I. 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, as well as the exact seconds in the video that are relevant to what they are learning. 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 that I have cataloged and curated. Each video is from a high-quality content creator and delivers high-impact educational material. Each content creator is different in its approach and quality, but they all accomplish their common of goal of making world a more informed place.
Basic Organization of Videos
My first step for curating these videos was to organize them based on geography. Below is a map grid that I created to help me organize them based on geography. Geography is a basic way that students and teachers can find meaningful videos that connect to daily lessons.
My next step was to organize the videos based on time period. To do this, I created a diagram through Miro that divides the geographic regions into time periods for easy navigation through periodizations of history, regardless of how complicated a region’s periodization might be.
Curation in the Google Suite
Below is an example of how I have used the Google Suite to catalogue videos relating an example region: Russia. I began by curating videos in Google Docs but then moved to Google Sheets to allow for more informative curation.
Below is an example of how I used Google Sheets to build a detailed database with information about videos and original content creators. This level of curation is a distinguishing feature of this project.
Further Organization of Videos
One of my goals is to find topics of interest within videos and clip the short section that covers that topic. For example, a student or teacher may be learning about a specific person, such as Leo Tolstoy, who might be covered several minutes into a video. My goal is for that student or teacher to quickly find the content about a specific person, city, battle, or concept, even if it is the middle of a longer video.
I have also been careful to record what general topics each video clip cover so all video clips can be organized thematically. This means that students and teachers can easily pursue their personal interests, make connections to other disciplines, and find videos related to the classroom standards being taught.
Future of the Project
I would love to bring this project from the Google Suite to an interactive digital tool that uses YouTube’s API. I would also love to study more formally these individual content creators and the impact that they have on student achievement. Sorting through all the videos and finding meaningful ways to catalog them into a database takes a great deal of time; however, it has been a rewarding experience where I have learned a lot. Below is my idea of how a digital tool might look that helps students and teachers navigate video clips from original content creators.
Next, 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 three key qualities (audio quality, visual quality, and entertainment).
I am not a graphic designer or programmer, so these rough drafts are far from reaching the potential of this digital tool. I found it useful to illustrate how a lot of information might be clearly and simply displayed in a tile format. To help explain how the tiles represent the video clips, below is a walkthrough of the symbols included on the small tiles.
In addition to helping students and teachers better navigate online videos, I want to help tell the stories of these original content creators who spend so much of their own time and effort to revolutionize education, often for no monetary gain. These content creators are reinventing education, and however I can, I would like to generate more YouTube views, grow the number of Patreon supporters, and amplify the professionals who elevate amateur videos to educational resources. Original content creators are bright spots in the future of education, and I want to spend the next few years studying what content creators do in order to help students and teachers navigate digital media to find what works best for themselves.