100 Informative & Inspiring YouTube Videos for Educators

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May 6th, 2010

While YouTube may be known for sharing silly videos or as a way to see your sister’s children who live across the country, it is actually becoming a powerful form of online education. This listing provides a collection of videos that educators will find both interesting and inspirational. Whether you are working with students at the elementary level or with college-aged students, you are sure to find plenty of inspiration among these YouTube videos.

Creativity and Learning

These inspirational videos touch on creativity in the learning environment.

  1. Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids. This child prodigy addresses the association of “childish” actions being irrational and urges listeners to embrace the lessons that children can teach adults.
  2. Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?. Ken Robinson, a creativity expert, shares his knowledge about nurturing creativity in the educational setting in this humorous lecture.
  3. Riz Khan – Schools killing creativity?. Khan discusses the killing of creativity in schools and offers a clip from Ken Robinson, too.
  4. Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide?. Popular writer Amy Tan discusses the creative process and how to find creativity.
  5. Ben Dunlap: The story of a passionate life. Dunlap’s lecture focuses on passionate living and learning and shares experiences of meeting others who have inspired him.
  6. Tim Brown: The powerful link between creativity and play. Learn about the relationship between creative thinking and play and how this relationship can be nurtured.
  7. Jonathan Drori: Why we don’t understand as much as we think. Culture and educational media expert Jonathan Drori explores how ideas take root and how difficult it is to change a perception once it is formed.
  8. Stuart Brown: Why play is vital — no matter your age. Brown discusses the act of play and the importance of play at any age.
  9. Woody Norris: Inventing the next amazing thing. In addition to discussing two of his inventions, Norris also discusses invention, education, and hands-on learning.
  10. Sugata Mitra: Can kids teach themselves?. Mitra discusses his project, “Hole in the Wall,” that shows how children will learn on their own without any guidance or formal teaching.


Take a look at the importance of bringing technology into the classroom and some emerging trends.

  1. Richard Baraniuk: Goodbye, textbooks; hello, open-source learning. Baraniuk, the founder of Connexions, discusses the benefits of open source for educators.
  2. Gaming in the Fourth Dimension. Learn about this gaming vest that may change the way humans interact with their computers.
  3. Blogging in the Classroom. Find out how to set up a classroom blog and why you should.
  4. Education Today and Tomorrow. This video demonstrates the technological differences today that affect students.
  5. Why We Need to Teach Technology in Schools. See another demonstration of why technology should be taught in schools with this video.
  6. Curriculum 2.0. Technology goes hand in hand with other skills such as critical thinking and communication, as this video demonstrates.
  7. 21st Century Classroom – (Part 1 of 2). Watch this video that demonstrates how technology is being incorporated in middle and high school in one town.
  8. 21st Century Classroom – (Part 2 of 2). Watch the conclusion of this talk about incorporating technology in schools in a southern Maine town.
  9. I’m a 21st Century Learner!. Given from the student’s perspective, this video is a reminder of the ever-changing world of learning and technology.
  10. Digital World: Teachers Today. See how teachers are making a difference in the classroom by incorporating technology.
  11. 3 Steps for 21st Century Learning. Find out what these three steps are and why teaching with technology matters.

Philosophy and Social Studies

Watch these videos to become inspired by what others are doing and spark your imagination to how you can bring some of these experiences to your students.

  1. You Build Me Up. A women’s studies class traveled to New Orleans to understand the experience of women living in the aftermath of Katrina.
  2. The Philosophical Horizons program at the University of Memphis  in Memphis, TN. Watch this video that features graduate students taking philosophy to students as young as preschool through high school.
  3. Alternative Spring Break 2010. These college students went to Mexico where they learned about environment and conservation.
  4. John Paul Lederach on “The Poetics of Peacebuilding”. John Paul Lederach relates a story about peacebuilding education.
  5. Duke University in Durham, NC Professor David Malone on the Five “R’s” of Service-Learning. Professor Malone discusses five important elements of teaching students about providing services for the community.
  6. David Phillips: Future Social Science On and With Digital Media. Hear from David Phillips as he describes his view of the future of social science with digital media.
  7. Dave Eggers: 2008 TED Prize wish: Once Upon a School. Discussing his tutoring center, 826 Valencia, Eggers describes how it has not only helped many children but inspired adults to become involved in education.
  8. Joseph Lekuton: A parable for Kenya. This former teacher and member of parliament in Kenya discusses the importance of education to children in Africa and his vision for making education a reality for all.
  9. Ann Cooper: Reinventing the school lunch. Ann Cooper discusses why the community should care about how we are feeding school children and how to change children’s relationship to food in a positive way.
  10. Neil Turok: 2008 TED Prize wish: An African Einstein. Sharing his background and experience, this physicist from Cambridge describes his wish to provide opportunities for the future of Africa through nurturing the creativity found in the young people there.

Educational Excellence

Hear from distinguished educators and see how schools are changing to meet the needs of students with these videos that celebrate educational excellence.

