Support students’ learning, and find the best video streaming sites for schools and classrooms

So you want to stream a movie, TV show, or documentary as part of international journal lesson in your classroom? Great! Watching videos and interacting with visual media are engaging ways to help students learn.

But you probably have a lot of questions: Will my district allow me to show movies in my classroom? What are the best video streaming services for schools? How does copyright law apply to schools and classrooms? How can I find movies and videos that are appropriate for school? And of course, how can I help my students learn as much as possible from movies and videos?

The tips and suggestions in this article are here to help you. Plus, we’ve also curated a list of some of the best streaming platforms you can use to find movies, TV episodes, documentaries, and other videos that might be great for your classroom.

To top this off, if you’re interested in how these streaming services compare in terms of user’s data privacy, check out our report: Privacy of Streaming Apps and Devices: Watching TV That Watches Us.

Tips for Showing and Streaming Movies and Videos in Your Classroom

Follow your school or district’s policies.
First and foremost — and we can’t say this enough — check to see if your school or district has policies about streaming or showing movies and video content in classrooms. Every school and district is bound to have its own policies, rules, and norms around using video content for learning. Bottom line: Ask an administrator or your technology department for guidance before you get started.


Use movies and videos to enhance students’ learning.
Visual media can be great for learning, and not just because it’s engaging! From a media literacy perspective, it’s important for students of all ages to learn how to think critically about different types of media — including movies and videos. Just as students learn to read and write, being media literate in today’s world also demands that students can “read” visual and video-based media. Every time you show a movie, TV show, or video in your classroom, there are opportunities for this kind of learning to happen.

Movies, TV shows, and videos can also be an excellent way to bring diverse stories and voices into your classroom. Through both documentaries and fictional accounts, you can highlight the experiences and perspectives of people from under-represented groups. If you’re searching for content to show, many of the streaming services listed below have curated lists, categories, and search functions to help you find movies, TV episodes, and videos that feature diverse perspectives.

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