Modern technology has brought unprecedented opportunity for teaching students. According to Internet World Stats, as of June 30, 2010 there were almost 2 billion internet users (anyone currently in capacity to use the internet) worldwide. A 2003 report by the National Center for Education Statistics details that 19.4% of homeschoolers engaged in distance learning through the Internet, email, or other use of the web. This figure, which almost certainly has grown in the past 7 years since the report, does not include the multitude of homeschoolers who supplement at-home learning with the use of the Internet. From instantaneous definitions for vocabulary words to full lesson plans for any grade, without a doubt, the World Wide Web has changed the way the world does education.
Although the internet brings with it a host of challenges for parents, especially around control of harmful images and information, it also offers resources like no other generation has been able to experience. Homeschoolers, who often must educate on a tight budget, will benefit from learning how to capitalize on the wealth of information at their fingertips within cyberspace. And believe it or not, one excellent Internet medium for home education is Youtube.
Youtube.com, a site where people can upload personal videos, has educational information on just about any possible topic. Although parents must use discretion and preview all videos before allowing children to view them (because there is certainly objectionable material on this site), with a little advance preparation, Youtube can become an incredibly valuable (and interesting) part of the homeschool curriculum. Simply put a subject into the search engine at the top of the Youtube page, and begin investigating all of the options! Not only is Youtube an incredible source of information for homeschoolers, but the videos are free, easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and they don't require leaving the home to view! The following are some examples of videos that could be used to supplement learning in different subjects:
Fast Math Trick – Learn a quick way to find the square of numbers in this short video.
Planet Sizes Comparison HD – This high definition video shows the relative sizes of each planet to each other and to many known stars. Informative and awe-inspiring!
Journey Inside the Cell – Go inside the structure of a cell with this video, which animates the parts and functions of RNA, DNA, and other elements of the cell.
Feudalism in Europe – Learn about the system of feudalism from this video.
Events Leading to the Revolutionary War – This video gives a succinct and interesting synopsis, with accompanying video clips and maps, of the events which led to the War for Independence.
Grammar Rock Nouns – For elementary students, this fun School House Rock video helps students understand nouns.
Phonics song – This song goes through each letter and sound of the alphabet for children learning to read. Accompanied with moving graphics to keep kids’ attention.
Spanish Lesson : Basic Conversation (Part 1) – Learn basic greetings, introductory Spanish phrases, and some basics of Spanish pronunciation and grammar in this video. The first in a series of videos by the same teacher.