Teacher’s Pet – Public Domain Science Education Videos

Once in a while, we share free and open and excellent resources that come our way. Today, with a tip of the hat to edSurge, we would like to give a quick nod to sixty-five or so great science videosfrom award-winning educator Rachel Iufer, collected at the Teacher’s Pet channel on YouTube. Iufer’s videos, backed with excellent illustration/visuals from a firm called Duarte, focus primarily on bite-sized topics in high-school-level biochemistry, with some foundational science concepts completing the mix.

YouTube is full of videos — that is kind of their thing — and many of them are fantastic. Very few of them, however, are copyright- and royalty-free, public-domain videos. Those from Teacher’s Pet are.

That matters for a couple reasons (at least). For one thing, once again, no pre-existing copyrighted content entered the public domain in the United States on January 1st, unlike in lots of other countries. While our friends in Russia, Nigeria, Brazil, Turkey, and a great many others in the EU, Africa, and Asia — even our neighbors to the north in Canada! — are free to re-mix Edvard Munch, translate Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, or update each and every Fleming Bond novel to a 21st century setting, here in the U.S. it’s just same-old, same-old. So it is especially nice when new creations are gifted to the public domain by their makers…we get a present, too.

For another thing, copyright-free videos are enormously flexible. You can do all the things you can do with a regular YouTube video, of course: watch it, share it, hope it does not arbitrarily disappear one day. You can do all the things you can do with a Creative Commons-licensed CC-BY video, too: copy it, host it, distribute it, re-mix it, make derivatives, sell it for billions. You can do all the things you can do with free public culture, finally, like make more culture and do awesome things the creator never even thought of, with very few restrictions and substantially no worry that you are inadvertently breaking the law (it’s always nice to give attribution, though).

When, or if, the creator of the videos decides to take her ball and go home, her creations will live on in all kinds of implementations both wonderful and wonderfully banal. It is a pretty big world, after all.

In Iufer’s own words,

I decided to embark on creating copyright-free, royalty-free public domain material that I have no claim to own. I don’t care if someone else takes it–I just want it to be out there. Right now, I’m at the phase where I’m making the YouTube videos, but I’m also working on creating the website where I’ll post the files…[including] the images that I’ve created or that I have artists create. That’s the next phase–getting those raw materials out to teachers to modify […] I started this because I’m sick of everyone else owning education.

Students, parents, teachers, and the curious are all invited to watch and learn — and share, and reinvent, and keep the virtuous cycle going.

Follow @SciencePet on Twitter, if that is your thing, and remind yourself about every chemistry teacher’s pet, the Mole, below (see the two things we did there?):

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