When it comes to immersive learning experiences, nothing beats the instructional power of the audiovisual (and augmented reality). Kids learn best when they are visually stimulated. The visual component here refers to a wide variety of elements that include graphics, images, charts, tables, comic strips, maps, posters, infographics…etc. But of particular interest to us in this post is video content and more specifically the one shared on YouTube.
It is true several parents and teachers do not necessarily encourage the idea of using YouTube with kids but there is a huge difference between curating educational video content (e.g., by teachers or parents) then sharing it with kids and allowing kids to search for video content themselves on YouTube. The latter is a little bit challenging and I personally would not recommend using it with young learners.
Learn Bright offers educational videos tailored specifically for young learners. The purpose is to help parents and teachers with resources to engage kids in meaningful learning experiences. Also, Learn Bright provides K-6 lesson plans covering various school subjects including Math, Reading, History, Science, and Language Arts.
Another good YouTube channel for kids. It features engaging and fun video content that helps kids expand their learning horizon. Some of the topics Peekaboo Kidz videos cover include: autism awareness, geography, solar system, alphabet songs, fun rhymes for kids, nursery rhymes, animal rhymes, popular English nursery rhymes, and many more.
PBS KIDS “is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children through curriculum-based media, using new and traditional platforms to support children in their acquisition of knowledge and critical thinking skills while empowering their imagination and curiosity of the world. Providing the highest-quality programming and learning environment for children, PBS’ children’s media invites kids on a journey to explore the world around them with non-violent, age-appropriate content that offers positive role models for children to learn from and grow with.”
Nat Geo Kids helps kids explore the world through ‘weird, wild, and wacky videos’. Some of its playlists include: explore the world with LEGO, kids vs plastic, how things work, animal showdown, awesome animal vets, Safari live, brain magic, and many more. You can also visit ‘National Geographic Kids website for more games, photos, and videos at http://natgeokids.com. Watch more National Geographic Kids videos at http://natgeokids.com/video’ .
YouTube Kids offers a ‘a more contained environment for kids to explore YouTube and makes it easier for parents and caregivers to guide their journey.’ YouTube Kids library is “filled with family-friendly videos on all different topics, igniting your kids’ inner creativity and playfulness. It’s everything from their favorite shows and music to learning how to build a model volcano (or make slime ;-), and everything in between”. One of the key strengths of YouTube Kids is the Parent Controls feature which allows parents to customize and monitor their kids interaction with video content. Parental Controls offers:
- “Limit screen time: Set a time limit for how long your kids can watch and help encourage their transition from watching to doing.
- Keep up with what they watch: Simply check the watch it again page and you’ll always know what they’ve watched and the newest interests they’re exploring.
- Blocking: Don’t like a video? Block the video or whole channel, and never see it again.
- Flagging: You can always alert us to inappropriate content by flagging a video for review. Flagged videos are reviewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.