Summer Spotlight: Create An Online Educational Video with Brightstorm

As part of the Summer Workation Celebrating Summer Contest, we will be featuring a number of Summer Spotlights. These Summer Spotlights will feature some of the exciting things teachers have done and can do during the summer months. We hope that these posts can help teachers learn about some of the summer jobs and opportunities available to them. The third Summer Spotlight features Brightstorm – an amazing organization that finds the best teachers, films them teaching, and builds learning solutions around great teacher videos.

Brightstorm Logo

Brightstorm’s Mission

Our mission at Brightstorm is to be the best place in the world to learn. We believe that great learning starts with great teaching. So, we find the best teachers, film them teaching, and build learning solutions around those great teacher videos.

Our current solutions target the high-school age curriculum, including Math, SAT, ACT and AP subjects. Some of our products are free and some are paid. For instance, Brightstorm Math (which includes over 2,000 videos on every topic from Algebra through Calculus) is free. With Brightstorm Math, any registered user can watch as many math videos as many times as they like. Our paid products include test preparation programs, such as our SAT, ACT and AP courses. Great teaching forms the core of these comprehensive programs, which also include practice quizzes, downloadable materials, full-length practice exams and more.

These solutions are just the beginning of Brightstorm’s journey to revolutionize the way people learn. The power of a great teacher in action is undeniable. With Brightstorm, every learner can have access to the best teachers, wherever and whenever they want.

Check out this video to learn more about our free Math videos:


Teachers and Brightstorm

As our mission states, we believe that great learning starts with great teaching. Great teachers are at the core of our learning solution.

During the summer, Brightstorm trains and films teachers in our studios located in San Francisco, California. At the beginning of the summer, Brightstorm supports teachers in designing a comprehensive curriculum and engaging lessons. We try to foster a collaborative environment where teachers and curriculum specialists support each other in the content development and filming.

During the academic year, Brightstorm serves as a free resource to math teachers and their students. We have created a blog specifically for teachers (www.teach.brightstorm.com) so that they can easily find and share our video resources with their students through copying links and embedding videos on their classroom or personal websites.

What Teachers Say About Their Experience at Brightstorm

“One of the things I learned most from doing the Brightstorm videos was the importance of using proper math vocabulary. When I work with teenagers, I tend to adopt some of their informal slang like “the plussing number” instead of “the y-intercept” in a y=mx+b equation or “the answer” rather than “the quotient” in polynomial division. Since my work on the video camera, I have been more aware of the language I use and asked that students use more proper vocabulary themselves in my classroom.

Additionally, the Brightstorm work got me thinking about how teaching math will be changing with new technologies coming into schools. I have joined a professional development committee at my school called “Classroom 2020″ to envision what teaching and learning will look like in the future- perhaps using videos for tutorials, like Brightstorm, rather than teachers having office hours.

The most rewarding part of my summer experience was having a project that I worked on relatively briefly continue to benefit my teaching and my students’ learning throughout the year. I find that students and parents are extremely receptive to having instructional opportunities available to them outside of the school day.”

Next Steps

Brightstorm will be expanding into other high school help subjects including Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Sciences. If you are interested in pursuing an opportunity with Brightstorm, please see our job post at Summer Workation: http://www.summerworkation.org/teacher/job_details.php?post_id=563

  • What do you think about this Summer Spotlight?
  • Do you have any experience with online learning?
  • What would your ideal summer growth opportunity be (e.g., volunteer work, study/travel abroad, internship/externship, fellowship)?

Leave a comment by February 27, 2010 to enter the Celebrating Summer Contest!

3 Responses to “Summer Spotlight: Create An Online Educational Video with Brightstorm”

  1. Jessica Y. says:

    This Summer Spotlight is very informative and neat because I had no idea that Brightstorm existed! I know there are videos on YouTube or any other video sharing site with random people teaching subjects, but Brightstorm is such a fantastic and organized site. I just wandered around on it and the free videos for math are terrific – crisp videos, problem questions on the side, etc.

    As for my experience with online learning, throughout the years, when I was stuck on a particular question or topic, I found that I always went online to ask for help. Whether it was a forum or Yahoo! Answers or a website, I learnt a lot online. Also, I took a few options online and I found that there are some advantages and disadvantages to online learning. For example, online learning is very flexible and handy because it’s always there whenever you need/want it, but I never got a chance to meet my teacher in real life or experience the “feeling” of being in a classroom with others. I’m a visual learner, so something like Brightstorm is super handy for people who learn best by seeing/visualizing things.

    My ideal growth opportunity is volunteer work because there are so many places in my community and city that need volunteers and I would love to spend my summer helping them out.

  2. mbcollins says:

    I also found this spotlight to be extremely interesting/informative. I had never heard of Brightstorm, but it looks like they are doing some interesting work. I will certainly tell my students to check out Brightstorm as an out of school learning resource. If you ever expand to work with teachers outside of SF let me know (it seems like a really interesting way to spend a summer).

  3. Karla Duff says:

    Brightstorm is also new to me. What a great opportunity for high school teachers to expand in their teaching field. I like the idea of having videos available for free. Quality professional development is always needed.
    Two wishes:they would branch out to my area and introduce their concept to middle school teachers.
    This would be a super summer placement if made available.
    My favorite summer professional development is learning new opportunities that compliment my curriculum. Brightsorm is doing that.

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