Let’s start with a question: Which digital tools, services and/or spaces are the most popular with YOUR students? If your kids are anything like mine, they spend TONS of time checking out photos and videos in Instagram and YouTube.
Need proof? Then consider that in the most recent iteration of Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up Survey, over half of all middle and high school students surveyed reported having an Instagram account — and three out of every four students reported spending time creating and watching videos on YouTube.
The GREAT news for science teachers is that there are TONS of science-themed Instagram and YouTube channels that are worth following. In fact, I’ve spotlighted sources on both services before (see here, here and here).
Here are four more sources of great science content in both services:
@natgeoadventure : The newest Instagram stream from National Geographic, @natgeoadventure spotlights photography from some of the world’s best adventurers and photographers. The images are stunning and inspiring all at once. Need an example of their work? Then check out this shot from Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park. #amazing
@dailyoverview : The Daily Overview stream on Instagram — which shares regular pictures of the earth from above — is easily one of the most interesting collection of science-based images on the entire site. The goal of the stream is to force viewers to consider the impact that humans are having on the planet. Need an example of their work? Then check out this shot of Male in the Maldives — one of the most densely populated islands in the world.
Untamed Science : The Untamed Science channel on YouTube releases a weekly webisode covering either a current event happening in the science world or a classic concept that is worth knowing about. Every episode is highly polished and entertaining. Need an example of their work? Then check out this clip on symbiosis.
ReelNASA : Ever wondered what life on the International Space Station would be like? Then subscribe to the ReelNASA channel on YouTube, which generates TONS of engaging content from the ISS. There are weekly roundups of happenings as well as customized playlists for things like spacewalks and the Year in Space project.
Remember, y’all: Scientific literacy only starts when our kids are aware of — and interested in — what’s happening in the world around them. Suggesting YouTube and Instagram channels is a natural way to build that awareness simply because our kids have embraced those social spaces. If even ONE student follows a service like NatGeo or NASA in their social streams, that’s a win.
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