“Using the internet to capture interest in the science classroom”
Diane Livio (CTs: Charie Poderoso, Caleb Kim)
GK-12 Saturday Workshop
May 9, 2009
Provided here are some online sources to bring into the classroom videos,
photographs and up-to-date information on scientific research and the natural world. I
have found that videos pulled from these sites are great additions to lectures and
computer activities. They can also act as a reward to a class, a subject for a class
discussion, and an easy way to fill any leftover time at the end of the period.
You may not be able to access the Google video search engine from your classroom,
due to internet restrictions. However, if you find a video at home or another location,
you may be able to save it as a Quicktime file that you can play at any time in the
classroom. This can be done if you find a video that is listed from “video.google.com”
with the option to download the video.
1. Open http://video.google.com
2. Search for a video using keywords. For example, enter “David Attenborough
plants”. To help reduce the results you get, select “videos playable on Google”;
then select “Search Videos”.
3. With each result that comes up, the general service that is hosting the video
appears in green text. Look for results with the text: “video.google.com”. For our
example, select the video “Botanology – David Attenborough – ‘Plants which eat
animals’”. The video appears to the right, but you want to select to play it through
Google video by either selecting the button at the bottom right corner of the video
box, or selecting the link “video.google.com” under the video box.
4. When a video is opened in Google video, it has a “Details” box open to the right of
the video screen. The key phrase you want to look for is: “Download video -
iPod/PSP”. Select that link, and an automatic download box should open, asking
you whether you want to open the video or save it as an MPEG-4 Movie file. If the
automatic download box does not open, simply read the directions that appear in
the space where you had originally selected to download the video; you’ll be able
to right-click a link that will let you “Save Link As…” to save your movie file.
[Unfortunately, this download option is not always available for every video, but
sometimes the same video clip comes up multiple times in the search results, so keep
looking until you find one that can be downloaded.]
Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/
Articles, videos and images of the latest in scientific research in all areas of research.
(Note: The videos might not play in the classroom, depending on your internet
Science Friday: http://www.sciencefriday.com/
This site, from the NPR show hosted by Ira Flatow, is dedicated to “making science
user-friendly”. It has many cool videos about some of the latest research and
contributions in science. There’s also the Twitter feed, blogs and podcasts, as well as
the option to listen to the show live online (Fridays 2-4pm Eastern). The site gives you
the option to also download the video.
The featured video when I last checked it out: “This Bird Can Shake His Tail
Feathers” http://www.sciencefriday.com/videos/watch/10216 - research done on
the YouTube video favorite of the dancing cockatoo.
Another suggestion: type “water bear” into the Search box to find the video:
“Behold the Mighty Water Bear”, an organism recently in the news for its exploits
ARKive is a Wildscreen initiative, a not-for-profit charity organization, with the mission to
promote appreciation of the world’s biodiversity and its conservation. This public
access site is a digital library of videos and photographs donated by a wide range of
contributors. This is a great source to find facts, conservation status, photographs and
videos of particular species of plants, fungi, and animals.
1. Open http://www.arkive.org/
2. In the “Search” box in the top right corner, type the name “aye-aye”, then select
3. Next to the search result “Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)”, select the
4. Click on the video titled, “Aye-aye using elongated finger and sharp teeth to find
and extract grub from tree”.
5. In the right-hand column, select “Download video clip”. You can select to download
it as a Quicktime or Windows Media Player video file, whichever your fancy. (I
preferred saving and playing the Quicktime files.)
PBS.org: Articles, videos, information sheets, and teacher resources – The videos
should work in the classroom. I highly recommend looking through the webpages for
evolution (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/ )
Nature (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/ )
NOVA (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ )
o When I selected “NOVA” and then “Nature” under the Archive list to the
right, I found this video link next to a picture of the awesome zebra finch:
“Bird Brains: clues to the origins of human language…”