Monday, March 31, 2014

The Changing Nature of High School

A number of recent articles on how high school education is changing seem to all respond to the same set of observations: too many students graduate from high school unprepared for college or the workplace, and the current national economy is less than hospitable to these high school graduates.

Several innovations -- both locally and nationally -- are attempting to address this situation. Here in New York, a new diploma credential, designed for regular and special education students who will be graduating with a Regents (academic) or local diploma,  is the Career and Technical Education Endorsement. As described by the New York State Department of Education, this credential requires coursework that combines career and technical education, as well as academic components, and may be jointly developed and taught by an academic subject teacher and/or a career and technical education teacher. It also requires that the student satisfactorily complete a "technical assessment." This assessment can be developed by a particular industry (such as the exam necessary for a student to obtain certification as an Emergency Medical Technician) or, if no specific assessment is available, can be developed by the school district in conjunction with local businesses or professional organizations. Such an assessment should include: written examination(s), student project(s) and student demonstration(s) of technical skills to measure proficiency.

Another approach to integrating high school academics and career readiness is happening in several communities on Long Island, where school  districts are setting up technical and career programs in individual schools, rather than send their students out to a regional program at a BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services, which serves a number of regional school districts) campus. There are both budgetary and practical reasons for this trend. As noted in Newsday, reduced State funding to BOCES has increased districts' costs of participation and some districts find it cheaper to keep their students in their own building. In addition, integrating technical and career training with academics is easier when all courses take place in the same building.

On a national level, there is a program known as P-Tech - Pathways in Technology Early College High School, originally developed by IBM to provide a strong education in STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math) to students in inner city schools. These students graduate from high school in six years, instead of four, and emerge with both a high school diploma and a two year associate's degree, as well as the promise of a good-paying job. There is an excellent description of these programs and the positive impact they are having on their students (called "innovators" at some schools) in Time magazine, which is also available in a printer-friendly version.

Friday, March 28, 2014

There's No Child Find After High School

The obligation of public school districts to identify students who may have disabilities and to proactively determine if they qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a rarely discussed aspect of the law, called "Child Find."

This section of the IDEA requires that all children with disabilities residing in each State, including children who are enrolled in private schools, be "identified, located, and evaluated." This provision effectively makes it the responsibility of each district to seek out students who are struggling, to determine if they qualify for services, and to provide them with needed services. It goes hand-in-hand with the affirmative obligation of school districts to establish an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each child who qualifies for services, and to meet at least once each year to review the student's progress and update his or her IEP. 

While we have written about Child Find before*, we haven't specifically noted how the absence of Child Find impacts students who have graduated and are no longer eligible for IDEA services. This shift of responsibility, from the school to the individual student or employee, can be a rude awakening for college students or those entering the workplace from high school. Neither colleges nor employers have any obligation to seek out individuals with disabilities. Unless the individual informs the college (by providing documentation of a disability to the Office of Disability Services) a student will have no right to any accommodations, auxiliary aids and services, or modifications which they might require to access the curriculum or campus. 

This is an important reason for high school students to understand the nature of their disability -- learning, medical, or otherwise -- and to be able to articulate what they need to learn effectively. Students who have been involved in their education, by discussing their learning needs, attending IEP meetings, and generally being aware of what they require to build on their strengths and overcome their challenges, are well equipped to step up when they are no longer covered by the IDEA and need to take the initiative to arrange the accommodations they will need to succeed beyond high school.

*The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take the case we discussed in our prior post on this subject.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Compensatory Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specifically sets forth remedies for certain violations of student rights. For example, an IEE, an Independent Educational Evaluation, must be provided at public expense where a district fails to conduct a timely or complete evaluation of a student, or even when a parent simply disagrees with the findings of a school evaluation. Likewise, the IDEA includes the right to reimbursement of private school tuition for parentally placed students where the district has not provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and certain other conditions are met. However, there is no specific statutory remedy designed to aid students who have graduated high school or aged out of IDEA eligibility (generally at age 21) without receiving the educational services to which they were entitled by law.

