12 … no, make that 5 videos you should view

We love lists: we make them, we read about them, we try to remember them. So it is unsurprising that authors often present us with lists of things we should do, say, eat, smell, visit or view. But is it just that I’m getting old(er), but why do I prefer nice short lists, rather than long ones? Anything more than five is getting a bit much for me.

And this was the attitude I brought to Christopher Pappas’ article ‘12 YouTube Videos Every Online Educator Should View‘. It’s good and it’s helpful, but I doubt if anyone will watch all 68 minutes and 8 seconds of the 12 videos he recommends (they vary from 1 1/2 to 17 1/2 minutes each). So, to do you a service, I’ll cut the list down to something more manageable. Let’s make it five videos you should watch.

1. I certainly agree with his first choice: ‘The Future Starts Now – 2012 edition’. Look, listen and learn.

2. And no argument with the second: ‘George Siemens’ interview on MOOCs and Open Education’. George is from Athabasca University, where his much-mentioned (here, anyway) colleague Terry Anderson has an office next door. More importantly, he is the MOOC originator! Note that Martin Weller has done a recent interview with George, along with Dave Cormier.

These are the definite front-runners. Now for the ‘best of the rest’; three more, for which I’ll provide just the link.

3. Designing Schools for 21st Century Learning A thoughtful piece, taking it slowly. The early reference to Greek thinking got me in.

4. Classroom of Tomorrow Faster, but still thoughtful.

5. A Vision of 21st Century Teachers  A bit ‘twee’, but if you’ve been around a few years it will remind you of a famous student video.

And the seven I’ve rejected? Well, some are a bit commercial, others too specific (e.g. I’m not that interested in a 12-year old who develops apps) and one completely useless (number 9 – can’t imagine why it was included). But if you want it all, then go to Christopher’s article.

There are of course many other videos that we as educators find useful and would like to share with others – a few of my previous posts reflect this desire (e.g. Back in ‘The Shallows’: the challenge of creativity). It’s also of note that none on this list are from TED, but if you search you’ll find someone else’s list of TED talks that educators (online or otherwise) should watch.

Gardening improves children’s desire to learn and boosts their confidence

Finally, while on the topic of lists, I thought I’d mention a link sent to me by a previous guest blogger, Tess Pajaron. Tess likes ‘The Virtues of Daydreaming And 30 Other Surprising (And Controversial) Research Findings About How Students Learn‘, and so do I, though again the list is too long! My friend Antonette who teaches chess to young children would love the finding that ‘Chess makes kids smart’, and another friend Rhonda (a landscape designer) would be chuffed that ‘Gardening improves children’s desire to learn and boosts their confidence’. As a grandparent, number 7 caught my eye: ‘Teaching kids at a very early age is counterproductive to their learning’. Go on, have a look and see under what conditions this is true.

For me, the overall power of the list is its potential to stimulate discussion and debate about student learning. This potential is enhanced by the inclusion of a link for each of the 30 findings to the original source. If you are a teacher educator, use it to get your participants thinking about some big issues.

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