Saturday, January 16, 2016

My two new favorite sites for educational videos

There are any number of fine sites for videos to show our students, but these two are my new favorites.  I like these two because they are all generally short and they treat the viewer with respect (meaning that the ideas are presented in a clear, sober, and engaging way).

Image result for the school of life youtube channel
The School of Life is a curated channel on YouTube.  It has sixteen playlists, but the videos that would most useful for World History teachers are in four playlists: History, Philosophy, Eastern Philosophy, and Political Theory.

The History playlist has 10 videos discussing topics like Ancient Greece, Capitalism, Romanticism, and the Renaissance.  Here's the video for Ancient Greece (10:56):
The Philosophy playlist currently has 21 videos on topics like Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Nietzsche.  Here's the video on Hegel (6:54):
The Eastern Philosophy playlist has five videos.  Here's the video on Confucius (5:36):

The Political Theory playlist has nine videos.  This list is particularly rich, including videos on Rousseau, Hobbes, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx.  Here's the video on Machiavelli (6:53):

My second new favorite site for videos is from Macat Education.
Image result for macat education youtube channel
Macat calls itself the "guide to the world's big ideas."  And an excellent guide it is.  Macat's curated YouTube channel has 13 playlists, most of which would be useful to use with our students.  This site is different in that it is organized around important books.  For example, it has channels on
  • The Most Important Books in Economics (one video here [3:05] is on JM Keynes's General Theory)
  • The Most Important Books in Politics (one video here [3:07] is on John Stuart Mill's On Liberty)
  • The Most Important Books in Philosophy (one video here [3:20] is on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil)
  • and, The Most Important Books in Theology (one video here [2:58] is on Augustine's Confessions)
Classroom Connection: I always pair a video like one of these with a primary source.  Then I assign a writing assignment that requires students to synthesize the background information in the video with the ideas in the primary source.

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