For these students, the courts have utilized the equitable remedy (meaning that it was created by judges to right a wrong) of compensatory education. Compensatory education for younger students, who are still subject to the IDEA, comes into play when a school district has seriously deprived a student of the educational services he or she should have received. For example, a student with a learning disability whose district consistently refused to evaluate him could be awarded compensatory educational services by a hearing officer or court -- services such as summer tutoring, additional supports during the school year, or placement in a specialized school -- which are designed to "make up" for the school's failure to properly identify the student as one who needed IDEA services. 

But what about students who have already graduated from high school or aged out of eligibility for IDEA services?  As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has noted, “In order to give meaning to a disabled student’s right to an education between the ages of three and twenty-one, compensatory education must be available beyond a student’s twenty-first birthday. Otherwise, school districts simply could stop providing required services to older teenagers, relying on the Act's time-consuming review process to protect them from further obligations.”1

Federal Courts have found that the age of the student seeking "post graduation" compensatory services does not make a student ineligible for such services. As a federal court in Indiana noted, the fact that the student was “now 24 years old does not moot his case. The Court may award adult compensatory education if it is necessary and appropriate to cure a past violation of the IDEA.”2

The courts that first crafted this use of compensatory education built on the reasoning in cases that provided for tuition reimbursement under the predecessor statute to the IDEA, noting that, like retroactive tuition reimbursement, compensatory education required school districts to “belatedly pay expenses that [they] should have paid all along.”3

For students no longer covered by the IDEA - because they have graduated or have aged out of eligibility - compensatory education can take the form of post-secondary education, requiring payment for a student who had already graduated high school to attend a reading program at a college for students with learning disabilities. It has also been used to  require a school district to provide annual reevaluations and annual IEPs for a student over the age of 21. However, it is generally available only where there has been a gross deprivation of a student's rights. It is not an easy remedy to obtain and cannot really compensate for having an appropriate education during the years prior to graduation.

Photo credit: Janet Lindenmuth/Creative Commons

[1] Phil v. Mass. Dep’t of Educ., 9 F.3d 184 (1st Cir. 1993)
[2] Brett v. Goshen Community Sch. Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 930 (N.D. Ind. 2001)
[3] 800 F.2d 749, 754 (8th Cir. 1986).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Resources for Summer and After-School Programs

The calendar tells us that Spring is here -- notwithstanding the freezing temperatures, biting winds, and predictions of snow tomorrow!  So, we started thinking ahead to summer programs and activities for students and, along the way, found some great suggestions for school year programs as well.

For New York City families, there is a terrific list of both summer and school year programs on the website of  The list is organized by interest area: math, science, arts, humanities, and academic prep. All of the programs are free.

The folks at New York City's Resources for Children with Special Needs have extensive listings of camps for children with issues ranging from ADHD to medical disabilities. They have a new "camp match" program that allows parents to find camps specific to their child's needs.

A national program, with locations from New York to Hawaii, After-School All-Stars partners with schools and both local and national organizations (such as the NBA) to provide after-school activities for school age children who need a safe, fun place to be after school and who can benefit from academic support offered in such a setting.

The American Camp Association website offers information on the more than 2,400 camps they accredit and provides information and tips on camping for parents and children on everything from how to choose a camp to how to deal with homesickness
Some area school for students with learning difficulties also offer summer programs, designed to integrate academic support and summer fun. Winston Prep offers summer programs in both its Norwalk, Connecticut and New York City locations. There is also a summer program for students with language based learning disabilities at the Windward School in White Plains, NY. And the Aaron School, in New York City, has links on its home page to separate programs for students ages 4-13 (Camp Green Trees) and ages 14-21 (Project Innovation, a technology based program).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Recommended Reads: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Ages: Perfect for the average sixth grader

Awards: Booklist Editor’s Choice: Books for Youth Award, the Notable Children’s Books Award, and the Texas Lone Star Books Award

