Today, I would like to share a video course that I found via the roundabout way that the Internet typically works. One of the feeds to which I subscribed is Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne. In a recent post, Mr. Byrne introduced A New Crash Course in U.S. History, a new video series by John Green of VlogBrothers fame and author of The Fault in our Stars and An Abundance of Katherines. I was intrigued. I have a passing familiarity with John Green due to his association with all things Harry Potter, and knew that he has a large Internet presence. This educational aspect of his work was new to me, and while I am not a history teacher, I occasionally bring history into my classroom as a way of setting up the context in which a literary work takes place. Consequently, I went to the U.S. History Crash Course site on YouTube, watched the first (and so far, only) video with my 5th grade son, and knew that this was a potentially great resource.
After the video was over, it then showed related videos. Lo and behold, John Green also has a Crash Course on English Literature! The short introduction video is something that I wish that I had had when the year first started. Watching it led me to other gems to use in my classroom, like a video about the French Revolution (perfect for French 4) and another about the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar (perfect for my upcoming 10th Grade Literature and Composition unit in which we read William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar). As I said, I watched the first video with my son, who loved it so much that he is now pleading with me to finish so that we can watch another. If my students like it even half as much as he does, then I will feel that I have accomplished my goal of increasing their engagement in the class.
If I had not already been convinced that my RSS feed would prove to be beneficial, last night’s perusing proved the point. While I won’t talk about them all here tonight, here are some other tidbits that I found intriguing:
- New interactive table offers accessible learning by Tech & Learning
- Meet the winners of our 2013 Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards by eSchool News
- Teaching Media Literacy with Memes by GradHacker
What about you? Tell me your favorite finds in the comments.