How To Improve Engagement In The Language Learning Classroom

image attribution flickr user syrianliteracyapp

How To Improve Engagement In The Language Learning Classroom

contributed by Aziz Ghannaj, Teacher of English, Morocco. 

Overview: Low student Participation in EFL classrooms: causes and suggested solutions.

In the context of learning English as a second language, active verbal participation on the part of the students is essential.

It is widely believed that when students are encouraged to speak the foreign language in the classroom setting, either with their teachers or classmates, they find themselves participating in the ‘negotiation of meaning.’ In other words, they are forced into clarifying their thoughts, intentions, and opinions by expressing them. 

As a practitioner, I have observed many students abstaining from active class participation. This phenomenon in EFL classrooms is widely recognized by teachers and practitioners. Opinions vary but many teachers agree that the reasons for this phenomenon are complex and multi-leveled. 

It stands to reason that the solutions will need to be just as complex and multi-leveled to be successfully understood and implemented. By choosing this topic for discussion I hope to pinpoint the main causes behind the phenomenon and humbly put forward possible solutions to help increase students’ level of classroom participation. 

The Classroom: Where Pedagogy And Culture Merge

The classroom is the most formal setting where teaching and learning processes occur. This is the form in which the interaction phenomenon whereby the teaching and learning goals are achieved and organized by teachers and students. In the classroom, both teachers and students perform a variety of different actions designed to accomplish classroom activities.

Among these actions, classroom participation is an important interactional and pedagogical task through which students display their involvement. Classroom participation in this paper refers to student-teacher talk; the extent to which students are involved in classroom discussions. In this respect, many practitioners and experts in the field of English language teaching have stressed the importance of students’ oral participation in the classroom.

Interestingly, Petress (2001) contends that student’s low-participation in classrooms is not appreciated because it might negatively influence classroom learning by reducing the teacher’s effectiveness and students’ benefits. Furthermore, Jackson (2002) argues that classroom participation provides the setting in which students can construct and shape identities as members of the classroom.

To wit, when students do participate in class and have a say in whatever is going on; they feel that they are being appreciated among their peers and that what they say is important to the teacher. Thus, participation is of utmost importance in language classrooms for it adds interest to the learning and teaching process. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain student’s attention when all they hear is the professor talking. It helps to hear another point of view that comes from a voice other than the teacher’s.

Causes of Lack Of Student Engagement In EFL/ESL Classrooms

Liu (2001) elaborated four types of student behavior in the classroom as full integration, participation in the circumstances, marginal interaction, and silence observation. In this context, we are not concerned with the other three types of students’ behavior; but we are primarily concerned with the second type which is participation.

Accordingly, participation occurs when students are influenced by factors, that are socio-cultural, cognitive, affective, linguistic, and environment. These often lead to decreased students’ participation and interaction with other students and instructors, resulting in them speaking up in class only when given no alternative.

In this part, I will try to list some of the causes that make students reluctant when it comes to participation.

1. Lack of language fluency

First, many students are not really linguistically well-equipped to hold on a discussion and express themselves freely. They find it hard to express themselves in English. Many of my students began this year of study with me not having attended English class regularly the previous year because, as some of them said, they lost interest in the subject matter.

This has unfortunately made them ill-prepared to carry on discussions in English at the level they should be at by now. They simply aren’t linguistically prepared, which makes their reluctance to participate in class understandable. They aren’t capable yet of holding even a short conversation, let alone give their opinions and express themselves freely in front of the class. In fact, they are always telling me that they don’t understand what I am saying. How can they be expected to interact in class?  The majority of students can’t and, sadly, they can’t be expected to either.

2. The approach of the teacher

The second reason is the teacher’s elicitation or questioning system. When the school year began, I would ask students questions, not paying attention to diction. Session after session, I realized that I had to simplify my language and even noticed I was beginning to use my body language appropriately to try and convey the meaning of what I was saying to my students. Clearly, when students don’t understand the question, they play it safe and abstain from participating in the classroom.

3. Personality types

Third, shyness is another reason for students’ limited participation. When I ask my students a question, I feel and I’m convinced that some female students know the answer, yet they remain silent. Indeed, shyness is an influencing factor which could affect students’ participation. However, shyness is a behavior that could be the result of any or a combination of the following factors: social introversion, lacking confidence in the subject matter, and/or communication apprehension.

The latter is defined “as the level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person’’ (MacCroskey, 1977). In other words, some students can’t raise their hands and speak in front of their peers and in the presence of the teacher because they are afraid of others reaction.

4. Pronunciation and oral fluency

Fourth, Poor Pronunciation is another factor behind students’ low-participation in the classroom. In fact, this appeared to be a huge source of stress for learners in my class.  It is an important issue across language groups because of its immediate effect on interaction. When you sense somebody does not understand you, your reaction is immediate. You feel you need to improve your pronunciation within a second, which is often hard and stressful.

As a result of this performance anxiety, learners become self-conscious about their pronunciation when they speak in the class and I have noticed that they feel embarrassed if they mispronounced a word. There are times when I asked my students to read a passage of text from one of their textbooks out loud. No one volunteers because they are afraid of being laughed at or of being criticized by others due to inaccurate pronunciation.

Solutions To Increase Student Participation In EFL/ESL Classrooms

Suggested solutions for students’ low class participation:

As far as solutions for the issue of low classroom participation are concerned, it has to be admitted that the teacher as a single entity cannot be held accountable for the issues inherent in the Moroccan educational system in general; among them is limited students’ participation in the classroom.  The best the teacher can hope for is to create an atmosphere in his/her classroom that is separated from any negative challenges mentioned in the causes section. 

1. Create a ‘safe’ classroom culture

First and foremost, students at school need to feel good about being in the classroom.  The way to start creating this feeling is for the teacher to establish from the first day of class that this room is a safe place for everyone.  The idea of being in a classroom is to learn. If students already knew everything, there would be no need to be there. It should go without saying that perfection is not expected, especially in the beginning.  The teacher should present himself or herself to the students as a guide, someone who is there as a facilitator to learning.  

All students should consider themselves to be starting the school year at exactly the same spot, square 1, so to speak.  It’s my belief that when students see themselves and their classmates on the same level from the first class, they will begin to relax about presenting a perfect exterior.

It’s also critical for the teacher to set ground rules in the class that establish it as a safe zone for everyone. Zero tolerance on ridiculing students who participate, because of a missed pronunciation or a misinterpreted meaning, will create a more comfortable place for the students to participate in. If there is no fear of criticism, walls of shyness and apprehension collapse and students feel encouraged to participate actively. Like a party where no-one is dancing, it only takes one brave soul to get it started. Soon the dance floor is full and everyone is enjoying the experience, so to speak. Learning should feel the same way.

2. Watch body language

When teachers are presenting the lesson to students, it’s important to pay attention to their body language. Are they following you? Are you using vocabulary they understand? Their faces will tell you everything. When you notice you are losing them, simply stop and take a reading on the class.  Ask if they are following, ask what needs clarification. In my classroom, I don’t continue until I know I have got them all back with me.

There are still a handful of students who will struggle with shyness, no matter how safe a teacher makes their classroom environment.  Sometimes these kids will need one-on-one encouragement from the teacher; that is to say, the teacher has to approach these students face to face and tell them that there is nothing they should fear and that they should feel free to make mistakes.

The teacher can do that but in a low key way, so as not to call attention to it so that they don’t feel spotlighted by the rest of the class.  They should be quietly encouraged to feel relaxed when they make mistakes. The teacher has also to assure those shy students that mistakes are learning tools they need to make friends with.

3. Make it fun

Teachers can also help inspire classroom participation by creating fun, interactive activities to present the curriculum.  Education is a serious business, to be sure, but there is a lot to be said for bringing in activities to shake what can become predictable, staid lessons such as suggesting competitions and using humour in the classroom.

I have tried these fun activities and came to the conclusion that I had more students participating in class than ever. As long as the curriculum obligations are met, teachers should try to introduce games, fun competitions and role plays into the class to get students excited.  Sometimes when they are having fun they don’t even realize they have learned something until the class is over.

4. Build relationships

In the case of tests or exams, teacher should create a bonus system for extra grades to help motivate them to reach beyond what they think they are capable of. In addition, I had some students who misbehaved in the beginning of the year, but session after session I managed to get close to them, I talked to them and they shared their problems with me. After that, those students felt that I care about them and they appreciated that.

They told me that they want to change their life and want to study, I encouraged them and they started doing all the things I told them to do, like bringing their copybooks and textbooks. They started participating in my class though they have very poor English, but I kept encouraging them though.

In brief, teachers have to get as much as close to students and make them understand that the teacher is there to guide them and help them learn.


Jackson, J. (2002). Reticence in second language case discussions: Anxiety and aspirations. System, 30,65-84.

Liu, J. (2001). Asian students classroom communication patterns in U.S. universities: an emic perspective Westport, CT. U.S.A: Greenwood

Publishing Group, Inc.

Petress, K. (2001). The ethics of student classroom silence. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 28,104-107.


30 Of The Best Digital Collaboration Tools For Students

30 Of The Best Digital Collaboration Tools For Students

contributed by Nicholas Martino & TeachThought Staff

We are living in a digital age where students shuffle between smartphones, iPads, and MacBooks on the daily.

We can now communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime through the simple click of a button, and it is our job as educators to leverage these collaborative tools in the classroom. Many schools are finding creative ways to incorporate blended learning in their curriculums, and THINK Global School, where I teach, is no different.

Due to our focus on blended learning and travel, it is imperative that we remain as paperless as possible. Technology can often make or break our experiences as we study in different countries around the world, so we must hit the ground running during our seven-week intensive country visits. And depending on how they are integrated into our teaching toolkits, the tools used for our blended learning units can either help or hinder our student learning experiences.

Like you, we’ve tested our fair share of tools in trying to make the digital collaboration process with our students as seamless as possible. Some have worked incredibly while others not so much. But there are five that we’ve ended up going back to time after time–tools that just make student collaboration online (and thus blended learning) that much easier.

Student-To-Student & School-To-School Digital Collaboration: 30 Of The Best Digital Collaboration Tools For Students

1. Utilizing PBL in your classroom? Check out Edio

Designed by Mike Hourahine, former head of technology at THINK Global School, Edio is a learning platform built specifically for project-based learning. This tool helps educators plan, execute, assess, and report the projects they facilitate for students.

Anyone who teaches project-based learning knows it is messy and involves a lot of work on the teacher’s end to provide deep learning opportunities for students. This platform aims to digitally manage PBL work in order to minimize the mess that teachers face while running multiple projects concurrently.

How We Use Edio

At TGS, Edio is our command center, not only for blended learning but also for our group fieldwork. Students view assignments, submit work, and check their module progress all in one handy application. Edio also offers support for student’s individual, advisor-mentored project work and a clean interface for end-of-term reports and transcript processing.

Still in its early days, this tech tool is already the gold standard for any aspiring PBL classroom or school.

2. Dig social bookmarks? You’ll love Diigo

Remember the old days when a librarian came carting books into your classroom for an upcoming report?

Imagine Diigo as a digital version of that librarian and the entire internet as her cart. Items in this cart, however, can be retained for as long as you like without the fear of overdue book fees. Diigo, which stands for ‘Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff,’ is a great social-bookmarking tool that helps students or classes capture relevant research articles on a given topic.

By offering mobile versions via Android and iOS and add-ons downloadable for Firefox and Chrome, Diigo can be accessed anywhere, anytime—perfect for lessons in the classroom and those that extend out into the field.

See also 10 Resources For A Student-Centered 1:1 Program

How We Use Diigo 

This tool has become a crucial part of our school’s approach to managing project-based learning resources. Since we are constantly on-the-move, a few books, let alone a physical library, are impossible for us to reasonably transport. Diigo eliminates that concern, and helps our students curate and build an ever-growing library of bookmarks for our modules year after year.

Countries and specific place- and project-based modules have their own groups for students to contribute to and annotate resources. When a guest speaker visits, we can quickly create a research group to curate a list of resources so that our entire student body is informed and attentive before the speaker arrives.

3. Tap into your students’ love of video with Flipgrid

FlipGrid is a video tool that is meant to encourage discussion and engagement. These short video-logs allow students to share ideas and opinions in a fun and hands-on way, as video submissions are often more enticing to students than a written response (this is especially true for teachers of ESL learners, who sometimes get anxiety about their written work.)

FlipGrid provides another approach for long-distance collaboration: The time limits are an added challenge to students who sometimes struggle with brevity. It’s important to note that the free version offers limited features, while the paid version features offer full student collaboration and video conversation.

How We Use FlipGrid

In our Economics and eCommerce module, students use FlipGrid to summarize, discuss and review two different resources for the project-based learning module. In the module students learn social entrepreneurship and e-commerce by developing a web store to support rural artisans.

Before their arrival in India, students researched the stories behind successful brands and shared them in a ‘grid.’ In the ‘grid,’ students use rhetorical devices to compete with their classmates to pitch the story of the brand they selected. This early application of rhetoric devices develops throughout the module before students present a business pitch to a panel of potential investors.

4. Collectively annotate YouTube videos with VideoAnt

As a former history and anthropology teacher, I was thrilled to stumble across VideoAnt. In the past, my students would laugh at the number of times I would pause a video to ask a question or interject a counterpoint. Now, instead of just showing a YouTube video, you can annotate YouTube videos to maximize efficiency and learning.

Students and teachers can add comments to video ‘Ants,’ adding all sorts of untapped academic potential. Students can point out bias, critique video style, and ask probing and clarifying questions, just to name a few uses.

Also, if any coaches are reading this, this makes for an excellent review tool when analyzing practice drills, pre-game scouting, and game film breakdowns.

How We Use VideoAnt

In our Zero to Infinity module, students carved up an hour-long documentary about mathematics titled “The Story of One.” Educators annotate certain times with questions for reflection and short answers, while students annotate with different follow-up questions, and clarifying comments.

Due to our students’ geographic diversity, there can be large gaps in their understanding of mathematics. This tool helps educators gain more insight into the student math experience before starting the module.

5. Create & Collaborate Anywhere in the World with Padlet

Padlet allows for creative collaboration using a range of different mixed media sources.

In real-time or across time zones, students can contribute videos, images, comments on a virtual corkboard. Each student can comment or reply to the work of another student or add a new strand on the topic that is introduced.

How We Use Padlet

During our ongoing “Water and Sustainability” module, students are using Padlet to document their experiences with data collection and the use of statistics in their daily life. They are sharing passions, applications, and websites to help each other realize the everyday benefits of understandings statistics. These include a range of topics such as distance running, gardening, vegetarian nutrition, and sleep maintenance.

