A. History Resource Menu
Students enjoy learning from high-impact online videos, especially from original content creators like Crash Course, Khan Academy, and Extra Credits, so I have been working on a History Resource Menu that treats the vast world of nerdy internet videos like a catalog. The spirit of this project is to help students, as well as teachers, quickly find the right YouTube video for them. That way, the internet’s overwhelming sea of videos can be used strategically in the classroom.
Original Content Creators
Below is a sampling of the YouTube channels by original content creators (OCC’s) that I have cataloged and curated. Each video is from a high-quality OCC and delivers high-impact educational material. Each OCC is different in its approach to four key qualities (research, entertainment, vocal professionalism, and visual professionalism), but all of these OCC’s accomplish their common of goal of making world a more informed place.
Example of Curation
In this project, each geographic region of the world has its own subsection. The geographic regions are then divided into time periods for easy navigation. This level of curation is a distinguishing feature of this project. Below is an example of how I have cataloged videos relating to Russia.
Browsing By Location
OCC’s are grouped into into subsections based on geographic region. This is a basic way that students and teachers can find meaningful videos that connect to daily lessons.
Browsing By Special Topic
There is also a special topics menu so videos from OCC’s can be browsed thematically. This means that students and teachers can easily pursue their personal interests, make connections to other classes, and find videos related to standards.
Navigating a Subsection
Right now, the YouTube videos are opened in a web browser after clicking on links in either a Google Doc or PDF. Both options are disappointingly static. I would like instead to build an app that would open the videos internally and help users navigate the information in a fun, engaging way. For example, below is a design for an interactive navigator bar that I would like to use for sorting the time periods within a geographic region.
Finding Relevant Videos
I would eventually like to turn all this information from the static document into an app where users could browse by location or special topic. The idea would be that users could browse by meaningful search parameters and then find the most relevant videos. Below is how I imagine the search feature looking.
Browsing the Search Results
I think that a positive user experience depends on how pleasantly results are displayed. First, I envision being able to display information in big, medium, and small formats based on preference. Second, it would be nice for users to be able to toggle between videos organized “by location” and “by special topic.”
I like the aesthetics of a large block format, especially because it might allow an app to display a preview image of the video itself. There also might be the possibility to play straight from the block as a pop-up instead of linking to a more descriptive view.
I like the compact nature of the medium row format, especially if there is a clickthrough to an expanded page of information for each video. To see an example of this, please check out this example page for simulating the user experience of a row format.
I suspect that many teachers would prefer a small, compact format for quick browsing and maximum efficiency. There would probably need to be a clickthrough to an expanded page of information for each video.
Future of the Project
I would love to try and bring this project from a static document to an interactive tool that runs through YouTube’s API. I would also love to study more formally these individual OCC’s and the impact that they have on student achievement. The first step to doing this will be completing the database. Sorting through all the videos and finding meaningful ways to catalog them takes a great deal of time; however, it has been a rewarding experience where I have learned a lot. Here is my approach to handling the workflow.
After establishing a database, I would like to focus on user experience, including platforms with student sign-ins, gamification that rewards active viewing, and the possibility of providing user feedback on each video based on four key qualities (research, entertainment, vocal professionalism, and visual professionalism). I would also love to help tell the stories of these OCC’s who spend so much of their own time and effort to revolutionize education, often for no monetary gain. However I can, I would like to generate more views and Patreon subscribers for these OCC’s who are reinventing education. OCC’s are bright points in the future of education, and I want to spend the next five years helping students and teachers navigate digital media and find what works for them.
Future Wikipedia Project
Additionally, while organizing videos from OCC’s, I have also become interested in developing a clear and easy way for students and teachers to navigate Wikipedia. The articles are organized by geographical region, time period, and topic, and hopefully in the future, will be fully sortable and searchable.