Plot: Brilliant orphan Reynard “Reynie” Muldoon is lonely and misunderstood at the Stonetown Orphanage, so he’s ecstatic about an advertisement he sees in the paper: exceptionally talented children can take a mysterious test with exciting (though unspecified) outcomes if they pass. Reynie triumphs over each of the exam’s delightfully tricky phases (readers will enjoy trying to solve the riddles alongside him) and finds himself teamed up with three other loner misfits who have also passed. Three of the four children are clearly gifted, though in different ways. Reynie’s strength is his ability to think logically. George “Sticky” Washington earned his nickname because any information he comes across sticks in his formidable memory. Kate Wetherall is brave, enormously athletic, and displays a MacGyver-like skill for turning just about anything into the perfect tool to get her out of a jam. The gifts of the fourth member of the team, tiny Constance Contraire, are less obvious. She is rude and argumentative, and while the other three become fast friends, they’re all a little puzzled by her inclusion on their team. But Mr. Benedict, their kindly, if narcoleptic, benefactor and organizer of the test, assures them that she is essential to their mission. The children learn that they are to be sent to nearby Nomansan Island as spies to attempt to foil the evil Mr. Curtain’s fiendish plot to (what else?) take over the world. The self-dubbed Mysterious Benedict Society has to draw on every bit of strength, cunning, and grit it can muster in this delightful adventure.

Our Take: Most kids love to read books starring child geniuses, and books about spies, and this entertaining mystery is sure to please. Though there are a few places where it seems to drag a bit, for the most part the plot is exciting, fresh, and unpredictable. Kids will love this book for the story and kooky, memorable characters. Parents and teachers will love it for the way it extols the importance of intelligence and moral values and teaches vocabulary. Some of the rich wordplay is embedded in the text, but some is explicit - and very palatably so. For example, when Kate confesses to Reynie that she doesn’t know the meaning of “ignominious,” she is offended by Reynie’s reply of “Shameful!” until he hastily explains that he was defining the word for her. The book is filled with humor, some of which is obvious and some more understated. The numerous puns were one of our favorite aspects of the novel; parents should be ready to point them out, as some may be too subtle for some kids to recognize immediately. The evil Mr. Curtain (whose first name is Ledroptha – fitting, since he hopes to “drop the curtain” on the world when he unleashes his devious plan) has set up shop on Nomansan Island (i.e. no man’s an island). One of Mr. Curtain’s henchmen is a huge, hapless youth named S.Q. Pedalian, who is just as tall as his sesquipedalian-eque name suggests, and who frequently uses long words, though often incorrectly. Constance’s last name, Contraire, highlights just how very contrary she can be. Throughout the book, we delighted in the way the four children learned from each other, absorbing both knowledge and important lessons about bravery, friendship, family, multiple intelligences, and teamwork. And readers will learn along with them as they turn each enjoyable page.

Adult themes:

Good to Know: The Mysterious Benedict Society is the first of a four-part series. Young geniuses will also enjoy Mr. Benedict’s Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums. And what best-selling series would be complete without a webpage? Visit for more information about the books, their characters, and the author, as well as some brain-bending games.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Whiteboards, Reinvented!

There’s something magical about whiteboards. Give a reluctant student a pencil and pad and he’ll groan. Give him a portable whiteboard and a marker and his eyes will light up. Students who dislike spelling will generally write long lists of words without complaint on a white board. Long division woes? Write the problem on a whiteboard and watch a student chomp at the bit to get at it. Maybe it’s the novelty. Maybe it’s the colored markers and the sharp, crisp lines they create. Maybe it’s the knowledge that mistakes will disappear with the swipe of a finger. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that the power of a whiteboard belies its simplicity.

White boards aren’t exactly convenient, though. A student can’t draw up a master plan, then toss the board into a backpack and expect the lines to remain when she takes it out again. And tutors who want to use a whiteboard may need to spend lots of time setting up sample math problems or sentences, which must then be carefully protected so that they don’t rub off before they can be worked on.

So we were thrilled to discover the clever products available through a company called Whiteboard Reinvented. For example, the Mini Ideaboard is part notebook, part whiteboard, and all ingenuity. Three rings hold five whiteboard sheets, perfect for brainstorming. There are also four transparent overlays that can be placed over a whiteboard sheet for editing or over a piece of paper. Imagine the possibilities – students could trace letters as they work to learn cursive, do a sheet of math problems, even have fun tracing a
favorite comic! The whole thing is encased in an attractive cover that will either close over the sheets to protect them or prop up the board to share ideas with others.

