Monday, November 17, 2008

OK, class, it's time for YouTube

Silly videos, crass practical jokes, music videos, bloody street fights; you name it, you can probably see it on YouTube. But what many of us (teachers, that is) are finding out is that the site is also rich in serious, professionally made videos that can teach our students a lot. My students have been finding videos on YouTube for a few years now and using them in their blogs and wikis (note: this year most of them have been using videos from TeacherTube; many of those can also be found on YouTube). What I have found is that my students are amazed that videos like these are on YouTube and love finding them.

In the article "Ok, Class, It's Time for YouTube" from the Christian Science Monitor, the site even gets a cheer from a marine biology professor. The author writes about how, through the urging of his son, he begins exploring YouTube and discovers that how it can make his classes come alive. His writing reveals his excitement:

I began my lecture on the classification of the invertebrates, reciting facts about their anatomy and habits as my students dutifully scribbled away. And then it was showtime. I booted up the laptop and projector, darkened the room, and clicked on YouTube.

The effect was magical. The blue ocean ebbed and flowed before us as myriad sea creatures swam, crawled, and flew about. I stood alongside the screen, narrating the action, occasionally pausing a video clip to point out this or that detail that illuminated my students' notes. From sponges to mollusks to starfish and their kin, we covered all the phyla of invertebrates.

The "wows" and "whoas" from the class confirmed for me that I had struck gold. When the lights came back on one of my students gushed, "That was a real trip."

I love reading articles about epiphanies like this. If you haven't checked out YouTube for educational purposes, do so as soon as possible. Chances are you'll discover some good material for your classroom.

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Unknown said...

I was unaware of the educational benefits of YouTube until around a month ago. I was doing a presentation on the Aghori tribe and found some interesting information through YouTube. While many see this site as barbaric it also has some significance to it as well. Since I was shown that video on the Aghori tribe I can not miss a day without trying to find something interesting and beneficial. Why does no one start a site with videos with just historical significance? Why do people fell they need to ruin a good site by displaying their fights, etc.?

N.D. said...

Neat thoughts. I just had my students do an assignment where they post a utube video to our class ning page.
I've seen a few and they are great, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest.

TLP said...

I recently discovered some useful YouTube videos for my math class. I find it challenging to weed through the useless (albeit funny) videos to discover the useful nuggets. I like the idea of students creating videos. I will investigate this.

Anonymous said...

As per my experience videos can teach better than books added to this they save a lot of time I can say this with confidence as I have build a site and I am receiving a numerous number of visitors as my site aims at interactive learning.

Anonymous said...

As per my experience educational videos will have a more positive and lasting effect on your child.

James said...

Thanks misterteacher for the great information. I did not knew about teachertube, we were using only youtube now we will use teachertube.