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Free Video sites

Bringing video into the classroom can be a great way to generate excitement about new subject matter, demonstrate a complex concept, or take a virtual visit to a place you can’t go in real life. Students can use video as a research source or as raw material for their own media productions. But you don't need to pay a lot to for video; lots of quality instructional video sources are available to you for free at the click of a mouse.

Quick Links: Multi-subject l Science/Environment l History/Government l English/Language Arts
World Languages l Teacher Professional Development


Wisconsin Media Lab (that's us!) provides video on demand for Wisconsin schools through our partnership with BadgerLink. Many of the series that we currently broadcast to you on Wisconsin's public television stations will now be available online. Wisconsin Media Lab content features more than 70 video series comprising hundreds of individual programs designed specifically for K-12 classrooms and professional development. Topics include ancient civilizations, animals and biomes, cell biology, conflict resolution, countries and cultures, environmental studies, financial literacy, reading strategies, Wisconsin studies, world languages and more. Most series are complemented by online teacher guides or websites. Wisconsin Media Lab content on BadgerLink is accessible to Wisconsin residents ONLY..

ECB LearningMedia provides classroom-ready video and multimedia resources for use in lessons or independent study. This service includes video clips from PBS programs such as NOVA, American Experience, ZOOM, Building Big, A Science Odyssey and more. Support materials include explanatory background articles for each resource, correlations to state and national curriculum standards and media-rich lesson plans. Teachers can create a free account, search by grade level and topic, and save clips to your own folders.

PBS now streams the full episodes of many programs on their website. Segments of Masterpiece Theatre productions, Ken Burns National Parks programs, or NOVA episodes can be used to touch off class discussions, or full episodes can be viewed by students for further study. 
Examples of some of the programs available:
  • American Experience: Amelia Earhart, The Bombing of Germany, The Donner Party, The Crash of 1029…
  • History Detectives: Slave Songbooks, Civil War Bridge, WPA Murals, Crazy Horse Photo…
  • Nature: Whales, Black Mamba, Bears and Wolves, Kilauea Volcano, Silence of the Bees, Antarctic Ice…
  • NOVA: Is there Life on Mars, Riddles of the Sphinx, Becoming Human, Fractals, Cracking the Maya Code…
  • NOVA Science Now: 23 episodes highlighting four timely science and technology stories per episode
  • Scientific American Frontiers: Robots, Climate Change, Chimp Minds,  Cars that Thnk…
  • The Ascent of Money: four one-hour programs seek to explain the financial history of the world

  • The PBS Kids GO video viewer provides access to programs for elementary and middle school students. Examples of some of the programs available:
    • Literacy: The Electric Company, Word Girl, Between the Lions
    • Math: CyberChase,
    • Science and Technology:  Sci Girls, Design Squad, Dragonfly TV, Kratt’s Creatures, Zoom
    • Social Studies: Postcards from Buster, Wilson and Ditch: Digging America
    • Health: Fizzy’s Lunch Lab, It’s My Life
    • Arts: From the Top at Carnegie Hall
    The PBS Kids video viewer provides an easy way for pre-school and Kindergarten students to access PBS videos such as Sesame Street, Super Why, Curious George, Sid the Science Guy, Martha Speaks and more.

    iCue is an educational site from NBC the provides videos, mainly from NBC news programs, pertaining to topics in U.S. History, Government and Politics, Environmental Science and more. A special collection on the science of sports features the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

    The BBC Archive features video in several collections, such as Wildlife, Art and Artists, Politics, Sports and more.


ARKive provides a library of films and photographs of the world's endangered species, sponsored by the British non-profit Wildscreen. The site includes over 3,000 movie clips and 18,000 photos , all freely available for educational use. A companion site, ARKive Education, lists resources by age level.

National Geographic features videos about animals, the environment, science, space, travel and culture. A Kids Video section has a video player for younger students.

The Exploratorium's Ice Stories Polar Media Collection contains a selection of photos and videos about the arctic and antarctic that are available for use and download by teachers and students.

Newton’s Apple is an older video series, but the website features over 300 video clips on science tops including Animals and Plants, Earth and Space, Health and Medicine, Chemistry and Food, Technology and Invention, Physics and Sports.

The Periodic Table of Videos from the University of Nottingham  offers a video clip for each element.


The Library of Congress Digital Collections include historic video on a variety of topics. This page shows collections that contain video clips.

The HBO Archives includes Time Inc's newsreel series, The March of Time® which chronicled the events 1935 to 1967. These videos are documentary-style stories with dramatic re-enactments, with original footage shot in the 1930s through 1960s and historic footage dating back to 1913. Site requires free registration.

The C-Span Video Libraryarchives every C-SPAN program aired since 1987. Presidential debates, congressional hearings, NASA events, and other local and national government topics can be found.

English/Language Arts features a set of videos for middle and high school students. Authors such as Brian Selznick, Gerry Spinelli, Kate DiCamillo, and Lois Lowry give advice to young writers.

TeachingBooks.Net features video interviews of authors talking about their work, designed to give educators access to "virtual author presentations" at any time. There is a subscription fee for the site; however is available free in Wisconsin through BadgerLink.

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation sponsors Storyline Online, an on-line streaming video program featuring actors reading childrens books aloud. For example, Jane Kaczmarek reads Patricia Polacco's Thank You Mr. Falker, and Sean Astin reads A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon.

World Languages

LangMedia from the Five Colleges Language Program features two sets of videos. The Language by Country collection features authentic language videos filmed in country, depicting everyday situations and conversations. Culture Talk features video clips of interviews and discussions with people from many different countries and of many different ages and walks of life. Some interviews and discussions are in English; more are in the language(s) of the countries involved.

Foreign Language Video Instruction is a collection of video clips in which native speakers elaborate on a wide variety of topics about their culture, family, daily life, and more. Each video clip is accompanied by a description of its contents, the country of the speaker, and additional grammar and vocabulary notes. These videos are produced by the ViewPoints Project of the Five Colleges of Ohio consortium.

The BBC Languages site includes video lessons in several languages including French, Spanish, German and Chinese. Some of these videos (such as the Talk Spanish, Talk French, Talk Italian series) are not available to US users, but others such as Deutsch Plus, Ma France and Mi Vida Loca are.

Teacher Professional Development

Annenberg Media provides professional development video series for teachers in many curriculum areas. Browse by subject area and grade level to find these videos, many of which are accompanied by additional professional development resources on the website.

Edutopia from the George Lucas Educational Foundation provides a host of videos addressing the foundation's core concepts, such as:assessment, project-based learning and technology integration.

Reading Rockets features professional development videos focusing on teaching young readers, as well as interviews with top children's book authors and illustrators.

Commoncraft features short videos that clearly explain a whole host of topics, many of them computer-related, from RSS and Twitter to podcasting and wikis.

And lastly, if your school does not block YouTube, there are individual channels that many educators may find useful, such as:

Created 2/2001
Last updated 6/30/2011

Check out free video programs for schools via streaming or download at

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