A really significant announcement came through from YouTube this past week that should make educators everywhere stand up and take notice.
Like many school districts, mine had blocked this service for a number of years. But, after continually pushing the envelope and with the support of my superintendent, we changed that. I recall when I made the announcement to our CIESC group. It was a relief to finally have access for most of them. It was a big concern to some of the others that this would be just another distraction that was coming into the classroom. Right from the beginning, we talked about that very legitimate concern. I started off the discussion addressing those concerns with my favourite YouTube conversation starter – Cat Flushing a Toilet.
There is more to it than that. I really liked Quoteflections’ blog entry about it.
The video resource is huge. Some reports put it at 48 hours of video uploaded every minute. That’s a lot of cats!
Of course, that’s just a silly comment. The YouTube service features some of the very best video and easily accessible resources for education. With all the video sharing services available, this is THE place to publish your video productions. This is also the first place to find excellent video resources for education. Now, YouTube or any video service will never replace educators but it’s an incredibly powerful resource that just can’t be ignored any longer.
Imagine teaching a lesson on sorting. I think everyone starts with the Bubble Sort. It’s not the easiest of concepts for students to grasp and so they may need to revisit the concept a few times to fully understand. What better way than to watch it on computer and what better source than YouTube?
That’s why the announcement that YouTube for Teachers is so important. I hope that this isn’t shared as just another link. I hope that people are digging into this to see just all that this affords. At 48 hours of video just uploaded for you slow readers, how do you catch up? How do you focus your students’ attention on content? How do you use the resource to build upon and enhance your lesson?
First, you start by building your own channel. Then, you customize the look and feel of it including colours, visibility, etc. Then, you add your custom crafted videos to the channel and start to build playlists to focus the attention to the subject at hand. This isn’t just another link – this has the potential of significantly changing the way that you think about and use YouTube in your classroom. It is definitely worth the time to dig and understand what it offers for your own personal use.
While the details are not immediately available, you need to keep an eye on the YouTube Blog. It is acknowledged that YouTube isn’t available in all classroom and there are hints that there’s changes in the offing that will make the resource more attractive to school districts that don’t currently make it available. This is exciting stuff. I hope that the future announcement puts all of these “concerns” to rest so that classrooms that elect to use this resource can.
In the meantime, if you’re an educator that can use this in your classroom or you’re involved in professional development, you should immediately grab your own channel space and get started.
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