Educational Tools and Commentary


  • A Visit to Mr. Monfre's Class | PBS Idea Channel

    Every week, Mr. Monfre's class in Milwaukee, Wisconsin watches Idea Channel, has a great discussion, and posts awesome comments. Watch as Mike meets the illustrious Mr. Monfre and hangs out with his amazing students.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Is Google Knowledge? | PBS Idea Channel

    "Google it" seems to be the quick and easy answer for every question we could possibly ask, but is finding facts the same thing as knowing? Having billions of facts at the tips of your typing fingertips may not necessarily be making us any smarter. Some people even think it's making us stupid and lazy. Whatever way we process the vast sea of data available, the question remains: is the act of googling the same as knowledge? What the episode to find out, and tell us what you think!

    Grades: 9-12
  • Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? | PBS Idea Channel

    Video games, like Minecraft, may be good for more than just fun. Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Is YouTube Making Us Smarter? | PBS Idea Channel

    Did you know there's a place where you can learn just about anything you'd like? It's true! It's called YouTube! Sure, YouTube has hundreds of thousands of hours of deliciously time-wasting content, but it's much more than just a black hole of pet videos and funny clips. If you know where to go, YouTube has some of the best educational content on the planet! Although watching Kahn Academy all day might be a bit dry, the creativity of YouTube creators has allowed "education" to be transformed in a variety of amazing and engaging ways. YouTube probably won't replace schools anytime soon, but it's a pretty awesome alternative. 

    Grades: 9-12
  • Minecraft EDU Creator Joel Levin! | PBS Idea Channel

    If you saw our recent episode on Minecraft EDU, then you'll be interested in Mike's talk with its creator, Joel Levin! Levin discusses his vision for Minecraft EDU and how he uses Minecraft EDU in his own classroom. 

    Grades: 9-13+
  • What Does the SAT Really Test? | PBS Idea Channel

    How's that SAT prep going? Need some SAT tips? Well, here's one: The SAT may not actually be measuring your anything. That's right, your SAT scores, despite what colleges and high schools across America may like for you to believe, may not reflect anything new. There is actually substantial evidence that instead of broad aptitudes, the SATs only measure a specific set of non-quantitative, cultural values and ideas. Don't scratch those SAT dates off your calendar yet though, because it is still important, and on this week's episode of Idea Channel, let's look at why.

    Grades: 9-12

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