We’re also fans of the Launchpad. It, too, has five whiteboard sheets, but it’s also got a lined pad of paper underneath them for preserving the best ideas. Imagine a student brainstorming for an essay; he can list all his ideas on one whiteboard page, arrange the best ones on another whiteboard page in the form of a mind map, then copy his final arrangement on paper when he is satisfied with it. The Launchpad also comes with two clear dry erase pockets that will fit any A4 printout for easy editing. These would be great for any of the ideas listed above (practicing handwriting, doing a math worksheet), or for papers used daily or
weekly. For example, a student with lots of responsibilities during rushed mornings could place a checklist in the pocket, then check off items as he completes them each day (e.g. wash breakfast dish, feed the dog, collect sports equipment, etc.). It could also house a blank weekly calendar onto which a he could record assignments, due dates, and other important information.

In short, Whiteboard Reinvented is a wonderfully innovative company whose products may be just what you need to inspire similar creativity in the students in your life.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Love The Giver? Read the Rest of the Quartet!

It’s hard to believe that most young people would not have been able to define “dystopia” ten years ago. Dystopian fiction is one of the hottest genres these days, with series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, Uglies, The Maze Runner (we could go on) flying off shelves – and, in many cases, onto movie screens. With this onslaught of new inductees to the world of young adult dystopian fiction, it’s easy to overlook one of the pioneers of the genre, Lois Lowry’s groundbreaking and award-winning novel The Giver. It was, and still is, a staple of the middle school language arts canon, and most adults in their mid-30’s on down have breathlessly turned its pages only to be haunted by its ambiguous ending. The Giver is one of the best-known and best-respected young adult books around. But did you know that it is the first in a four-part series?

The Giver Quartet is comprised of its famous and eponymous first installation, plus Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Gathering Blue, written seven years after its predecessor, presents a new dystopian society very different from Jonas’s Community. Kira, the protagonist, lives in a village that lacks any kind of sophisticated technology. Its inhabitants have no machines and do everything by hand. It is still a culture that values the strong, however, if by default rather than by design as in the Community. Kira, born with a twisted leg, has only a slim chance for survival, but her remarkable gift for embroidery gives her a chance to save herself. There only the vaguest allusions to The Giver in Gathering Blue, and they come only at the very end, but the same themes are explored with writing that is just as gripping. And reading both is essential preparation for Messenger, which comes next. 

We’re loath to give too much about Messenger away, so we’ll share only sketchy details. Some familiar characters resurface in yet another settlement, located, as it turns out, in the same forest as Jonas’s Community and Kira’s village. Life in this third town is simple in many ways, but the technology and the culture are more sophisticated than in Kira’s village. The magical realism in The Giver, which plays a role in Gathering Blue, becomes more dominant in this book. Its hero, Matty, is one of our favorite characters in the series. As in the previous two novels, Lowry explores the dark side of human nature, though we’re happy to report that selflessness, humility, and love win the day.

Son, the fourth and final book, is the most sweeping novel in the Quartet. It begins back in the original Community and tells the story of Claire, a so-called birth mother who discovers many of the dark secrets we learned in The Giver and rebels against the Community. The reader learns before too long that she and Jonas are contemporaneous, and it is interesting to read the familiar events in The Giver from a different perspective. Like Jonas, Claire chooses to escape from the Community; her motivation, however, is not her own freedom but the desire to be reunited with her son, who was taken from her to be raised by others like all newborns in the Community. Again, the reader is reunited with familiar characters, and the conclusion of Claire’s adventures and travels provides a satisfying ending for both the book and the whole series.

One great thing about The Giver Quartet is that it’s appropriate for younger readers. Due to dark themes, violence, and more complex language, series like Divergent and The Hunger Games are best for slightly older kids. The Giver, while anything but simple, is accessible to the average fifth or sixth grader. We enthusiastically recommend the whole series to young readers, particularly to those who have been on tenterhooks since they finished The Giver.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Poll: For Most Business Leaders, Prestigious Diplomas Are Least Important Factor

Young job-seekers shouldn't worry about whether they graduated from a top-notch school. Business leaders don’t. According to a recently released poll conducted by Gallup in November and December of last year, candidates’ knowledge of their field, and their skills, are far more important to potential employers than the school that issued them their degree.

