December 25, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
There are zillions of videos on the Web, and very few of them are fun and enjoyable, and even fewer are useful in the classroom. This post is not going to be about how to find videos that are obviously useful in the classroom. For those, you should look at these “The Best…” lists:
The Best Sites For News & History Videos That Won’t Get Blocked By Content Filters (At Least, Not By Ours!)
The Best Sites That Use Movie Trailers To Teach English
The Best Online Video Sites For Learning English
The Best Online Instructional Video Sites
The Best Online Videos Showing ESL/EFL Teachers In The Classroom
The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks”
Instead, this post is about the best places to find videos that are on these lists:
The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009
The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2008
In other words, where can you find just plain fun videos which can either be used by English Language Learners as a language-development activity (I describe how in these last two “The Best…” lists) or, even if they might not necessarily have the kind of action that would be good for these types of learning activities, might just bring a smile or laugh to a teacher after a hard day at the classroom.
Of course, Twitter is a great place to hear about these kinds of fun (and clean) videos, too.
But there are some other places that I periodically check to see what’s out there. And since some content is not appropriate for the classroom, these are recommendations only for teachers.
Once I find a useful classroom video, I use one of the options on The Best Ways To Access Educational YouTube Videos At School list to be able to show it at school.
Here are my choices for The Best Ways To Find Fun (& Somewhat Useful) Videos On The Web:
Magma, among other things, shows you a continually updated listing of the most viewed videos on YouTube, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Delicious and a bunch more sites. In addition, you can collect your own lists of the ones you want to save.
Vidque is another site that shows the most popular videos. It seems to be well-organized into different categories.
The Viral Video Chart uses a variety of measuring instruments to determine the most popular videos for every 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, and one year, and they do it in a variety of categories. It looks quite thorough.
Buzz Feed is another place to find what are supposedly the most popular videos on the Web. I don’t know how they determine their selection — it’s obviously using a different methodology than the others.
bitly TV shows you a screen full of thumbnail images of the most popular videos on the web at that very moment. I like it because you can quickly see them all. If something looks intriguing, you can place your cursor over it. If you want to watch it, you can click on it and see it within the bitly TV window.
Blinkx looks like an impressive video search engine. In my testing, the search results were better than any other video search engine I’ve tried.
Zoofs will show you the most popular videos being discussed on Twitter.
Zocial TV shows videos, divided into categories, that are most popular on Twitter or Facebook at any given time.
“Who Went Viral?” shows you the most popular online videos. Like similar sites, they’re divided into categories, like “education.” However, unlike other similar sites, Who Went Viral? lets you sort them by country and period of time, too.
Feedback is always welcome.
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You might also want to explore the 400 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.