Thursday’s Tip: Using Next Vista to Engage Learners

One way to engage students is through the use of video.  Sometimes it is challenging to find the perfect video to introduce a topic to your students.

I recently heard Rushton Hurley speak at the Midwest Education Technology Conference in St. Louis.  Rushton Hurley is the Executive Director for the project Next Vista for Learning.  Next Vista for Learning is a library of free videos for learners everywhere!  Next Vista videos currently center around three categories.  Light Bulbs, Global Views, and Seeing Service.  The videos are under five minutes long and are screened for weak content.  Videos can be streamed or downloaded.  Most videos are student and teacher created.

The Light Bulbs category introduces a wide variety topics from all subject areas.   The idea behind this category is that “learning is stronger with an engaging introduction.”  Here is an example of a Light Bulb about the Atomic Model.

The category of Global Views centers on students and teens introducing others to their school or community.   The goal of this category is to “help students understand the wondrous variety around the planet.”  View students’ in Yekaterinburg, Russia sharing their community’s unique monuments. Imagine the creative writing ideas which could accompany this video.

The Seeing Service category is a collection of good deeds.  ”The hope is that students who wonder about their own value will see what the people in these videos do and realize that those are things they are capable of doing, too.”  Good deeds, large and small, from around the world are documented in this section.  One example of a Seeing Service video is Carry Someone’s Problems.  In this video a young girl shares her work with the Kisa Project and Afric Aid.

Next Vista is supported by grants and private donations.   Next Vista also offers video contest.  You can sign up for the Next Vista News letter.  This letter comes about once a month to your “inbox” and offers learning opportunities, overviews of newly posted videos, and tons of Web goodies!If you are searching for a clever and engaging way to introduce a new topic to students, check out http://www.nextvista.org/.

Carmen Marty is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

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