How I Use It
Periodic videos is a website that produces videos on all of the elements of the periodic table. The creators travel around the world to show how the elements were discovered, how they are used and exciting chemical reactions of the elements. This is a good way to show students fun reactions of the elements without the expense or safety issues. I use these 5-10 minute videos to illustrate properties of elements or as a way of demonstrating principles we have learned in class or sometimes just to capture the attention of my students and get them marveling about chemistry. As a chemistry teacher for 27 years I learn something new each time I watch one of these videos. They also will create videos for current events that may relate to chemistry. For example when the earthquake in Japan caused major problems a nuclear power plant, they made a video discussing the various safety issues and hazards and the chemistry involved. Most of these videos are very interesting to students or to the public in general. Who doesn't love to see various substances react violently!
It is important to do demonstrations for students in any science class. But in chemistry many demonstrations are costly, take a lot of time to set up and are dangerous. These videos are professionally made and perform many good demonstrations while explaining the chemistry behind the reactions. The enthusiasm of the demonstrating professors is contagious as they marvel at these reactions just like our students do. They show how chemistry is everywhere and very interesting. These videos often spur on more questions from students, and they produce a fascination with chemistry. I find them to be motivating and highly interesting. But what is more, those watching learn chemistry! I think it is important that the the teacher preview the videos and not just show them one after another to kill time. I think they need to be shown at the appropriate time. Otherwise they become overused and dull. So I really think it is up to the teacher to use these videos wisely and thoughtfully.