  1. What Great Teachers Do Differently. Todd Whitaker discusses what makes a great teacher great.
  2. Math Teacher Shadow Trick During Lecture. This math teacher shows a great way to tickle students’ funny bones while connecting with them at the same time.
  3. 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award Ceremony. This award ceremony at Berkeley honors distinguished teachers. Watch to hear what makes these educators so special.
  4. UC Davis’ Top Teacher: Hanging and Talking Science. Find out what makes Rick Grosberg, top teacher at UC Davis, a popular and effective instructor.
  5. A Lifetime of Teaching. James Bonk talks about his 30 years of teaching at Duke and what kept him motivated to be a successful teacher.
  6. Martin Okafor NISOD Winner. Georgia Perimeter College’s Professor Martin Okafor discusses how he gets his students interested in physics.
  7. The Cowen Institute 2010 State of Public Education in New Orleans. This video discusses the current state of education in New Orleans since Katrina and offers inspiration to any educator working to improve their school.

Inspiration for Teachers

These videos celebrate teachers with inspirational quotes, speeches, and stories describing the importance of a teacher.

  1. Do You Teach or Do You Educate?. Watch this video for a quick re-evaluation of your approach in the classroom.
  2. “Remember Me” dedicated to our teachers. Two young students sing a song dedicated to all the teachers who have made a difference in the lives of students.
  3. Teachers Can Change the World. This music video reminds teachers they can change students’ perceptions by teaching tolerance and diversity.
  4. power of one. This video reminds viewers of the power of one to effect great change–an awesome reminder for teachers.
  5. Keynote: Teachers Change Lives – Jason Ohler. Speaking at the Nebraska Educational Technology Association’s 2006 Conference in Nebraska, Ohler talks about how teachers make incredible impact on the lives of students.
  6. New Teacher Spoof. More a spoof on the expectations set forth for teachers, this hilarious video by a veteran teacher will give anyone tired of red tape a laugh.
  7. The Importance of Teachers Who Care. Accompanied by a song written just for teachers, this video celebrates teachers who care.
  8. Starfish an inspirational message for all teachers. This sweet story is an important reminder that teachers make a difference.
  9. Light an Educational Fire. See inspirational quotes just right for teachers seeking a bit of encouragement.
  10. Thank You, Teacher – Tales from a Teacher’s Heart. This narrated story describes a tough first year of teaching and a powerful thank-you from a student.

Science and Math

Science and math are the focus of these informative videos.

  1. ScienceRiskTaking. Listen to this professor of education as he discusses how teachers can provide the best environment for their students to be open to learning and becoming excited about science.
  2. Paul Sereno: What can fossils teach us?. Learn about a teaching project that helps move poor performers in science to become ready for college.
  3. David Hoffman: Catch Sputnik mania!. Hoffman describes how the space and arms race lead to a phenomenal movement in math and science education.
  4. Math Comes to Life. Physics and calculus students can see their mathematical equations become animated to bring the formula to life.
  5. Making Math Fun. This professor talks about the importance of teachers to know how to make math fun and exciting, especially at the elementary level.
  6. The Abacus-How to Use This Ancient Wonder. This video teaches you how to teach your students to use the ancient abacus in the modern-day classroom.
  7. Teach Area and Perimeter Using Google Earth. Watch this lesson as a 4th grade teacher talks about how to use Google Earth to teach area and perimeter.
  8. How to Do Math In Your Head : Quick Math Tricks: Multiplying by 11. Learn a trick to share with your students so they can multiply two-digit numbers by 11 to get the answer quickly.
  9. Fast Math Trick of Calculation. Learn a way to do fast multiplication with this math trick.
  10. Math & English Education: How to Learn Algebra. Help students learn three key elements to keep in mind with this lesson that is all about making algebra easy.

Language and Arts

These videos touch on improving literacy, incorporating fine arts into regular subjects, the power of art programs on students lives, and more.

  1. Teaching Storytelling in the Classroom. Learn about the value of storytelling in this video that features both teachers discussing the value of storytelling while students tell their stories.
  2. Neighborhood Story Project. This high school student tells about a book he wrote as a part of the Neighborhood Story Project that documents his life in the 7th ward in New Orleans.
  3. Teacher Lesson Plans Language Arts, Vocabulary, Bully Prevention. This student-narrated video tells about a language arts program that also teaches positive life skills.
  4. Explode a Moment and Spark imagination in Writing. Using a baseball analogy, this educator teaches two tips for improving writing skills.
  5. Dead Words Funeral. This teacher really went the extra mile to teach students about changing up word choice when writing.
  6. Writing Good Essays Part 1. High school and college students can learn what makes a good college-level essay with this video.
  7. Tableau: Theater and Language Arts. Watch this video about a theater project that develops literacy for elementary students.
  8. A Studio in the Woods. Learn about this inspirational art studio in the Louisiana woods that incorporates art and the natural world.
  9. Mae Jemison on teaching arts and sciences together. Listen to this persuasive lecture where Jemison describes the importance of teaching arts and sciences together in order to provide an education that balances intuition and logic to create strong thinkers.
  10. Bill Strickland: Rebuilding America, one slide show at a time. Strickland shares a slide show that represents his story of how fine arts changed his life and how he now advocates for the arts as an important part of education.
  11. The Story Project: A Model for Achieving Profound Inclusion in Museums. Learn about this project that brought art and literacy instruction to K-12 schools.
  12. Keeping Score Education Program. This program teaches K-12 teachers how to incorporate musical scores into subjects such as math, science, history, and language arts.

