Over the years, I’ve found sites that provide teachers with free video resources to help reach children in a variety of subject areas. They also can help provide remediation and/or accelerated learning opportunities. A lot of Internet sites offer such materials, but only a few are directed at k-12 educators without charge. This list contains the best sites I could find.
Problems with blocking?
As a former advisor to watchknow.org, I am most familiar with that site. WatchKnow does carry videos from a variety of other sites, but most importantly, it has features totally unique and teacher-friendly. For example, by placing YouTube videos on WatchKnow.org, they may not be blocked by your district. WatchKnow has more than 5,000 categories in its massive 50,000-plus video collection and, very important, it is a wiki, which means you can add your own, make comments, and grade videos.
WatchKnow also offers an option for teachers to create their own site within it to collect videos either from WatchKnow or videos you have uploaded to the site. This “Classroom” feature enables you to keep track of which students have viewed the videos. No other site offers these features. And, in the future, you may be able to purchase a 99-cent application that can run on your Apple, iPad or iPod to show WatchKnow videos wherever you are located. This feature could be used during in-services, at conferences, in the classroom, and if you have a computer with G3 capability, you don't have to rely on wireless either.
You may have to register for some of these sites, so always make sure the registration is only for the site and won't be sold. I have noted it’s good to register on sites you frequent because they provide updates you’d miss otherwise. Either way, I suggest you open a separate e-mail address for just such sites and not use your personal one.
Videos are arranged by grade level, and there are a lot of them -- good quality.
The Archeology Channel
Watch videos of activities using interactive map of the world -- very limited content and videos may be more than 10 minutes in duration.
This site has videos that relate to stories, especially trials and biographies. It’s a good collection, but limited in range.
BBC Learning Channel
Find videos and much more here. It takes time to navigate this site, but the materials, both videos and interactive lessons, are high quality.
BBC Learning Zone Clips
Search by topic or subject; length of video is listed in search engine. Since this is a British site, the material is directed to that group. Find a goodly amount of videos – it’s worth a look.
Famous people past and present -- good material, but many are for older students.
While not all the content on this site is free, teachers can still find some great animated videos on a wide range of topics for use in the classroom.
This site has a limited number of videos; it also has audio clips.
Find mainly political videos and current issues.
A large site for those teaching history, with some videos that tend to be for older students
This non-profit site offers videos, plus lesson plans and a variety of services to teachers.
This site’s sections are not well defined, and its takes time to find the right video from the collection; it’s a limited selection.
This site, only categorized by subject and title, is for older students and contains some non-educational material of little value. Overall, Exploratorium’s strength is in science.
Site offers a small collection of folklore and history videos -- well worth a look for social studies and music teachers. Some films are very long.
Free Documentaries Site
This very interesting allows teachers to play entire films (or parts) from exceptional documentaries about a variety of topics. It’s a must for teachers of older students; however, some content may not be appropriate.
First rate videos, this site is excellent for science, technology and history teachers. However, the search engine takes a while to master due to the large number of videos.
Find a few videos for older students here. The majority is very specific, such as the history of the Chinese in Tucson, and there is a collection of images that might prove helpful.
How Stuff Works
This site has a fair size collection of diverse videos from history to entertainment, plus a lot of ads. Also, the index is fairly simple, and it takes a while to find what would be right for your grade level.
More than 4,600 videos -- mainly in science and math and for older students
This site has a limited amount of podcasts and interactive videos in the basic subjects. Some videos have test questions.
National Geographic Videos
A major collection of videos on geography and the environment --all first rate
View videos of a various people -- some famous, some not so much. Use this site to help students show how hard work can pay off or to help them learn to take notes for a biography. Autobiographies are listed.
PBS Kids Video
More entertainment with a fair amount of videos here for very young children, but it has a poor search engine and is slow to load.
Public Broadcasting videos present a variety of topics done well.
A majority of these videos are done by students, and the quality is uneven. The site offers a great deal of help for teachers wanting to upload and/or make videos.
Steven Spielberg Film & Video Archive
This tremendous site has footage of German treatment of Jews and the Holocaust. Some videos don't have sound. Spend time on this site, and you are going to find unique and important videos to share with your students – compelling.
Right now, you have to work hard to find what you are looking for. Quality appears good, but some sections are limited. Soon to become PBS Learning Media, so improvements are on the way.
You can upload or post videos or access the collection. But there are lots of ads, plus audio and photo sections.
Top Documentary Films
Find a good variety of documentaries and a better search engine. Mainly for older students; some topics may be too graphic.
Social Studies content from Georgia -- a nice, but limited collection, mainly history and geography related
Wonder How To
Not many for the classroom, but some good ideas, so it’s worth a look.
This very large collection is supposed to be limited to teaching, but quality is uneven and the meaning of education is truly challenged.
This site has lots of videos and interactive material about animals and the environment -- great for adding depth to lessons on endangered biodiversity. For example, snow tracks are good critical-thinking lesson.
Green Energy TV
This site has videos related to green technology. Some might be of value to teachers, but most are more technical in nature.
Access a nice collection of videos on science for older students. Most are good quality; a fair amount is lecturers. The search engine uses video length; sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, so many have medical content.
Not many, and as you would expect, they are space related, but very well done. Use the search engine to save time as the website is difficult to navigate -- for all grade levels.
Space related and well done
This site provides a good selection of science videos and games, but is limited in other areas.
Most of these videos are for older students and are sophisticated. They cover a lot of subject areas, but are not classified by age.
Get videos of scientists, research projects and more -- for older students.
Now offers two tiers: free content and a new subscription service with access to STEM videos. I am featured on some of these videos, so I may be biased. Site has good quality applied math and science videos, but the search engine is poor. The videos are for middle school students up.
This excellent site offers videos that help explain math concepts; good for remediation and introduction.
Pedagonet Educational Videos
Get mainly math videos; some general ones, too -- limited number and uneven quality.
For Older Students and Teachers
University lectures on a variety of subjects (some are long) for advanced high school students
More for teachers, this site deals with interesting aspects of behavior.
Courses, images, and videos are located here; many lectures for older students.
Some good videos here, but it takes time to find them and some are too difficult for younger students.
This site has some videos on education and teaching -- basically lectures for educators.
Videos are basically for older students. Offers some interesting quality titles, but limited in the number and range
Movies Found Online
Locate public domain videos -- limited and uneven quality.
More of an online video guide for entertainment, this site also has educational video listings -- mainly for older students.
Locate a small number of videos about research and ideas about teaching.
Teacher Training Videos
Explore a small, but interesting collection of videos to help teachers with technology and other areas. I located the Storybird site I use in the classroom here.
This site has long videos about teaching, and some deal with school-wide concerns as well.
These are videos of lectures, and they can be quite long, sophisticated and inspiring -- for older students.