Tuesday, March 11, 2008

History Comes Alive in the Classroom! (Courtesy YouTube)

If I were a History teacher today, I would probably be spending every spare moment on YouTube scouring the collections for videos relevant to my curriculum, to make History truly come alive in the classroom. I would probably teach history through watching those videos and discussions before and after.

[In case you don't have (convenient) access to the Internet in your school or classroom or if your school has blocked youtube, see my post here on Anytime, Anywhere Access to YouTube Videos so you can download & burn the videos for sharing with your students.]

Take the Social Studies curriculum in middle/high school in India, for example. The broad themes deal with -
  • Indian History - Ancient (Indus Valley, Guptas, Mauryas, Alexander), Medieval (Muslim & Mughal Empires) & Modern (British Rule & post-independence)

  • European History - Ancient (Roman & Greek empires), Medieval (France, Byzantine, Crusades, Renaissance), Modern (Nationalism in Europe, and the world wars

  • (Rest of the World) History - Asia (Mongols, Indochina, Vietnam War, China, Russia), America (Discovery, colonies, Independence, Civil War)

For almost each of these topics, YouTube has a wealth of videos made from credible sources (although that may be open to debate, perhaps in a Social Studies class itself!) such as BBC, History Channel, Discovery Channel, and others.

I've been building a pretty comprehensive database, and will share it as a Youtube playlist sometime in the not-too-distant future. For now, here's a sampling of topics on which I have found great material on youtube -

* Indus Valley (Harappa, Mohen-jo-daro)
* Mughal Empire (including separate episodes on Babur, Akbar & Shah Jehan)
* The last Days of the Raj & Partition
* Real footage from the days of the British Rule (including 15th August 1947)
* Alexander in India
* Ancient Eygpt
* Huns & Mongols
* South Indian Temples
* American Civil War
* The Crusades
* Byzantium
* The French Revolution
* World War I & II

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