623 business leaders based in the United States responded to the poll. While 84 percent said that the amount of knowledge the candidate has in a field was “very important” and 79 percent gave applied skills the same ranking, only 28 percent reported that the candidate’s major was such a critical factor. The least important factor, according to the poll, was the candidate’s alma mater; just 9 percent felt that the applicant’s school was “very important.”

Gallup administered the same poll to the American public and found some interesting differences. 80 percent of those polled agreed with business leaders that knowledge in the field was a very important factor when considering candidates. But the poll revealed that the public is far more impressed than business leaders are by the degree and the school that awarded it: 47 percent categorized college major as very important, and 30 percent said that the candidate’s school was very important.

Gallup points out connections between their findings and the hiring practices of companies like Google that are more impressed by merit and achievement than by diplomas. The takeaway? College is still important, but so is being able to demonstrate that one’s skills extend beyond earning good grades in a classroom.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Marijuana Use Impedes Development in Young Brains

A series of studies indicate that teenagers who use marijuana are doing more than just flirting with a gateway drug: They’re probably doing lasting damage to their still-developing brains. A review from the University of Wisconsin, which examines data from studies on both teenage binge drinking and marijuana use, found that adolescents who use cannabis regularly earn lower grades, perform more poorly on IQ tests, and demonstrate lower cognitive function than peers who abstain.

Many short-term problems are associated with substance abuse in young people. Teenagers get less sleep, and sleep more poorly, when they are intoxicated, and being poorly rested may cause them to be less attentive in class and to operate with lower processing speed and working memory. Being under the influence of substances is also associated with poorer emotional regulation and risky decision-making.

But the UW review found that marijuana use presents more lasting dangers as well. Teenage brains exposed to marijuana may fail to develop properly. The damage was found to be particularly severe for teenagers who started younger or who used marijuana frequently. One longitudinal study revealed that young people who smoked marijuana on a regular basis during their teenage years lost an average of 8 IQ points as they transitioned from childhood to adulthood.

The teenage years are critical for brain development, and it seems that toxins in marijuana prevent the brain from doing the important work of pruning extraneous synapses and therefore working more efficiently.

It's important to keep in mind that the marijuana used by teens today differs from that which parents may have used in college. As noted by the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, the potency of marijuana today is two to seven times what it was in the 1970's, as measured by the levels of THC, the active ingredient responsible for marijuana's psychoactive, or mood altering, effects. In addition, "another difference between then and now is that marijuana users in the 1970's were most likely to smoke the leaves and initiate use around 20 years of age. Marijuana users today, however, start in their mid-teens and prefer to smoke the more potent flowering tops, (buds) of the plant." Parents need to be mindful of these facts as they speak to their teens about the long term impact of early marijuana use. 

Illustration: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Friday, March 7, 2014

Major Changes to SAT by 2016

In the wake of reports of criticism about the SAT exam (which dropped the name "Scholastic Aptitude Test" years ago in the face of claims that it did not actually measure aptitude for college success), the College Board announced on Wednesday that it will be making a number of changes to the exam. The changes include:
  • A return to the 1600-point scale. The overall score will be a composite of 800 possible points for its math and reading sections.
  • The end of the mandatory essay. Students may choose to write an essay after completing the reading and math sections if they choose. However, instead of a personal essay in which they express an opinion or describe an experience, students will be asked to analyze a document. The essay will be given a separate score.
  • A change to vocabulary words tested. Instead of words some deem esoteric, the College Board says the test will probe student’s knowledge of words that are commonly used in college courses. 
  • A shift in math skills tested. The new SAT will focus on three areas: linear equations, complex equations, and ratios/percentages/proportional reasoning. Also, students will be allowed to use calculators for only some portions of the math section.
  • Ending the penalty for wrong answers. The current test deducts a quarter of a point for each wrong answer (though there is no penalty for answers left blank). The “guessing penalty” will be removed from the new test.
  • Analysis of science and social studies texts as part of the reading and writing section. Additionally, in some cases students will be asked to select not only the right answer, but also the textual quote that supports their answer.
One criticism of the SAT, and standardized testing in general, is that affluent students tend to do better, perhaps because they can afford access to test preparation courses. In hopes of leveling the playing field, the College Board has partnered with the Khan Academy to make practice and instructional materials available free of charge. Low-income students will receive another perquisite as well: Those who qualify will get four waivers that will allow them to apply to four colleges for free.