Special Education

Hear from special education teachers to learn strategies, hear about the special ed child, and find inspiration in their work.

  1. Special Education Teaching: Teaching Strategies in Special Education. Great for new teachers or students thinking about special ed, this video provides strategies for teaching special ed.
  2. Michelleann: Meet a Teacher (Special Education, Bronx). This special ed teacher tells about her experience teaching in the Bronx and why she teaches special ed.
  3. Special ed success stories start with the basics. O’Hearn School in Boston is a model for other schools to learn about successful inclusion. Watch this video to learn more about O’Hearn.
  4. Perspectives on Inclusion – from Special Education Teachers. Listen to these three teachers as they discuss inclusion.
  5. My Life and Working as a Special Education Teacher: An Oral History Video Pt. 1. This veteran special ed teacher tells about how she became a teacher and the qualities of a good special ed teacher.
  6. My Life and Working as a Special Education Teacher: An Oral History Video Pt. 2. Listen as this teacher finishes her oral history and take on teaching special education.
  7. RTI (Response to Intervention) – Special Education. A special ed teacher discusses how teachers respond to the needs of struggling students.
  8. Inclusion at work in elementary school. This video profiles a child with Down syndrome who is receiving mainstream education and tells of the benefits for both special needs children and their classmates.
  9. Education Techniques for Children with Autism. This video is taken from a teacher development workshop that discusses using ABA with autistic students.
  10. Technology in Special Education. This teacher describes how technology not only facilitates learning for her special needs students, but actually gets them excited about learning.

Physical Education

Get great ideas for new games and activities or find motivation and inspiration with these videos.

  1. Physical Education Teacher: Grades K-2. Let’s Go Hunting, a variation of Follow the Leader, is the lesson taught in this video.
  2. Physical Education Teacher: Grades 3-5. Learn how to teach 3rd-5th graders Triangle Tag.
  3. Great Activities for Physical Education: Middle School. Hoop ball, or a mix of baseball and basketball, is the focus of this instructional physical education video.
  4. Physical Education, Teaching Balls Skills and Fitness. A college PE major teaches ball-handling skills to elementary children.
  5. Physical Education, Teaching Juggling Skills. Students learn how to juggle, strengthening eye-hand coordination, in this lesson.
  6. Management of the Physical Education Environment. Learn behavior management for the gymnasium based on classroom management expectations and techniques.
  7. Teaching P.E.. 5th graders designed a physical education lesson and taught it to younger students in this video.
  8. Enactivism and Physical Education. This PE teacher uses enactivism to teach a group of students with differing ability levels.
  9. Goals of Physical Education: Physical Education and Contemporary Goals. This slide show demonstrates why physical education is important for people of any age.
  10. PE Student Games – Hula Ball!. This student-created game incorporates hula hoops, hitting a ball, and running.

Business Education and Entrepreneurship

Whether you are working with high school or college students, these videos outline the importance of teaching students about business and entrepreneurship.

  1. Gyohten Discusses the Current Role of Business Education. Gyohten is the President of the Institute for International Monetary Affairs and former chairman of the Bank of Tokyo and discusses the importance of a business education.
  2. Importance of Business Education – Bloomberg. Management guru Jack Welch discusses the future of business education as well as his online business school.
  3. The Role of Business in Society w/Dean Sally Blount-Lyon. Here what the dean of NYU Stern says about the role of a business education in today’s world.
  4. Inside Look – Business Education – Bloomberg. Babson College President Leonard Schlesinger examines attending business school during an economic depression.
  5. Teaching Entrepreneurship. The teens in this story provide a great example of the importance of teaching entrepreneurship.
  6. What is Entrepreneurship?. Get a definition of entrepreneurship and find out how schools can help entrepreneurs through education.
  7. Entrepreneurship in the Classroom. Adjunct Professor Jack Kaplan discusses teaching entrepreneurship in this video.
  8. – Seven questions about entrepreneurship. A professor discusses entrepreneurship and teaching it at Babson College.
  9. Kellogg: Entrepreneurship is in Your Future. Various alumni of Kellogg discuss the benefits of learning entrepreneurship.
  10. ARTS: Entrepreneurship and the Future of the Music Industry. Many musicians don’t recognize the importance of entrepreneurship on their profession, and Professor Ken Lopez discusses why this is an important area of study for musicians while in school.

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