By learning about each other, they are in turn gaining a deeper understanding of the wide range of applications of statistics.

25 More Of The Best Digital Collaboration Tools For Students

6. Skype: Video chat, text chat, etc.

7. Vimeo: Livestream video. Also consider YouTube, Ustream, Periscope, etc.

8. Google Drive: Collaborate on multimedia projects, share files, collaborate on documents, etc.

9. WeTransfer: Transfer files of almost any size with WeTransfer. Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive (10)are decent alternatives.

11. Microsoft Translator: Translate languages via text, voice, or photograph to more easily communicate in other languages. Also consider Google Translate (12)

13. Pear Deck: According to the developer, Pear Desk is a tool for Google Slide presentations and templates that allows you to transform “presentations into classroom conversations with an array of interactive and formative assessment questions.”

14. Kahoot: Game-based learning and content reinforcement through competition and collaboration

15. Drawp: According to the developer, Drawp is “a K-12 platform for creation, collaboration, content, and workflow management” Also consider Seesaw (16) learning journal.

17. Minecraft for Education: Students can work together to explore ecosystems, solve problems through design, architecture, etc. See also teaching with Strategies To Teach Like Minecraft.

18. Voicethread: Content-based conversations about selected media through ‘threads’

See also 10 tips for using Voicethread in your classroom.

19. Explain Everything: Similar in function to Voicethread but focused on students visually demonstrating knowledge rather than through voice.

See also Free Explain Everything lesson ideas.

20. GooseChaseEdu: Online scavenger hunts. for team-building and content reinforcement.

21. Microsoft Teams: A digital hub likely best-suited for project-based learning support. Also consider Slack (22) Redbooth (23) or Trello (24).

25. Spiral: A formative assessment tool with video, group and quiz exercises, completed in class or at home, collaborative review, etc.

26. Piazza: A free, K-12+ Q&A platform

Also consider Quora (27) or reddit (28).

29. Peergrade: According to the developer, Peergrade is a “free online platform to facilitate peer feedback sessions with students.”

30. Playposit: According to the developer, Playposit is “an online learning environment to create and share interactive video lessons. Teachers begin with any online video (screencasts, Khan Academy, TED, etc.) and transform what is traditionally passive content into an active experience for students, with time-embedded activities.”

Tip: Most tools are either for ‘school’ or ‘not school.’ That means tools like Seesaw and Explain Everything are made for school and tools like Quora and reddit aren’t. Obviously, school-friendly tools have many benefits (e.g., data privacy) but drawbacks as well (e.g., lack of authentic content). When using ‘not made expressly for school’ tools, try to leverage its strengths while minimizing its pitfalls.


While the TGS Changemaker Curriculum is unique in its approach to blended and field learning, any institution can adapt these tools for their personal teaching methods. Portable, user-friendly and effective, these tools can and will help anyone, anywhere, as they make content more fun for students to digest.

Absences are a daily occurrence at any school, but these tools can ease the burden on both the teacher and the student by keeping them informed and engaged regarding the day’s lesson plan. Teachers who flip their classrooms (here are 54 tools for a flipped classroom) can also use these tools to ensure students collaborate productively from home.

With the application of any new tech in the classroom, it is important to remember that web tools do not replace sound pedagogy. When adding these to your toolkit, treat them as learning supplements, not as a magic wand for better teaching.

Follow @maats_defenders for more on education

30 Of The Best Digital Collaboration Tools For Students


How To Take Your Teaching Experience Online With Video Courses

unaltered image attribution Flickr user mikecough creative commons licensing

How To Take Your Teaching Experience Online With Video Courses

contributed by John Mason

Disclosure: This content was created and promoted by IG

Online courses are an excellent way to generate passive income.

If your online course becomes a success, you may even make it a full-time job. This is good news for teachers. However, taking your teaching experience online has a few nuances you should understand. For example, video quality normally needs to be very good if you’re uploading courses for publishing. You’ll also need to know about sound quality, creating online sections, quizzes, and there’s even marketing to conquer. This all may sound a bit overwhelming, but once you launch your first video in the online marketplace, the following videos are much easier.

Ready to launch your online teaching career? Let’s dive in!

Brainstorm a Course Topic

Your first video topic is important because it sets the tone for future videos. You want to choose a course topic that you are knowledgeable about, as well as passionate.

The best online courses always have upbeat, passionate teachers.

Teaching online needs to be toned down for the everyday person. You don’t want to confuse your online students with heavy industry jargon or complex algorithms right out of the gate. Keep your topic fun, natural for both you and your audience, and above all, something that people want to watch. You could have the best online course in the world, but if no one wants to learn about it, you’ll end up with zero students.

Ensure a Strong Market Demand

It will take you a few weeks to create and launch your online course, so be sure there is a market demand. This ensures you didn’t sink hours of time into an online teaching video without a return on your investment. One of the best ways to find out if your online course has a following is to search your course idea on Udemy, Coursera, or other online learning platforms.  

According to MIT Technology Review, “More than 29 million people have registered to take classes at Coursera, an online platform that hosts more than 2,000 courses from universities such as Stanford and Yale.” Even if there’s a lot of competition, go for it, because this shows a high demand for your topic of choice.

Put Together Your Online Course Content

This may be one of the most challenging parts for new online teachers. The reason is all about finding time to get your course content researched and typed out into a lesson outline. There is also an element of procrastination. One great online course strategy to get this step accomplished is to watch a few highly rated online courses to see what their flow is. You may have loads of knowledge on the subject, but you don’t want to overwhelm your students.

What are the most valuable takeaways for the online course topic? What do students need to learn to be successful? What are those steps? These questions can help you decide what to put into a structured course outline, and what to avoid.

Plan Content Delivery

Once you have your content put together in a concise course outline, it’s time to decide how to deliver said content. This can actually make or break your online course video. If you are using many PowerPoint slides, the course may become boring. If you are on camera too much, the content may not be as powerful to your audience. It is definitely a delicate balance and art in online content delivery. You should use a bit of talking head time, along with supportive slides, data points, and key information. You can think of it as a series of little handouts. There are also a growing number of online courses using whiteboard instruction, like Moz’s Whiteboard Friday. This gives the students the in-class feel.

Time to Film Your Online Course

The production of your online course can be challenging until you get the hang of the equipment and speaking to a camera. But again, with a little practice, you will be whipping out videos with little friction. Set up your camera and do a few video samples. These samples allow you to tweak lighting, your distance to the camera, sound, things in the background, outside noise, and more. Once you have all your raw video shots, it’s time for post-production editing. The editing process will actually take longer than shooting the online course, and it should. You want to be sure everything is edited well with all your supporting screenshots in place and visible.

Start a Marketing Campaign

Marketing is a very important aspect to the success of your online course.

The basics you’ll need are a WordPress website and social media. These will be the online channels you can leverage to capitalize on keywords for your course and connect with students. First, choose a name. Many online teachers will just use their real name, but if you want to set up a consulting business based on your industry knowledge, another name may be better.

Next, secure your domain name via a website hosting service and start building your website. Be sure to get WordPress for your website, and you can use this step-by-step guide by DreamHost to help. After your site is up and running, connect it with your social media networks and begin promoting your new online course via social, blogs, and even social media ads. Once you begin getting feedback from students, you can apply it to your next videos.


20 Of The Best Tutoring Apps For Teachers

20 Of The Best Tutoring Apps For Teachers

by TeachThought Staff

What are the best tutoring apps for teachers and students?

Well, believe it or not, what actually qualifies as a ‘tutoring app’ isn’t clear-cut. Is it a tutoring platform–one where actual tutoring of content is available? Is it mainly for teachers wanting to tutor classroom content for absent students, homework help, etc.? Or for the students themselves?

See also  8 Apps To Turn Your IPad Into A Digital Whiteboard

What about professional tutors? Blended tutoring? Language tutoring?

There’s a lot to consider.

With that diversity in mind, we gathered 20 of the best tutoring apps and tools for both teachers and students below. The focus is on apps that any ‘tutor’ in general, from classroom teachers to professional tutoring organizations–can use to help supplement student learning.

20 Of The Best Tutoring Apps For Teachers

The links below may be affiliate links, which means if you click the link and make a purchase, we may receive a small portion of any revenue. Regardless, each tool was chosen based on merit rather than affiliate status, and the vast majority are free tutoring apps. You can read more about our affiliate policy here.

1. Facebook Groups/ Facebook Messenger

Pretty much everyone knows about and/or uses Facebook and with Facebook Groups and Facebook Messenger it creates a more private or specific place to communicate with one or several people at once.

2. Skype

Skype allows you to not only instant message, but voice call or video call anyone, anywhere.

3. Google Drive

By now, you likely know about the tightly-integrated (though often clunky) digital locker, Google Drive–an indispensable tool for both tutoring and a paperless classroom.

4. Explain Everything

A tool that allows real-time collaboration, creativity, and presentations to merge all on a digital whiteboard perfect for sharing with students or colleagues.

5. Teachable

Use your skills, knowledge, and experience to create your own online courses.

6. Camtasia

An easy-to-use video editing software designed for all projects in mind.

7. Google Docs

One of our favorite ways to share, edit and keep documents across all platforms.

8. YouTube/ YouTube Creator

Youtube is a great way to share videos and learn. Youtube Creator will aid in creating,  marketing, and sharing your brand, ideas, or projects.

9. iDroo

An infinite whiteboard great for online teaching and class projects.

10. Screencast-o-matic

Record your screen and webcam for various quick videos.

11. Khan Academy

Designed for students to help with coursework, teachers to help students, and parents to keep an eye on what and how well their student is doing.

12. iMovie

Easily create and edit videos on an IOS device.

13. Goodnotes

One of our favorite digital note-taking apps. Also, create PDF files, and exports drawings, handwriting, notes, and more easily via email, Google Drive, and more.

14. Dropbox

A favorite and simple way to store and share files.

15. Microsoft Whiteboard

A digital and realistic whiteboard that can turn your creativity and ideas into tables, charts, and shapes.

16. Socrative

Connection and understand with your students is so important and now easier than ever using this app.

17. Adobe Audition

A professional audio editing software that will mix, restore, and record all your projects and ideas.

18. Magisto

A smart video editor perfect for sharing on social media.

19.  Adobe Premiere Clip

Brand and edit your videos with this smart app.

20. Jump Remote Desktop

You can now work anywhere from any desktop on your mobile devices.

Also consider: Edmodo, Google Classroom, Doceri Interactive Whiteboard,  Microsoft OneDrive, IBM Cloud Video

20 Of The Best Tutoring Apps For Teachers


5 Teacher Tips For Better Presentations In The Classroom


5 Teacher Tips For Better Presentations In The Classroom

contributed by Catherine Willson

When you need to put together information for a presentation for students or other teachers, you can be surprisingly effective without having to do too much at all. Here are some tips for teachers making presentations for in the classroom.

5 Teacher Tips For Better Presentations In The Classroom

1. Establish one clear idea.

Conventional wisdom of the past used to be about putting as much information and content into a presentation as possible. It was all about trying as hard as you could to come across as an authoritative figure who truly was a master of the subject. That barely works in higher ed, and certainly is pliable in K-12. Consider that you aren’t trying to teach someone everything you know in a short window, but rather making an impression for long-term retention. Focus on one idea with supporting information in a quick period of time.

2. Start with a compelling hook.

When you consider the average suggested presentation length is only around ten minutes, you don’t have any time to waste. Obviously the specifics of the presentation will vary depending upon the grade level, time of day, content being presented and so on. One thing that won’t vary is the need to grab students right off of the bat and have them paying attention from the first few seconds.

As Cision recommends, when the average attention spans have shrunk down to around eight seconds, you know that you need to jump right in with something captivating. Obviously your presentation needs to have a point and needs to be worthwhile as well, but if you can simply give them something that they actually want to see in the first place, you stand a much better shot of being successful in your presentation. It might not seem like a powerful point but it is true in any context.

You might even do it without noticing, but you still do it constantly. Do your ears ever perk up when someone talks about a certain subject? Or, do you hear someone start a conversation with words that bore you and immediately look for a way out? It’s the same thing when it comes to presenting. You only have a few seconds to get it right and hook your class.

3. Prioritize–only put in what’s important.

Another major item to remember is what you are putting into your presentation as far as content is concerned. If you already understand how important it is to captivate your classroom and capitalize on the short attention spans, it’s not a wise strategy to grind the presentation to a screeching halt just so that you can read boring statistics and bland figures. There does need to be some information, but you could read and reference figures without using presentation software in the first place.

By having presentation slides with tons of words, you are just wasting time and filling space that will turn off your viewers. As Mr. Media Training suggests, if you have too many words then you either don’t know your presentation well enough, or your presentation isn’t supported by any additional evidence. The good news is that the technology of companies such as LiveSlides allows you to insert video into PowerPoint so that you can truly bring any sort of evidence you want. Those sorts of slides make perfect sense because you can’t put video on a notecard. Plus, by stimulating your classr with an additional surprise and viewpoint, you aren’t risking students falling asleep because of a long, monotonous message.

4. Consider schema and background knowledge.

Familiar images, references, sounds, music, and other bits of information can act as anchors to ground student understanding, as well as disarming some of the intimidation or anxiety new content can represent for some students. Along with focusing on a single idea per presentation, this can go a long way towards making better presentations for students.

5. With slides, less is more.

Believe it or not, the most acceptable answer from professionals is that you don’t need a lot of slides in a presentation. As Six Minutes Speaking and Presentation Skills suggests, sometimes you don’t need any slides. However, if you are going to give a presentation to your class and you need to have supporting information then you can easily do that with a few slides. The short answer is you probably need fewer slides than you think.

If there’s too much information, students are instantly going to go from trying to listen to you into a mode where they simply skim the PowerPoint slide. Once they realize it is the same message, the PowerPoint slide is basically worthless. You obviously can put summarizing points, facts, and figures into your presentation. But with that being said, PowerPoint was created as a tool and you need to be comfortable with using it. By having the right type of information in it you can actually enhance the presentation and student retention.

A presentation itself isn’t that difficult of a thing to master. So many people are caught up with using PowerPoint that they forget what it is actually for. When you are going to give your next presentation to your class, you need to know your subject matter first and the essentials of PowerPoint and presentation design second. Once you’ve narrowed your content and honed your message, you can capitalize on it by adding in all of the bells, whistles, and other enhancements that will help students retain what they’ve learned.

