Monday, February 25, 2013

NBC Learn - Helping Make Sense of it All

Our blogger today is Jon Carl, social studies teacher at Reitz High School in Evansville.

As schools move away from traditional textbooks and the printed support material that accompanies them, teachers have the difficult task of finding digital materials to fill the void.  While there is an abundance of resources available on the Internet, I sometimes find it hard to locate materials that are appropriate for my students.  Many times there is too much information and it is at a level that students can’t comprehend.  Often, prepared projects, lessons, or activities that I find require much more class time than I can allot.   With all of these problems in mind, one of my favorite digital resources is NBC Learn.  

NBC Learn is a collection of thousands of video clips produced by NBC.  Many of them originally ran on the NBC Nightly News.  For older teachers, previewing the clips will bring back many memories.  There are also a number of older news real footage clips from the 1940’s,  as well as short pieces that were produced as part of the NBC education program.  

NBC Learn is organized with teachers in mind.  With the ever increasing number of constraints on a teacher’s time, the NBC Learn site is set up for quick, easy access to the material.  The keyword search allows teachers to find sets of clips that pertain to specific topics.  They have also organized clips into groups by subject area.  The most obvious content areas that would benefit from this resource are history and government classes, but NBC Learn has clips perfect for many other areas of study.  The subject sections include; Math & Statistics, Science, Health & Wellness, Language Arts, Business & Financial Literacy, and Education.

Since a majority of the clips originally aired on NBC nightly news, the content is delivered in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for students to understand.  Because they were produced by one of the leading news gathering organizations, the video b-roll is of the highest quality.  More and more of the clips are also aligned to the state standards.  

Class time is at a premium.  The video clips found on NBC Learn are perfect for the teacher that has a lot to “cover” in a short amount of time.  Most of the clips are no longer than 4 minutes.  They are great to use to open a topic, close a topic, or provide a few minutes of information while the teacher transitions from one activity to another.  

Because of the abundance of great material, the ease at which the material can be located and the quality of the video clips, I use NBC Learn on a weekly basis to help my students Feel the History.

Here is a video I created for the Evansville/Vanderburgh School Corporation's Community Of Digital Educators. (CODE)

The Challenge:
Have you utilized NBC Learn resources yet? If not, now is the time to try it out. You can find the NBC Learn resources in My Big Campus, if you use that as your Learning Management System, or go straight to the NBC Learn website.

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