lessons,” and “Intermediate Math Skills” all have very educational possibilities.

Kaplan SAT and ACT Prep
(YouTube One Channel)

This channel offers college-bound students hundreds of test strategy videos to help them score higher on test day.  Playlists include SAT Math, ACT Science, SAT Critical Reading, ACT Reading, and SAT Writing.

PBS LearningMedia

This is an excellent media site just for teachers.  Sponsored by PBS, the site focuses on video curriculum resources that teachers can search by subject, grade level, media type, language, and accessibility.  Each video comes with a lesson plan and a full description of video run time and lesson plan information.  Users are asked to register, but the resources are free.


Over 1,200 videos are available at this site, many of which are the usual educational videos clips about letters of the alphabet and numbers, with beloved characters like Elmo and Big Bird.  Users can browse as well as search the video site.

U.S. Department of Education
(YouTube One Channel)

Offering news and education-related information from the U.S. Department of Education, playlists include videos related to Teacher Appreciation Week, interviews with the U.S. secretary of education, and videos about adult education, rural education, community colleges, and more.  Resources are classified for users by subject areas, grade levels, and media type.

Videos from
(YouTube One Channel)

This site offers inspiration and stories from real students to help others achieve the dream of going to college.  Playlists include advice on what to do to prepare for college, why go to college, and how to pay for college.


A “super directory” of free educational videos (for students age three to eighteen) also hosted on Howcast, YouTube, and other places on the web, this site is a comprehensive one-stop site for teachers, instructors, and educators looking for media to use in the classroom.  Videos are organized by broad subjects, as well as by common core standards and grade levels.  Each category includes subcategories to help users narrow down topics.  One can also search the site by keyword.

YouTube EDU

YouTube EDU is a repository of more than 500,000 educational videos from leading educational organizations, such as Stanford, PBS, and Khan Academy.  Videos are organized into three major categories: Primary and Secondary Education, University, and Lifelong Learning.  Within those categories, one finds videos organized by general academic subjects.  This YouTube channel offers access to educational videos that range from academic lectures to inspirational speeches and everything in between.

YouTube Teachers

The purpose of YouTubeTeachers is to show teachers how to use free YouTube videos to educate, engage, and inspire their students.  YouTube Teachers is part of YouTube’s larger educational initiative, YouTube EDUYouTube Teachers organizes “featured playlists” on topics such as geometric shapes and attributes, the Berlin Wall, and songs of the Civil War.  Users can also browse by general classroom subject and level of education (elementary, middle school, and high school) for age-appropriate videos.