5 Teacher Tips For Better Presentations In The Classroom


100 (Free) Ways To Learn to Speak Another Language

speak-another-language-fi100 Resources To Learn to Speak Another Language

by TeachThought Staff

Ed note: This post was first published in 2012, and is in the process of being updated. If you have any updates or corrections, please let us know in the comments.

Learning another language is among the many things that have been made easier with the explosion of the digital universe. While some of the resources aren’t incredible (simply using Google Translate), and some of the languages fairly obscure (Welsh), the list is impressive if for no other reason than to demonstrate how much is actually out there if you do a little digging.

  1. BBC Greek  This option from the BBC is the full package, with videos, games, exercises, and audio to make it all Greek to you.
  2. Espacios publicos  Very quickly into the 20 hours of introductory Spanish course material, you’ll discover this means “public spaces.”
  3. Beginners’ Chinese  Mandarin Chinese is presented here in more than six hours of material for people with absolutely no prior experience with the language.
  4. French 101  Fifteen introductory French video lessons from Carnegie Mellon University are at your disposal, and you can save your work if you create an account.
  5. Introduction to Portuguese  Start studying now and you’ll be ready for Carnival in February 2013.
  6. BBC German  With tabs for beginners, school German, vocab, and video tutorials, the BBC has you covered.
  7. Learn How to Speak Japanese  More than 40 instructional videos are bolstered by instruction in grammar, Japanese history, and the country’s culture.
  8. American Sign Language  With videos and a lengthy glossary complete with pictures and descriptions, gets a thumbs up for learning sign language.
  9. Getting Started on Classical Latin  In 10 hours you’ll learn how engrained Latin is in English and get a good grip on sentence structure and pronunciation.
  10. The Big Welsh Challenge  Can you learn Welsh? The BBC brings you all the tools you need with this free course.
  11. Elementary Russian  Learn Russian by watching the BBC series Goodbye Summer and working through the 70+ exercises.
  12. Farsi 1  This brief intro to Farsi, or Persian, comes courtesy of Wikiversity and a $0 price tag.
  13. Learn English Online  For non-native speakers, this is a great intro to the basics of an often-confusing language.
  14. BBC Italian  Converse with your local pizza shop owner after studying up on this beginner’s course.
  15. Learn How to Speak Russian  The ELanguageSchool delivers this set of grammar, vocab, and 18 video lessons for learning Russian.
  16. Kenyan Sign Language  This unique form of communication can be easily picked up, thanks to this free course by the Peace Corps.
  17. Chinese I  MIT’s much-copied OpenCourseWare is the home of this free course on introductory Chinese, which comes with online texts and multimedia content.
  18. Lernu  This is a great site for learning the universal language of Esperanto for free.
  19. Intermediate German  This free courseware from the Open University helps you practice your German by studying its culture and families.
  20. Conversa Brasileira  Intermediate-level students can watch 35 unscripted conversations between native Portuguese speakers here, with subtitles and pop-up audio commentary.
  21. Old Norse for Beginners  Learn how to talk like a Viking with this course, plus play rune puzzles and do exercises.

Video Channels

Just watch and learn.

  1. Cantocourse  Learn Cantonese through skits involving live cattle, public security officers, and “dating tips for plonkers.”
  2. OMGmeiyu  In these short videos, English idioms and slang are translated into Mandarin by a perky American host.
  3. Swahili Lessons  Get a short intro to this African language with this collection of videos.
  4. Let’s Speak Korean  And how shall we speak it? By watching these 60 video tutorials, of course.
  5. Latinum  The guy behind the informative podcast has made the switch to YouTube. Different channel but same great Latin help.
  6. Maori  The indigenous people of New Zealand speak Maori, and you can too with the help of this 13-part video series.
  7. Yabla French  This is an exceptional video-teaching website for French instruction, with captions in multiple languages, integrated dictionaries, and more, in both free and paid iterations.


If you’re an auditory learner, we have good news for you.

  1. English as a Second Language  This site makes ESL learning even easier by including learning guides with transcripts with every podcast.
  2. Arabic in Jordan  These lessons from the Peace Corps will teach you Arabic as it’s spoken in Jordan.
  3. Chinese Lessons  Instructor Serge Melnyk offers 30 audio lessons for beginner Mandarin for free, with the option to pay for more if you choose.
  4. GermanPod101  Create a free account and edge them toward 200 million free German lessons delivered.
  5. Learn Romanian Magazine  The archived podcasts on this site are a good resource for conquering the Romanian language.
  6. Beginners’ Chinese  The Open University brings you 46 audio lessons for building a knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.
  7. Learn French by Podcast  This highly rated series will have you “Oui oui”-ing in no time.
  8. Radio Verda  Immerse yourself in the language of Esperanto with international news and talk on this podcast.
  9. Learn Italian  Get your word of the day, audio lessons, and video tutorials through this helpful podcast.
  10. Special Finnish  Translate the home page then jump right into the Finnish-speaking podcasts.
  11. DutchPod101  There are 28 videos to get you well into learning Dutch, and you can head to their website for more instruction after that.
  12. Learn Hindi  Start from the beginning with the Hindi alphabet via this podcast.
  13. Cody’s Cuentos  Nursery rhymes worked for teaching you English, now use them to learn basic Spanish with these audio files.
  14. Ta Falado  From the University of Texas comes this series of podcasts in Portuguese pronunciation and grammar.
  15. Hebrew Podcasts  Conversational Hebrew is taught with transcripts, translations, exercises, and more with this podcast.
  16. One Minute Catalan  Check out this podcast for free Catalan instruction. You can spare a minute, can’t you?
  17. Le Journal en Francais Facile  French news is presented in an accessible way for learners of a wide range of skill.
  18. ArabicPod  The best Arabic-learning podcast is a member of the “Pod” family and brings you 30 lessons free on iTunes.
  19. Russian Literature  Improve your Russian listening comprehension by downloading UCLA’s free podcasts of Russian writings.
  20. Bambara in Mali  The lingua franca in Mali, Bambara is yours to absorb with these podcasts from the Peace Corps.
  21. Japancast  Tokyo transplant Hitomi teaches you Japanese through anime and everyday conversation examples.


Finally, free textbooks. Take that, campus bookstore!

  1. Portuguese  There’s content for beginners and intermediate speakers, as well as the Portuguese spoken in both Brazil and Portugal.
  2. Scottish Gaelic  This Wikibook has Gaelic phrases, sentence structure, pronunciation help, and even a chapter on the sustainability of the language.
  3. Albanian  Learn “Shqip” with the help of this Albanian textbook.
  4. Polish  Lessons range from basic grammar to more advanced topics like declension and tenses.
  5. An Abbreviated Dictionary of Ch’orti’ Maya  Headed to Camotán, Chiquimula? Check out this book on the language of the area Mayans.
  6. Russian  Russian names and cursive are some of the cool bonuses for this language’s Wikibook.
  7. Irish  This books gets it done in three lessons, starting with history and ending with vocab.
  8. Textkit  You should be able to find what you need regarding Greek or Latin education with this site’s 180+ textbooks.
  9. Yiddish  There are two Wikibooks on Yiddish of varying states of completion, one on Yeshivah Bachurim and one on conversational Yiddish.
  10. French  The French Wikibook comes with add-ons like news stories, famous excerpts, and national anthems.
  11. German  This book is under development but can still serve as a handy guide to your German instruction.
  12. Abaza Grammar  Fewer than 50,000 people in the world speak this language of the Caucasus Mountain region, so you’ll be in an exclusive club if you learn it with the help of this book.
  13. Afrikaans  Work your way through the South African language with this free textbook.
  14. Belorusian  Join the 9 million or so people who speak Belorusian by reading up on the language with this textbook.
  15. Albanian Basic Course Vol. I  The scan could be better quality, but this is the first of 10 volumes for sinking your teeth into the language of Albania.
  16. Arabic  If you’re interested in this geopolitically important language, learn the pronouns, definite articles, descriptors, and more, here.


Use them as a supplement to your studies or just type a word in and memorize what comes out.

  1. Free-Translator  The text box has room for your Twitter character limit and then some for easy translation into scores of languages.
  2. Xanadu  This site’s made for traveling, with a currency converter and text translation accompanying the glossaries and reference materials for six different languages.
  3. Google Translate  It’s quick, clean, and efficient for translating dozens of languages to and from English.
  4. Freelang  Choose from 265 bilingual dictionaries and get your human translation here.
  5. Bing Translator  Formerly Babbel Fish, this is Microsoft’s text and web translator for the Google haters.


Harness the power in numbers by connecting with other language learners.

  1. Livemocha  Through this language site’s community you can have exercises reviewed by other users, practice your conversation, and more.
  2. italki  Have your questions answered, your writing corrected, and above all, communicate on this global language network.
  3. Lingopass  Jump into group discussions or start up a one-on-one in a chat room through this site.
  4. UniLang  “Uniting language lovers,” UniLang’s forums are a great place to practice that new tongue you’ve been learning.
  5. My Language Exchange  Join the community of more than 1 million users from more than 130 countries and practice a foreign language with a native speaker.
  6. Palabea  The Facebook of language networking, Palabea lets you upload video and audio, record, translate, and of course, dialogue.
  7. Skype Community Language Learning  The popular video-calling software has a section for users to ask and answer questions and make connections for conversations.
  8. The Mixxer  Similar to My Language Exchange, Mixxer is Dickinson College’s platform for language learners to be both teachers and students.
  9. My Happy Planet  Members can create their own lessons for others or just communicate with them directly on this learning community site.


These high-tech resources will streamline your language learning experience.

  1. Babbel  Take the old flash card method digital for learning 11 languages through Babbel, including Swedish and Turkish.
  2. Rikai  The entire web becomes a Japanese learning tool with this site’s URL filter.
  3. Byki  Available as a free download or paid upgrade, Byki is a solid bit of language-learning, flash card-based software.
  4. Lingro  Lingro is a slick tool that works like Rikai except it works with 12 languages, making any word on a web page clickable to see its definition.
  5. ProVoc  ProVoc ups the ante on flash card learning with features like variable difficulty and the ability to create your own cards.
  6. One World Dictionary  This program by Ascendo works on Macs to bring you 100,000 translations into Spanish, French, Italian, and German.


Follow these links for the best language learning on the go.

  1. Learn Turkish with Babbel  This is the Turkish version of Babbel’s excellent learning software for smartphones, but all the languages the site offers are also available for mobile.
  2. Learn German with busuu  The popular language site created this free app for vocab words, learning units, and exams on Android phones.
  3. Ho-Chunk  Get acquainted with this unique Native American language through this iPad app.
  4. 50 Languages  Yep, you guessed it: the makers of this app want to help you learn 50 languages with this free app.
  5. Mindsnacks Learn French  Also available for several other languages, this app helps you learn Francais through fun gameplay.
  6. Hello-Hello Spanish  This highly-rated iPad app helps you practice Spanish pronunciation and vocab based on conversational lessons.
  7. TrainBrain  Practice words in German, Czech, and more languages to follow with this handy app.
  8. Cuebrain!  Quiz yourself on nearly two dozen languages with this gameplay-based Android app.
  9. myLanguage Free Translator  Nearly 60 languages are available for helping you navigate your way through a foreign land.
  10. Conjugate Spanish Verbs  Take the pain out of verb conjugation, with 17 coverage for 17 tenses.
  11. Vocre  Using speech recognition technology powered by Nuance, Vocre becomes your take-anywhere translator for enabling conversation.
  12. eTeacher Hebrew Lessons  Instructor Shira Cohen Regev guides you through the Hebrew alphabet and into basics like days of the week, counting, and beginning vocab.
  13. Hiragana Lite  This free version features basic Japanese Hiragana characters in simple flash card format.
  14. Learn English- PhotoFlashcards  This amazing app by language leaning company Voxy lets English learners photograph any item and receive an English definition for that item.
  15. Pronunciation Checker  Check your pronunciation against 6,000 words in five languages.

This is a cross post from


The Lesser-Known Benefits Of eLearning For Teachers

benefits-of-elearningThe Lesser-Known Benefits Of eLearning For Teachers

by Chris

The relatively recent boom in technology has opened up incredibly valuable resources for teachers and students. One of the most valuable resources currently available is the ability to give and receive academic instruction. We typically think of this technological advancement as a huge benefit for students, but it also creates major opportunities for teachers to lead more fulfilling- and lucrative- careers. Here are four of the many ways teachers are using online learning platforms to their advantage:

1. Connecting 

By connecting to other educators, teachers network, consider competing ideas, gather resources, and navigate through a bustling ecology of pedagogy and edu-thinking.

2. Passion-Based Learning

Educating is a passion in its own right, but most teachers have a subject and/or talent that they love to talk about and share with their students. Sometimes, curriculum and job constraints mean that teachers aren’t able to share certain topics with students within the confines of school hours. Online resources make it possible for teachers to find students who need instruction on other areas of study they may not be able to teach their full-time classrooms– like singing, advanced chemistry, or chess. This offers the opportunity for instructors to lead students to success both inside and outside of school hours.

3. Efficiency

Summer and Winter breaks are ideal for spending time with loved ones, but they also offer the opportunity for teachers to generate extra income. Online tutoring platforms make this easier than ever, connecting teachers with students in need of their specific expertise. Teachers can provide instruction on topics they are passionate about and naturally good at, while still saving up for a big trip or adding to their 401k. Helping students just once per day just during the summer months can add up to thousands in additional savings per year!

4. Mastering Diverse Languages (e.g., ESL) 

Teaching students whose first language is not English can be difficult if not already bilingual, and many educators aren’t offered the tools to improve through their schools. This is where “learning by teaching” comes in particularly handy– offer tutoring to non-English speakers, and teachers are able pick up valuable teaching skills that can translate to classroom learning, and may even learn some useful key words and phrases along the way!

5. Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Teaching is a skill, and all skills require practice.

Yet re-doing lesson plans can be difficult amongst constant paper grading and after school commitments. Going with what works can be a huge time saver, but a true educator is always thinking of more effective ways to reach their students. Teaching outside the constraints of a classroom syllabus allows for the creative freedom to try out new material, and introduce the things that work into usual lesson plans.

