YouTube is open to a wide range of users. Some are eager to share their own personal lives and viewpoints. Others want to meet new people and interact online through watching and sharing videos.
I was somewhat dismayed at the subject matter of some of the clips. Security and appropriateness of material became a concern of mine. Do young people have access to the questionable material? The short answer is yes, due to the fact that you can sign in and lie about your age when setting up an account. What are the implications for schools? I know that in Calgary, the public high schools can access YouTube and close monitoring is not always occurring. The filter levels at the Elementary level and Junior High level prevent students from accessing YouTube in the school setting. A teacher can override the security level for a student for educational purposes but that rarely occurs.
The implications for teaching and learning are varied and valuable. On the Educase Learning Initiative website,(www.educause.edu/eli) an article written in September 2006 examined the role of YouTube at the school level. According to this article,and I would believe the majority would agree, YouTube enhances students' visual literacy through viewing videos and through discussions. The article goes on to say that the application itself enourages experimentation with new media which develops a deeper understanding of the subject and the tools used to create the content. Students are exposed to new insights and skills which link them to a variety of online communities. As well, it discusses the fact that YouTube as a social network is replacing passive learning with active participation, where everyone has a voice, anyone can contribute and a network of learners form around content and support one another in learning. The potential to use YouTube as a teaching/learning tool is great but there needs to be a plan in place to ensure that students are able to critically analyze material for appropriateness and know how to effectively utilize it and apply it to their learning and education.
Another video-sharing service was discussed in a few other blogs called TeacherTube. According to their website, the goal of Teacher Tube is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. Their aim is to provide an educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It is a site to provide professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.
I had heard of it and decided to take a look at what it had to offer. I found it easy to navigate and decided that for the elementary level it had alot of potential. So much so that I set up an account with them too. I decided to take a look at some science topics and chose one on machines called 'Screws are Amazing Machines'.Grade Two students would be highly entertained and develop a better understanding of screws by time this musical video was done! Researching applicable topics to the curriculum would be more straightforward and age appropriate when using TeacherTube.
The possibilities are endless and I intend to go to school tommorrow, check to see that I can access TeacherTube and start some students exploring for applicable video clips on time, and the calendar.
Video sharing is a part of the world of our 21st Century learners and we need to take advantage of this tool to access information and support student learning.