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Review by Mary Beth Hertz, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013

Education on Demand

No-frills search for free videos on a variety of ed topics

Common Sense says
Teachers say (1 Review)
$avg_user_learning_rating
Grades
K-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Videos are free, and both searching and saving are simple.

Cons: Viewing videos on the site requires an account, and videos aren't easily shared outside of the site.

Bottom Line: A solid collection of curated video content for educators and learners of all ages.

This site is best suited to teachers looking for visual explanations of difficult concepts, reviews of big ideas, or an engaging way to introduce a unit. It could also be used in a "flipped classroom" to provide instruction to students outside of school. For instance, if students are learning about African-American history, you could require them to watch a video clip about the Civil War on their own time. However, to do this, each kid must have an account with Education on Demand, and you have to provide the direct link.

If you're leading a unit on a particular topic, you could also create a playlist of videos. This playlist unfortunately can't be shared or organized into folders, but it could make the process of curating videos from the site faster. In addition, when saving a video, you have the option to choose the starting time, which is a great feature if you only want to show a brief section.

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Editor's Note: Education on Demand has closed and is no longer available.

Education on Demand is a free site that provides a searchable selection of educational videos to anyone who registers. Once signed up and logged in, you can search by category or grade level to find a video of interest. Most videos are between five and 30 minutes long, and many are sectioned out into video segments based on specific content. For instance, a video on the seven continents is broken into seven sections, allowing you to watch a segment about each continent separately.

Videos are hosted by either Education on Demand, Khan Academy, or YouTube. (Depending on your school's Internet filter, this could affect the ability to watch the videos.) Videos that are hosted by New Dimensions Media, however, can be downloaded to a user's computer for later viewing. By clicking the share buttons, you could share a video link through email or a social network. A test of the share to Edmodo feature did not work correctly, however. 

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Videos can be a great way to engage students' imaginations, introduce new material, or provide deeper explanations of concepts. Many of the videos on Education on Demand's website are high-quality, and it's fairly easy to locate a video on a particular subject. Some of the videos, however, are older and not so fresh, while others can be a bit dull and may not engage all learners. Also, as with any multimedia addition to the classroom, whether a student learns depends on how the video's integrated into a lesson.

Education on Demand was definitely designed for educators or high school students looking for specific info. It could be a great way for an older student to study or do research on a particular subject, though it's primarily a teacher resource. The site is also missing a few obvious features that would create a more vibrant community. A social element and the ability to comment on videos would be powerful additions. There are social media buttons for each video that allow for sharing to various social networks, but there's no social curation system within the site itself. The rating system is also difficult to gauge as, unlike with YouTube or other sites with ratings, it's hard to tell how many people have rated a video.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Videos are a great way to engage students with content. However, some of the videos are visibly older or dull and students may not engage as well with these videos. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Many of the videos are great for introducing students to content and explaining difficult concepts. However, there are little to no opporunities for students to interact with other users or apply what they have learned.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

The website has step-by-step videos that teach users how to use various features of the site. However, there is no active user community or accessibility options such as closed captioning.


Common Sense Reviewer
Mary Beth Hertz Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

3
(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews)
Featured review by
Jill P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
East Grand School
Danforth, ME
3
Good resource to find educational videos on a specific topic at specific grade level

The site describes itself as "A non-profit organization to help teachers to save time and design more effective lessons without breaking the bank." I feel this statement is true- with the emphasis on "save time" and "without breaking the bank." I am all for the FREE sites on the web.
There are four major features that assist teachers in lesson design. The videos: are standards aligned, include supplemental resources (like teacher's guides or worksheets), are handpicked for the curated library of videos, and a teacher can create his/her own playlist to save appropriate videos.
The site has several filtering options that narrow the search for videos to what you desire. Teachers can search by category (topic), channels (source of the video), and grade level, including videos for teacher training and professional development presentations.
Every user must have an account- which is easy to set up, or the user can sign in using Google. From what I have seen, many of the videos are from youtube, so if your school blocks youtube this may be a problem (I'm not sure if they will work or not). After you use the appropriate filters for your search, you can hover the cursor over many of the titles and get a brief description of the video before switching pages to link to it. I find this a handy timesaver. The resources included with some of the videos seem quite helpful- teacher's guides with lesson plans, worksheets for students, and activities to do at home with parents.
As far as I can tell the channels are limited to eduondemand, Khan Academy, and Youtube. It would be great if there were more sources available like vimeo and TED.
The purpose of this site is to organize and sort videos to find informative ones for teaching. Therefore this is not a place where users interact with one another or apply what they have learned. It is on a basic knowledge-giving level. This is neither good nor bad... it is what it is. Lastly, there are no real accessibility supports for impaired learners- like closed captioning. That is a feature that the site might consider adding in the future.

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