Chris Waldron is the Co-Founder of TakeLessons. TakeLessons is the trusted online marketplace for finding highly qualified and well-vetted instructors. At TakeLessons, students can follow their dreams and fuel personal growth by connecting with the perfect instructor in areas ranging from music, dance and acting to foreign languages, math and photography, professional skills and athletics. TakeLessons’ serves not only Kindergarten – 12th grade, school-aged students, but also provides numerous offerings for lifelong learners of all ages. TakeLessons’ website tools allows both students and teachers to seamlessly schedule lessons, manage accounts and invoices, as well as process payments across desktop and mobile devices. Students can learn more at, and teachers can sign up at

The Lesser-Known Benefits Of eLearning For Teachers


11 Of The Best YouTube Channels For Learning English

youtube-channels-for-learning-english11 Of The Best YouTube Channels For Learning English 

by Andrea Giordano

It’s no secret that YouTube is an English language learner’s best friend.

Because ESL/ELL teachers have been willing to turn the cameras on themselves, you can find thousands of lessons to help improve your English. However, sometimes it’s difficult to know where the true gold is among all the videos that show up in searches. Hopefully this list of 11 YouTube channels can help steer you toward some of the best ESL/ELL content YouTube has to offer in 2014. 

11 Of The Best YouTube Channels For Learning English 
1) British Council LearnEnglish This is the official YouTube channel of the British Council. Videos are professional looking and include skits of real-life scenarios. They also boast several animated grammar lessons.  
2) Anglo-Link Run by Minoo Short of the UK, this channel provides lessons that are several minutes long and focus on subjects such as phrasal verbs, vocabulary, and listening skills. 
3) JenniferESL When you learn English with Jennifer, you feel like you’re learning from a caring mentor. Geared more toward beginning students, Jennifer’s videos cover a wide variety of topics and include colorful slides and graphics to assist with learning. 
4) Rachel’s English Rachel knows American pronunciation. She has a background in classical singing, and she brings her expertise of voice and pronunciation to all of her videos. If you’re looking to “reduce” your accent or refine your pronunciation, Rachel’s English is a great place to start.
5) EnglishLessons4U One of EngVid’s 8 teachers, Ronnie brings a quirky sensibility to learning English. Her lessons are informative, practical, and a lot of fun. 
6) Let’s Talk This India-based channel focuses on accent training, correct grammar usage, idioms, phrases and vocabulary. With practical tips and clear instruction, these videos are a great resource for learners from any country.
7) ESL and Popular Culture This UK-based channel provides simple lessons to improve listening and reading comprehension. While most other channels on this list involve a person teaching on-screen, ESL and Popular Culture focuses on images and text to accompany audio lessons.
8) KidsTV123 These delightful videos are filled with colorful graphics and upbeat children’s songs, focused on teaching phonics. You’ll find yourself humming these songs long after your lesson is over.
9) Learn English A great resource for beginners, Learn English’s videos stage skits and basic lessons, complete with graphics, visuals, and subtitles.
10) Speak English with Steve Ford This channel is rich in content. Whether you’re prepping for the TOEFL, studying business English, or improving your conversation skills, Steve Ford’s engaging videos will help you reach your goals.
11) ESL Basics With mini-lessons on vocabulary, idioms, and phrasal verbs, this channel is perfect for learning vocabulary quickly.
Andrea Giordano is the creator of ESL Basics, and author of the book 21 Ways to Jumpstart Your English Language Skills. When she’s not making videos for her YouTube channel, she can be found taking selfies with her two adorable little boys; 11 Of The Best YouTube Channels For Learning English 
The Future Of Learning

7 Global Education Facts & Statistics That Reflect A Changing World

isafmedia7 Global Education Facts & Statistics That Reflect A Changing World

by Kate Montanile, VIF International Education

Technology has changed the world’s landscape.

President Barack Obama explains, “In a 21st-century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there’s an Internet connection … a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi.”

As teachers, educators and mentors we need to prepare students for a world where borders between continents are blurred, where companies will be formed over the Internet and where learning about other cultures in classrooms will be as ubiquitous as learning to read.

To illustrate the urgency of teaching global education in your classroom, we have gathered seven statistics that just might surprise you.

1. Sixty percent of secondary students ranked understanding different cultures the most important subject area, ahead of writing skills and math skills.

One Takeaway: As technology makes our world more accessible, and because classrooms are increasingly diverse, students recognize the need to understand the cultures of others, as well as their own.

2. Nearly all (98 percent) of students in a recent survey agreed that a strong understanding of world history and events is critical to developing solutions to a global problem.

One Takeaway: Students are interested in being better global citizens. Learning about world events in the classroom allows them to study the past in order to change the future.

3. Research shows that students who learn about global issues are more than twice as likely to see the importance of personally taking social action.

One Takeaway: Global learning encourages awareness and critical thinking about issues such as poverty, climate change, religious and cultural differences, world trade and politics.

4. Nine out of 10 students, teachers and industry leaders recognize that jobs are becoming increasingly international.

One Takeaway: There is broad understanding that globalization results in companies that are more diverse than ever before.

5. The number of multinational corporations rose from 7,000 in the 1990s to 65,000 in 2013.

One Takeaway: Students are correct in recognizing that jobs are becoming increasingly international. The number of multinational corporations continues to rise as developments in technology and transportation revolutionize the work force.

6. There are more than 1 billion people who speak Chinese, and only 508 million people who speak English.

One Takeaway: English is no longer the dominant world language. For students becoming global citizens, knowing a second language will be critical.

7. Only one-half of students in the U.S. study a world language compared to Europe where 90 percent of students study at least one foreign language.

One Takeaway: European schools are creating bilingual students who will be seen as much more valuable to multinational companies. In the future, people will be expected to speak more than one language in order to successfully compete in the workplace.

Kanista Zuniga – Kanista is a former ESL/EFL teacher in the U.S. and Japan, traveler, tennis player, culture and language enthusiast and global education advocate. Kanista is the Learning Center Manager at VIF International Education and works alongside Michelle to support all global educators in the VIF professional development community. For more global education resources follow VIF on Twitter @viflearn.

Michelle Macumber – Michelle is a global educator, travel lover, volunteer addict, true Canadian (proudly living in the Southern U.S.) who loves family, friends and keeping (really) busy! Michelle is the Learning Center Community Leader at VIF International Education where she works alongside Kanista to engage and support all members in their development as global educators.

Image attribution flickr user isafmedia; 7 Global Education Facts & Statistics That Reflect A Changing World


Teaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning

teaching-with-youtubeTeaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning

If you don’t have a YouTube channel as an education provider, there’s a good chance you’re behind the times. Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons.

These channels allow instructors to share information and blend media in unprecedented and exciting new ways. From teaching Mandarin Chinese to busting myths about Astronomy, the educational possibilities are diverse and dynamic. Because we can now sift through thousands of resources while navigating a single repository, the potential for inspiration and growth in the field of education has reached a new height.

Here are the top channels worth following based on views, subscriptions, and quality of content:


    1. YouTube EDU: Launched in 2009, Youtube EDU centralizes content from over 100 universities and colleges, providing access to lectures, research, and campus tours. Think of it as an enormous global video classroom within the YouTube framework, divided into three sub-categories: Primary & Secondary Education, University and Lifelong Learning. You can even build your own global classroom by uploading videos to your YouTube channel.
    2. Teaching Channel: A video showcase of inspiring and effective teaching practices.
    3. TED-Ed: With over 400,000 subscribers, this channel offers an extensive library of original videos meant to inform and inspire. A new lesson is posted every day, Monday-Friday, and relevant TED Talks are highlighted on weekends.
    4. TED & TEDx: As of 2011, TED Talks were the #1 non-profit channel subscribed to on YouTube. These ideas worth spreading have reached over 60 million viewers worldwide.
    5. Edutopia: Run by the George Lucas Foundation, Edutopia focuses on K-12 education but offers a plethora of evidence-based teaching strategies for all levels and disciplines.
    6. BIEPBL: Videos from the Buck Institute of Education, dedicated to improving 21st Century teaching and learning by creating and disseminating products, practices, and knowledge for effective Project Based Learning.
    7. ASCD: Profiles in education, annual conferences, tutorials, and more.
    8. Learning to Teach Online: This multi-award-winning free professional development channel is designed to help teachers from any discipline, whether experienced in online teaching or not, gain a working understanding of successful online teaching pedagogies that they can apply in their own unique teaching situations.
    9. Khan Academy: This non-profit educational organization, created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, supplies all of its lessons online for free. An original pioneer of the open education movement.
    10. Office of EdTech: Videos and playlists including information about technology and learning.
    11. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): Helpful and engaging resources for integrating technology into your lessons.
    12. SXSWEdu: Videos from the annual education conference at SXSW (South by Southwest).
    13. The Times Higher Education: A good collection of videos documenting the World University Rankings. Only 526 subscribers so far, but an important channel nonetheless.
    14. Discovery Channel: A great educational resource, dedicated to bringing viewers amazing stories and experiences from the world of science, natural history, anthropology, survival, geography, and engineering.
    15. National Geographic: With nearly 3 million subscribers, this channel covers wildlife, natural history, archaeology, and more.
    16. Expert Village: Watch. Learn. Do. Tutorials on pretty much anything you can think of.
    17. Nobel Prize: Watch interviews with Nobel Prize winners past and present, gaining some insight into their creative and technical processes.
    18. Biography: A very useful resource, this channel digs deep to present interesting, little-known facts alongside biographical overviews of famous icons. An added bonus, find events that occurred On This Day in history, including famous birthdays and notable deaths.
    19. Smithsonian: With 19 museums, 9 international research centers, and 168 million artifacts to draw from, this channel provides information on the history of our planet, life, and culture.
    20. Australian Indigenous Education Foundation: The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) is a private sector led, non-profit organization focused on empowering Indigenous children in financial need to build a future through quality education and career pathways at Australia’s leading schools, universities and companies. It aims to provide scholarships to educate 2,000 Indigenous children at some of the leading schools and universities in the nation and equip them to pursue productive and fulfilling careers.
    21. Australian Education Union (AEU): The Australian Education Union represents educators who work in public schools, colleges, early childhood, and vocational settings in all states and territories of Australia. Members include teachers and allied educational staff, principals, and administrators mainly in government school and TAFE systems.
    22. The rockEd Channel: thinkEd, an Australian company, has started publishing educational videos on its wellbeing education program (called rockEd), which is based on the successful system used by the Khan Academy. What Khan has done for general education, rockEd aims to do for wellbeing education: provide education that improves children’s wellbeing available to everyone, anywhere in the world, at no cost.
    23. PBS: Public broadcasting opens up viewers minds to the wide range of wonders the world has to offer, particularly when it comes to current events, the arts, and science.
    24. NPR Radio Pictures: NPR-produced videos and audio slideshows on science, philosophy art, and more.
    25. Department of Education: This channel will keep you up-to-date on national policies affecting the education industry.
    26. @GoogleTalks: Google has lots of famous visitors speaking at its headquarters, and they’re all recorded and neatly presented here.
    27. Aspen Institute: An international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Video topics range from poverty to women’s philanthropy to Common Core.
    28. Big Think: This collection brings you videos featuring some of today’s leading thinkers, including Ellen Galinsky, Lawrence Krauss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Robert Steven Kaplan, and more.
    29. Canal Educatif a la Demande: CED is a philanthropic producer of free high-quality educational videos in the domains of arts, economics, and science.
    30. Delivers video presentations from the world’s great writers, leaders, activists and thinkers. Topics include psychology, politics, education, and more.
    31. Intelligence Squared: Oxford-style debates features one motion, one moderator, three panelists arguing for a motion, and three arguing against.
    32. Intelligent Channel: An original YouTube partner, the Intelligent Channel is a new destination for intelligent conversations and documentaries, with leaders from the worlds of entertainment and education. TINT videos produced by Intelligent Television in New York City. Â
    33. The Alcove: A program that features interviews with various influential thinkers, including Jimmy Wales, Tina Brown, Arianna Huffington, and Carl Bernstein. Moderated by Mark Molaro.
    34. Common Craft: Common Craft is a series of short explanatory videos for teachers and trainers curated by Lee and Sachi LeFever. The goal is to fight complexity with simple tools and plain language.
    35. THNKR: Change Your Mind. This channel gives viewers extraordinary access to the people, places, stories, and ideas that are transforming our world. Its four-part series includes BOOKD, EPIPHANY, PODIUM, and PRODIGIES.
    36. Wellcome Collection: The free destination for the incurably curious, this channel explores health and medical topics, science and art, education, old moviemaking techniques, and more.
    37. RSA Animate: 21st Century Enlightenment: Run by the non-profit organization working to meet 21st century challenges by showcasing ideas, undertaking innovative research, and building civic capacity around the world.

