I can’t believe how many times YouTube has been mentioned in this blog. I wanted to make reference to a previous post so did a search and found 496 hits. I think the numbers, in themselves, indicate my feelings about the value of the online video service. I’ve been using YouTube in my own wikis and blogs to support learning concepts and personally I’ve used it when I need to quickly teach myself something.
I did find the post that I wanted to make reference to. It was called "YouTube for Teachers" and it was a post that I wrote when the announced that it was going to provide resources for teachers to use in the classroom. I mentioned at the time and I still feel that this is a very positive move for education.
And yet, there are still places that insist on blocking access to the content. I mean, what happens if students waste time watching "Cat flushing the toilet"?
Well, there always is supervision. Time in class is too valuable to not stay on task. I do think that this fear is misplaced and doesn’t give the classroom professional the respect that is needed. And, if YouTube isn’t used and modelled in the classroom for the powerful resource that it can be, it should come as no surprise when it’s used ineffectively at home. In a blended learning environment, an appropriately selected video, embedded in a wiki page can be a powerful multi-media component.
To allay the fears of those who still have concerns, YouTube has a resource page for those in change of managing the networks to allow educational resource through but to stop the other content.
The image above is from a Help page entitled "How to Access YouTube in Schools". It requires a bit of setup on the part of the network administrator but the effort may well be worth the time to provide access to the power of YouTube and addressing the issues of accessing only educational content. Philosophically, it may not be the best solution but it could be the answer to levelling the educational playing field so that more students can have access.
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