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6 Free Classroom Resources to Try

As instructors, we are always preparing; preparing lessons, assignments, all of the “normal” things that go into teaching. With time often at a premium, we don’t always have enough for updating, looking for new material, resources, videos, and all the other things that not only keep our courses up-to-date but help keep the students engaged in the material.

Given the myriad of possible resources out there, it can be overwhelming for faculty to find exactly what will add and elevate to the classroom discussion.   Here are a few free, easy-to-use, and current resources that can help supplement most college classrooms:

  1. YouTube

YouTube is probably the most popular site for free and helpful videos. The only tricky part? It can be a little overwhelming for content, particularly when you’re searching for something educational. Here are a few recommended channels.

  1. Census Bureau

Who better to provide real data that the Census Bureau? Sign up for updates, browse by subject or just peruse their abundant library of videos, photos, infographics, working papers, interactive maps, etc.  This resource is quite amazing and can help provide context and deeper meaning to students on a multitude of topics and discussions. The Census Bureau even has a classroom resources section that can provide rich data and fun facts.

  1. RSS Feeds

Keeping up with world news can be a very daunting task. Using RSS feeds can help you and your students explore current events with limited time investment.

Some great RSS Feed aggregators include:

      And some great individual RSS feeds to follow include:

  1. SmartBrief

SmartBrief is an amazing resource for finding news and having it delivered directly to your inbox! Instead of endlessly searching online yourself, SmartBrief does the searching for you.Set up an account, choose the subjects you are interested in and how often you want them delivered.SmartBrief does the rest.

This resource is particularly helpful for classroom discussions of current events, as well as to bring in additional information around a particular subject or global events that may be part of your lesson plan and course curriculum.

  1. CIA World Fact Book

The Central Intelligence Agency can be a wonderful resource for research. and quite fun to explore. The World Fact Book is easy to use, fun to explore, and also encourages students to explore deeper into a topic by helping to give them a global viewpoint. One great way to use this resource in a classroom is to explore a concept and how different countries would react to the topic at hand. Ex. Discussing taking a business globally, what types of barriers would we run into operating in another country

  1. PBS Frontline

Another amazing video resource that offers a plethora of options on any number of subjects. Search for subject matter that suits your classroom or assign a video for students to watch at home and report on.

About the Author

I have been a full-time Business instructor at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska for about 10 years. I teach mainly principles courses, Marketing and Management. I also teach Business Ethics, Digital Marketing, and Introduction to Business courses. I teach online as well as face-to-face and am always trying out new ways to engage my students. When not teaching I enjoy time with my husband and our 2 year old white German Shepherd, Sampson.

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