Physical Sciences

    1. MinutePhysics: The most popular educational channel on YouTube, second only to Khan Academy.
    2. Robert Krampf: A one-man science academy, this former Pink Palace educator covers radioactivity, the science of credit cards, making butter, and many more interesting and entertaining topics.
    3. Bright Storm: This channel offers hundreds of video lessons in biology, chemistry, physics, math, English, test prep, and more. The videos are nothing more than an instructor lecturing with a whiteboard for a few minutes, but are great if a student needs a refresher on a science topic.
    4. Symphony of Science: These fun videos combine rhythm with science for enhanced learning. Check out Carl Sagan singing We Are All Connected or Morgan Freeman crooning over quantum physics (which, by the way, has over 4 million views).
    5. Bad Astronomy: Bad Astronomy is devoted to debunking myths and misconceptions about astronomy. How much pressure does it take to crush a concrete cylinder? How do meteorites from Mars get to Earth? Find out from The Bad Astronomer.
    6. New Scientist: New Scientist brings you videos and podcasts covering science, technology, space, the environment, and more. An international team of expert journalists brings you the latest innovations and ideas in science and technology, from a canyon discovered under an ice sheet in Greenland to footage of a mouse heart using human cells to beat again.
    7. ReelNASA: This channel brings you videos showing the latest happenings at NASA and the newest developments in space exploration. Â
    8. Richard Dawkins: The channel features talks by Richard Dawkins, the Oxford evolutionary biologist, as well as others influenced by his thought.
    9. ScienCentral: Making sense of science on an everyday level, this channel produces science and technology content for television, video, and the web. From broadcast news features to educational products, it covers the medical, environmental, and technological issues that affect daily life.
    10. UCSF Memory & Aging Channel: UCSF features videos that will educate patients, caregivers and health professionals about the various forms of neurodegenerative diseases. The diseases covered here include Alzheimer’s, Frontotemporal dementia, and Creutzfelt-Jakob Disease. This year’s research education event covered Memory, Medications, and Money and the latest Healthy Aging techniques.
    11. The Real Bill Nye the Science Guy: Beloved American children’s show host Bill Nye presents a number of quality videos on a wide range of scientific principles.
    12. NASA Television: Take students on a wondrous voyage through space, courtesy of NASA researchers, developers, staff, astronauts and equipment.
    13. Utah Museum of Natural History: This small but comprehensive channel introduces students to dinosaurs, rocks, and other fascinating facets of natural history.
    14. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture: The University of Washington curates collections of natural history and cultural heritage through this terrific channel, which includes videos on Coast Salish Art, unearthing Giant Turtle fossils, Why We Eat What We Eat, Tropical Bats, Plastic Recycling, and much more.
    15. Animal Planet: Animal Planet is the world’s only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television, and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information, and enrichment.
    16. Science Channel: This channel’s 175,000 followers learn about outer space, new technology, earth science basics, and more.
    17. Steve Spangler Science: Steve Spangler’s science demonstrations are best suited for young audiences or older students needing a quick and easy refresher on the basic principles at play.
    18. Science Magazine: This channel explores multiple disciplines and facets of science but isn’t quite as popular as the Science Channel.
    19. Carl Sagan’s COSMOS: Perfect for physics and astronomy classes, these classic videos of the beloved Carl Sagan engage and educate.
    20. Garland Science: Brought to you by Taylor & Francis, this channel includes some outstanding videos and animations pertaining to cellular and molecular biology.
    21. Nat Geo Wild: This National Geographic channel narrows its focus to animals, their behavior, and their relationships with the surrounding ecosystems.
    22. The Periodic Table of Videos: From the University of Nottingham comes the ultimate channel for all things chemistry, including a video about each element on the periodic table and new videos each week about science news, interesting molecules, and more.
    23. British Geological Survey: An obvious source for geology and earth sciences teachers. The British Geological Survey (BGS) is the nation’s principal supplier of objective, impartial, and up-to-date geological expertise and information. BGS carries out research in areas including energy and natural resources, vulnerability to environmental change and hazards, and Earth System Science, often in collaboration with the national and international scientific academic community.
    24. Wildlife Conservation Society: This channel introduces learners to the importance of conservation and environmentalism. The videos serve as informative guides on what works and what doesn’t in the conservation circle, and what would happen if humanity stopped caring.
    25. California Academy of Sciences: A channel from the massive museum featuring exhibits on natural history, astronomy, and marine sciences.
    26. Centre for Inquiry Canada: A great resource for encouraging scientific inquiry, reason, freedom of thought, and secularism.
    27. National Audubon Society: Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. This channel features videos on migration, markings, habitat protection, and more.
    28. Sixty Symbols: Another University of Nottingham venture, this channel demystifies the common symbols used in astronomy and physics, covering momentum, relativity, quantum mechanics, magnets, currents, and much more.
    29. Climate Conference: The UN’s channel dedicated to discussing global warming and other environmental issues. A great resource for debate material and current research.

Engineering & Technology

    1. Gizmodo: This channel will introduce young engineers, computer specialists, and technicians to the programming behind today’s hottest gadgets.
    2. Wired: The Wired channel concerns itself with the invention of the future, illuminating how technology is changing every aspect of our lives from culture to business, science to design. Learn about electric cars, the composition of Play-Doh, or how to hack a telegram.
    3. MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory: Computer science and engineering students and teachers should check here for some seriously cool news on the latest artificial intelligence developments.Â
    4. NPTEL: This channel provides technical lectures from all seven Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
    5. This Week in Tech: For an educator who wants to stay up on all the day’s and week’s tech news, this is the place to be. Entertaining, informative, fun. Full broadcasts.
    6. The Computer History Museum: This channel works to curate the Information Age, offering videos of lectures and events at the museum itself as well as historic computer films. Special guests include Google’s Eric Schmidt and Rick Rashid of Microsoft.


    1. Mr. Robb’s Math Videos: This channel originally started out as a means for students to remember their lessons after class has been dismissed, but grew into an exceptionally comprehensive resource on almost all things mathematical.
    2. Mathademics: Mathademics is a community learning tool based out of Northern Illinois. Mathcast video tutorials are created by certified teachers who are dedicated to improving and making learning accessible to all students.
    3. The Video Math Tutor: This is a useful channel that provides several tutoring math videos covering different topics including basic math lessons, calculator tips, and brain teasers.
    4. Numberphile: If you are a math teacher who wants to teach numbers differently, this channel has some videos to help you do it.
    5. PatrickJMT Free Math Videos: With nearly 200,000 subscribers, this channel is considered to be one of the best math channels on YouTube. It has videos on different topics such as calculus, derivatives, differential equations, limits, integrals, and more.
    6. Mathematics Online: For geometry formula derivations and more.
    7. Statistics Learning Center: With clear, short, entertaining videos, learn the basics of statistics from an expert teacher.

Politics, History, and Current Events

    1. Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting provides in-depth coverage of international affairs, focusing on topics that have been under-reported, misreported, or not reported at all. BONUS: Lesson Plans for Educators.
    2. This channel provides some insights into the political figure’s views and actions that are appropriate for academic discussion. A good resource if you’re teaching or studying American politics.
    3. Council on Foreign Relations: A resource designed to provide insight into the complex international issues challenging policymakers and citizens alike.
    4. The Commonwealth Club: Videos coming out of the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, presenting topics ranging across politics, culture, and society.
    5. The Davos Question: Every year, global leaders attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to discuss how to better the world. Here you get to see what they have to say.
    6. The Library of Congress: Timeless treasures and contemporary presentations from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Features recordings dating from the earliest Edison films to the present. A great resource if you are studying American history.
    7. The New York Times: All the news that’s fit to watch.
    8. The New Yorker: The official video channel of The New Yorker magazine, offering its signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, foreign affairs, business, technology, popular culture and the arts, along with humor, fiction, poetry, and cartoons. Your go-to resource for insight into American culture.
    9. The Real News: The Real News Network is a global online video news network that listens to and is dependent solely on its audience. No ads. No government subsidies. No corporate sponsorship.
    10. The World Bank: Videos coming out of the institution whose goal is to rid the world of poverty.
    11. WNYC Radio: Videos provided by WNYC, New York Public Radio.
    12. Yad Vashem: Remembering the Past, Reshaping the Future. Containing the world’s largest repository of information on the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is a leader in Holocaust education, commemoration, research, and documentation.
    13. 92nd Street Y: Pretty much anyone and everyone on the cultural radar passes through the 92nd Y in NYC.
    14. Feministing: Suitable for high school and college-aged students, this proud feminist channel educates visitors on the latest women’s rights issues.
    15. History Channel: Like the science channel, but historical.
    16. Associated Press: Stay on top of the current events impacting today’s world. The Associated Press covers both domestic and international stories.
    17. The White House: Follow this YouTube channel for the latest developments in American politics.
    18. Witness: Walk through the realities of human rights violations and injustices continuously plaguing the world, and learn about what needs doing in order to reverse them.
    19. National Institute of Mental Health: NIMH is dedicated to bringing viewers honest insights into how mental illnesses really work and the recommended treatment options.
    20. CitizenTube: Hosted by YouTube itself, this channel features current events and frequent political updates from around the world.
    21. World Economic Forum: This Geneva-based organization concerns itself with finding viable solutions to the planet’s fiscal problems.
    22. United Nations: Perfect for model UN clubs and history and political science classes, this channel features over a thousand videos about the constantly changing human shape of the globe.
    23. Inside the NYPD: For criminal justice classes or any others pertaining to law, this look into NYPD will make an excellent educational supplement.
    24. Media Education Foundation: Sharpen critical thinking skills both in and outside of class with these short documentaries encouraging open discourse on sociological, political and historical topics.
    25. WHO: The World Health Organization keeps viewers updated on global initiatives combating everything from diarrhea and colds to possible epidemics.
    26. Mind Your Mind: Mind Your Mind targets young adults with the hopes of educating them on the realities of mental illnesses, how to help loved ones, the necessity of treatment, and the damaging stigmas surrounding psychological disorders.
    27. Open students up to the reality of the global AIDS crisis using this informative resource, which discusses efforts made to combat the virus.
    28. Routledge Textbooks: This publishing company specializes in social sciences and humanities, and their videos work in line with and independently from their texts.
    29. USC Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism: University of Southern California faculty, staff, and students present talks on social media, journalism, global initiatives, and current events.
    30. It Gets Better: Sociology classes studying the LGBTQIA movement and the heightened rate of suicide amongst teenagers alienated by their sexuality needs to check out this channel.
    31. Sociology of Gender: This Penn State University channel presents PSAs relating to gender and sexuality, most especially overall perceptions and portrayals.
    32. American Cancer Society: With cancer a serious issue plaguing the world over, students should know about more than just the medical repercussions.
    33. The MacArthur Foundation: This organization bestows money to individuals whose goals and talents go towards making the world a little bit better.
    34. UNICEF: Learn about efforts by the United Nations to feed, clothe, and educate impoverished children worldwide.
    35. C-SPAN: Follow this channel for the latest news and views straight from Capitol Hill.

The Arts

    1. Smithsonian American Art Museum: Lectures and collections are available for browsing.
    2. British Film Institute National Archive: Here you will find hundreds of free films as well as expert commentary and interviews. Home to the world’s largest and most diverse film and TV archive.
    3. Artists Space: Founded in 1972, Artists Space has successfully contributed to the changing institutional and economic landscape of contemporary art in New York City for more than three decades. The Artists Space channel promotes lively discussion and experimentation among contemporary artists working in the visual arts, video and electronic media, performance, architecture and design. A great teaching resource for college art professors, and a great networking resource for young professionals.
    4. Cinetic: Cinetic, an affiliate of Film Buff, brings audiences the latest, greatest and classic festival favorites from around the globe. From award-winners by veteran filmmakers to up-and-coming talent telling new stories, Cinetic prides itself on being at the forefront of quality indie film in the digital space.
    5. NFB: The National Film Board of Canada hosts short documentaries, animations, alternative dramas, and other films. Its collection of over 13,000 award-winning films can be accessed at
    6. Philip Scott Johnson: A fascinating collection of videos that put art in motion, exploring Baroque Art, Women and Men in Film, Faces of Fashion, Spiral Abstracts, and more.
    7. SpokenVerse: Considered by Roger Ebert to be one of the richest resources on YouTube, SpokenVerse offers over 400 readings of great poems in English, from William Shakespeare to Charles Bukowski.
    8. Sundance: Provides video clips from original series and films airing on the Sundance Channel.
    9. The Screening Room: Provided by YouTube itself, this collection presents high quality, independent films to web users and promises to roll out four new films every two weeks.
    10. American Film Institute: Some of the greatest cinematic works of art ever shot for the appreciation and inspiration of future generations.
    11. MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art: Use this channel to introduce students to the hottest and most influential modern and contemporary artists the world has to offer.
    12. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Learn all about preservation, art history, techniques and more thanks to one of the world’s most prestigious museums. Take a tour without taking a tour.
    13. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: Another Smithsonian offering, this time emphasizing the history of design, its role in society and any current trends.
    14. Anaheim Ballet: One of the most popular YouTube channels delivers some of the most stunning and dramatic dance pieces available online.
    15. Smithsonian Folkways: Expose students to world music they may not otherwise know about, courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways devoted recordings and videos.
    16. Beliefnet Community: The men and women of discuss spiritual matters from a comparative perspective, meaning atheists and agnostics are just as welcome to participate as individuals of faith. Videos also touch upon mental health and political topics as well.
    17. BookTV: CSPAN peers into the latest nonfiction releases and supplements reviews and summaries with relevant interviews, discussions, and other materials.
    18. Vancouver Poetry Slam: Watch some of Vancouver’s best slam poets as they share their writing and performing talents with the world at large.
    19. Stratford Shakespeare Festival: The event itself may only come once a year, but the channel offers 24/7 lessons on Shakespearean plays and performances.
    20. Michelle Phan: A good resource for teachers and students in the Beauty trade.
    21. Craft: Projects, techniques, and creations to spark ideas for lesson plans and assignments. Nearly 36,000 subscribers.
    22. Dance Channel TV: A terrific resource for those interested in the performing arts.
    23. Royal Opera House: Full operas may not be available on this channel, but the interviews do provide some excellent supplementary materials.
    24. Longtimers: The Life in the Arts Series, specifically tailored to meet the California State Art Curriculum Framework statutes, covers almost every facet of human creativity and expression.
    25. Words of the World: A channel dedicated to exposing the nature of spoken and written words.
    26. The CIA: A very useful channel for those interested in the culinary arts.
    27. National Writing Project: Here you will find some of the best strategies to help students hone their writing skills.
    28. HP Graphic Arts: Hewlett-Packard’s take on digital trends and experimentation in the arts.
    29. USC Cinematic Arts: Share the latest in film, television, and multimedia with your production students.
    30. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities: Even those living outside of DC can still benefit from this organization’s efforts to promote the arts and humanities in a math and science-oriented world.
    31. Steppenwolf Theatre Company: A great tool for drama teachers interested in illustrating the art of stagecraft.
    32. Walker Art Center: Explore arts of all kinds via walkthroughs and interviews with some of the world’s most creative minds.

