Tag Archives: youtube

5 Cool Science YouTube Channels

by Hope Morley

science youtube channels

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last month we shared five YouTube channels that offer great educational videos on a wide variety of topics. This week, we focus on the best YouTube channels for science videos.


LEVEL: Middle school

An offshoot of MinutePhysics, this channel offers “science and stories about our awesome planet!” Animated videos provide information about earth science subjects such as the atmosphere as well as life science topics about organisms. Its most viewed video is “Where Did Earth’s Water Come From?”

National Geographic

LEVEL: Middle to high school

The National Geographic Society, “one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world,” was founded in 1888. Its YouTube channel contains thousands of videos, including scores of fun animal clips that feature the “World’s Deadliest” and “World’s Weirdest.” It also includes glimpses into peoples and traditions from around the world as well as videos about historical and current events. The channel offers information about nature and science, too. One playlist for National Geographic’s Genographic Project shows how the Society is tracking human origins and migration through DNA analysis.

The Periodic Table of Videos

LEVEL: Middle to high school

Video journalist Brady Haran works with University of Nottingham, England, chemists to produce short videos about every element on the periodic table from hydrogen to ununoctium. The channel also includes videos showing experiments at extremely slow rates of speed (it’s more entertaining that it sounds, trust me), such as pouring mercury into liquid nitrogen, which can lead to new discoveries that the scientists then share with their viewers. In “Hydrogen Explosions (slow motion),” Professor Martyn Poliakoff enthuses, “It’s always good for a scientist to be proved wrong.”

The Science Channel

LEVEL: Middle to high school

Developed through the Cassiopeia Project, this channel aims to provide teachers and students with videos that explain difficult concepts in astronomy, biology, and physics simply and clearly. The “From Big Bang to Man” series provides detailed descriptions about the “baby” universe, the universe today, how life evolved on Earth, the first humans, and people today. The Science Channel also includes dozens of videos about the Hubble Telescope.


LEVEL: Middle to high school

When Derek Muller was studying for his doctorate in Physics Education Research, he found that “addressing misconceptions first is often essential to engage the audience and promote conceptual change.” He applies this knowledge on the Veritasium YouTube channel, which gets its name from the Latin word for truthveritas—and the suffix -ium, a common suffix for many elements on the periodic table. Many of the offerings focus on physics. Viewed more than 9 million times, “World’s Roundest Object!” explains the history of the kilogram measurement and how to “eliminate the kilogram’s dependence on a physical object.”

What do you think about these science YouTube channels? Are there other channels that you would add to this list? Leave a comment below, or find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Hope bioHope Morley is a consultant and social media coordinator for Green Light Professional Development. She writes about social media, conferences, and anything else on the web that helps both students and teachers learn. Follow her @GreenlightLT

How to Use Videos in the Classroom

by Hope Morley

A video we made using PowToon

There’s no shortage of video-sharing websites that teachers can access to enhance their lessons. But how can you find the most helpful, appropriate, and engaging videos for the classroom without spending hours sifting through the millions of online offerings?

Finding Videos

When it comes to finding video content online, YouTube seems to be the obvious choice. But YouTube isn’t as useful in the classroom as you might expect. Anyone can post to YouTube, and there is little to no content moderation, so you never really know what recommended videos might pop up. And videos often start with ads that may or may not be student-friendly. Plus, many schools block the site. However, SafeShare allows you to share a YouTube video safely. SafeShare removes the ads, sidebars, and recommendations for related videos, so students see only the content you’ve chosen for them.

SchoolTube has been designed specifically as a YouTube alternative for K–12 students and teachers to share content they’ve created. A team of volunteer teachers and other school staff moderates each video posted on SchoolTube to ensure that it’s suitable for student viewing.

If you’re looking for premade video lessons to incorporate into your lesson plan, Khan Academy is a good place to start. We’ve reviewed Khan Academy and found that the site has several helpful features, including a variety of video lessons across several subjects and metrics that keep track of students’ progress.

Making Videos

Plenty of educators have developed video lectures simply by setting up a tablet or camera and hitting record. But if you don’t want to be the star of your own video, various screencasting tools allow you to make a video screen capture of the movements you make on a computer or tablet. This method is perfect for creating a how-to video or recording on-screen video of an IWB presentation you’ve made. Some of this software must be purchased, but there are free options as well. (We use Quicktime on a Mac to create our ActivInspire how-to videos.)

One notable video-making option available online is PowToon, a site that provides templates for creating customized animated videos and presentations. To test how user-friendly the site is, we made a video on how to use a semi-colon. The 2-minute, 23-second video took almost 2 hours to make (mainly because we were having fun playing around with the different choices), but the site was relatively easy to use. We stuck to the free version, but subscriptions are available that include longer video lengths, better upload quality, and other style options.

Using Videos

So you’ve found or made your video. What’s next? Free web tools encourage higher levels of student engagement and interactivity than simply watching and discussing a video in class.

The Mad Video allows you to add “tags” to any Vimeo, Brightcove, or YouTube video to link to related articles, images, videos, or websites. As they watch a video, students can click on these tags to access the additional content. This is a great tool for differentiated instruction, since you can add content targeted to students of differing abilities.

VideoNot.es allows users to annotate online videos in real time. Simply provide a link to the video, and take notes as you watch. VideoNot.es synchronizes your input with the video, so later, you can click on your notes and the video will automatically jump to the related segment. This service connects through Google Drive, so you must have a Google account to use it. VideoNot.es is a must for any blended or flipped classroom.

How do you use videos in the classroom?

Hope Morley

Hope Morley is a consultant and social media coordinator for Green Light Professional Development. She writes about social media, conferences, and anything else on the web that helps both students and teachers learn. Follow her @GreenlightLT