The website lists “intelligent YouTube channels.” The list includes the familiar TED Talks and the Kahn Academy videos as well as the following sample of channels that have video for classroom and virtual-classroom use:


These YouTube channels hold videos on a variety of topics. You must search within each of these channels for a relevant topic.

American Museum of Natural History
This channel includes Pacific Northwest Coast Peoples as well as the Known Universe described in images, and many more.

Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan, educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Recent topics for videos include early childhood learning, an explanation of oil drilling and space travel for citizens. Often these are hour-long videos.

Big Think
This collection brings you videos featuring some of today’s leading thinkers, movers and shakers. Try theoretical physicist Michio Kaku describing the strongest material known to man or astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson discussing Sir Issac Newton.

Brooklyn Museum
Videos on artists and by artists, as well as lectures on social issues, such as Young Women and Feminism.

Harvard University Press
Videos of authors discussing their theories on math, economics, history and more.

The Library of Congress
Archive footage and contemporary presentations from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Features recordings dating from the earliest Edison films to the present.

YouTube EDU
YouTube hosts a section dedicated to academic videos. Business, math, economics, even videos on the science of cooking.


The Periodic Table of Videos
The University of Nottingham in England produces these videos on each of the elements.


Intelligence Squared
Talks on all topics as well as classically styled debates on a variety of topics that feature one motion, one moderator, and three panelists arguing for a motion, and three arguing against. One recent debate: Should the Parthenon Marbles be returned to Athens?

Intelligent Channel
Rich variety of videos, including musicians talking about the social  issues about which they sing; historical footage of speeches including Marlon Brando eulogizing 17-year-old Black Panther Bobby Hunt who was killed by police and Mario Savio on the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley.


Computer History Museum
Videos from the history of computing to the cutting edge, such as a nearly hour-long video on Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!

Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School
The legal aspects of the digital world.


Travel Channel TV
Lots of videos on regional food and cooks.


What works in education?


UCSF Memory & Aging Channel
Videos on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Includes videos that support caregivers.

National Library of Medicine Channel
Features history of medicine, and exhibitions, including interviews from the current exhibit on Native American health and wellness. Recent video on chemical hazards emergency management.


Yad Vashem
Videos testimonials of Holocaust survivors as well as interviews with Holocaust scholars, including this account of the death camps by Eliezer Eizenschmidt.


Council on Foreign Relations                                                                                                                                                                                 
Issues are summarized into “Three Things to Know…” videos that break down  complex international events.

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting’s mission is to promote in-depth coverage of international affairs. Recent topics include the water crisis in Africa, the world’s over population and the true cost of modern commodities.


Spoken Verse
Spoken Verse offers more than 400 readings of great poems in English, from Shakespeare to today. The poems are accompanied by text, so that students can read and hear the poem, such as in this example, Walt Whitman’s Oh Captain! My Captain!


Khan Academy
This channel features more than 800 videos on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, finance, physics, economics and more.

New Scientist
Covers science, technology, space, the environment and a whole lot more.



Here you will find resources that will help you  teach students how to be wise about using information. That's called information literacy. The following are sample assignments designed to help students find, evaluate and use resources that will help them get ahead in school, in their careers and in life.

Evaluating computer-based resources

Assignment: Pick a topic related to your discipline. Try searching for that same topic on Google, Wikipedia, and on the Credo Reference database.

If you wanted the most reliable information, which would you choose?
What standards did you use to decide which was the most reliable?
Those standards may include:

  • Is the information up to date? Can you tell?
  • Can you find the names of the author? If so, can you tell the author’s occupation or where he or she works?
  • Is there a neutral tone or is the source trying to sell you something?
  • Is the source from the Google search on a .com website? Or was your source from a website ending in .gov or .edu? What is the difference between those web site types?
  • Does your source indicate where it got the information for the article? Are their references to other sources?

    Write a few paragraphs describing which source you found to be the most reliable and why.

Source: Jessie Milligan, The Southwestern Library

Selecting a topic

Assignment:  Often students select topics for papers that are so broad and general that they get overwhelmed with the amount of information they find. Or they select a topic so narrow that there is little information available. It’s good to practice getting the right balance between broad and narrow topics.

As an exercise, select a broad subject from your discipline, such as Human Anatomy or Interpersonal Relations.

Each of these topics has many “narrower” or more focused aspects. Skeletal system is a narrower subject than Human Anatomy. Dealing with difficult people is a narrower subject than Interpersonal Relations.  Or you can get even more specific.  An injury to arm bones is narrower than skeletal system. Workplace bullying is narrower than dealing with difficult people.

Look  up the broad topic in an encyclopedia offered online through the library or in print at the library. After reading about the broad topic, make a list of three or four related narrower topics.

Write a paragraph describing your broad topic and the narrower topics you derived. 

Have students use their narrower topics to look on a database of scholarly journals in another lesson. They can visit the library for help with this. Can they find articles on those topics? If not, it is possible the topic is too narrow.

Source: Jessie Milligan, The Southwestern Library

Compare depth of detail

Assignment: Look up a topic related to your discipline in a general-use encyclopedia and in a subject-specific encyclopedia. For each of the two encyclopedia articles:

  • Get needed information to write a bibliography (encyclopedia title, article title, volume, author (if any), publisher, year published.
  • Note whether the article includes a list of further suggested books or websites.
  • Write down whether the article includes references that show  where the information for the article was found
  • Read the articles and make a list of five words or phrases that describe what the topic is about.

Which article was most useful and why?

Source: Adapted from Teaching Information Literacy, 50 Standards-based Exercises for College Students, second edition, Joanna M. Burkhardt and Mary C. MacDonald with Andree J. Rathemacher, Chicago: ALA 2010.

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