Learning a Foreign Language

    1. JenniferESL: With over 153,000 subscribers, JenniferESL is one of the most popular ESL channel on YouTube. Jennifer’s best videos are her lessons on idioms (kitchen idioms, driving idioms, color idioms) and slang/phrases based on everyday environments and tasks. Most of the content in her curriculum is based on expressions and conversations from authentic experiences. Great for beginners.
    2. MisterDuncan: Considered one of the original English teachers on YouTube, MisterDuncan covers lessons on fluency and speaking English naturally rather than prescriptive grammar. A Bill Nye the English Guy, if you will.
    3. Voice of America Learning English: Join over 98,000 other subscribers and learn English with captioned news reports read at a slower speed.
    4. BBC Learning English: Another popular site, with over 64,000 followers.
    5. TheSpanishBlog: It is safe to assume that is probably hard to find a personal native Spanish speaking tutor to provide daily Spanish lessons, but this is exactly what the Spanish Blog is. Laura Garrido Eslava uploads lessons on both YouTube and her personal blog that can help you master both vocabulary and pronunciation. Don’t forget to download some lessons to your mp3 if you’re a person on the go!
    6. LearningLikeCrazy: Whether you want to lament the difficulties of learning Spanish verbs along with a few of their user testimonials or review basic some basic phrases, Learning (Spanish) Like Crazy’s Channel can be both educational and entertaining for any beginner. Learning Like Crazy also provides lessons for other languages as well, such as Italian.
    7. LanguageNow: If you are looking for a more formal lesson, be sure to check out Professor Jason’s Channel. Professor Jason specializes in teaching both Spanish and Portuguese and provides comprehensive step-by-step video lessons on both his channel and his website. His video are on the lengthy end, but his organization of information is definitely worth the watch.
    8. SpanishDict: SpanishDict’s videos are definitely a joy to watch, mainly because they are very organized and of very high quality. Use these if you are looking for a more interactive experience, they are sure to get you excited about the language. The only downside might be that the speaker’s lack native pronunciation, but don’t let this stop you from learning!
    9. Esaudio: For the grammar freak in you, try trabeojoj’s channel videos on Spanish grammar. This is aimed for more advanced speakers of Spanish, but it will definitely help you fine tune your speech by reviewing the ins and outs of the language. Their large selection of videos range from every thinkable topic of Spanish grammar.
    10. French From Beginners to Advanced: One of the best channels available, with nearly 100,000 subscribers.
    11. Learn French: Here you will find short videos of vocabulary words and random phrases followed by a short quiz on the lesson. The channel is in a radio talk show format structured around everyday dialogues and presented by a native French speaker and a native English speaker.
    12. The Radio Lingua Network: On this channel, CoffeeBreak French!, the user learns with Anna, the student, who is instructed by Mark, the teacher. This duo is so enthusiastic and helpful as they situate each lesson in different parts of Paris, that you can’t help but feel that you are undertaking a foreign journey with them.
    13. SloppyCheng: With over 70,000 views, Yang Yang Chen presents clear lessons in Mandarin Chinese, answering daily questions from her followers on grammar and pronunciation.
    14. Peggy Teaches Chinese: Peggy Lee offers free Mandarin lessons as well as videos about Taiwanese culture and food. You will find some humorous videos compiled by her past students.
    15. ActiveChinese: Cartoon animations accompanied by practical conversation tips.
    16. Chinese Class 101: Learn to speak, read, hear, and write Chinese with over 14,000 fellow subscribers.

University Channels

  1. University of California Berkeley: Arguably the most substantive YouTube collection available, featuring a large selection of free courses as well as lectures given by important figures.
  2. Cambridge University: Check out the Cambridge Ideas series, a collection of short films in which top researchers reveal some of their latest findings and discuss subjects ranging from energy to disappearing languages, and policing the streets to the future of robotics.
  3. Harvard University: Despite showing up late to the Web 2.0 party, Harvard has its own collection of worthwhile videos, including Michael Sandel’s famous course on Justice.
  4. Harvard Bok Center: A small but bright collection focused on pedagogy.
  5. Harvard Magazine: This channel features clips from Harvard Magazine, a bimonthly magazine that balances intellectual substance with human interest stories.
  6. Indian Institute of Technology/Indian Institute of Science: Presented by the leading technology institutes in India, this collection features more than 50 free courses, mostly in engineering.
  7. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): This channel serves as a central repository for many of the videos produced as part of MIT’s leading OpenCourseWare initiative.
  8. Stanford University: Newly launched, the collection features a few hundred videos from schools, departments, and programs across the university. Highlights include courses, faculty lectures, campus events, and the latest research news from Stanford.
  9. Yale University Courses: This site features nearly 40 free courses artfully recorded by Yale University. You won’t want to miss the gems on this channel.
  10. Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School: The videos hosted here examine how the digital world and the law intersect.
  11. Carnegie Mellon: Here you will find, among other things, Randy Pausch’s highly popular last lecture on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. This channel has over 22 million views.
  12. Columbia University: Managed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, this channel gives faculty, students, and the public access to Columbia-produced videos of lectures, events, and promotional content on the popular YouTube platform.
  13. Duke University: The Duke University YouTube page is a place where students, parents, alumni and others can learn about and enjoy some of the great things happening at the university. Enjoy weekly updates and recordings of summer workshops and commencement gatherings.
  14. Emory University: This University consists of an outstanding liberal arts college, highly ranked professional schools, and one of the larger and more comprehensive healthcare systems in the Southeast. Its channel covers multiple topics, from sustainable student lifestyles to jazz and orchestra performances.
  15. EGS (The European Graduate School): This European collection features Videos and video clips of lectures, sessions, and interviews at European Graduate School (EGS), Media and Communication Studies Department, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe with important contemporary theorists, philosophers, and filmmakers.
  16. Princeton University: Videos from the Council on Science and Technology, Reunions and Commencement highlights, Films from Japan, Rafting Down the Mississippi, and more.
  17. Oxford University: Watch lectures, see reports of current events, and discover more about the students and staff of this incredible university.
  18. Sonoma State: Plenty of lectures, Commencement speeches, and more.
  19. Tulane University: Here you will be able to access some of the speeches by esteemed guest speakers.
  20. University of Arizona: News from campus and lectures by distinguished guests.
  21. University of California TV: University of California Television (UCTV) shares educational and enrichment programming from the campuses, national laboratories, and affiliated institutions of the University of California. Subscribe to your favorites playlists to receive the latest research and information on topics that range from opera to oceanography, autism to artist profiles, global warming to global health. Arts, music, science, public affairs, health, business – if you’re talking about it, you’ll find it on UCTV.
  22. University of Chicago Press: Interviews with authors, editors, photographers, and more.
  23. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: This collection is substantive on the whole. You will need to sift through the videos to find ones of interest.
  24. USC (University of Southern California): Find interesting student spotlights here. A good resource for the arts.
  25. The University of Houston: As with many institutes of higher learning, UH has allowed cameras in the classroom to capture some of its most educational lectures and discussions.
  26. ANU Channel: Canberra-based Australian National University provides an excellent selection of videos on academic subjects and campus life.
  27. USNW: The Sydney-based University of New South Wales presents videos on politics, science, technology, design, engineering and much more that all work as classroom supplements.
  28. University of Melbourne: A great selection of public lectures and close examinations of academic subjects.
  29. Monash University: Near the top of the list for Australian Uni channel subscribers.
  30. The Open University: This distance-learning institution turns the cameras on its faculty and staff for lessons and commentary.
  31. CSU Dominguez Hills: Like other institutes of higher learning affiliated with YouTube, CSUDH also posts up free lectures for anyone curious about the subject matter they teach.
  32. Singularity University: A Silicon Valley creation, with lectures, conferences, and student speeches.
  33. University of Leicester: A terrific resource for those interested in distance education.
  34. Open Colleges: And last, of course, check out our channel. We’re investing lots of resources into this in the next year, so don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂

This post was first published on; Teaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning


The Factors That Impact The Learning Curve Of English-Language Learners

zaps06The Factors That Impact The Learning Curve Of English-Language Learners

by Marc Anderson, CEO

Let’s face it. Some students learn a second language more quickly and easily than others. Some learners show more determination. Some work harder. Some are more persistent. But there are other factors that influence language learning. These all play a role in the speed and acquisition of the new language.

Factor #1 Age

Children who have literacy skills in their native language seem to be able to acquire other languages easily. Older learners can be successful, too, with the right type of inner motivation, but they generally do not achieve the native-speaking pronunciation and intonation that younger children naturally do.

Factor #2 Personality

More outgoing students who don’t worry too much about mistakes and are more willing to take risks seem to do better. They get more practice, are more immersed with native speakers, and gain more confidence.  Introverted or anxious learners tend to make slower progress, most noticeably in their oral language skills.

Factor #3 Motivation

Whether intrinsic or extrinsic in nature, motivation plays a significant role with language achievement. If a student enjoys the language and learning or does well in this area of study, he/she will continue to excel.

Additionally, if the language is needed to further a certain goal (acceptance at a desired university, career goal, speaking to relatives, etc.) then those students will make greater efforts to learn the language and in turn, they will make quicker progress. Those students who are encouraged by their teachers and families and those students in environments that encourage education, learning and languages make more progress.

Factor #4 Experiences

Any student who has lived in other countries and/or has been exposed to travel, diverse cultures, and languages has a stronger base for learning. Students who might have a pen pal, opportunities to Skype or interface with native speakers, and those who have English-speaking friends will learn more easily.

Factor #5 Native Language

Students who are learning a second language which happens to be from the same language family and may even use the same alphabet system and many of the phonetic sounds as their native language are apt to have an easier time.

Factor #6 General Aptitude/Cognitive Abilities

Students with greater aptitude and cognitive abilities will learn faster. They can grasp language patterns and structure more easily. They acquire new vocabulary words quicker and are more fluent speakers and writers of their new language.

Factor #7 Curriculum and Instruction

Allowing the students to gain language from all curricular areas is key to language success. To keep a child out of regular mainstream classes because their language level is beneath the level of instruction does not afford the student the opportunity to be exposed to content rich areas and native speakers commensurate to their age. Teachers who naturally differentiate content and provide needed language support help contribute greatly to these children’s linguistic development.

Perhaps not everyone can be a “Juano” when it comes to learning language, but we can do our part as educators to help all ESL students learn to their abilities. We can motivate, offer experiences, teach content rich curriculum, and differentiate learning for our students. These are the factors we as teachers can bring to guarantee success for all of our ESL students.

Image attribution flickr user zaps06; The Factors That Impact The Learning Curve Of English-Language Learners


6 Qualities of Successful ESL Teachers

thedreamskyby Marc Anderson, CEO

While the numbers of ESL learners in English-speaking countries is vastly increasing, the numbers of qualified ESL teachers is not meeting this growing demand.

Despite “formal” qualifications and ESL specific training, what skills are most important to make a difference for these students? As a regular classroom teacher and ESL teacher in several ESL programs both here in the US and abroad for over three decades, I wanted to share with you a few insights. You will not be surprised.  Most of these qualities are what make good teachers no matter what subject or population of learners being taught.

1.     A Genuine Relationship with Students

Researchers Deiro (1996) and Noddings (1992) found that teachers who genuinely care about their students have a significant impact on the students’ attitudes, motivation and behavior.  These students work harder and are more successful learners. They learn English faster and display stronger skills.  Think of a teacher who you knew really cared about you as a person.  How did this affect your classroom performance and the success you had in that class, which in turn impacted your future success as a learner? The relationship between a student and teacher is the most important factor difference for ESL students.

2.     Understanding of a Student’s Cultural Background

A teacher who openly welcomes students and accepts the cultural differences can help with an easier acceptance by the school environment.  When a student feels valued, he/she is more apt to assimilate into the English-speaking culture, to make friends and increase opportunities to use English. Students who engage in more conversation and activities with native-born English speakers, acquire English skills quicker which help to boost more skills.

3.     Training in Second Language Education Techniques and Approaches

Quality professional training development opportunities need to be available to help these teachers and other staff members who teach culturally and linguistically diverse students. Instruction needs to be ongoing and offered in a whole array of learning formats from short workshops and one-time inservices to online classes and those that stretch over longer periods of time.  These educational opportunities should be available for free or low cost, possibly with added incentives to the teacher.  They should be available in the most convenient settings and at times to accommodate the “busy” teacher who is already pulled and stretched beyond what most careers expect.


4.     Understanding the Individual Needs of Students

It is helpful to assess the student’s language proficiency and educational history.  The design of the classroom lessons can then be individualized to focus on each student’s functional English level in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. This ongoing student assessment helps the teacher obtain current functional levels so lessons can be targeted towards maximum growth. They can zero in on exactly what the student needs. It is pronunciation of a sound or letters? Is it vocabulary?

How about writing?  Can they write a sentence or do they need help with outlining or research?  Do they have study skills?  It is common to have five reading levels in a classroom (i.e. two reading levels above the grade level and two reading levels below); can you imagine the levels of language ability in ESL learners?  Ongoing assessment will support daily instruction and targeted learning needs of a student will help that child acquire language quicker and build self-confidence.

5.     Encouraging English Conversations & Involvement Outside the Classroom

Students who more actively engage outside the classroom in extracurricular or community activities cultivate friendships and interests which help with broadening language acquisition. When students feel more confident and have some degree of language skill, they can be encouraged to join other school- and community-related activities.  These can be based on the students’ interests.  Maybe a student enjoys the outdoors and scouting is a good option; sports, music and art might be other avenues; some students might be befriended by native speakers who invite them to participate in something they are engaged in.  Another suggestion is joining groups and clubs that build on an international focus like language clubs and service organizations.  Being active and also volunteering to help towards some larger purpose can also build relevancy to learning and involvement.

6.     A Willingness to Connect with Communities

Teachers need to analyze what skills are most important to learn at any given time, and then teach those.  As students progress through a hierarchy of skills and meet success, their learning will soar.  Lessons that are built on high interest and tied to the present needs of the students work well.  I remember when I taught ESL students who had just arrived in America.  On Friday afternoons, we would take walking field trips downtown not far from the elementary school that housed the district program.

We could walk to any number of bakeries, toy stores, bookstores, restaurants, a library and museum, and a few parks.  I’ll never forget the day we toured the art museum and I asked the kids to stand by a painting they liked the best.  One little girl didn’t move.  I tried to explain to her what was expected of her. But she could only shake her head “no”.  When I asked her why not, Maya just said that the paintings all were so beautiful.  I knew then that the students were gaining so much more out of these experiences than I could imagine.

Sometimes I would call ahead to a specific place and tell the business owners, etc. we would be coming. Other times, our class would venture out to explore without a schedule.  The outpouring from the businesses was something I will never forget. The kids were invited to make pizzas, frost cakes, take a painting class from an artist, and dine in a fancy restaurant.  The opportunities for rich language growth filled these afternoons to overflowing.

So much that a recent student of mine, Jimmy called to say hello. I asked him if he needed anything and he replied, “No, I’m fine. I just found a note in which you wrote that if I needed anything, I should call.  So I’m calling to tell you that I don’t need anything. I’ve just graduated with a degree in English Literature and I’ve accepted an internship for my master degree.”  Here’s to making it relevant!

As a “good” teacher, I am convinced that you can become a “great” ESL teacher to those students that arrive in your classroom from all corners of the world. You can meet the growing demand of ESL students succeed.  I wish you much on your road to success.

Image attribution flickr user thedreamsky and markiverson


50 Incredibly Useful Links For Learning & Teaching The English Language

Teaching a new language to non-native speakers may be one of the most challenging educational jobs out there, so ELL teachers can use all of the help they can get! Thankfully, many excellent resources for ELL and ESL exist online, from full-service websites to reference tools and communities, all designed to make the task of educating ELL students just a little bit easier and more effective.

We’ve scoured the Internet to share 50 of the best of these resources, and we hope you’ll find lots of valuable content and tools through these incredibly useful links for ELL educators.


