Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Online Instructional Video Sites

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The number of sites that offer online instructional videos has increased by a huge amount over the past year. Most of them have quite a large selection of excellent videos. However, almost all of them also include a few or more than a few (primarily related to sexual content) that make their sites not suitable for classroom use.

I thought readers might find it useful to see a “The Best…” list which highlight the ones out there that seem to have very good content and appear to have adequate screening in place (at least for now) that would allow their sites to be used in schools.

I’ve posted about several of these “how-to” sites in the past, but either I didn’t do very good screening then or they’ve added some inappropriate (for the classroom, at least) videos since that time.

That narrows things down quite a bit. In fact, there are only three of them left, and one is “iffy.”

These kinds of videos provide great listening practice for English Language Learners. It’s high-interest content that they can choose. Plus, students could then write a summary about what they’ve learned, talk about it to a peer, demonstrate their new knowledge in front of a class, or use these videos as a model for developing their own video or written instructional piece on something they are an expert at doing.

Given my relatively strict criteria, here are my picks for The Best Online Instructional Video Sites:

I like Graspr a lot. Not only does it have quite a few good videos, but you can also skip around the videos to get to the scene you want and actually write notes which can be saved and shared.

How Stuff Works is great. It has a huge collection of online videos and other materials that includes a lot of “how-to’s” as well as telling…how stuff works.

Expert Village has a good selection, though I have to say a series they host on “How to Survive a Zombie Attack” is one that I could do without having my students have access to and makes this site borderline. Some of their advertisers (Jeffrey Dahmer videos) also make it suspect. So I’d go to this one with care.

Based on the comment Matt left below this post, I’m adding Monkey See to this list.

Instructables is another options.

This next one might seem an odd addition, but I think you’ll see why I’ve added it here by the time you finish reading:

Show Me Now are quite a few step-by-step instructional tutorials designed as simple “infographics.” They came from a book with the same title.  They’re certainly accessible to English Language Learners. A couple will certainly get students’ attention (how to have a memorable first kiss), but they all seem appropriate for the classroom to me.

Student can create their own tutorials at Tildee.

The main reason I’m interested in this site, though, is that it provides get models for similar instructional tutorials students could either draw with pen on paper or online with one of the many drawing applications I’ve posted about in these “The Best…” lists:

The Best Art Websites For Learning English
The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations
The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online
The Best New Sites Students Should Use With Supervision

Let me know if you think if I didn’t adequately screen these three that made my list, and if you have recommendations for others that should be added.

If you found this list helpful, you might want to see the other over-ninety ones, too.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

2 Comments

  1. My personal favorite how-to video site is http://www.monkeysee.com. They’ve got thousands of professionally-produced videos, and last time I checked, not a single one that is unappropriate for the classroom. I’m not sure how long they’ve been around, but for how to videos, they’re definitely one to watch.

  2. Matt,

    I checked out that site, and when I searched “sex” I saw some titles of videos that might be “iffy,” but I’ll check it out again.

    Larry

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