Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Watch, Know and Learn With @WatchKnowLearn

A few weeks ago You Tube announced their commitment to education by moving a lot of their educational content to a separate domain, This allows schools and districts to, depending on their filtering, unblock the videos found there for use in the classroom. It's been open for a while now and reaction has been positive. New content gets added daily and the site continues to grow.

However, one of the complaints is the variety of the content found there. Much of it is for secondary and higher ed, leaving the elementary folks with out a solution.

Until now.

I have known about WatchKnowLearn for a while now. While it looks like your typical video site, it isn't. It's a powerful tool for you to use in your classroom.

When you first visit the site you will see several things:
  • The Featured Videos Section-This is an ever changing list of the best content found on the site
  • The Most Recently Posted Section
  • The Highest Rated Section
  • The Most Viewed Section
While all of those are great places to start, most folks are going to want to drill down to their subject area. There is a place to do that on the left. 

You can see that in many of the content areas there are over 1000 videos and in the major core areas the numbers top 4000. And just look at the variety of content there! When you go into and area you get topics and sub topics and in some cases sub sub subtopics. 

Sure, you can drill down. Sure you can search. But maybe you just want to search by the age of your students. You can do that too. 

Take the slider from either side until you have the desired age range. Put in your topic and off you go. Wanna search more than just WatchKnowLearn? Use the drop down to search School Tube or Teacher Tube also. 

All of the videos are reviewed by teachers and the folks at the site for their quality and applicability to the content area and age level. The comments are also a great place to learn how other educators are using the videos in the classroom.

So you ask yourself, what makes this site so special? Well, for one, it's just plain awesome. But, really it's where the content comes from. Most of it comes from You Tube and other video sites that many districts blanket block. WatchKnowLearn has software that allows for the streaming of the content from You Tube and the other sites without school filtering blocking it. Remember, the content here is reviewed before it ever appears on the site. So there isn't the junk that you would find on many sites nor do your see the junk that would normally accompany videos from You Tube found here. It is a definite win for those that want to have access to this type of content in their classroom.

Oh and it's founder? One of the Co-Founders of Wikipedia (Dr. Larry Sanger)so there is some major backing here so rest assured the site can only get better. 

WatchKnowLearn is a wonderful addition to your arsenal of video sites. Or better yet it might just be a replacement for most of them. You can get lost in all the great content. So head over there and definitely check it out!
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