Resource tools, printables, and other great stuff for ELL educators are all available on these sites.

  1. On, you’ll find an incredible collection of tools and resources for learning and teaching English as a second language, including a grammar glossary, printables, and teacher handouts.
  2. EverythingESL: EverythingESL is an awesome place to find ESL teaching resources, from lesson plans to teaching tips and resources.
  3. Colorin Colorado: Colorin Colorado is full of useful information, activities, and resources for ELL teachers, especially those at the Pre-K to third grade level. However, most activities can be adapted all the way up to high school, making this a diverse and useful website.

Articles & Advice

Check out resource lists, journal articles, and ideas for best practices in ELL on these links.

  1. Preschool English Language Learners: This resource list from the state of Illinois has a variety of support resources for preschool English language educators, with scholarships, journals, books, and more.
  2. Doing What Works: Visit Doing What Works to find best practices for teaching Literacy in English to kindergarten through fifth-grade learners.
  3. What Works Clearinghouse: In the What Works Clearinghouse, you’ll find scholarly publications for effective outcomes in English language learning.


Take advantage of the great opportunities and resources available from these organizations that benefit ELL teachers.

  1. National Council of Teachers of English: This professional association for educators in English studies, literacy, and language arts offers plenty of benefits for bilingual teachers.
  2. National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition: Find data, grants, even professional development resources for ELL educators from the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.
  3. TOEFL: As the official language test for education, TOEFL’s website is incredibly useful for sharing test-taking and studying information with students.
  4. International Reading Association: This association of literacy professionals has excellent resources for literacy educators, including journal articles and an educator community.

Learning Resources

Enrich your students’ learning by sharing these excellent English resources that they can check out in the classroom or on their own.

  1. Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon: Check out this lexicon that offers images demonstrating the true meaning of the word, making it easier for English language learners to understand.
  2. ManyThings: On this website, you’ll find quizzes, word games, puzzles, and a random sentence generator to help students better grasp English as a second language.
  3. is a really fun site for ELL learners, with reference tools like a dictionary and vocabulary, supplemented with quizzes, games, and a community forum.
  4. ESL Basics: On this site, you’ll find free English videos for both students and teachers.
  5. English Pronunciation: Okanagan College’s resource offers 13 different unit lessons for learning and teaching English pronunciation.
  6. BBC Learning English: In this website from the BBC, students can find help with grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, with plenty of references to current events. Plus, you’ll find a special section for ELL teachers.
  7. ESL Gold: ESL Gold is, no joke, golden, with seemingly endless learning resources for English. Students can practice pronunciation, find a book to study, and even talk to someone in English on this site. Plus, teachers can find a job, search for textbooks, discover games, and so much more.
  8. Real English: Check out this free site for learning English, with loads of videos from real English speakers, plus quizzes and community support.
  9. Repeat After Us: In this online library, students can get access to a huge collection of English texts and scripted recordings.
  10. Google Translate: An awesome resource to use for simple translations, Google Translate can help your students see how its done and better understand translations between two or more languages.
  11. ESL Cyber Listening Lab: Direct your students to this ESL cyber listening lab with study guides, quizzes, and even teacher features.
  12. Vocabulix: This online tool is designed to help jumpstart students’ vocabulary skills, with more than 90 vocabulary lessons, and the option to create lessons of your own.
  13. Wordsteps: Wordsteps makes it easy for students to build their own vocabulary collection, and even access their vocabulary through a mobile device for English language learning on the go.

Teaching Resources

With these resources, you can find great ways to communicate more effectively, explore lessons, and be a great ELL teacher.

  1. Utah Education Network English Language Learner Resources: Check out this list of great resources for ELL, with teaching ideas, forums, and even news and research.
  2. One Stop English: Specially designed for English language teachers, One Stop English has a monthly topics series, news lessons, and even an app for on the go ELL teaching.
  3. Casa Notes: This ingenious tool allows ELL teachers to effectively communicate with non-English speaking parents. You’ll be able to quickly make and customize notes that you can translate and send home to parents, effectively communicating information about field trips, conduct, homework, and more.
  4. ESL Party Land: A great site for ELL teachers, ESL Party Land has lesson plans, strategies, worksheets, flashcards, quizzes, games, and even vocabulary resources to help you be a better ELL teacher.
  5. Clip Art Collection: Check out this collection of royalty-free, language-neutral clip art designed to be used for foreign language instruction.
  6. Activities for ESL Students: Thousands of teacher contributions can be found on this site full of quizzes, exercises, and tests for teaching English as a second language.
  7. Szoter: Using this online annotation tool, ELL teachers can write directly on images to explain their meaning to students.
  8. Oxford University Press Learning Resources Bank: A service of Oxford University Press, this learning resources bank for English language teaching has courses, titles, and interactive English reading tools.
  9. Encourage students to self-test with this website, offering free English tests, grammar exercises, and worksheets.
  10. EduFind English Online Tests and Learning Games: Check out these test and games that offer a great way for students to test and improve their English language skills.


From reference books to a pronunciation guide, you and your students will get a lot of use out of these links.

  1. This site isn’t just for looking up words, although it’s quite useful in that function. also offers a word of the day, games, quotes, translation, and much more.
  2. Like, goes beyond simple reference, bringing inspiration and fun in the form of synonyms, fun word facts, and even search trends.
  3. Common Errors in English Usage: Read Paul Brian’s Common Errors in English Usage on this website, and even get links to the book’s blog, calendar, and entry-a-day Facebook page.
  4. Play & Learn English: Through the Early Childhood Education Network’s Play & Learn English resource, you can share letters, print, shapes, writing, and other relevant images for learning the English language.
  5. Idiom Site: With the help of this site, English language learners can make sense of common idioms.
  6. Fonetiks: Direct students to this incredibly useful pronunciation guide with instant sound and samples by native speakers.

Communities & Blogs

Get help and regular feedback for ELL education from these communities and blogs.

  1. Learning the Language: On Education Week, Lesli Maxwell covers educational policy and social issues relating to English language learning in the US.
  2. Dave’s ESL Cafe: Check out Dave Sperling’s ESL cafe, where ELL teachers and students alike can enjoy a great community of English learning, plus job resources and stuff for teachers.
  3. Englishtown: Join this community of English learners from around the world to gain insight for your ELL students.
  4. Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day: Want a regular dose of ELL resources? Check out Larry Ferlazzo’s blog that shares news, learning resources, and other great links for ELL teachers.
  5. ESL Podcast: Follow this podcast to share English language learning opportunities with your students on a regular basis.
  6. ESL Resource Center: The ESL Resource Center is “where English and people connect,” offering live chat rooms and forums for English practice. There are even ideas for drama and role plays, teacher development, and story telling resources.
  7. Teacher Talk: Several ELL teachers contribute to this blog, sharing teaching practices, materials, ideas, and guides.
  8. Pain in the English: This fun blog is a great resource for explaining gray areas of the English language to your students.
  9. TEFLtastic with Alex Case: Follow Alex Case’s blog to find news, views, and reviews for English language teaching.
  10. The English Blog: Visit The English Blog to find resources, reviews, and much more for both learners and teachers of English.
  11. Inspiration Lane: Inspiration Lane is designed to be an interactive reading activity to share with your entire ELL classroom with new learning content each day.

This is a cross-post from content partners at; featured image attribution flickr user leaflanguages

The Future Of Learning

50 Ideas For Using Skype In Your Classroom

skype-logo-on-imacSkype, the free, ubiquitous VOIP downloadable, offers some unique opportunities for tech-savvy teachers to get their students learning in exciting new ways. It might prove a buggy affair depending on the version, but all the same the service still makes for a phenomenal classroom tool. Read on to find out how you can put this cool tool to work in your classroom.


  1. Meet with other classroomsOne of the most common projects educators utilize Skype for is setting up exchanges with classrooms around the world, usually for cultural exchange purposes or working together on a common assignment. The program’s official site provides some great opportunities to meet up with like-minded teachers and students sharing the same goals.
  2. Practice a foreign languageConnect with individual learners or classrooms hailing from a different native tongue can use a Skype collaboration to sharpen grammar and pronunciation skills through conversation.
  3. Peace One DayFar beyond classroom collaborations, the Peace One Day initiative teamed up with Skype itself and educators across the globe to teach kids about the importance of ending violence, war, and other social ills.
  4. Around the World with 80 SchoolsThis challenge asks participating schools to hook up with 80 worldwide and report back what all they’ve learned about other cultures and languages.
  5. Talk about the weatherOne popular Skype project sees participants from different regions make note of the weather patterns for a specified period of time, with students comparing and contrasting the results.
  6. Collaborative poetryIn this assignment, connected classrooms pen poetic pieces together and share them via video conferencing.
  7. Practice interviewsThe education system frequently receives criticism for its failure to prepare students for the real world, but using Skype to help them run through mock-up interviews with each other, teachers, counselors, or professionals will help grant them an advantage.
  8. GamingMerge the educational power of gaming with the connectivity of Skype for interactive (maybe even international!) role-playing and other competitive delights that educate and engage in equal measure.
  9. Hold a contest: Challenge other classrooms to a competition circling around any subject or skill imaginable, and work out a suitable prize ahead of time.
  10. Hold a debate: Similarly, Skype can also be used as a great forum for hosting formal and informal debates to help students with their critical thinking and research skills.
  11. Make beautiful music togetherBuild a band comprised of musicians worldwide, who play and practice together over video — maybe even hold digital performances, too!
  12. Who are the people in your neighborhood?All the press about classrooms meeting with one another tend to veer towards the international, but some schools like to stay local. These two Tampa Bay-area kindergartens met regularly via Skype, sharing their current assignments with new friends only 10 miles away.
  13. Highlight time differences: But there is something to be said about global exchanges, too, as it provides some insight into the differences between time zones — great for geography classes!
  14. Combine with augmented realityBoth at home and in school, Skype provides a communication tool for collaborative augmented reality projects using the PSP and other devices.
  15. Mystery callLink up to a classroom in another region and have them offer up hints as to their true location, challenging students to guess where in the world their new friends live.
  16. Each student works a specific job during callsDivvy up responsibilities during Skype calls so every student feels engaged with the conversation, not just passive participants watching talks pan out. Assign bloggers, recorders, mappers, and any other tasks relevant to the meeting and project.
  17. Play BattleshipThe classic board game Battleship offers up lessons in basic X and Y axes; plus it’s also a lot of fun. Compete against other classrooms for an educational good time.


  1. Parent-teacher conferencesSave gas, time, and energy by holding meetings with moms and dads via video chat instead of the usual arrangement.
  2. Meet with librariansTeachers and students alike who need some assistance with research or ask some questions about a specific book might want to consider hooking up a Skype link with the school library.
  3. Meet with advisorsSimilarly, the VOIP program also connects college kids with their advisors whenever they need to ask questions about degree plans or scheduling classes for next semester.
  4. Record a podcast: Download or purchase an add-on that allows for recording audio via Skype and use it in conjunction with GarageBand (or similar program) when looking to set up an educational podcast for or with students.
  5. Record video: Numerous plugins allow Skype users to record video of their chats, lectures, and presentations for later use, and students who miss class might very much appreciate having what they missed available for viewing.
  6. Provide tutoring and office hoursIf students need some supplementary help with their assignments — or simply something they can’t get past in the lessons — videoconferencing allows their teachers to offer up tutoring and opportunities for extra help. Special education classrooms might find this strategy particularly valuable.
  7. Teach digital literacyBecause social media (comparatively) recently started creeping into most facets of daily life, it’s exceptionally important to illustrate online safety to the Digital Age kiddos. Skype requires the same sort of care and attention as Facebook and Twitter, and serves as a useful lesson in keeping one’s identity protected.
  8. Make Skype the classroomThe growth in online classes means Skype itself works as a platform to conduct lessons, share presentations, provide tutoring and support, and more.
  9. Reduce absencesSet up Skype streams to help students from falling too far behind in the event of a sickness, suspension, caretaking or similar scenario that causes them to leave the classroom for an extended period of time.
  10. Presentation toolRather than sending students off on a virtual field trip, let them present their research and findings to institutions or eager parents wanting to know what their kids are learning about right now.
  11. Meet special education needsSkype allows the special education classroom to incorporate students of all ages and abilities into the conversation, and it works equally well as both a remote and a local tool.
  12. Study groups: Instead of staking out precious library or coffee shop space, holding study groups via Skype provides a cheaper, more time-manageable alternative.
  13. Meet exchange students earlyBefore shipping off to live with a host family or bringing in an exchange student, arrange meetings ahead of time and get to know one another’s unique needs, wants, and expectations.


  1. Art critsSchedule time with professional artists and receive thorough crits about how to improve a piece. Because Skype allows for screen sharing, anyone working in digital media will appreciate the convenience!
  2. InterviewsRather than a lecture, try hosting a Skype interview with professionals and – if the money’s right — game-changes happy to answer student questions.
  3. Tour a museumMany distinguished museums around the world, such as the York Archaeological Trust, digitally open up their collections so students browse and learn no matter where their classroom may sit.
  4. Guest lecturersMany plugged-in professionals these days will gladly offer up special lectures and lessons to classrooms via Skype, and sometimes charge a much lower fee than if they were to travel!
  5. Simulcast performancesInevitably, some students’ parents, grandparents, and other loved ones can’t attend a play, concert, or other performance. Streaming it over Skype gives them an opportunity to tune in and show some support.
  6. Book clubWhether part of a classroom project or organized as an extracurricular, book clubs meeting over the ubiquitous video conferencing tool make for a great project.
  7. Music lessonsThanks to Skype, tech-loving music teachers now reach a much broader audience of eager pupils willing to perfect their skills on almost any instrument imaginable.
  8. Professional developmentSkype benefits more than just students, as educators themselves can use it to plug in and keep their career skills sharpened and broadened.
  9. Attend or throw a poetry readingMany poets hold readings via Skype, but some educators might want to take things a step further and organize their own.
  10. StorytimeA perfect idea for plugged-in libraries and pre-K and kindergarten classrooms: offer remote storytime for kids around the world or ones stuck at home sick.
  11. Participate in town hall meetingsSearch for town hall meetings the world over and see which ones allow civic-minded classrooms and students to plug in and participate via Skype and other VOIP-enablers.

And here are the tools to help you do it!