There is not yet any indication of how these changes will affect students with learning differences.

For more information, please visit the College Board’s webpage dedicated to the changes to the exam. 

Photo Credit: Flickr CC - Jeff Pioquinto, SJ

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Great Sources for Frontloading Videos – Part 2

Our regular readers will remember last Monday's post on this topic in which we introduced MinutePhysics and MinuteEarth as sources for frontloading videos for middle and high school students. As we explained in the previous post, frontloading is an effective instructional technique in which students are given a brief overview of a topic before learning it more thoroughly. Frontloading gives students an idea of what to expect, helps them to focus on the salient information more readily, and aids in memory.

Here are two more sources for great videos, all available free! Handwritten Tutorials will be useful to students of high-level biology and anatomy, while CrashCourse offers a broader range of courses on science, literature, and history.

Handwritten Tutorials  – high school, college, and nursing/medical school

Martin Wardle, the brainy artist behind Handwritten Tutorials, follows three guidelines as he conceives and draws up his lectures: they should be under ten minutes long, free, and enjoyable to watch. Martin has uploaded more than 75 videos in which he quickly draws all of the most important aspects of topics like anatomy, biochemistry, neuroscience, and more, narrating all the while. The explanations are easy to understand and the helpful sketches make things crystal clear. Want to take a closer look, make your own notes, or spend a bit more time studying? Students can even download the completed drawing as a PDF from the Handwritten Tutorials homepage.

CrashCourse – high school and college

Teenagers who are fans of author John Green’s quirky humor will love this channel just as much as they love his popular novels, which we have recently reviewed in our Recommended Reads series. Brothers John and Hank Green take on the task of explaining U.S. and world history, chemistry and biology, literature, ecology, and psychology on this channel, which has dedicated playlists for each topic. The videos tend to be longer, between ten to twelve minutes, because they cover more ground than the Minute videos described above. The Greens’ fast-paced delivery, visuals (comprised of diagrams, photos, maps, and animations), and joke-a-second, cerebral humor will pique adolescents’ interest in the topic before they get into the nitty-gritty of learning it in detail. There are over 100 videos to choose from.

We hope that you’re as impressed by these videos as we are! We think any of them would make a wonderful starting point for more in-depth learning.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Great Sources for Frontloading Videos – Part 1

One of our favorite strategies here at the Yellin Center is frontloading. Frontloading is a great way to boost comprehension in almost all learners, and especially in students who struggle with attention and comprehension. The principle is simple: A preview of a concept, in which a learner is exposed to some of the most important ideas, tends to help students understand and absorb the information when they’re presented with more thorough instruction later. For example, if a student reads a short summary of a science chapter before reading the chapter itself, she tends to understand the complicated ideas in the chapter more easily. She knows, for example, which information is most important. She also has a sense of where the chapter is taking her as she reads and so can more easily build a schema in her mind.

Frontloading can take many forms, but one of our favorite ways to frontload is to take advantage of the treasure trove of information available on the internet. Videos are a great way to frontload for lots of reasons: they’re visual, engaging, move fairly quickly, and hold students’ attention. We want to share some great sources for frontloading videos, all of which are available, for free, on dedicated YouTube channels. Not only are the videos below great sources for information about physics and earth science, they’re all humorous and are characterized by quick but precise explanations and explanatory visuals, too. Students who spend a few minutes watching a video preview before they attempt to read a textbook chapter or attend the next day’s lecture on the same topic will more readily understand and remember the relevant information.

MinutePhysics – middle and high school

As the name suggests, this channel hosts a series of videos that explain topics important in physics, such as gravity, wave/particle duality, the mechanics of the sun, and even Schrodinger’s cat. At the time of this writing, there were 123 videos available, though new ones are added all the time. Most videos are between one and two minutes long.

MinuteEarth – middle and high school

Just like MinutePhysics, this channel is a gold mine for students learning earth science and geology. Viewers can learn about the properties of sand, how trees survive winter, where Earth’s water came from, and other topics, all in less than three minutes per video. So far the channel has 33 videos, but their collection is growing.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post in which we’ll share other favorite video sources!