  1. Skype in the ClassroomRun by the video chat client itself, this social network allows teachers and students alike to find collaborative projects meeting their educational goals.
  2. ePals Global CommunityAny and all VOIP-enabled classrooms seeking others for shared assignments or a quick meeting might want to turn toward this incredibly popular social media site to discover like-minded students and teachers.
  3. IDrooThis virtual whiteboard makes online presentations a breeze and works especially well during collaborative classroom sessions or with any special guests who pop online.
  4. Skype Office ToolbarSkype-savvy educators use this plugin to make sharing Microsoft Office files that much quicker and easier.
  5. Google suiteCollaborative classrooms often take advantage of Google Docs, Maps, and Translate for various projects as easy, free resources to keep collaborations organized and understood.
  6. SkyremoteAdd on Skyremote for desktop sharing and the ability to control other computers remotely — a great tool in the collaborative classroom!
  7. VodburnerMake use of this video recorder to tape digital lectures, field trips, special events, streams, simulcasts, and more for later viewing by students, parents, and other teachers who might benefit from the information at hand.
  8. Hot RecorderWhen it comes to whipping together podcasts or other audio, Hot Recorder is considered one of the best companion programs to Skype.
  9. telyHDWheel in the giant TV and attach a Skype-ready telyHD camera for a much bigger viewing screen, which students in larger classrooms will appreciate!

This is a cross-post from content partners at


102 Must-See Video Sites For Educators

Bringing multimedia into the classroom is a great way to engage students in learning. Supplementing lessons, opening up new interests, and offering inspiration, online videos make for an incredible teaching tool. In 2010, we covered our favorite 100 video sites for educators, and we’ve now updated our list for 2012 with more than 100 resources and more than 25 brand new entries. Read on, and you’ll be able to check out the very best sources for educational videos on the web.

Educational Video Collection

Specifically designed for education, these collections make it easy to find video learning resources.

  1. TeacherTube: This YouTube for teachers is an amazing resource for finding educationally-focused videos to share with your classroom. You can find videos uploaded by other teachers or share your own.
  2. Edutopia: An awesome place to find learning ideas and resources, Edutopia has videos, blogs, and more, all sorted into grade levels.
  3. YouTube EDU: A YouTube channel just for education, you can find primary and secondary education, university-level videos, and even lifelong learning.
  4. Classroom Clips: Classroom Clips offers media for educators and students alike, including video and audio in a browseable format.
  5. neoK12: Find science videos and more for school kids in K-12 on neoK12.
  6. OV Guide: Find education videos on this site, featuring author readings and instructional videos.
  7. CosmoLearning: This free educational website has videos in 36 different academic subjects.
  8. Google Educational Videos: Cool Cat Teacher offers this excellent tutorial for finding the best of Google’s educational videos.
  9. Brightstorm: On Brightstorm, students can find homework help in math and science, even test prep, too.
  10. shares live animal cams, films, educational channels, and more for your classroom to explore.
  11. UWTV: Offered by the University of Washington, UWTV has videos in the arts, K-12, social sciences, health, and more.
  12. With, you’ll get access to browseable lectures designed for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, offering videos in architecture, business, technology, and many more categories.
  13. TED-Ed: From a site that’s long been known for big ideas, you’ll find TED-Ed, videos specifically designed to act as highly engaging and fun lessons.
  14. Zane Education: Zane Education offers resources for visual learning, including the very popular on demand subtitled videos.
  15. Backpack TV: In this educational video library, you’ll find a special interest in math, science, and other academic subjects.
  16. MentorMob: Featuring learning playlists, MentorMob is a great place to find lessons you want to teach.
  17. Disney Educational Productions: This resource from Disney is a great place to find videos for students at the K-12 level.

General Video Collection

Network TV, inspiring talks, and more are all available in these collections. Check out special categories and searches to find videos that will work in your classroom.

  1. Hulu: A great place to find the latest TV shows, Hulu is also a source of educational videos. Documentaries, PBS, even Discovery videos are all available on the site.
  2. Internet Archive: Find so much more than videos in the Internet Archive. Images, live music, audio, texts, and yes, historical and educational videos are all available on
  3. TED: Share seemingly endless inspiration with your students through TED, a fountain of talks based on compelling ideas.
  4. MIT Video: Online education giant MIT has an incredible video collection, offering more than 10,000 videos for science, technology, and more.
  5. TVO: TVO is a really fun and useful online TV station, with great ways for kids, parents, and educators to learn about the world.
  6. Big Think: Much like TED, Big Think offers videos (and more) from some of the world’s top thinkers and learners.
  7. @Google Talks: On this YouTube channel, you’ll find talks from creators: authors, musicians, innovators, and speakers, all discussing their latest creations.
  8. Metacafe: Find free video clips from just about anywhere, offering educational videos, documentaries, and more.
  9. Link TV: On Link TV, you’ll find videos and broadcasts meant to connect you and your students to the greater world through documentaries and cultural programs.

Teacher Education

Featuring higher-level learning, these video sites are great resources for finding education that’s fit for teachers.

  1. Academic Earth: Learn about science, justice, economics, and more from some of the world’s great universities. You can even earn a degree from this site!
  2. Teacher Training Videos: Specifically created to teach educators, Teacher Training Videos is a great place to find online tutorials for technology in education.
  3. Classroom 2.0: Check out Classroom 2.0′s videos to learn about Web 2.0, social media, and more.
  4. Atomic Learning: Visit Atomic Learning to find resources for K-12 professional development.
  5. iTunesU: Find university-level learning and more from iTunesU.
  6. Videos for Professional Development: An excellent collection of professional development videos, Wesley Fryer’s post shares some of the best teacher videos available.
  7. Annenberg Learner offers excellent teacher professional development and classroom resources for just about every curriculum available.
  8. MIT Open CourseWare: The leader in Open CourseWare, MIT has free lectures and videos in 2,100 courses.

Lesson Planning

Put together your lesson plans with the help of these useful video sites.

  1. Teachers’ Domain: Join the Teachers’ Domain, and you’ll get access to educational media from public broadcasting and its partners, featuring media from the arts, math, science, and more.
  2. Meet Me at the Corner: A great place for younger kids to visit, Meet Me At the Corner has educational videos, and kid-friendly episodes, including virtual field trips and video book reviews by kids, for kids.
  3. WatchKnowLearn: WatchKnowLearn is an incredible resource for finding educational videos in an organized repository. Sorted by age and category, it’s always easy to find what you’re looking for.
  4. BrainPOP: On this education site for kids, you’ll find animated educational videos, graphics, and more, plus a special section for BrainPOP educators.
  5. The KidsKnowIt Network: Education is fun and free on this children’s learning network full of free educational movies and video podcasts.
  6. Khan Academy: With more than 3,200 videos, Khan Academy is the place to learn almost anything. Whether you’re seeking physics, finance, or history, you’ll find a lesson on it through Khan Academy.
  7. Awesome Stories: Students can learn the stories of the world on this site, with videos explaining what it was like to break ranks within the Women’s Movement, the life of emperor penguins, and even Martin Luther King, Jr’s “We Shall Overcome” speech.
  8. Nobelprize: Cap off lessons about Nobel Prize winners with videos explaining their work and life, direct from the source on
  9. JohnLocker: JohnLocker is full of educational videos and free documentaries, including Yogis of Tibet and Understanding the Universe.

Science, Math, and Technology

You’ll find special attention for STEM subjects on these video sites.

  1. Green Energy TV: On Green Energy TV, you’ll find learning resources and videos for the green movement, including a video version of the children’s book Living Green: A Turtle’s Quest for a Cleaner Planet.
  2. BioInteractive: Find free videos and other resources for teaching “ahead of the textbook” from BioInteractive, part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  3. ARKive: Share images and videos of the world’s most endangered species with your students, thanks to ARKive. These wildlife films and photos are from some of the world’s best filmmakers and photographers, sharing stunning images that everyone can appreciate.
  4. MathTV: Students who need extra help with math can find support on MathTV. This site offers videos explaining everything from basic mathematics all the way to trigonometry and calculus.
  5. The Vega Science Trust: A project of Florida State University, The Vega Science Trust shares lectures, documentaries, interviews, and more for students to enjoy and learn from.
  6. The Science Network: Check out The Science Network, where you’ll find the world’s leading scientists explaining concepts including viruses and the birth of neurons.
  7. PopTech: Bringing together a global community of innovators, PopTech has videos explaining economics, water, and plant-based fuels.
  8. PsychCentral: Students can learn about what makes people tick through PsychCentral’s brain and behavior videos.
  9. How Stuff Works: The video channel from How Stuff Works offers an in-depth look at adventure, animals, food, science, and much more.
  10. Science Stage: Find science videos, tutorials, courses, and more streaming knowledge on Science Stage.
  11. Exploratorium TV: Allow students to explore science and beyond with Exploratorium TV’s videos, webcasts, podcasts, and slideshows.
  12. SciVee: SciVee makes science visible, allowing searchable video content on health, biology, and more.
  13. The Futures Channel: Visit the Futures Channel to find educational videos and activities for hands-on, real world math and science in the classroom.
  14. All Things Science: For just about any science video you can imagine, All Things Science has it, whether it’s about life after death or space elevators.
  15. ATETV: Check out Advanced Technological Education Television (ATETV) to find videos exploring careers in the field of technology.

History, Arts, and Social Sciences

Explore history and more in these interesting video collections.

  1. The Kennedy Center: Find beautiful performances from The Kennedy Center’s Performance Archive.
  2. The Archaeology Channel: Students can explore human cultural heritage through streaming media on The Archaeology Channel.
  3. Web of Stories: On Web of Stories, people share their life stories, including Stan Lee, writer, Mike Bayon, WWII veteran, and Donald Knuth, computer scientist.
  4. Stephen Spielberg Film and Video Archive: In this archive, you’ll find films and videos relating to the Holocaust, including the Nuremberg Trials and Hitler speeches.
  5. Culture Catch: Students can tune into culture with Dusty Wright’s Culture Catch.
  6. Folkstreams: On, a national preserve of documentary films about American roots cultures, you’ll find the best of American folklore films.
  7. Digital History: A project of the University of Houston, Digital History uses new technology, including video, to enhance teaching and research in history.
  8. History Matters: Another university project, this one is from George Mason University. Sharing primary documents, images, audio, and more, there’s plenty of historic multimedia to go around on this site.
  9. Social Studies Video Dictionary: Make definitions visual with this video dictionary for social studies.
  10. The Living Room Candidate: From the Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate features presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2008.
  11. Video Active: Find Europe’s TV heritage through Video Active, a collection of TV programs and stills from European audiovisual archives.
  12. Media Education Foundation: The Media Education Foundation offers documentary films and other challenging media for teaching media literacy and media studies.

Video Tools

Make it easy to find, share, and view videos with these tools.

  1. DropShots: On DropShots, you’ll find free, private, and secure storage and sharing for video and photos.
  2. Muvee: Using Muvee, you can create your own photo and video “muvees” to share privately with your class.
  3. Tonido: Tonido makes it possible to run your own personal cloud, accessing video files on your computer from anywhere, even your phone.
  4. Vidique: On Vidique, you’ll find a video syndication system where you can create your own channel of curated content for the classroom.
  5. SchoolTube: On SchoolTube, you’ll find video sharing for both students and teachers, highlighting the best videos from schools everywhere.

Network and Program Videos

Check out these sites to find public broadcasting and other educational programs.

  1. PBS Video: Watch and share PBS videos online with this site.
  2. National Geographic: Find some of the world’s most amazing videos of natural life on National Geographic’s online video home.
  3. NOVA Teachers: NOVA shares highly organized videos for teachers, with 1-3 hour programs divided into chapters, plus short 5-15 minute segments from NOVA scienceNOW.
  4. Discovery Education: Use Discovery Education’s videos to inspire curiosity, bringing the Discovery channel into your classroom.
  5. C-SPAN Video Library: Find Congressional and other political programs and clips in this digital archive from C-SPAN.
  6. NBC Learn: Check out NBC Learn to find excellent resources for learning from NBC, including the science behind just about everything from the summer Olympics to hockey.
  7. Watch full episodes, clips, and videos from the History channel.
  8. Biography: Get the true story behind peoples’ lives from these videos from the Biography channel.
  9. BBC Learning: BBC offers an excellent learning site, including learning resources for schools, parents, and teachers. One of BBC’s most impressive resources is a live volcano conversation discussing the world’s most active volcano in Hawaii.

Free Movies and Clips

Documentaries and other educational movies and clips are available on these sites.

  1. Free Documentaries: On Free Documentaries, “the truth is free,” with a variety of documentary films available for streaming.
  2. SnagFilms: On SnagFilms, you can watch free movies and documentaries online, with more than 3,000 available right now.
  3. Top Documentary Films: Watch free documentaries online in this great collection of documentary movies.
  4. TV Documentaries: This Australian site has excellent documentaries about child growth, historic events, and even animations about classical Greek mythology.


Satisfy students’ desire for knowledge and hands-on learning by sharing how-to videos from these sites.

  1. 5min: If you’ve got five minutes, you can learn how to do something on this site. Check it out to find instructional videos and DIY projects.
  2. Wonder How To: Learn everything about anything from Wonder How To’s show and tell videos.
  3. Instructables: This community of doers shares instructions (often, video) for doing just about anything, from making secret doors to tiny origami.
  4. Howcast: Find some of the best how-to videos online with Howcast.
  5. MindBites: Check out MindBites to find thousands of video lessons, how-tos, and tutorials.
  6. W3Schools: Through W3Schools’ web tutorials (video and otherwise), you can learn how to create your own websites.
  7. Videojug: Videojug encourages users to “get good at life” by watching more than 60,000 available how-to videos and guides.

Government & Organizations

Offered as a service from government organizations and other groups, these are great places to find top-notch educational videos and often, historical treasures.

  1. US National Archives: Explore US history in this YouTube channel from the US National Archives.
  2. National Science Foundation: From the National Science Foundation, you’ll find a wealth of multimedia, including instructional and educational videos.
  3. NASA eClips: NASA offers a great way for students and educators to learn about space exploration, with clips divided by grade level.
  4. NASA TV: Tune in to NASA TV to watch launches, talks, even space station viewing.
  5. Library of Congress: Through the Library of Congress, you can find videos and other classroom materials for learning about American history.
  6. American Memory Collections: Search America’s collective memory to find videos and other multimedia from the American past, including film and sound recordings from the Edison Companies and 50 years of Coca-Cola TV ads.
  7. Canadian National Film Bureau: Check out the Canadian National Film bureau to find hundreds of documentaries and animated films available online.

This is a cross-post from content partners at AccreditedOnlineColleges; image attribution from flickr user oggie tolosa